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Common & Biggest Dog Myths & Misconceptions
Biggest Collection of Dog & Puppy Behavior Misconceptions!
Generally Mistaken Dog Stereotypes, Lies, Facts & Truths
Small & Big Dog Breed Misconceptions
Dog & Puppy Body Language & Emotion Misconception
Shelter, Rescue & Service Dog Misconceptions
Adopting a Senior Dog Misconceptions
Military, K9 and War Dog Misconceptions
Guide and Adopted Dogs Misconceptions
Common Misconceptions about Protections with Dogs
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Pitbull
Dog Myths & Misconceptions
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Bulldog
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Boxer
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Amstaff
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Rottweiler
Dog Breeds Misconceptions - Husky & Pomsky
Leash-Reactive Dogs Misconceptions
Misconceptions Facts about Dogs & Puppies
Unhidden, Revealed and Explaned
Dominance Over Dogs Alpha Method Misconception
Socializing Dog & Puppy Misconceptions
Separation Anxiety in Dogs Misconceptions
Dog Parks & Resorts Misconceptions
Dog Agression & Bites Misconceptions
Dog & Puppy Common Misconceptions
Dog Psychology Misunderstanding & Misconceptions
Biggest Dog Legends & Myths
Dog Evolution Misconceptions
Training & Obedience Dog Misconceptions
Misconceptions about Dog's Paws & Noses
Dog Myths vs Dog Facts
Dogs Microchipping Misconceptions
Senior Dog Misconceptions
Cancer in Dogs Misconceptions
Dog E-Collar Misconceptions
Dog and Puppy Common Stereotypes & Stigmas
Liver Shunts in Dogs Misconceptions
New Puppy Misconceptions
Dog Cloning Misconceptions
Dog Veterinary Misconceptions
Sledding & Working Dogs Misconceptions
Dog Traveling Misconceptions
Surfing & Boarding Dogs Misconceptions
Dogs In Cars Misconceptions
Hyena Dog Misconceptions
Clicker Training Dog Misconceptions
Blind Dog Misconceptions
Deaf Dog Misconceptions
Dog Poop Misconceptions
Pavlov's Dogs Misconception
Dog vs Coala Misconceptions
Dog vs Ferret Misconceptions
Sheepdog Misconceptions
Dog Howl Misconceptions
Black Dog Syndrome Misconceptions
Dog Insurance Misconceptions
Walking Dogs Misconceptions
Dog & Puppy Stereotypes
Gundog Misconceptions

Please, kindly notice:
All information on this page presented
For Educational Use Only !
No any article pretend to be a single truth.

Your pooch us a unique individual and you will come across quirks that are characteristic of your pooch
The key to handling such quirks is understanding them.
Myths can harm your dog & the relationship with your pooch & strain it if you believe your pup is trying to punish you or show that he is in charge!
Remember this & Do not easily believe every word about dogs, you hear.

If your vet, breeder, trainer, or behaviourist
tells you something about your dog then ask them to explain it.
If they can't then they are probably just repeating an old wives tale!

Book by
Alexandra Semyonova

THE MISUNDERSTOOD DOG - Book by Jordan Rothman
Book by
Jordan Rothman





This article is proudly presented by






Jean Donaldson
Ian Dunbar
Caesar Millan
Valarie V. Tynes
Alexandra Horowitz

Dogs have a natural desire to please? Huh! This is a tough myth to debunk because we like to think our dogs want to please us. But consider this: Would you work hard if there were no paycheck involved? Dogs exist to please themselves, not us. It just so happens that for some dogs, the things that please them also please us. And for some dogs, it's reward enough to be in our company and get a pat on the head, so they will repeat whatever behavior brought that about. If the dog doesn't find something rewarding in some way, it's highly unlikely he will repeat his behavior!

MYTH: Love is what dogs need first of all!
Beyond doubt, dogs need our love. But many owners tend to unconsciously ignore or forget about other needs and instincts of the dog. First of all, all dogs need sufficient physical and mental exercise including discipline. If a dog doesn't burn its physical energy and its mind is not occupied with some kind of directed activity, the animal may become destructive, aggressive, fearful, possessive, or develop an obsession. Because of their nature, dogs primarily need physical and mental exercise, and only then love. And.. Jealousy is NOT a true sign of love! Remember about that!!!!


Some dog breeds are more aggressive than others - This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about dog behavior. While some breeds have naturally stronger hunting and fighting instincts, the final role in raising a well-balanced and stable dog belongs to the owners. There are a lot of examples of snappish little dogs that run the household and keep the people in a tight grip. There are also a lot of obedient Pit Bulls and Bull Terriers that, typically, have a reputation of aggressive dogs. Please do not be biased. If a dog is raised with clear human leadership, good obedience training and proper socialization, it should ensure a well-balanced and stable temperament whatever the breed is.


Don't blame the breed for your mistakes. Understanding the unique and sometimes confusing behaviors and characteristics of dogs plays a large part in our ability to own and care for them correctly. But sometimes, the things we read and hear about dogs are not at all true.

MYTH: Dogs are naturally pack animals with a clear social order
This one falls apart immediately, because all the evidence suggests that free - ranging dogs, such as pariahs, feral and semi-feral populations don't form packs. Dogs actually form loose, amorphous, transitory associations with other dogs. And males do not participate in the rearing of young as occurs in a wolf pack.

MYTH: If you let dogs exit doorways ahead of you, you are letting them be dominant
There is not only no evidence for this, there is no evidence that the behavior of going through a doorway has any social significance whatsoever. In order to lend this idea any plausibility, it would first need to be ruled out that rapid doorway exit is not simply a function of their motivation to get to whatever is on the other side combined with their higher ambulation speed. Dogs walk faster than us.

MYTH: In multi-dog households, "support the hierarchy" by giving presumed dominant animals patting, treats etc. first, before giving to presumed subordinate animals.
There is no evidence that this has any impact on inter-dog relations, or any type of aggression. In fact, if one dog were being aggressive toward another, the laws governing Pavlovian conditioning would dictate on opposite strategy: Teach aggressive dogs that another dog receiving scarce resources predicts that they are about to receive some. If so practiced, the aggressive dog develops a happy emotional response to other dogs getting stuff, a helpful piece of training indeed. No valuable conditioning effects are achieved by giving the presumed higher ranking dog goodies first.

MYTH: Dogs have an innate desire to please
This is a concept that has never been operationally defined, let alone tested. A vast preponderance of evidence, however, suggests that dogs, like all properly functioning animals, are motivated by food, water, sex, and like many animals, by play and access to bonded relationships, especially after an absence. They are also, like all animals, motivated by fear and pain and these are the inevitable tools of those who chew the use of food, play - however much they cloak their coercion and collar tightening in desire to please rhetoric. So when a trainer says s/he is relying on this, make sure it's not code for some sort of metal collar.

MYTH: Rewards are bribes and thus compromise relationships
Flow like a fountain without need of consequences, is opposed by more than sixty years of unequivocal evidence that behavior is a tool to produce consequences. Another problem is that bribes are given before behavior and rewards after. And, a mountain of evidence from decades of research in pure and applied settings has demonstrated over and over that positive reinforcement reward makes relationships better, never worse.

MYTH: If you pat your dog when he is afraid, you are rewarding the fear
Fear is an emotional state, a reaction to the presence or anticipation of something highly aversive. It is not an attempt at manipulation. If terrorists enter a bank and order everybody down on the floor, the people will exhibit fearful behavior. If I then give one of the bank customers on the floor a compliment, twenty bucks or chocolates is this going to make them more afraid of terrorists next time? It's stunningly narcissistic to imagine that a dog's fearful behavior is somehow directed at us along with his door dashing.

MYTH: Punish dogs for growling or else they will become aggressive
Dogs growl because something that is upsetting them is too close. If you punish them for informing us of this, they are still upset but now not letting us know, thus allowing scary things to get closer and possibly end up bitten. Ian Dunbar calls this removing the ticker from the time bomb. Much better to make the dog comfortable around what he is growling at so he's not motivated to make it go away in the first place.

MYTH: If you give dogs chew toys, they will learn to chew everything
This is a Pandora's Box type of argument that has zero evidence to support it. Dogs are excellent discriminators and readily learn to distinguish their toys from forbidden items with minimal training. The argument is also logically flawed as chewing is a behavior that waxes and wanes depending on satiation & deprivation. Dogs without chew objects are like zoo animals in barren cages. Unless there is good compensation with other enrichment activities, there is actually a welfare issue.

MYTH: You can't modify "genetic" behavior
All behavior is a product of an interplay between genes and the environment. And while some behaviors require less learning than others, or no learning at all, their modifiability varies as much as does the modifiability of behaviors that are primarily learned.

MYTH: My lovely four-legged companion's saliva will heal my wounds
While a dog's saliva does contain enzymes that may aid healing, it also contains harmful bacteria that may not only make your wound worse but may also give you severe infections. Therefore, seeking the ancient remedy of a dog's healing powers is not worth the risk in today's world of omnipresent disease,causing microbes - an anti-bacterial, medicines, and bandages are infinitely better!

MYTH: Dogs respond best when you are "leader of their pack."
Plenty of dog trainers have gained popularity by teaching a "pack leader" approach, which calls for people to assert dominance over their canine companions. Owen, who is certified by the Council of Professional Dog Trainers, says this method can do more harm than good, particularly if your dog is already fearful or sensitive. She adds that punishment-based training methods such as prong collars can increase a dog's stress level, leading to a more anxious pooch over time. Instead, try this: Introduce structure and routine to help dogs learn house rules. For example, she doesn't mind allowing a dog on the couch, as long as the animal heeds everyone's command for it to get down. Also, make sure everyone in the family is consistent about applying the rules. We don't need hierarchy because the dogs know we aren't dogs - we don't need to communicate in dog language, just provide rules and routine.

MYTH: My puppy will outgrow that annoying behavior
No she won't. Many new pet parents accept unwanted behaviors from a puppy: like jumping up or nipping, thinking she will grow out of them. In fact, unless those behaviors are addressed, they will continue and the longer they are permitted, the stronger they may become. Don't wait for something that is never going to happen - training is the only answer to bad behavior.

MYTH: Setting limitations for a dog is cruel
Limitations are something completely natural. Moreover, it is something most dogs need because of their instincts. In the wild, any pack leader will set limitations and rules for the rest of the pack. Even parents will usually set limitations for their kids in order to protect and discipline them. Don't hesitate to clearly let your dog know if there is something it is not supposed to do.

MYTH: When my dogs jumps on me, it's a sign of love and happiness
It may be so, but it may also be a sign of dominant behaviour. It's not that your dog should not jump on you at all, but it should jump on you only with your permission. If this is not the case and the dog keeps jumping on you over and over again while you wouldn't like it to and you can do nothing about it, it's clearly being dominant.

MYTH: My dog understands what I tell it
If you train your dog to understand certain words such as typical dog commands - to sit, lay, stay, etc,. Then, to some extent, you may say that your dog understands words. But talking about daily communication, it's not the words that dogs understand but the body language and the inner energy you emanate. If you feel fear, the dog will instantly know it. Dogs are much better mind and emotion readers than we think them to be. That's why it is important to be a confident pack leader: if you don't feel true confidence within, the dog will feel it and won't obey whatever you say. Dogs don't follow affectionate, compassionate or unsure leaders. Dogs follow confident and firm leaders.

MYTH: Anti-social and Aggressive dogs can't be rehabilitated
Unfortunately, there is a number of cases when this is true but it is quite rare. Most "hopeless" dogs can be rehabilitated successfully. That will take a lot of patience, firm leadership, time and probably even professional help, but it's worth it. There nothing is impossible for a person who really cares. Dogs live in the Now, their "thoughts" are always in the Now. They have a great ability to leave past troubles behind and to move on, as long as there's a caring person beside that understands dog psychology and dog instincts.

MYTH: Love is what dogs need first of all
Beyond doubt, dogs need our love. But many owners tend to unconsciously ignore or forget about other needs and instincts of the dog. First of all, all dogs need sufficient physical and mental exercise including discipline. If a dog doesn't burn its physical energy and its mind is not occupied with some kind of directed activity, the animal may become destructive, aggressive, fearful, possessive, or develop an obsession. Because of their nature, dogs primarily need physical and mental exercise, and only then love. Remember about that.

MYTH: Jealousy is a true sign of love
Your dog should realize that you are free to do what you want and whenever you want. This is your privilege as a pack leader. If your dog is jealous of you, it most probably doesn't accept your leading position and considers you to be its "property". Usually, jealousy is just another form of possessive behaviour.

MYTH: I don't know why my dog is so hyper, I walk him twice a day and when he comes home, he's more excited than when I left the house!
Your dog might need some serious exercise like playing with dogs at the park, running, retrieving etc, which is more than what a walk can ever provide. You can liken it to a limited walk or two as a source of exercise for a youth who should be cycling, playing sports. Some dogs were bred for their high energy and walking around the block holding a leash in one hand and tweeting with the other will not be enough. There's a reason dog walkers in this city are a busy bunch.

MYTH: Sitting Down Is Not Normal For Dogs
Dogs in the wild rarely sit. Think about wolves on the TV: They are either in motion, standing or lying down and dogs are just the same in this respect. Until people teach them to sit, they don't know how.

MYTH: I had always put my hand in my dog's dish so he could trust me when he was eating, yet the other day he growled at me when I tried to take is bone away
Your dog is protecting something he deems more valuable than his regular food. Over my 15 years as a trainer, this was the most common aggression I came across. While it's important to de-sensitize a dog around its food, something a dog deems more tasty - human food, pig's ears, rawhide could cause the dog to react. This could be a dominance related behavior and should be dealt with before it escalates. It is possible to teach a dog to drop what he has in its mouth and walk away so you can retrieve food or any other item safely without risking injury.

MYTH: I was thinking of getting a second dog to keep the other one company
If you are getting a second dog to keep your first dog company, you are likely getting out of guilt because of your busy schedule and feel you're not meeting your dog's needs. It's also not just about getting a second dog, as it's also important the dogs are compatible. Either way you slice it, even if you have 5 dogs, it will always be about what you bring in their lives and a second dog is never a substitute for its owner.

MYTH: We believe a dog should live outside
I guess my question to you is, why have a dog? I've always imagined what it's like for a dog, who craves companionship and lives to belong to a pack, what it must feel like when he's relegated to sitting in solitude while you're going on with your life. Even if you exercise the dog, the most important thing to a pack animal is reinforcing his pack instinct, which is supposed to be replaced by we humans in the form of companionship. If you don't want a dog among your family or in your home, might I suggest you volunteer with the SPCA. By the way, if your dog lives such a life, I don't want your business. if it's not good enough to live in your home with your family, get lost.

MYTH: My dog will communicate her illness to me - I don't really need to be on a constant check
Even though they are domestic creatures safe in their homes, dogs still possess some of their primate instincts of surviving in the wild. Therefore, they may perceive their illness as a weakness and may try to hide it.

MYTH: Dog like wearing the AT-AT Halloween costume you bought them!
On the flipside of a shared ancestry with wolves, it's possible the modern dog perceives wearing a piece of clothing as being scolded. I think about that when I think about dressing a dog in a raincoat and what that might feel like for the dog. I'm reminded of the wolf behavior where one wolf when they are kind of punishing or scolding another wolf, they will kind of stand over the other wolf, literally stand over them, taking a physically superior posture and making them be inferior. And they sort of press down on the back of the dog who's underneath them. And I wonder if wearing a tight piece of clothing would be like, "Oh, there's some kind of dominant animal around me, scolding". But that's conjecture, intentionally used to prove a point. It's crucial to understand that when it comes to our perception of dogs and how similar or not, they are to wolves, our knowledge is limited.

MYTH: Only male dogs "hump" and lift their leg to pee
Nope females can do it too. Maya in fact used to regularly hump her teddy bear. This is usually something seen in female dogs that are dominant, as humping or lifting their legs to pee higher, is the same as claiming that item as theirs.

MYTH: A dog that jumps up on its owners loves them and is happy to see them
Your dog might love you, but jumping up does not show that. Jumping up on people is being pushy and dominant. A submissive wolf would never jump up on the pack leader, or it would be punished. If your dog jumps up on you, seek some professional advice on how to correct this behavior.

MYTH: A dog that sits on you loves you
Just like the jumping up, a dog that sits on you is actually claiming you as his. This is the same for a dog that puts its weight against you, leaning against you when it sits by your side. It is saying - "hey everyone, this human is mine, and I am in charge". Its not a good thing, and you should seek advice on how to correct this.

MYTH: Dogs eat grass when they are sick
It is true that some dogs will eat grass when they are ill or nauseous. However, many dogs eat grass for other reasons including boredom, displacement behaviors, and opportunity. Some dogs just like eating grass because it is fun. This is not a problem as long as the grass has not been treated. So, as long as your dog just likes eating small amounts of grass and it does not make him sick, there is no need to stop this behavior.

MYTH: When a dog chews up shoes or destroys furniture it's because she's punishing the owner
FALSE: Dogs chew on shoes, furniture and other human items not to punish their owners, but simply because it feels good on their teeth, it relieves boredom, releases energy and, in some cases, may indicate separation anxiety.

MYTH: All dogs like to be petted on their heads
FALSE: While some dogs are accepting of this, not all will. Depending on a dogs' past experiences they may be hand shy. The safest way always to pet a dog is going under the chin.

MYTH: One dog year equals seven human years
This generalization is not true at all. In fact, the first year of a dog's life can be equivalent to the first 12 to 14 years of a humans. A dog's age is dependent on many factors such as breed, size and genetics. The average small dog can live 15 to 18 years whereas a large or giant breed dog may only live 7 to 10 years.

MYTH: A cold wet nose means a dog is healthy
Wetness, dryness, or the temperature of the dog's nose can vary with normal daily activities and is not a reliable indicator of health or illness. Changes in daily routine, activity and appetite are much more reliable indicators of how a dog is feeling.

MYTH: A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human mouth
This myth probably originated from the observation when dogs lick their wounds, they seem to heal faster. The reason they heal faster is not because dogs have a clean mouth, but because the process of licking debrides away damaged tissue and stimulates blood flow which, in turn, promotes faster healing. If your dog is like mine, litter box treats are his favorite snack food. The fact the dogs do not brush their teeth twice a day and 80 to 90% of dogs over three years of age have some form of periodontal disease, it is unlikely your dog's mouth is cleaner than yours.

Dogs will grow out of bad behaviour
It's tempting to hope that unruly puppies will settle down as they grow older, but you have a much more realistic chance of your puppy becoming a well-behaved dog if you teach them to be well-behaved. There's plenty of great advice online about how to effectively and humanely train your dog, but if you need some extra help investing in some obedience classes will pay off in the future.

Behaviour is all down to breed
While it's true that different breeds were developed for specific purposes it would be incorrect to say that every dogs' behaviour is solely down to their breed. Their upbringing has a large part to play in their personality and behaviour, so don't assume that a dog belonging to a breed typically associated with being friendly and calm doesn't have the potential to be aggressive and anti-social if you be aggressive and anti-social if you don't teach them to behave around humans and other dogs with sufficient care and training. That doesn't mean that as a parent you should avoid breeds that aren't so good with children - you just can't expect dogs to develop certain traits based on their breed alone.

Jumping up on your lap
While your dog might do this because they want to show you affection, it can also be a sign of dominant behaviour. If you are happy for your dog to sit with you, make sure you teach it to stay first and wait for your command to join you, otherwise it might start demonstrating more problematic signs of dominant behaviour.

Chasing tails
You probably think that a dog chasing its own tail is completely harmless - and in some cases you'd be right. Many dogs chase their tails because it's fun, or because they like the attention it gets from amused humans - but sometimes it can be a sign that something is wrong. Dogs may chase their tail because of discomfort caused by worms or fleas, while a dog that is suffering from separation anxiety or trauma may start tail chasing as a compulsive disorder. While it may be that your pet is perfectly happy, if you notice your dog constantly chasing its tail and looking distressed while doing so, a visit to the vet will make sure it isn't in any danger.

MYTH: Dogs Can't See Flat-Screen TVs
It is often thought that dogs are completely unable to see images on flat screen TVs due to their various experience of vision. However, this is not exactly correct. CRT TVs - the old-fashioned typ, produce the images at about 24 frames per second, which appears as a moving image. This is because we have flicker fusion frequency - the number of frames we have to see in one second to see a film continues without flicker of 16-20 frames per second. In dogs, this flicker fusion frequency is much higher, it is around 40-80 frames per second. when the dogs are watching CRT TVs, they can see lots of flickering But it is needed to understand about the modern TVs. The myth that the dogs are unable to perceive the images on flat TVs is almost definitely false because the number of frames produced in one second is much higher than the rate produced by old-fashioned TVs, this is understood that they can able to perceive something.

MYTH: Bad behaviour should be punished
We have also briefly mentioned this misconception in our article on how to educate a puppy. The most obvious way to get a dog to understand that they are doing something wrong is to punish them right? Wrong! It's been proven over and over again that dogs do not understand punishment, if they do stop misbehaving it is due to fear of their owner, not to the understanding that a particular action is wrong. Although dogs should learn a keyword like "no" for the owner to use in case of misbehaving, they should be educated with positive reinforcement, by being given a treat or encouragement when they do something right.

MYTH! All dogs like to be petted on their heads
Some dogs do like to be petted on their heads but many do NOT.

MYTH! Only male dogs will "hump" or lift their leg to urinate
This is not true. Female dogs, especially dominant female dogs, will lift their leg to urinate and "hump" other dogs or objects. This can be true even in spayed female dogs.

MYTH! Dogs will let you know when they are sick
This is not true. Dogs generally are very good at hiding that they are sick by survival instinct, thus not to appear vulnerable to "prey". Often by the time they show you that they are sick, their disease or condition is quite advanced.

MYTH! Dogs hate mail carriers
Most dogs are protective of their family and their home, and the dog recognizes the mail carrier as a stranger who needs to keep a distance. Unless you have had the same mail carrier for years and your dog has had a chance to socialize with him or her, expect a bark.

MYTH! My dog should tolerate anything my children do
The reality is that young children often do not know how to interact with dogs in a caring considerate manner. Allowing children to sit on dogs, pull on their body, hit them with toys, disturb them while they eat may actually teach children the wrong lessons. Dogs are living, breathing, emotional beings that need to be treated kindly and with respect.

MYTH! Dogs that destroy the house when home alone are being spiteful
Dogs that go to the bathroom indoors bark and are destructive when home alone are most likely suffering from separation anxiety. They are unable to relax and be calm when separated from their human family. They need a behavior modification plan, treatment and perhaps medication to learn how to be home alone.

MYTH! All dogs hate cats!
While it's true some dogs may give chase and the cat may hiss and flick a paw or two, this myth is false and easy to disprove.

MYTH! Dogs prefer to be outside rather than being cooped up in the house all day
By nature, dogs are pack animals. They'd prefer to be with their pack. Since you are a part of that pack, that means that they'd rather be wherever you are. If you are outside, they will want to be outside. If you sre inside, they will want to be inside. Of course, you can't have your dog with you all the time, such as when you are at work or at the grocery store. So why not have him outside while you are away? In truth, most dogs behave better when they are inside. When outside and on their own, many dogs are prone to barking, whining and digging. Your home is your dog's den and, further, it smells like you. It's often comforting for him in a way that being left outside can't be. In fact, your dog may believe he is being banished from the den if forced to stay outside.

MYTH! Putting a dog in a crate is cruel
Dogs are not only pack animals by nature, they are also den animals. When used properly, most dogs come to love their crates. You may have noticed that your dog likes to lie beneath your dining room table or other confined spaces, and the crate isn't all that different. Both resemble a den. Crates can be a great training tool, particularly when housetraining puppies. Puppies don't like to soil where they sleep, so they learn to control themselves until they are let out. It's important to remember that puppies should not be left in crates for more than 3 or 4 hours without being let out to go to the bathroom, and it's best to use the crate with the intention of ultimately weaning your dog off of it.


Crates can also be used as a comforting personal space for your dog, a place where you can tell him to go to as needed. This can be handy in a number of different training situations, such as when dealing with dogs who bark excessively or dogs who are afraid of thunder. It can also be good if your dog needs a timeout from a situation like when visitors come to the house. There are some dogs who do best being crated when left alone to keep them from behaving destructively. You can keep your furniture and other items from being chewed or otherwise destroyed, but you will also keep your dog safer. Again, keep in mind that dogs need plenty of opportunities to be let out to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.

MYTH: Dogs need to be shown who's boss
While this is true to some degree, there is often a misconception concerning how to go about it. The key to showing your dog that you are the boss is to be his leader. Your dog needs to respect and trust you. That doesn't occur if you try to show him that you are boss by hitting or otherwise physically punishing him or by yelling at him. Remember that you need to be fair. You must show your dog what to do and how to behave, and you must praise and reward him when he does well. In fact, positive reinforcement - rewarding your dog's good behavior rather than punishing his bad behavior - is often the best and most successful approach to training. Using forceful or aggressive training methods can lead to behavior problems and, worse, fear biting.

MYTH: My dog knows he's being naughty
Your dog can only know that he's being naughty if you have taught him what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not. If you have taught him well, he will behave well. Barking, digging, chewing and other similar behaviors may be undesirable in your eyes, but they are normal, instinctual behaviors for dogs. Your dog doesn't automatically know that these behaviors are not allowed and it's up to you to teach him, otherwise he won't have a clue what naughty is or isn't. Part of this is understanding where undesirable behaviors come from, particularly if they start up suddenly. Often times, dogs become bored or frustrated with being left alone and will exhibit destructive behaviors. In this case, make sure your dog has plenty of social time with you. Further, exercise can help a number of behavior problems. Obedience classes can help as well.


Many owners say that their dog looks guilty when they have come home and found that he is done something bad. They think that because he looks guilty, he knows that he's been naughty. This isn't true. If you have come home to find that your dog has been naughty, you most likely react by getting mad, getting angry, yelling, etc. Your dog may appear "guilty" in response, but in truth he is only reacting to your emotions and your body language. Unless you are able to catch him in the act of his bad behavior, he can't connect your yelling and being angry with that bad thing he did ten minutes ago or two hours ago. He just knows that you are upset and he's scared by it. If you do this often, you are only teaching your dog to be scared of you and to distrust you. He may then appear "guilty" when you come home because he's learned that you coming home is a scary thing.

MYTH: Some dogs have jaws that lock
All dogs have the same facial muscles and structurem none has locking jaws. All dogs can be taught to be gentle - to release on command.

MYTH: If a dog scoots - drags his anus across the floor, he has worms
Although dogs with tapeworms will scoot due to the itchiness of the worm segments, not all scooting dogs have worms. Allergies, diarrhoea, or stuffed anal glands, can cause this behaviour.

MYTH: Dogs are great judges of people, so if a dog doesn't like someone, it must mean there is something wrong with that person
Total False. In the majority of cases, dogs who react aggressively or fearfully to a person are not doing so out of a negative moral evaluation of the individual, but are responding out of their own self-preservation. With that said, there have been plenty of circumstances where pets have used an apparent sixth sense to pick up on cues that went unseen by their human and actually saved their human's life. However, the majority of dogs I see in my training practice are unfriendly with a person because they are reacting out of fear to a certain physical attribute, movement or the physical proximity of a person, and are not reacting based on any moral evaluation of the individual.

MYTH: If your dog eats his faeces, he has worms
Many dogs eat faeces, theirs or another's. It is not necessarily a sign of intestinal parasites. Many mother dogs will do this to clean her newborn puppies and some pets will do it as an attention getting behaviour. The problem may also be poor nutrition and a learned habit.

MYTH: Dogs misbehave out of spite
If you come home from work to find your favorite pair of shoes destroyed, it may be easy to think your dog is punishing you for being away or simply just being spiteful. But dogs aren't capable of acting out of spite or revenge. If your dog is destructive while you are away, he's probably just anxious or bored. Try providing him with a fun activity to keep him entertained, like a puzzle feeder.

MYTH: If your dog cowers when people approach, she was probably abused before you got her
There are loads of possible reasons for a dog to cower beyond a history of abuse. For example, she may not have been properly, or genetics may be a factor. She could have learned to duck away from people trying to grab her collar, or she may simply dislike having her head or ears handled. Work with your veterinarian, veterinary behaviorist or certified trainer to try to identify the cause of the cowering, especially if your dog shows any signs of aggression, such as growling or baring her teeth. Depending on the cause, you may try changing the way you and other humans in her life, by getting into a kneeling position with your body turned to the side. Then invite her to approach you and reward her when she does.

MYTH: If your dog doesn't enjoy being around other dogs, there's something wrong with her
Invalid. Like humans, some dogs are while others prefer solitude or just a few friendly, familiar faces and there's nothing wrong with that. The reasons for a dog preferring to avoid other canines are myriad, but the breed can play a big role, as can a lack of socialization during her early months or just personal preference.

MYTH: Your dog doesn't listen, because she's trying to show you that she's in charge
Your dog doesn't listen, because she's trying to show you that she is in charge. Smart as they are, dogs just don't have the same complex emotions as we do. It's more likely that your dog's not doing what you are asking, because she doesn't understand what you want or because you are not providing the proper motivation. If the payoff isn't worth it, she's likely to hold off on doing the behavior until you make it worth her while.

MYTH: Your dog is punishing you when she chews up things like shoes and furniture
Nope. Chewing is a natural behavior that feels good on the dog's gums, plus it alleviates anxiety and lack of stimulation while releasing energy - that's more likely her motivation for mauling your Manolos. In some cases, destructive chewing can also indicate Separation Anxiety, though, so if it happens frequently, talk to your vet. Chewing inappropriate items can also lead to gastrointestinal obstructions, so it's better to give your dog more appropriate chew toys and lock up your shoes if you can't be there to supervise.

MYTH: When your dog misbehaves, it's always your fault
Untrue. A dog might misbehave for any number of reasons, like a lack of proper socialisation or preventive training, or the dog's genetic tendencies. Dog owners are often well-meaning but misinformed, so it's important for owners of misbehaving dogs to set aside any feelings of guilt or shame, and work with a pet professional to learn proper and focus on postive reinforcement methods, while getting the good dog behaviors they want.

MYTH: You Should Let Dogs "Fight It Out"
If you see two of your dogs fighting, should you simply let them continue and solve the problem themselves? Most often not, however you should not typically attempt to put yourself in between two fighting dogs, as you might get hurt. Depending on the level of the fight and your willingness to intervene, you can try to separate the dogs by grabbing their rear ends and quickly pulling them away from each other. You can also use your foot to push away the rib cage of one dog - do not kick the dog, simply use your foot to put space in between the two fighting dogs. You can also try to stop the fight using distraction techniques, such as a loud noise or even opening a bag of treats. Other distraction techniques to break up a dog fight include:


What Makes Your Dog Tick?
There are many ways you can gain increased understanding about your dog's behavior and methods of communication. For instance, simply observing your dog's tail can reveal many clues about her emotional state:

A tail held high is a sign of confidence or alertness. The dog will release more of her scent from her anal glands this way, thus making her presence known.

A tail held high and wagging is often a sign of happiness with a relaxed facial expression.

A tail held horizontal to the ground can mean your dog is exploring.


A dog that tucks her tail between her legs or wags it low to the ground and quickly may be showing you that she's nervous, anxious, insecure or feeling shy - the tucked-in position also prevents her scent from being released. Dogs can also be identified by their barks and bark differently in different contexts, essentially producing a variety of bark subtypes that may act as specific forms of communication. For many pet owners, simply observing their dog closely will reveal whether he is hungry, lonely or excited to play.

MYTH: You should always go through the door before your dog
It is based on the myth that if a dog goes through the door before you then he is trying to dominate you but in reality he is just excited to see what is other the other side of the door.

MYTH: Dogs that chase their tail are having fun
In reality they are stressed and performing an OCD behaviour. They often catch they tail resulting in the need for a partial amputation.

MYTH: My dog loves it when little Johnny rides on his back
This seems to be based on the idea that because the dog has not bitten little Johnny then he must be having a great time. In reality he is probably just suffering little Johnny and his breaking point is not far off at which point he will bite.

MYTH: Dogs are great judges of people, so if a dog doesn't like someone, it must mean there is something wrong with that person
FALSE: In the majority of cases, dogs who react aggressively or fearfully to a person are not doing so out of a negative moral evaluation of the individual, but are responding out of their own self-preservation. With that said, there have been plenty of circumstances where pets have used an apparent sixth sense to pick up on cues that went unseen by their human and actually saved their human's life. However, the majority of dogs I see in my training practice are unfriendly with a person because they are reacting out of fear to a certain physical attribute, movement or the physical proximity of a person, and are not reacting based on any moral evaluation of the individual. A dog will attack a stranger mainly out of fear or fright that the person may cause physical harm to them. This they read from the person's body language.



This article is proudly presented by






Ian Dunbar

Everyone loves puppies and especially that wonderful puppy breath. But did you know that most new owners do almost everything wrong to begin to train their puppy? Unfortunately, people view puppies as small dogs, and they are not, they are babies. Puppies have certain needs to not only be trained, but needs related to their food which must be high quality, needs related to their ability to fit into our human world and needs to be comfortable with everything in our human world. Up until the time you get your new puppy, their entire world pretty much consisted of their litter mates and the area where they were kept by the breeder.


The first things owners want to do of course is to have their puppy potty trained, then right behind that is dealing with the biting and nipping that all puppies do. Among new puppy owners there is a common thought process about the problems of potty training and biting and nipping that complicates an otherwise easy process, because this thought pattern confuses the new puppy. But these arguments are truly based on misconceptions. I do think in some cases a calm, polite, persuasive presentation of a reasonable position can explain the misunderstanding to some readers, if not the main combatants.

MYTH: Dogs and wolves are the same
While dogs and wolves share a common genetic connection, that is where it ends. Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to be partners with humans and interact with naturally in ways that wolves do not even with extensive training. Two great examples: dogs can follow a human's pointing gesture and often "ask" people for help - wolves do not without specific training.

MYTH: I am sure the last time I had a puppy it was not this much hard work
This is what's known as selective memory. The last time you had a puppy was 15 years ago giving you plenty of time to try to block out the memory of all that chewing, mouthing, weeing and pooing!

MYTH: My new dog of the same breed will be just like my last one
Just like two children from the same family will be alike in some ways, they can be completely different in others. So while Johnny and Susie both have blue eyes, one might be easy going and the other very stubborn. Two dogs from the same breed can be very different too.

MYTH: Dogs Don't Understand
Dogs communicate very well, if you will listen to them. But they can also shut down. Dogs communicate continually. Most positive dog training is built on teaching a communication method with your dog. The most common is clicker training. I prefer using word markers - words that have a meaning to my dog's. Keep the words short, and keep the meaning consistent. I use "good" to mean I want that behavior. "Yes" means the behavior is good and we want to keep moving. The most important communication style for dogs is body language. When you learn to communicate with your dog training is easier, behavior problems often disappear, and you will have more control over your dog's actions.

MYTH: Never Train a Puppy!
This was true when people used choke collars and punishment. They could break a puppies spirit very easily. Even today some trainers believe in waiting till a year old. If you do, make sure you continue socialization and mental stimulation. Do not let the puppy run the house. We have started training puppies at 6 weeks, and older than 1 year. We could not spot any difference in the dog's behavior. The dogs that burn out and stop competing at 3-5 years old may have other attributing factors. Maybe the handler stopped viewing the sport as a "game" and became more interested in the ribbons. Play is vital to dogs. Their strongest motivation is play, so when the game is no longer a game then they don't want to play anymore. This has nothing to do with the age you start training.

MYTH: Obedience is forever
Dogs do not learn like we do. They learn through association. We can read a book and remember it. Dogs need repetition. A well behaved dog is a process. Dogs learn what we teach them. Dog training should be part of the dog's life, not just a "once a week" outing. Dogs need more mental stimulation than most people think. They can survive without it, but they may develop bad behaviors. The best way to keep your dog happy is to play daily, exercise, and keep teaching new "good" behaviors.

MYTH: Never Punish a Dog
Dogs do not need pain. But if you are patient, persistent, and communicate with your dog you can train it without punishment. This doesn't mean punishment doesn't work. The trick is using a balanced approach. When you are training a dog, turning your back, or withholding a treat can be seen as a punishment. Dogs need boundaries, they need to know what is right, and what is wrong. But they don't need pain to learn.

MYTH: Training for Treats is not Real Training
The fact is, once you take the "ego" or personal preferences out of the way, food is just another training aid. Real training for sports dogs, working dogs, or service dogs, all depend on motivators. The choice of a motivator needs to be based on what that particular dog loves. If your dog goes nuts for a ball, then use a ball. If it will "stare you down' to get a kibble, than that is the best motivator for that dog.

MYTH: I know my dog doesn't listen, but he is just a puppy
While it's true a young dog's attention span and ability to retain information is limited, I am always surprised how old people think a dog has to be responsive for training. While it would be nice to have a mature focused dog to work with, the reality is your dog should start training at an early age to ensure you are not only educating your dog, but also preventing your dog from falling into behavior patterns you eventually regret.

MYTH: Private training is ok for older dogs, but puppies need puppy socialization classes
Your dog can socialize at a dog park at the many dog parks in the NCR. Only in the case of aggressive dogs do I believe it should be in an obedience class, and if you do, ensure you have a training school that can handle your dog and takes the safety of the other clients in consideration. Obedience classes should respect a small amount of clients to be able to cater to their needs.

MYTH: Dogs with black tongues have Chow Chow in them
FALSE: There are over 27 breeds of dogs that have the birth mark of black on their tongues, including but not limited to purebred Golden Retrievers, purebred Labrador Retrievers, purebred German Shepherds, and more. Actually Chow Chows have black & purple tongues, so the likelihood of maybe some chow in a dog is possible when there are purple tongues, however, it could also be Shar Pei. Black on the tongue of a mix is not uncommon and you should consider the temperament of the dog rather than the color of the tongue.

MYTH: Always wipe your dogs' feet after a walk in winter
TRUE: The de-icers used on the walks and streets are harmful to your dogs feet and in some cases can be toxic and if the dog licks it's foot, be ready to head to emergency - it's always safter to wipe the feet than to ignore it. And remember to keep your dogs toenails trimmed.

MYTH: Dogs humping means they want to have sex
FALSE: A warm nose is no indication if a dog is sick on not. BUT lethargy, runny nose, lack of appetite, light or white gums, not drinking, do and you should get your dog to a vet asap.

MYTH: When a dog scoots it means a problem
FALSE: While intact males may do this as a way of natural procreation, most often it is a form of dominace and will be done by females as well as males. It merely tells another dog that the humping dog is more dominant and superior.

MYTH: Dogs like hugs and kisses
Not necessarily. Whilst there are dogs that do accept hugging and kissing, others simply tolerate our human show of affection whilst others simply don't enjoy our "human" greeting protocol at all. Dogs can be desensitised to our hugs and kisses, but to assume that all canines like how we physically show our affection can put you and the dog in an awkward situation.

MYTH: Dogs See in Black and White
It was once believed that dogs could see only in black and white - and shades of gray. Many people still think this is the case. There is no evidence behind the origins of this myth, but it may have to do with old science. It could be that scientists came to the conclusion that dogs see in black and white before they fully understood the canine eye or even the human eye for that matter, and the functions of cones. Dogs can see color, but not the way most humans do. Based on the types of cones in the canine retina, dogs probably see colors best on the blue side of the spectrum. Canine color vision is thought to be similar to red-green colorblindness in humans, though not exactly the same. It is believed that dogs see primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray.

MYTH: To Teach Your Puppy Not to Nip, Yelp When He Does It
Some dog myths are eye-rollingly stupid, but this is not among them. Watch littermates at play; if one nips hard or otherwise gets too rough, his play partner may yelp and briefly break off the interaction. It seems reasonable and natural to try to communicate with our puppies in the same way - the yelp is familiar and they will understand it. Except that for a significant percentage of our Puppalinis, the human yelp seems to have exactly the wrong effect. You yelp, and Puppy Excitable reacts by making a big thought balloon of YAY and nipping you again. Harder, because apparently that squeal was just such a thrill. Why is this so? It's been suggested that human yelps sound like prey, but as far as I know nobody has ever done a sound analysis comparing human yelps with the cries of animals that dogs might actually eat. As long as we are guessing, my guess is that among puppies, the yelp is part of a whole communicative package that includes body posture and facial expression.


A yelp on its own might be like a single syllable without the rest of the long word it belongs to. As for replicating the rest of your puppy's body language, go look at yourself and him in a mirror to see why this is a lost cause. Some canine signals do translate - direct eye contact, for instance, is a threat behavior between dogs. Most pet dogs appear to have learned that human stares are not a threat, but plenty of skittish dogs will bark and lunge if your gaze lingers on theirs. For your nippy Puppalini, though, try a calm "Oops" and immediately fold your arms, go still, and look away for a few seconds. And preempt nips by offering her a legal chew toy to mouth whenever you play with her.

MYTH: If a Dog Sits on Your Foot - He is Dominating You
Really, there is no end to the number of dog behaviors that human beings have decided are signs of a palace coup: barking, sleeping on the sofa, rushing out the door, chewing the remote, licking your face - Don't these all strike you as kind of, oh, indirect? Like, if the dog wanted to dominate you, why not just go for the throat? But no, instead he sticks with symbolic gestures. "I choose comfortable places to sleep, therefore I rule!" Are your eyes rolling in your head yet? I hope so. Anyway, a houseguest mentioned the foot-sitting business last week: news to me! My dog was sitting on her foot at the time, grinning his fool head off while she scratched behind his ears.


Bless my guest, she didn't buy the dominance notion for a single second. She knows a lap dog when she sees one, and she knows that when the dog weighs 75 pounds "lap" is defined very broadly, to include any part of the human body he can get next to. Even dogs who don't care for petting often seek proximity and contact. They lean on us, they sleep in our laps, they sit or sleep on our feet. There is such a thing as a socially anxious dog who will seek contact and then aggress if you reciprocate, but mainly, our dogs like us and like to be near us. Often they like to be right in amongst us. Relax, and remember to scratch behind the ears.

MYTH: Dogs Are Wolves
One traditional definition of a species is "a group of organisms whose members can interbreed and produce fertile offspring." By that definition, dogs and wolves are indeed the same species. Wolves are Canis lupus, depending on which taxonomist is talking, dogs are either Canis familiaris or Canis lupus familiaris, that is, a subspecies of the wolf. But there's more to "species" than who can breed with whom. Dogs and wolves differ anatomically and behaviorally in many ways. A dog weighing the same as an adult wolf - about 100 pounds, will have a brain 20% smaller. Dogs' teeth are smaller and less robust than those of wolves, even allowing for size differences.


Wolves get most of their food by hunting, free-living dogs get most of their food by scavenging. Wolves go into estrus once a year, while dogs generally go into heat twice a year. Breeding wolves usually form monogamous long-term pair bonds - the breeding behavior of dogs would make Rick Santorum's hair stand on end. Just for starters, a litter may have more than one puppy daddy. Wolf pups and dog pups have different rates of behavioral development. Sometimes your dog's wolf ancestry will be apparent in body language and communication, for example. Close relatives are just that - relatives. They are not identical twins. Your best guide for assessing your dog's behavior is solid, scientifically grounded information about, yes, dogs.

MYTH: Dog Mouths Are Cleaner Than Human Mouths
Some of us may recall hearing this as kids, particularly if a dog licked your face or sampled whatever you were currently eating. Don't worry about it! Didn't you know that a dog's mouth is cleaner than yours? - The idea that dogs' mouths are clean was probably surmised by the fact that dogs lick their wounds and sometimes heal faster because of it. In reality, if a wound heals faster after a dog licks it, that's because his rough tongue has been removing dead tissue and stimulating circulation, much like a surgeon would debride a wound. On the other hand, licking wounds can sometimes cause more harm than good by introducing bacteria and/or irritating the wound. Guess the people who came up with this myth did not consider the dog wounds that did not heal properly. A dog's mouth contains plenty of germs, not to mention other "icky" things.


Think about the stuff your dog eats off the ground and out of the trash or the things he licks off of himself. Plus, many dogs do not get their teeth brushed as regularly as people, so there is the dental tartar and bacteria to consider - as if doggie breath didn't give this away. Overall, a dog's mouth contains more germs than anyone wants to think about. But the good news is that these germs are usually dog-specific and unlikely to cause any harm to humans. Basically, if you keep your dog healthy, dewormed and up-to-date on vaccines, there is little to worry over. Better yet, take care of your dog's teeth and there's even less going on in that mouth. So, a little "kiss" from your dog is nothing to fret about, but I wouldn't go sharing water bowls or letting your dog lick your wounds.

MYTH: It's a good idea to get two littermate puppies and raise them together so that they won't be lonely
This generally backfires in a big way as you have twice as much puppy pee and poop to clean up and twice or three times, as many puppy chewing and nipping and barking. Also, the two dogs can get so bonded they don't care about human company much or end up fighting because they become competitive with each other. One puppy at a time is definitely a good rule!

MYTH: I crate my two dogs together because they get along well
This can work for short periods for adult dogs that get along well, but for longer periods or younger dogs it is best to get a second crate so that they can both be comfortable and not have any arguments in the tight space.

MYTH: My last puppy was not this difficult!
Everyone says this! I think we forget how difficult they were or if they were raised by our parents it definitely seems easy in retrospect.

MYTH: My puppy stays by me so I don't bother putting him on the leash when we are out
Puppies do stay close by naturally but just wait until your dog is a bit older and look out! This is why young untrained dogs should stay on the leash because we never know when they are going to get the wanderlust! And of course, start training your dog to come to you - it is never too early.

MYTH: My new dog doesn't bark at all
Famous last words! Most dogs don't begin barking until about 6 months and most adopted dogs have a honeymoon period in which they do not bark for a couple of weeks.

MYTH: My dog rolls on his belly because he loves to be petted there
This could be true, but it could be true also that your dog is a little nervous and so "submits" by rolling on his or her back. If you think this may be the case, the best idea is to give your dog a little break from interaction.

MYTH: A large dog means longer life
The average lifespan of small dog breeds like the dachshund and Chihuahua is 14-15 years, while the average lifespan of larger breeds like the German Shepherd, a Labrador or an Alaskan malamute is around 8-10 years. This lifespan decreases even for the giant breeds like Saint Benard, as Their average lifespan is just 5-8 years. Due to this odd trend, lifespan is different to every other member of the animal kingdom. The general pattern is that if the animal is larger, the longer its estimated life span.


The world's smallest mammal and the bumblebee bat Has an average lifespan of 5-10 years. Whereas the world's largest mammal and the blue whale has an average lifespan of 80-90 years? Scientists have explained the trend by examining the use of energy. The body cells of large mammals are slower a more efficient, it means that they last longer. This phenomenon is reversed in dogs. Sadly yet, unfortunately, the decreased life expectancy of larger dogs is due to how they have been bred by humans over the years. Larger dogs can grow up rapidly in their first year. Great Danes - the largest dog breed, can develop five times faster than humans. Due to this advanced growth, they also age quickly, that means their lives are shortened.

All These thoughts can not be further from the truth !!!

MYTH: Having accidents every day in their home is part of the potty training process

MYTH: Leaving the puppy in the back yard to potty is good potty training and easy for the owner

MYTH: The new puppy should be able to give them a sign or a signal when it needs to go potty

MYTH: It's cute when their little puppy jumps

MYTH: The puppy is asking for love and affection when it jumps, that's all

MYTH: When the puppy bites, it simply means that the new puppy is just teething and the puppy will grow out of it

MYTH: Letting the new puppy sleep with them is great for the puppy and lots of fun for the owner

MYTH: Leaving the puppy's food and water down all day for it to eat and drink is easier for them

MYTH: It's fun and the puppy loves to wrestle or rough house with the kids and me - it's how we bond
Whether you are at your wit's end with your new puppy, or just beginning your puppy training efforts, you must understand immediately what you need to do to help your puppy be successful now and in the future. Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. And remember, Opportunity Barks!

MYTH: When your dog looks grown up, he's
No matter how big he is, or how mature his behavior, your puppy is still a puppy until he's at least a year old. Large-breed dogs are growing puppies for close to two years.

MYTH: It's okay for dogs to be a little plump
Excess weight in dogs can be associated with heart, respiratory and blood-sugar level problem, skeletal distress and gastrointestinal disorders. Don't feed your dog table scraps, and make sure he gets plenty of exercise.

MYTH: Dogs heal themselves by licking their wounds
Yes, to a certain extent. A small amount of licking can help clean a wound, but excessive licking can actually slow down the healing process. It can even cause further damage to the wound and invite infection. Also consider that licking can turn into a bad habit that's hard to stop. So if you suspect it's getting out of hand, focus on redirecting your dog's tongue to something more tasty.

MYTH: Brushing a dog's teeth is silly
Well actually, your dog will have the last laugh when his breath makes your eyes water. Routinely brushing your dog's teeth not only freshens breath, it also limits the risk of oral disease and gives you a chance to notice anything unusual happening to teeth and gums. Seriously, don't brush off brushing. It can make your dog more pleasant to be around and help prevent an array of serious health problems down the road. Ask your veterinarian for help getting started.

MYTH: A dog is a carnivore. Look at his teeth
Truth: There is much confusion out there in the pet world about what is the best diet to feed a dog. Many dog lovers insist on feeding their canine friends a pure meat diet because they think their dog is designed to be a pure carnivore. A better understanding of the definitions associated with the dietary needs of animals is a great place to start in understanding how to best feed your pet and tackle this hotly debated myth.


CARNIVORE: An animal subsisting primarily on animal tissue.

HERBIVORE: An animal subsisting entirely on plant tissue.

OMNIVORE: An animal subsisting on both animal and plant tissue.

Cats and dogs are both members of the taxonomic order Carnivora. The confusing part is not all species of the Carnivora order are actually carnivores. Cats are true carnivores because they have a higher protein requirement and higher dietary requirements for nutrients that aren't available from plant sources, such as taurine, arginine, and methionine. Some Carnivora species, including dogs, coyotes and bears, are omnivores that thrive on a diet consisting of both plant and animal tissue. One member of the Carnivora order, the panda, is primarily an herbivore - 99% of a panda's diet consists of bamboo. The truth to this myth is dogs belong to the taxonomic order Carnivora, but their behavior, anatomy, and feeding preferences reveal their ability to eat and be healthy on a diet consisting of both plant and animal foods, which classifies them as omnivores from a dietary perspective.

MYTH: Dogs only need yards to be happy!
Dogs do not want to play by themselves. Like their genetic relatives, wolves, they want to be with their pack. While they might run around the yard, burning off their energy, they would be much happier if you were out there to play with them. Exercise is great for a dog, but it is even better if you are out there exercising with them. As the owner, it is your job to make sure that he gets all of the exercise that he needs.

MYTH: Dogs can only see in black & white
Although they can't see the world in full technicolour like we can, dogs can see some colours. Their eyes detect fewer colours than ours, so their perception is similar to humans with colour blindness. They can tell the difference between blue and yellow, but see green and red as shades of grey.

MYTH: Guilty look shows us when the Dog did something wrong
Ever come home to find your pet has chewed up your child's favourite cuddly toy, or has made a mess on the carpet? That look on his face isn't guilt, but you could be forgiven for thinking it is. Owners often mistakenly believe their dog knows they have done wrong, but what you are actually seeing is "appeasement behaviour". Dogs that look guilty are doing nothing more than responding to an owner's disappointment, upset or anger and it is their way of diffusing tension in response to feeling threatened. They are more likely to do this is they have been told off in the past.

MYTH: Dogs have healing saliva
A dog's mouth is filled with bacteria that are suited to a dog's mouth, quite different from the bacteria found in human mouths. According to Dog's Health, dog saliva may also be capable of neutralizing certain bacteria growth around wounds, which is why they will lick their cuts or scrapes. That doesn't mean it will do the same for humans, however. Most of the bacteria in each system is essentially incompatible with the other. So, while letting your dog lick your wounds may not help, a good cuddle won't hurt either.

MYTH! It's okay for dogs to be a little plump
Excess weight in dogs can be associated with heart, respiratory and blood-sugar level problem, skeletal distress and gastrointestinal disorders. Don't feed your dog table scraps, and make sure he gets plenty of exercise.

MYTH! Dogs heal themselves by licking their wounds
Yes, to a certain extent. A small amount of licking can help clean a wound, but excessive licking can actually slow down the healing process. It can even cause further damage to the wound and invite infection. Also consider that licking can turn into a bad habit that's hard to stop. So if you suspect it's getting out of hand, focus on re-directing your dog's tongue to something more tasty.

MYTH! Brushing a dog's teeth is silly. Give me a break
Well actually, your dog will have the last laugh when his breath makes your eyes water. Routinely brushing your dog's teeth not only freshens breath, it also limits the risk of oral disease and gives you a chance to notice anything unusual happening to teeth and gums. Seriously, don't brush off brushing. It can make your dog more pleasant to be around and help prevent an array of serious health problems down the road. Ask your veterinarian for help getting started. Bad breath is often, an indication of dental or health trouble.

MYTH! Getting two puppies from the same litter and raising them together is a good idea
Whilst this isn't necessarily a bad idea, it would generally be easier and a nicer experience all round if you only had one puppy. Two puppies means double the poo and wee accidents, double the destruction, double the nipping, and generally a lot more work. It is also possible that having two puppies at the same time can result in the dogs wanting to spend less time with their humans, obviously not always the case.

MYTH! My dog is aggressive/fearful/shy because he/she was abused as a puppy
If a dog is acquired at an older age and he is fearful, there is no way of knowing if he was abused. However, by placing our focus on abuse as the cause, we fail to recognize causes that are much more common and we may actually make the problem worse. Feeling sorry for your dog and trying to comfort or console him when he is displaying aggressive or fearful behavior reinforces that behavior. It's like telling him "it's okay to be this way, good boy!" Also, ignoring the problem, especially in an older dog, will almost always cause the problem to get worse. While we still have much to learn about how genetics affects behavior, it is well documented that fearful or shy behaviors are inherited. Nevertheless, the degree of fearfulness/shyness is influenced by learning and the dogs' environment.


Dogs can adjust to whatever makes them afraid by using programs of desensitization & counterconditioning. The sooner the problem is identified and addressed, the better the chances of success will be. That's doesn't mean it's impossible to treat a problem that is longer standing, but long standing problems will take much more time and patience. Ignoring the problem will end up making treatment more costly, difficult, and time consuming. The bottom line is, complex interactions between genetics and environment - nature vs. nurture, are what determines an animals behavior patterns. One single event is rarely the cause of the issue or issues at hand.

MYTH! This new medication is all I need to fix my dogs' or puppys' problem
While the development and use of antianxiety or psychotropic medications has greatly facilitated behavior modification, their use alone is not very successful. Many veterinarians fail to realize that using medication without concurrent behavior modification only produces a 25% success rate, at best. Fact is that medication alone will rarely, if ever, give you the changes you are looking for. Sometimes behaviors will be temporarily suppressed, but without concurrent behavior modification they will often return. A good example of this is with the issue of noise phobias. If you are around when the noise is likely to be present, say fireworks on the 4th of July, you can give medication to sedate your dog and make him/her less reactive to the noise. However, over time a higher dose may be required to produce the same affect and the drug may loose its effectiveness all together. However, if desensitization and counterconditioning are instituted, your dog may not need medication at all. He or she will learn to cope with the phobia.


The bottom line is, medications are not a cure all. They can help to decrease levels of anxiety - anxiety inhibits learning and facilitate learning, making behavior modification protocols more effective.Remember clear and well-known, but not very accepted hurtful truth:


All these modern-tech-medicine products suits only the thrashbay, also not sure.. because, actually every single element of this "magical" remedies should easily destroy metallic garbage box cover during just a few days.. or maybe even hours. Think of this, before belieiving this dangerous and painful, but yet very general & common myth.

Trust nature, more then a doctor !

MYTH! An aggressive, fearful, or shy dog means that he was or being abused
A dog's behavior is based on genetics and environment. You cannot generalize that a dog has been abused simply by his mannerisms.

MYTH! You don't have time for dog behavior classes
Most people think you have to set aside 2 to 3 hours for dog behavior classes. Not true. Ask around to find a dog trainer that is best suited to help with your dog's specific issue.

MYTH! You can't enroll in a puppy class before the dog has all his shots
Puppies are close in age and therefore typically have the same vaccination schedule and therefore will not likely spread disease among themselves. Plus, puppy classes are typically in locations that are easy to clean an sanitize.

MYTH! Dogs destroy things to punish owners
If your dog chews up your favorite pair of shoes, she is not punishing you. She is simply enjoying chewing up those shoes! Dogs chew on things such as shoes, furniture, and other items because it relieves boredom, releases pent up energy, feels good on their teeth, and may indicate separation anxiety.



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Victoria Stilwell
Rebecca OConnell

Because dogs don't speak our language, the only way to truly comprehend and communicate with them is for us to understand and appreciate what they are telling us through their body and vocal language. Often, gestures or actions that we assume mean one thing are actually the dog telling us the exact opposite, and determining what that wagging tail or exposed tummy really means can sometimes be the difference between a belly rub and a bite.


Dogs are masters of reading our body language, but how well can you read your dog's cues? While observing a dog's behavior, some signals are confusing and might not mean what we think. Have you ever heard any of the following statements about dog body language? Dogs communicate using a complex language of body signals that reflect what they are thinking and feeling. They use these signals consciously and unconsciously to communicate intent and ensure their personal safety by affecting behavior in others.

Appeasement & Displacement
A dog might try to appease another by actively seeking attention via one or more of the following behaviors:

Muzzle or ear licking

Jumping up

Lowering and curving the body


Clacking or Exposing the teeth "smiling"

Lip Licking

Lowering the head and ears

Play bowing

Although much appeasement consists of this active body language, passive submission such as cowering and body freezing seems to be done in response to escalating fear in the presence of a perceived threat. A socially experienced dog receiving these signals will tolerate this language of appeasement and reciprocate with appropriate signals - other less experienced dogs might take advantage of this deference and attempt to control or aggress. In addition to appeasement, dogs also commonly use displacement signals to avoid confrontation.


These body signals are used to provide a distraction - a way of covering up what the dog is actually feeling. Yawning, sniffing, scratching, sneezing, and licking are all active behaviors that keep the dog calm and provide a distraction to refocus the attention of others away from him. Any signal that is demonstrated by a particular part of the dog's body must always be read in the context of whatever other body or vocal language the dog is communicating. Similar signals have different meanings in different situations, so the position of the body and other vocal signals will help you understand a dog's intent and emotional state.

What does a wagging tail mean?
Tail wagging is a frequently misinterpreted signal. Most people believe that a wagging tail only means a dog is happy, which of course is often true, but some dogs also wag their tails when aroused, overstimulated and frustrated. You can usually tell the difference by looking at what the rest of the body is doing:

A confident or aroused dog will hold his tail in the air, allowing scent from the anal glands to circulate more freely and advertise his presence.

A dog that is wagging his tail but barking with a defensive body posture, tense face, and hard staring eyes is overly aroused and frustrated, which means that he should not be approached.

A tail that is held low or between the legs signals a lack of confidence, nervousness, or fear

A tail that is held high but wagged more slowly means that the dog is assessing a situation.

A tail that is extended and curved means that the dog is tense and ready to take offensive or defensive action.

A tail that wags around and around like a helicopter and is accompanied by relaxed fluid body movement and a wiggling bottom signals friendliness and a willingness to engage.

Research has shown that when a dog sees someone they like, his tail wags more to the right. When he sees an unfamiliar person, his tail wags more to the left. Subtle body language like this is easy to miss.

The tail is important for both balance and signaling, which is why the practice of tail docking, or partial removal of a dog's tail, is so harmful. Because the tail is a prime indicator of mood, dogs with docked tails are unable to communicate properly using that part of their body, which means that other dogs and people miss vital signals.

The Myths of Spite and Guilt
Humans love to attribute these two motives to dogs. In reality, dogs experience neither guilt nor spite. When returning from a hard day's work, you might get annoyed walking into a foul-smelling house and finding a cold pile on the floor. Perhaps you yell at the dog and punish him by rubbing his nose in it. Or maybe you are more evolved than that, and just scowl, sigh, and complain loudly as you clean it up. Either way, your dog knows you are angry and it's scaring him. He has no idea why, however, because he had that potty accident hours ago. And he did it simply because he had to go and no one was there to let him out. That's it no ulterior motive. How very silly to imagine dogs would use their urine and feces to make a point, or "spite" us. Really, what species does that? Oh, that's right, primates do.. ever been to the zoo? Luckily for us, dogs are not spiteful, as they'd have all day to plan their revenge and it would be far worse than a little potty accident on the floor!


Thankfully, canines are far more innocuous than that. Dogs make connections between actions and immediate consequences. So when you walk through the door and act out in anger, your dog learns that you are scary and unpredictable when you come through the door. If this happens often enough, you will start to come home and see your dog crouching, slinking, ears back, hesitant to approach and you will mistakenly read his fearful, deferential body language as guilt. He is displaying this body language not because he "knows he did something wrong" but because he is made the association between your entry and your tirades. He simply cannot put the potty accident together with your displeasure unless you interrupt him in the act. In this situation, the use of a crate or a pet sitter will work wonders for improving your relationship.


A friendly, well-socialized dog welcomes interaction. A typical canine will signal with his body that he can't wait to meet you. An approach that says "pet me please" looks like this: soft relaxed eyes, open panting mouth, a body that curves toward the object of social interest. Touching, leaning, eye contact, even jumping up, says," look at me, touch me, play with me!" What dog lover can resist that kind of invitation? But here is where we sometimes get carried away. Humans, being primates, want to hug, squeeze and kiss the object of our affection. When we do this, it gives us great pleasure. But if we could see our dogs objectively, we would know from their body language that these same actions make them very uncomfortable. A dog might let you know this by turning his head and eyes away from you, and flicking his tongue in and out of his closed mouth.


He might yawn or sniff the floor, or do the shake off. These signals indicate mild stress or discomfort and are sometimes referred to as "calming signals," as your human expressions of affection seem a bit forward and rude to him. Most of us do it anyway and our own dogs seem to know it's love, but instinctively, it still intimidates them. So, lighten up! Throw your dog a ball, give him a quick massage, get down on the floor and invite him to play by doing a play bow! Now you are speaking his language!

MYTH: He is friendly because he is wagging his tail
Dogs wag their tails for a number of reasons. If their body is very loose or wiggly and they are wagging their tail sideways or in circles, that's probably a good sign that they are friendly. An alert, dominant or aggressive dog may still wag their tail, but generally their body and the base of their tail is stiff or tense. A lowered tail that's wagging back and forth quickly is usually a sign of a submissive dog.

MYTH: When a dog raises his hair, it means he's aggressive
When you see a dog's hackles, it doesn't always mean the dog could become aggressive. If the hair on their back is raised between the shoulders and tail, the dog could be alert, excited or fearful. When the hackles are around the shoulder and extending up the back of the neck, it's usually related to dominance or aggression.

MYTH: A yawning dog is a tired dog
Dogs may yawn when they are tired but sometimes they yawn when they are stressed or when they are trying to calm another dog. Yawning is just one of the many calming signals used by dogs in various situations.

MYTH: Licking is Healing
It is natural for a dog to lick its wound but this not necessarily always "healing". Too much licking can actually prohibit healing.




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So.. Dogs love to be hugged?
To the notion that it's great for dogs to be carried to the notion that when two dogs meet they should be restrained to the idea that when an off-leash dog runs up to your on-leash dog there will be no problems. Dog training and dog behavior aren't the only topics surrounded by myths. They persist in every field, in every aspect of life. Many people believe they are doing the right thing by their bodies when they hit the sidewalk for a jog or a run - think of how many you see out there each day. Yet sidewalks are the worst surface to run or jog on because they cause shin splints! Despite scientific or medical, as in the example above evidence to the contrary there are many reasons for why some of these myths have such staying power.


It's our job to be as educated as possible about what is myth and what is fact. Research and question everything you can to make educated and informed decisions concerning your dog. It's the best way we can make sure they stay safe, healthy and happy. Socialization is a crucial piece of your puppies development. Properly introducing your dog to the world around us will lead to your dog being a well-balanced, confident, relaxed dog and will create a healthy and long-lasting bond with you, the owner. New puppy owners commonly become to focused not the idea that socialization is only about interacting well with people and other dogs.


This a huge mistake and an unfortunate misconception of socialization. Socializing a puppy is about getting them used to the world around them, and the other dogs and people you interact with are only a small piece of the world they live in. Puppy owners must remember to acquaint their pups with the environment around them as well as the living things within it. What do I mean by "the environment"?

Think about your current living situation. If you live in a small apartment in a major city, you are surrounded by noisy cars, buses, shouting, music, construction, doors and windows opening and closing in neighboring apartments, you name it. If you don't live on the first floor of your building, you have stairs, elevators, delivery workers, carpets, perhaps even hardwood or concrete floors.


Now look inside your apartment. Maybe you own a blender to make morning smoothies, or you like to watch the football game and jump and scream. Vacuum cleaners, slamming doors, water running in the sink, even the coat rack in the corner. These are things that many people tend to take for granted because we are around them everyday. But they are brand new to a puppy, and the sound of rushing water or a running fan can be quite alarming when heard for the first time. The environment you live in is full of foreign sights and sounds that a puppy must be introduced to in a slow, positive way. They must be socialized to become familiar and comfortable with them. So how in the world are you supposed to socialize your puppy to everything in the environment? Take advantage of the fact that you live within that environment. You will have the chance to introduce your dog to hundreds of different things every time you leave for a walk, and it's your job as the owner to take advantage.

Here are some things to remember when socializing your dog

Keep it Positive: Remember to keep every new experience positive for your puppy. Get treats that drive your dog crazy and praise them when they are relaxed with new situations. Read your puppies body language carefully. If they are cowering, hanging their heads or tucking their tails then take a step back and give your pup space. Follow every socialization session with games, lots of praise and loads of delicious treats!

Textures Think about everywhere your puppy will walk. Concrete, grass, sand, asphalt, hardwood, tile, carpet, your dogs need to be socialized to all these surfaces. Dogs can become uncomfortable on new surfaces and properly socializing them can limit any anxieties.

Visuals & Sounds Busy crowds, festivals, fireworks, traffic, wheelchairs, skateboards, bicycles, door bells, all these are fair game. A major city has lots of firetrucks, garbage trucks and street music. Rural areas have livestock and wildlife. Depending on your neighborhood, your puppy could be facing lots of stressful situations.

Places Hardware stores, playgrounds, parks, pet shops, vet offices, construction sites, dog friendly bars. Take them anywhere they are happy and comfortable.

Maneuverability Moving a dog through elevators or up and down stairs can be tough. Exposing them to as many places as possible will make them more confident when navigating new situations. Socialization is a long and windy road, but the hard work you put in now will pay huge dividends to your puppy becoming a respectful, confident, well-adjusted dog. Remember that socialization goes far beyond the interactions with other dogs and people, and though those are important, exposing your puppy to the environment will make their lives less stressful, and your life much easier!

MYTH: A dog needs love more than anything else.
You can shower a dog with all the love you have, but if you don't have his trust and respect, he won't return your affection. Dogs understand the social rules of a pack and naturally look to their owner to lead them. Bonding won't happen until you have earned your dog's trust and respect. Love should always guide your actions when interacting with your dog, but he also needs proper training, fair discipline and a compassionate leader he can look up to. That's how you earn his trust, respect and love.

MYTH: All dogs want and need to be around other dogs
Proper socialization with other dogs is important, but dogs don't necessarily like another canine just because they are the same species. We have all met people we aren't comfortable around, and it's the same for our canine friends. If your pet seems anxious or uncomfortable with certain dogs at a dog park, don't force them to interact. We ca't expect dogs to like every canine any more than we like all people we meet. There's nothing wrong with encouraging your dog to interact with another dog, but it's not worth a possible fight if you see uncomfortable or anxious body language from one of the dogs.

MYTH: Dogs understand the words we tell them
Dogs are reliably said to comprehend about five hundred words used by humans with more intelligent dogs internalizing several thousands. They mostly, however, respond to our body language, tone used and gestures.

MYTH: Dogs given comfort will misbehave
Dogs like a comfortable place to rest. Those that will be defensive when their resting places are approached can be trained to behave otherwise.

MYTH: Dogs like being touched on their heads
Most dogs do not like this, although some actually do.

MYTH: I could never get rid of him because I love him too much
When people reach a boiling point and are truly frustrated with the dog, I often tell them if they don't make necessary changes, they could easily get to the point where they will want to get rid of their dog. Of course they get defensive. Yet all those who have been married and have professed "till death do us part" at their wedding, didn't stop some from eventually kicking their partners to the curb did it? If you are having issues, don't assume "you have tried everything" before you abandon your pet. There are tons of rescues out there so take your dog in so please don't euthanize your dog.

MYTH: I don't need to worry about socializing my young dog because he is always fine around people
Dogs don't tend to exhibit aggression until about age 1.5 years. Before that you will notice some small problems like shyness. Gentle socialization can help prevent this.

MYTH: Your dog needs to meet as many people and other dogs as it can to be well-socialized
Your dog needs to make as many positive associations with the world he lives in to be well-socialized. Your dog must learn to confidently approach and walk away from new situations, including different sights, sounds, textures, objects, people, and other animals. A truly well-socialized dog isn't the one that wants to play with everyone and everything. Instead, this dog can confidently ignore them.


Taking your dog to the dog park for socialization only to have him get roughed up by a bigger dog is only going to teach him that other dogs aren't so much fun, the dog park is a scary place, and worse yet, he is likely going to lose trust in your judgment and might be less-inclined to enjoy going places with you. In other words, the primary rule of socialization is quality over quantity and the primary goal must always be positive outcomes, especially with impressionable puppies. So skip the dog park and instead, go hang out at the outdoor mall, outdoor amateur sports games, or any other place you can think of that will allow you to successfully expose your dog to many new things - again, it's about more than other dogs and people.

MYTH: Dogs that live with other dogs don't need to interact with dogs outside of the home during the socialization period of their development
This is another big one. It's important that your dog meets and interacts with many dogs, not just the ones he sees every day. Imagine if you only ever interacted with one or two people, when you met person #3, how would you interact with them if their personalities were different? Would you know how?

MYTH: Aggressive dogs are always dominant
It is much more common for a dog to be aggressive out of fear or anxiety than out of dominance. This misunderstanding can be detrimental to your dog. Dominance aggression and fear based aggression or treated VERY differently. If you treat a fearfully aggressive dog the same way you treat a dominantly aggressive dog, the aggression will become much worse. Moreover, punishment based techniques are outdated and are inappropriate for treating any type of aggression. One technique that is outdated, but commonly recommended, is the "alpha roll".


This is when a person is told to force their dog onto its back in an attempt to force him into submission. In nature, social hierarchies are maintained by the subordinate dog submitting on its own, not by the dominant dog forcing the subordinate dog into a position of submission. Many people get bitten when attempting this technique, and the only thing this will teach a dog is that people should indeed be feared. Appropriate treatment of dominance aggression involves teaching the dog that the owner is the leader. It is a process and it does not happen overnight. It is accomplished by using the Protocol for Deference - nothing in life is free and the Protocol for Relaxation. Owners will also have to restructure their normal day-to-day interactions with the aggressor. The command - response - reward interactions of these protocols will help to develop trust and predictability, therefore relieving anxiety. The bottom line is, fear and anxiety are far more common causes of aggression than dominance and they are treat very differently.

MYTH: Any trainer can handle any problem
Sadly NO! Even opposite, most of dog trainers around CAN NOT SOLVE ANY PROBLEM. Putting your dog in the hands of the wrong person can be as detrimental as not seeking any treatment at all. Not all behaviorists and trainers are created equal. Anyone can call himself or herself a behaviorist or trainer without having any formal training or classes whatsoever. Choosing the wrong person can have detrimental effects on your dog. Trainers are especially helpful when it comes to basic obedience - sit, stay, heel, and come. A good trainer will use mainly reward-based training, will not insist that you do anything unethical or dangerous - the alpha roll, and is willing to work with other professionals to come up with an overall plan for you dog. For dogs with more serious issues, such as, but not limited to, fears & phobias, any form of aggression, excessive barking, house soiling, anxieties, OCD repetitive disorders - a veterinary behaviorist would be a better option. They will be better able to recognize complex ways in which medical conditions can affect behavior and have a better understanding of how genetics and environment interact to contribute to behavior issues. The bottom line is, make sure you choose the correct professional for the issue at hand. An inappropriate trainer can exacerbate the issue and make things worse.

MYTH: If a dog cowers when he meets new people, dogs or goes to new places, he must have been abused
He may have. Many people take these signs of fear to mean that a dog was abused, but in a great many cases the truth is the dog was not properly socialized. Dogs can be afraid of anything from other dogs, to people, to tricycles, to dishwashers, to microwaves to giant stuffed animals to strollers all things that you or I would think are strange to be afraid of. Why would we think it odd to be afraid of these things? Because w have been introduced to them, we are familiar with them, to a dog who has never seen a tricycle, there's no telling what type of torture device it might be!

MYTH: A growl is always a warning, even during play!
Dogs actually may also growl when they play bow, when they play with other dogs, when they play with their toys. Again, it's important to look at the context of the behavior and pay attention to what the whole body is telling you, not just one specific signal. Look for signs of play: loose body movements, play bows, elf-handicapping etc. to accompany growling. When two dogs are playing, it can look quite scary to us with lots of teeth visible, chasing and wrestling all accompanying the growling. Look for dogs taking turns chasing each other, for wrestlers to take turns being on top - bouts of chasing, wresting, etc to be punctuated by play bows. Often dogs will chase each other in a bounding, silly looking way and veer off at the last moment.

MYTH: If a dog walks ahead of you on a walk or goes out of the door ahead of you, he is being dominant
Without getting into a lengthy discussion of dominance, you guessed it, this one's another myth. These behaviors have nothing to do with dominance. Dogs just want to get out there to explore. They are following their noses to get to the source of all those interesting, meaningful smells - smells that we can't even smell, the same smells that they can already smell from far away! There is no reason that a dog should be walking behind or beside you all the time. She can be a polite walker and still wander ahead, to the side or wherever she wants to be. Remember that a walk where dogs are allowed to sniff provides a lot of the mental stimulation that they need.

MYTH: Your dog should not sleep on your bed because this teaches the dog to be aggressive towards their owners
There is no evidence to suggest that there is a relationship between dogs sleeping on your bed with you and aggression directed towards their humans.

MYTH: As long as someone tells you "it's okay" when their dog meets yours, it really is okay!
Remember, you should always, always be looking at what the other dog's body language is telling you before you allow the greeting to take place. A signal that you are able to read as a warning from the approaching dog, the owner may say "oh, he's just excited". You had be surprised at how many people will say this when their dogs have their hackles up, are making direct eye contact and growling! The other point here is that when someone tells you their dog is "great with other dogs," they probably are. But dogs are no different than humans they don't have to like everyone. And they won't like everyone. And that's okay. It's our job to always be on alert to interpret what other dogs are saying to our dogs, it's the best way to keep them safe.

MYTH: It's okay to roll a dog on his back to pet him
Even though your intentions are good, rolling a dog on his back can actually send a very scary message to the dog. Forcing a dog into this position will very often result in defensive or fear aggression. Another common mistake we tend to make is thinking that when a dog rolls over on his own, he always wants his belly scratched. This isn't always the case! Dogs will roll over to signal appeasement or to create distance between themselves and a human! While our instinct is to pet the dog on his tummy when he rolls over thinking he is signaling "please move closer," he's actually signaling - please move away! Not at all a pleasant situation to be in. When dogs roll over in this way, to help build their confidence, it's best to encourage them upright and then interact with them. So how do you know when to pet your dog when he is on his back? Look for relaxed muscles throughout the dog's body, open mouths, often with tongues hanging out to the side and general "wiggliness" - dogs tend to roll over in this way during play. If your dog rolls over and you see any or all of these signs: tense muscles, furrowed brow, closed mouth, tucked tail - it's best for the dog if you encourage him to roll upright before interacting with him.


Dogs convey and understand intent very differently than we do. Even though dogs will roll over or roll each other over, as part of play, prior to executing a rough and tumble move they have displayed other signals - such as play bows to let their play partners know that what they are doing is play. Donัt forget that a lot of what we think of as polite or comforting in our interactions with other people including facing each other during conversation, leaning in to get closer to a another person etc. all convey very different meanings to our dogs. If you happen to make a faux pas, it's much easier explaining your intentions to another human than to your pup! There are many sources available that discuss all aspects of dogs rolling on their backs including what it means when your dog rolls over, when itัs okay to pet your dog while he ัˆs on his back, and the alpha roll.

MYTH: It's best to take a dog that is fearful of other dogs to the dog park or to a dog class to get over that fear
Placing a dog into the situation the dog is afraid of at high intensities, including training classes if your dog is afraid of other dogs will most often make the situation worse. Your dog could very easily become overwhelmed to the point of shutting down, essentially paralyzed in fear not wanting to do anything but be near you and or may end up biting out of fear. Instead, speak to a trainer or veterinary behaviorist about how to desensitize and counter-condition your dog to other dogs or whatever they are afraid of. Games such as tug of war with rules properly in place, teaching tricks and even things as plain as working on basic cues with positive reinforcement techniques will also help to build your dogs confidence!

MYTH: You should be able to take things out of your dog's mouth
Teach your dog "drop it" instead. "Drop it" and "leave it" can be life savers. Imagine looking across the lawn and seeing some sort of carcass hanging from your dog's mouth! Wouldn't you like to be able to just say "drop it" without having to race over there? Trying to physically remove objects from a dog's mouth whether they are food items, tissues, toys, socks, etc. can be very problematic at best and dangerous at worst. You could actually inadvertently cause resource guarding through taking things away! Dogs should be taught that human hands are not a bad thing around their food bowls, around treasured toys, around favorite treats, that human hands come by their favorite things to give, not to take.

MYTH: Dogs should be punished when they growl
This is a very dangerous myth. When dogs growl, they are signaling that they are uncomfortable with something. It's a warning that if we don't pay attention to the dog's level of discomfort, it could escalate to a bite. If we punish for growling the dog may feel the need to escalate right then, possibly to a bite, depending on the situation. Punishing growls could also have long-term effects if we punish a dog for growling the next time a similar situation arises, he may not growl at all, instead he may go straight to a bite! While we would of course prefer not to hear growls, the reality is that they are a perfectly normal means of canine communication and it's very important for us to accept them as such. Every dog will most likely growl at something during his or her life. It's the equivalent of us raising our voices. Who can honestly say they have never done that? What we need to do, is to find out exactly what is making the dog uncomfortable and work to change that perception of this thing is not safe and I will now growl at it to one where the dog sees the person, place, item, etc as safe. This can be done through desensitization and counter conditioning.

MYTH: Dogs are sociable animals and my dog's reserve might be an indication of some underlying problem
Dogs have personalities - some outgoing, some reserved. If your dog falls in the latter, don't push him into a contradictory role. Take your introverted dog out for walks and for social mingling with a few good pets and people that he is comfortable with, but avoid crowded places like dog parks.

MYTH: If my loyal pooch doesn't like someone, it is an indicator of something genuinely negative about the person's intentions
Dogs sometimes express aggression out of jealousy or a dislike of the person's general physical gestures. There may be a few instances when a dog sniffs at a stranger's character, but generally, it is just a harmless dislike.

MYTH: Dogs who growl in places like a vet's office or grooming parlor are being difficult
A lot of times veterinarians, their staff and groomers get to see a side of our dogs that we never see elsewhere. For some dogs the poking and prodding, need sticks, etc. are no problem, but for many dogs these are two of the scariest places to be. Some dogs become so overwhelmed and shut down that they just stand, sit or flop over and can be manipulated every which way and are usually touted as "good dogs", while others squirm to get away, growl or snap when handled. Regardless of which of these categories a dog falls into, she is not being "difficult," "stubborn" or "dominant." Neither "a" nor "b" are good for pup, both situations indicate fear. What do we do? We can do our best to desensitize and counter condition our dogs to these places, people, instruments and techniques. This will involve multiple visits when the dog is not being groomed or going in for shots, etc. A trainer or veterinary behaviorist can help you do this.

MYTH: You should let scuffling dogs fight it out
Not the case, but with a caveat. It is true that you should never put yourself in the middle of a dog fight in order to keep yourself safe, but there are tactics you can use to try to separate fighting dogs, such as using water, a really loud noise, or a distraction like a treat bag or your voice. It's also important to note that owners are responsible for doing what they can to prevent future fights, especially with dogs living in the same home.

MYTH: Dogs are only truly happy running off leash
Not the case. Regular off-leash unfenced play in secured area is often important for a dog's well-being, but many dogs can be perfectly happy on a leash, too. And it's important you keep her on leash in public so that she stays safe!


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Dog psychology tries to understand bad dog behavior from a canine perspective rather than from a human perspective. Because dogs are such close companions to us, it is easy to humanize them. Many dog movies and television shows including Lassie, 101 Dalmatians, Lady and the Tramp, Bolt, and others have encouraged this view.


However, dogs are not humans, and humans are not dogs!
Humanizing a dog causes miscommunication between human and canine, which can result in a variety of dog behavioral issues. For example, many dog owners attribute their dog pooping on their favorite carpet or eating poop, when they are not home, as an act of vengeance. In actuality, it is just a symptom of stress from having an unexpected change in their routine - separation anxiety. Some trainers claim that dog psychology involves pack theory and acting like a dog. According to them, obedience training is not dog psychology but simply teaching a dog tricks. In particular, a dog who has undergone obedience training may understand training commands such as Sit, Down, and Heel, but may still engage in destructive and aggressive behaviors, such as chewing our designer shoes, or digging up our prize roses. Is this true?


Dog behavior modification, dog training, and dog tricks are ALL based on operant conditioning. Operant conditioning forms a big part of what we understand of dog psychology and animal psychology. Therefore, dog behavior modification, dog training, and dog tricks are ALL based on dog psychology. Based on these dog psychology principles, we know that dogs learn by repeating behaviors with good results, and stopping behaviors with bad results. Operant conditioning consists of aversive methods and reward methods. Both aversive and reward methods, can be used to modify dog behavior, train a dog to follow commands, and teach a dog new tricks.

Misunderstanding of Dog Psychology
The claim that dog obedience training, and dog tricks are somehow not based on dog psychology is false.

The claim that food only works for obedience training and dog tricks is false.

The claim that using food in dog training is bribery, and somehow ineffective is false.

The claim that using food is humanizing the dog and therefore inappropriate is false.

The claim that reward dog training is only based on food is false.

The claim that aversive dog training, particularly physical force training is more effective at behavior modification than reward training is false.

The claim that physical force is required to modify dog behavior is false.

The claim that physical force is an integral part of dog psychology is false.

Both aversive and reward techniques, can be used to "train" our dog
To sit on command, to sit instead of dig on command, to drop whatever he is chewing, to chew his toy instead of our shoes, and to dig in the sand pit instead of in the rose-bed. Many of these supposed behavior modification techniques, including leash jerks, alpha rolls, and finger pokes, are aversive conditioning techniques. Dominance theory is based on the observation that wolf packs and wild dog packs are ruled by an alpha male and an alpha female. This alpha pair controls all of the pack's resources and sets all of the pack rules. There are also rituals that pack members must follow including letting the alpha pair have access to the best food,best sleeping area, and best resources. The theory is that when dogs come to live with us, we become part of their pack and must assume the alpha male and alpha female positions. Part of assuming this position, is to follow similar pack rituals including eating before our followers, not letting our followers have access to beds and couches, always walking in front of our followers, and using physical force to establish and maintain our pack leadership position.


However, recent studies have shown that wolf packs and also wild dog packs are a lot more complex than this simple alpha-pair model. Leadership tends to be more dynamic in nature, and the alpha dogs rule through the control of resources rather than through physical force. Therefore, even dominance theory cannot be used to support the false claim that physical force is a necessary, or even an effective part of dog behavior modification. While dominance theory and dog pack dynamics are interesting areas of study, the argument of whether they apply to us and our domesticated dogs, is actually a moot point. Contrary to common belief, dogs know that they are dogs and not human. They also know that we are human and not dogs.


It is us humans who frequently get confused on these matters. Since we are human, we are not expected by our dogs to act like dogs. We must communicate with them in a way that they can understand, but that does not mean that we should try to act like them. Not only would we be poor imitators, but however well we pretend, we would still be human, and our dogs will always know what we are. Because our dogs live in our very complex human world, it is necessary for us to assume leadership and teach them our rules. We must provide for them not just in terms of food and shelter, but also in terms of their health and safety. To properly manage the safety of a dog - to himself, to other dogs, and to the people around him, it is necessary to institute certain human rules, and to train him to follow those rules. Training of these rules can be achieved through aversive methods or reward methods.


There are dog trainers, like Cesar Millan, who mostly use aversive training. There are dog trainers, like Victoria Stillwell, who mostly use reward training. And there are dog trainers who use both. Reward dog training and aversive dog training have their own advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to pick a dog trainer that uses the style of training or behavior modification that you feel is most appropriate for you and your dog. Many arguments arise in the dog behavior modification or dog training arena because many want to claim that their way is better or that their way is right.

To do this, they must first differentiate their way from all other ways. That is why there are so many terms, including dog psychology, dog behavior modification, dog training, dog tricks, and many more, describing essentially the same thing. Both are dog psychology. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.


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Rose Cabrera
Ron Levi

MYTH: If a dog is afraid particularly of men, it must have been abused / beaten.
Not necessarily! Since behaviour is determined as a result of a combination of a dog's genes, experiences and learning, and the current environment, this is not always the case. Dogs with shy, reserved temperaments, dogs that have had a lack of social interaction, particularly in their early development periods, and dogs suffering from boredom and stress are amongst those that can display similar behaviours to dogs that have been abused.

MYTH: That guilty look isn't an expression of guilt - it's fear
All the logic lines up: Your dog was left alone and did something they weren't supposed to do, that they knew better than to do, and when they are called on it their face says it all. Perhaps you are already saying "No! Bad dog! Bad dog!" or some variation thereof. Disambiguating the "guilty look": salient prompts to a familiar dog behavior," focuses on how people interpret dog emotions through the scope of human emotion. More simply: People tend to misattribute dog emotions to human emotions. The "guilty" look is a prime example of this. We are kind of wired to see it this way, so it's nobody's fault. It seems unlikely that they have the same types of thinking about thinking that we do, because of their really different brains, but in most ways, dogs brains are more similar to ours than dissimilar. That first bit is especially important: thinking about thinking, known as executive function, because it means dogs aren't likely to reflect on their actions and decide they have done something wrong. When you adopted your dog, and suddenly you are living with a dog, within a week we have opinions about the dog's personality, what they are like and what they are thinking. It's a way to try to predict what's gonna happen next with an organism that we don't really know. So we use the language of human explanation, and we just put it on the dog.

MYTH: Getting a new dog can help treat separation anxiety
A lot of pet owners think that their dogs feel anxious because they have no one with them at home. So, as a solution, they get another dog. In certain cases, this can actually solve the problem, especially if a dog feels lonely. Any warm body, be it another dog or a human, can help soothe the dog's anxiety. However, there is always the chance that it won't work. Instead of solving the issue, you can end up with two dogs with separation anxiety. If you are considering getting the help of another dog, don't adopt right away. Ask one of your friends first if he can let his dog stay at your place for awhile. If your dog responds positively, then you can bring another dog at home.

MYTH: Destructive dogs are anxious dogs
When a dog is suffering from separation anxiety, he will look for objects and places that can give him comfort. Most of the time, this includes the scent of the owner. By instinct, he will go through his owner's belongings as well as the door where his owner has left him. However, you need to bear in mind that not all dogs that show destructive behaviors are anxious dogs. In some cases, it can be linked to being untrained, under-stimulated and boredom.

MYTH: Dogs with separation anxiety won't eat
Humans undergoing a lot of stress tend to lose appetite. However, for dogs, chewing can actually make them feel better. It helps them relieve tension and stress. They will gnaw on chew bones, treats and even their food dispenser. Keeping any of these things close by can help prevent destruction at home.

MYTH: Anxious dogs should never be put in a crate
You can consider this one a partial myth. While it is true that there are dogs who will try real hard to escape to the point of mutilating themselves, there are also dogs who find comfort in their crates. This goes particularly true with dogs who are used to sleeping in their crates at night and those who wouldn't mind spending a few hours inside it during the day.

MYTH: Allowing your dog to sleep with you can lead to separation anxiety
Letting your dog sleep with you will not directly trigger separation anxiety. However, allowing your dog to be close to you the entire time can build an intense familiarity and strong bond that can make it hard for him to be separated with you. Instead of sharing the same bed, consider putting a separate sleeping space for your dog. This doesn't mean that you need to keep him in a separate room or too far away from where you sleep. You can set up a bed for him next to yours. If he insists on getting up your bed, be consistent in putting him back to his own space. In case putting your dog in a separate room is inevitable, it's a good idea to set up a few cameras there.

MYTH: You should ignore your dog the minute you arrive
A huge number of pet owners believe that for someone to avoid triggering separation anxiety in dogs, he needs to ignore his pet 10 minutes before he leaves and 10 minutes after he arrives. Although logical, this approach actually triggers more anxiety in dogs, especially if they don't know exactly why they are being ignored. Instead of totally ignoring your pet, try to greet your dog in a controlled manner. Avoid making a big fuss when you come home.

MYTH: Dogs that are hyper-attached to their owners are more at risk of separation anxiety
There are dogs that just can leave their owners' side. They will follow their owners to their room, kitchen and even the bathroom. Because of how attached they are, it's easy to think that they are the ones who are likely to feel anxious when left behind. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that not all dogs who are strongly attached to their owners suffer from separation anxiety. Dogs that don't constantly follow their owners aren't completely free from anxiety, too.

MYTH: Using special types of collars can alleviate anxiety in dogs
Using a collar infused with citronella can stop anxious dogs from barking. This, however, doesn't mean that they won't feel anxious anymore.

MYTH: Exercising dogs can help prevent separation anxiety
There's no doubt about how important regular exercise is for dogs. It can make them stronger, flexible and more focused. Unfortunately, its list of benefits doesn't include treating separation anxiety. If you want to really solve the issue, you have to know how to properly condition and desensitize your dog.

MYTH: You should let your dog stick close to you at home
People get dogs for companionship and there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you have a dog struggling with separation anxiety, you need to learn to put just the right amount of space between the two of you. This can set proper boundaries as well as let him find other things he can put his attention to.


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Any bad behavior can be corrected, but it takes time, commitment, patience, understanding and leadership. Depending on the type of aggression, a professional may be needed. Aggression could be indicating an underlying medical issue, and pain can cause a dog to be aggressive. Aggression is one of the most common behavior problems that we see in dogs, and also one of the most alarming. It's always scary when your dog growls at you over his food bowl, tries to bite a visitor in your home, or barks and lunges at other dogs on walks. Unfortunately, there are a number of commonly-held beliefs about aggressive behavior in dogs that are outdated, misleading, or just plain wrong, this can make things very confusing if you have an aggressive dog and aren't sure what to do! Read on for some surprising facts on what really causes aggression and how to effectively treat it.


MYTH: A "good" dog should never growl or snap!
As humans, it's easy for us to assume that our dogs should never be aggressive under any circumstances and if they are, it means something is terribly wrong with the dog. But the truth is, growling, snarling, and snapping are all normal ways for dogs to communicate with each other and settle conflicts. Expecting your dog to never do any of these things, no matter what happens, is a bit like expecting a person to go through life without ever having a single disagreement or argument with someone else โ€“ not very realistic, in either case! Dogs may growl or snap at each other over resources like toys, chew items, or favored resting places, which can be perfectly normal as long as there are no injuries. Sometimes there are also social conflicts between dogs in the same household, which may be resolved by growling or aggressive posturing. It's more concerning when this behavior is directed towards humans, but can still be reasonable and not a sign of a behavior problem under some circumstances, such as if the dog is injured or in pain, or suddenly startled by something.


MYTH: Most dog aggression is caused by dominance
It's a common misconception that when dogs are aggressive towards humans, it's because the dog is trying to be "dominant" and needs to be shown who's boss. This idea was originally based on an outdated behavioral model of interactions between captive wolves, and has since been widely discredited. We now know that social status plays virtually no role in human-directed aggression or any other behavior issue that we see in pet dogs. Instead, most aggressive behavior towards humans is motivated by fear or anxiety. Barking, growling, or even biting is your dog's way of trying to defend itself against something scary or uncomfortable, such as being approached by a stranger, getting a nail trim, or having a valued item taken away. Effective treatment for aggression issues is based on teaching the dog to be comfortable in these situations by using positive reinforcement. Confrontational, dominance-based training techniques such as leash corrections and alpha rolls tend to increase the dog's anxiety and make the problem worse.

MYTH: Dogs with aggression issues need more obedience training
Many dog owners assume that if their dog is growling or trying to bite, an obedience class is the best option to try and improve this behavior. It might surprise you to know that many dogs with aggression issues are very well-trained and know lots of obedience commands, but it doesn't make any difference in their aggressive behavior at all. This is because aggression has nothing to do with whether your dog knows how to sit, or lie down, or heel on command - it's an emotional problem, not a training issue. Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't train your dog! Obedience training has many benefits, including helping you build a better relationship with your dog and giving the dog structure in its day-to-day routine. But if your dog is acting aggressive towards you, other people, or other dogs, you should be aware that a basic obedience class is not going to solve the underlying problem. An appointment with a veterinary behaviorist for an evaluation and personalized treatment plan would be a much more effective option.

MYTH: Neutering your dog is the best way to treat or prevent aggression
Another common misconception is that testosterone fuels aggressive behavior, and therefore neutering male dogs is a good "quick fix" for aggression problems. In fact, studies have shown that neutering has no effect on most types of aggression in dogs, except for certain types of dog-to-dog aggression - male dogs who don't like other intact males. There are many other health and behavioral benefits to neutering, including eliminating the risk of testicular cancer, reduced risk of prostate issues such as cysts, infections, and prostatic enlargement, and a decreased tendency to urine mark and roam in search of females. These are all very valid reasons that many owners choose to neuter, so by all means, if you have a male dog, you should consider it. Just don't expect it to solve your dog's aggression issues, as it probably won't make much difference.

MYTH: Dogs should always be punished for growling or biting
Many owners assume that punishment is necessary to deal with aggressive behavior and unfortunately, poorly educated trainers may also perpetuate this myth by recommending harsh techniques like leash corrections, verbal scolding, "alpha rolls", and even the use of shock collars to punish dogs for unwanted displays of aggression. But in fact, studies have repeatedly shown that these methods are ineffective and often make the problem worse. Remember that growling, snapping, and even biting are your dog's way of communicating that it feels anxious or uncomfortable. Punishing dogs for this behavior does nothing to teach them what we want, and tends to increase their frustration and anxiety, which makes things worse over time, and places the trainer or dog owner at risk of being bitten. Instead, effective treatment for aggression uses positive reinforcement and careful management to set the dog up for success.

MYTH: Once a dog has bitten, euthanasia is the only option
Sadly, it's a common belief that once a dog has bitten someone, it can never be trusted again. In fact, aggression is often a very treatable problem with professional help, smart management, and a good training plan, many dogs who have bitten people or other dogs in the past can go on to live safe and happy lives. Every case is different, so it's important to consult with a professional for an in-person evaluation if your dog has bitten someone or you have concerns that this might happen. A veterinary behaviorist can help you determine what is causing the aggression, give a realistic prognosis and risk assessment, and put together a detailed treatment plan to address the problem.

Widely accepted categories of aggression include:
Defensive fear-related aggression

Possession aggression resource-guarding

Maternal aggression

Territorial aggression

Status-related aggression

Pain-related aggression

Protection aggression

Predatory aggression

Play aggression

Idiopathic aggression

Note - that there is no category for "abuse-related" aggression. Abuse can be one of several causes of fear-related or defensive aggression, but is much less common than the fear-related aggression that results from undersocialization.


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Every morning you wake up and one of the first things you do is open your eyes. Now imagine waking up and not seeing anything. No light, no bed side table, no partner lying next to you. Most people that can see take their eyesight for granted and why wouldn't they? Eyesight is one thing most have from the day they are born, until the day they die. But just as eye sight massively affects life as a human, it also hugely impacts the life of a dog. However, there are a number of common misconceptions about blind dogs that this article will look to dispel. It will also offer some useful tips on how to care for a blind dog.


It is a good idea to monitor your dog's eyesight, especially when they get older, as their eyesight is likely to diminish. Throw balls for your dog and look for any emerging concerns. If you do see any problems, seek advice from your vet promptly, this could help you tackle any eye sight issues before they develop into anything too serious. There are a number of common misconceptions about blind dogs that are simply not true. Blind dogs are not necessarily any more expensive than dogs that can see, it wholly depends on the underlying cause of blindness. Blind dogs do not always fall and they are able to still play, because they hone and utilize their other senses, in particular, their nose. You can use scent markers to help blind dogs navigate and there are a range of toys that rely on sound or smell, ensuring your dog will still enjoy playing around with its owner!

MYTH: Blind Dogs Can No Longer Play
You'd be forgiven for thinking dogs that are blind can no longer bound around and play fetch. But a study of 50 blind dogs by The Veterinary Record uncovered some interesting findings. Humans forget dogs have well tuned other senses. Take their nose, for example. You can throw an old ball they have chewed for months and it would be worth a wager that they will find that smelly old ball surprisingly quickly. Their other senses also makes them more aware of where sofas, doors and windows are than you might realize. Your blind dog might still have boundless energy and being blind is not going to stop them wanting to jump all over you and play with you! There is even a whole host of toys you can find online specifically for blind dogs. They either carry a distinctive smell or produce an easy to follow sound, ensuring your dog can still enjoy play time.

MYTH: Blind Dogs Are Always Falling This is another misconception people may have about blind dogs
But actually, a late 20th-century study from The University of Pennsylvania found dogs quickly adjust to their surroundings, learning the layout of their home swiftly. Having said that, some blind dogs do have problems with stairs. Fortunately, you can easily remedy this issue. One way to overcome this hurdle is to use baby gates at the top of the stairs. Alternatively, you can put distinctive scent markers at the bottom and the top of the stairs to warn your dog. Scent is an increasingly popular and effective way to help blind dogs navigate their surroundings.

MYTH: Blind Dogs Are Expensive Many people think having a blind dog brings with it a number of extra expenses
But that depends entirely on the reason for blindness. Strokes, diabetes, cataracts, untreated infections and glaucoma can all cause blindness, but the price of treating them varies widely. If your dog needs a serious operation to combat the underlying cause, then treatment may be expensive, but if not, your dog going blind isn't necessarily going to break the bank.


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Bernard Lima Chavez
Kelly Nash

Did you know that some folks in the scientific community are studying deaf dogs? When I heard this, I jumped for joy. It was a moment of excitement, relief and "I need to know more Right. This. Second!" My brain was firing synapses so fast that I could feel them ricocheting around my brain. My entire body was tingling with excitement! What about deaf dogs are they studying? What are they learning? Who is doing the research and how do I convince the dog to talk to me?

MYTH: Deaf dogs are more aggressive than hearing dogs
Analysis of the data proves that congenitally born deaf or blind dogs are significantly less likely to display aggression than their hear or seeing counterparts! We are talking 20% less! This data is important and should be memorized by deaf dog pet parents and advocates everywhere. This one statistic can actually change perceptions and the lives of deaf dogs everywhere. The next time someone tells you that deaf dogs are more aggressive and dangerous, share this fact and take charge of that conversation.

MYTH: The only way to train a deaf dog is with hand signs
False. Though using hand signs to train and communicate with a deaf dog is very common, one alternative is to communicate with physical prompts or touch training. In fact, touch training is used almost as frequently by deaf dog pet parents as hand signs. Touch training involves touching the dog on different parts of the body or in different ways - 1 tap, 2 taps, a short directional pet, etc. to communicate different commands. One example she shared was teaching a deaf dog that a rub along the chin means to "come".

MYTH: Deaf dogs are more likely to experience separation anxiety
No significant differences in frequency of separation anxiety was noted between deaf and hearing dogs. The reasons for separation anxiety in deaf and hearing dogs is different. Primary cause of anxiety for deaf dogs is waking up or looking up from a really interesting dust bunny he is playing with and realizing that his person has disappeared, whether that's into a different room or from the house altogether. Deaf dog will go hunt for his person and, once found, will frequently return to what he was doing and relax. A hearing dog with separation anxiety, she suggests, is more related to being left alone. For deaf dogs, it's more of a case of "Where are you?" causing stress rather than, "Why am I alone?" To prevent "separation" anxiety in deaf dogs: when you leave the room or the house, notify your deaf dog that you are leaving. When this simple and additional communication occurs, she finds that deaf dogs do not exhibit behavior similar to separation anxiety. Of course, every dog is different, but this is a good rule of thumb.

MYTH: Talking or using your voice to communicate is pointless
When humans speak, body language and facial expressions change, which communicate information as well.

MYTH: Deaf dogs are extremely hard to train
As a matter of fact, when it comes to training dogs, visual signals are more effective than voice commands. A voice command is not necessary, so training a deaf dog is not any more difficult!

MYTH: Deaf dogs should never live with children because they will bite
If a deaf dog is well introduced and socialized with children, it is as safe to have in a home as any other dog. Before adopting, check the dog's background to see if its particular breed has any characteristics that affect how the dog reacts to small, fast-moving humans.

MYTH: I need a hearing dog as a guide for the deaf dog
No, you do not. Deaf dogs are no different from any other dog and are just fine by themselves! That being said, they are also great as being a member of a larger family or with other deaf dogs.

MYTH: Deaf dogs don't bark
False. Oh boy, is this false! In fact, excessive barking was reported by deaf dog pet parents much more frequently in comparison to hearing dogs. This increase in excessive barking, along with other repetitive behaviors such as excessive licking of self and others, spinning and the chewing of inappropriate objects, are viewed as examples of self-stimulatory behaviors that deaf dogs are more prone to engage in. Interestingly, other unwanted behaviors, such as chasing rabbits and cats, and rolling in and eating of feces occurred less frequently in deaf dogs than in hearing dogs. So, our deaf dogs may lick our faces more frequently but least it's less likely that he is just eaten his own poop!

MYTH: All deaf dogs are easily startled
True and False. Deaf dogs, depending on his or her individual personality and his personal life experiences may be more prone to startling when touched. The circumstances of being touched also plays a big factor into any startling behavior. That said, any dog hearing, deaf or blind can startle. Also, startling behavior can be unlearned. Careful desensitization to startle responses can significantly reduce or eliminate this unwanted behavior.

MYTH: Talking or using your voice to communicate with a deaf dog is pointless
False! False! False! When humans speak, our body language and our facial expressions change, communicating a whole lot more information to our deaf dogs.

MYTH: Dogs born deaf are the result of irresponsible breeders
True & False! Many but not all congenitally deaf dogs are deaf because of improper breeding. A very common example is breeding two Merle dogs together. The Merle gene is a dominate gene that can produce beautiful, healthy hearing and sighted puppies. However, when a Merle dog is bred to another Merle, 25% of the puppies are likely to be born deaf, blind or both. The other most frequent cause of congenital deafness in dogs is related to a lack of pigmentation of the skin, not the coat. A significant lack of skin pigmentation cause nerve endings in the inner ear to atrophy soon after birth. When this happens, the puppy is left completely or partially deaf in one or both ears. Since puppies ears don't open up for the first week or so of life, these dogs frequently never hear.

MYTH: Deaf dogs are more bonded to their human than hearing dogs
True. Deaf dog exhibits a higher degree of attachment, physical and otherwise, to their human caretaker. This supports the anecdotal experience of deaf dog pet parents who frequently refer to our deafies as "velcro dogs".

MYTH: Deaf dogs bark funny
True. Is this true? In evaluating the bark of deaf dogs, especially during play, A deaf dog's bark is a combination of excitement and frustration. As deaf dogs are less adept at picking up and learning social cues from other dogs - another interesting finding! and because their deafness affects their ability to adjust the way in which they bark, deaf dogs tend to have a funny sounding bark. If a deaf dog does have any residual hearing, it tends to be isolated to higher pitched sounds. Taken together, deaf dogs do tend to have a unique bark! Spend some time with several deaf dogs and you will quickly learning "the telltale sound".

MYTH: Hearing dogs adapt their behavior to accommodate a deaf dog
False - hearing dogs can tell that something is different about a deaf dog, but have found that they typically do not adapt their behavior to accommodate this difference. Dr. Farmer-Dougan and her team are looking for ways to teach hearing dogs adaptation techniques when interacting with deaf dogs.




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Denis Giles
Kelly Orgill

Ancient Romans believed the warmth of dogs could cure stomachaches. In Medieval Britain, cats were burned and tortured because they were associated with witches and the devil. Different civilizations have had altering opinions on whether or not they wanted to worship dogs for their guardianship and cats for their sacredness. Today, myths, beliefs and stereotypes still exist. In recent years, dogs have been known to help their owners by scaring away thieves while cats pay their dues by killing pests. Because cats and dogs have differing personalities, these selectively bred pets can bring an array of annoyance, delight, humor and fright to those who they come in contact with. Cats and dogs are portrayed as natural enemies in the media, but he has found cats and dogs get along quite well with each other. But in reality - you could say that some are even friends! A lot of the animals' behavior depends on how they are raised and trained.


If a cat and a dog grow up together in the same house, then for the most part they won't fight unless it is to play around. It is when you get cats and dogs that aren't usually around each other that they will fight, the dog almost always starting it. Dogs are generally portrayed in the media as being man's best friend and Cats are more portrayed as royalty and we as humans are their servants. Cats are stereotypically lazy in movies, while dogs are more energetic. Cats are typically not seen as adventurous as dogs, such as Fat Louie on "Princess Diaries," while dogs are loyal sidekicks that will do anything for their masters, take Dug on "Up" for instance. Cats are more fun to watch on YouTube. It's usually funny to see what people do to cats, like scare them or something. Dogs just act the same no matter what. In the movie, "Cats and Dogs," dogs are the good guys, cats are the bad guys, In "Homeward Bound" the dogs are better, and the cat is a sassy mean thing. You have the wise dog, the fun dog and the mean, sassy cat. Usually, people have favorite breeds of dogs - ever heard of multiple breeds of cats? In the Philippines, cats do come to you if you call them - They listen.


It's almost backwards in the Philippines. Dogs are disgusting, their hair is falling off... they looked like they were charred. Although cats and dogs have many differences, there is a divine reason for their creation. Both species can be extremely loyal, which makes them such great pets to people. The dog and cat were intentionally created with these attributes so that they could be our animal companions through life. Just think of how dreary the world would be if people didn't have dogs and cats! Ohh.. and for the final, here's one of the biggest dog & cat myth: Dogs and cats are colour-blind! - Noway! Both dogs and cats can see in blue and green, and they also have more rods: the light-sensing cells in the eye, than humans do, so they can see better in low-light situations. Reds and pinks may appear more green to cats, while purple may look like another shade of blue. Dogs, meanwhile, have fewer cones: the colour-sensing cells in the eye, so scientists estimated that their colour vision is only about 1/7th as vibrant as ours.

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman

When it comes to love, the phrase "age is just a number" often comes into play, and the same should go for the animals who are being considered for adoption. Just because a dog is not a cuddly puppy anymore does not mean they have any less devotion to give. Let's discuss the common misconception that all senior pets at shelters are problematic. Some people assume that if they are still in a shelter at their age, then there must be something wrong with them, but that could not be farther from the truth. Common reasons most senior pets are in shelters include:

Abandonment by a moving family

Their owner has passed away

A family member became allergic

A new baby in the family

Even though numerous people are passionate about their senior pets, there remains a lot of myths associated with adding an older pet to the family, making them appear less desirable than younger animals to adopt.

1. Senior Dogs Do not Play
Senior dogs do, in fact, play! Let's not forget that there are puppies who are born and do not enjoy playing around because, just like human's, pets have their own personalities. A calmer, wiser and more collected pet may be right up the alley of a slower-paced family, a laid-back couple or a relaxed single looking for a new friend. Some breeds, including the sporting group, can even maintain their stamina well into double digits.

2. An Older Dog Will not Bond with New Owners
The benefits of adopting a senior pet outweigh the cons. Older pets are just as likely to bond with new family members. The affection or love you receive from your furry friend is not measured by their age but by the love in their heart. The great thing is, with a senior pet, what you see is often what you get. Most older pets are already set in their personality traits, with pups, you run the risk of maybe assuming you are adopting a laid-back animal puppy only to find out that they are always jacked up like they got into 3 or 4 cups of coffee. If you click with a senior pet when you meet, then you can consider it love at first sight.

3. You Can not Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
Some senior pets may have more self-control than younger animals. Combine this with a bit less energy, and it could make it easier for them to focus and learn at a quicker pace, potentially saving you time on training. Some senior pets may have already been trained if they lived with a previous owner who put in the work before placing them in a shelter. This means you may be adding a well-mannered friend to the family immediately.

Training Your Senior Dog: How to smile or yawn, How to ring a bell, so you know to open the door for them, How to walk backward, How to roll up into a blanket. These are just some of the tricks that senior dogs excel at over younger pups. Here their experience and age become a benefit. These tricks are solely for senior pets because they take a longer time to learn so the pet must be patient and more self aware. If you are shopping around for a pet that will impress your friends and family, a senior pet is defiantly the way to go.

4. Senior Dogs have more Expensive Vet Bills
Whether your animal is young or older, no one plans on their pet getting sick or injured, but the reality is that pets are just like us and unpleasant things can happen to them! This is why it is important to plan ahead for their well-being. One way to do this is to provide pet insurance for your dog or cat. Pet Insurance helps you be ready for accidents or illness regardless of your dog's age, and it won't break the bank. Since Prudent Pet has no age limits on policies like other insurance companies may have, we are an ideal match for your older furry friend.

5. My Dog is too Old for Anesthesia
Please do not let your neighbor, your friend or the internet tell you that your dog is too old or sick for anesthesia. And do not be afraid to seek out an expert on the topic. Keep in mind, if your dog is that old, surgery is probably not being recommended for merely cosmetic reasons. Your veterinarian is probably talking about it because of a life or death situation, or a serious quality of life issue.

A thorough physical exam and blood work should always be performed before anesthesia. In older dogs, it may be wise to also take chest and belly radiographs, as well as an ECG to be safe. Some dogs may need to be stabilized prior to anesthesia, which may mean fixing blood work abnormalities, giving IV fluids, or giving a blood transfusion prior to anesthesia and surgery.


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Isabelle Francais
Jen Gabbard

People familiar with ferrets know at least some of the wild misconceptions about ferrets. And many ferret enthusiasts are weary of the constant battle they fight to dispel such misconceptions. The best weapons in this fight? Remaining calm and focusing on educating others about ferrets. Also, keeping an open mind. Some stereotypes don't just come out of thin air, but originate from a grain of truth. Ferrets use their mouths as much as a human baby. Because of their high intelligence and curiosity, ferrets seek out information in any way they can by using every sense and physical tool available. This is how they explore their environment, stimulate their brain and gather knowledge. The belief that ferrets are vicious biters probably emanates from this behavior, coupled with the perception that their teeth are large in proportion to the size of their heads.


So, ferret enthusiasts, if you hear people spouting a barrage of offensive or silly "facts" about ferrets, keep calm and work to peel away the myths, rumors and misunderstandings. Afterward, everyone will see our old friend, the ferret. And ferrets are by far more exciting and marvelous than any animal people might forge from misconceptions.

MYTH: Ferrets Are Rodents
People commonly think ferrets are rodents that are very closely related to rats. People don't know the difference between a ferret owner and rescuer. And many people just flat don't know what ferrets are period. People mistake ferrets for many things, such as large rats, weasels and, my personal favorite, baby wolverines. Ferret people are mischievous and often fight the urge to joke around and make up their own ridiculous names. The joke being that ferrets are likely a descendant of the European polecat.

MYTH: Ferrets Are Wild
Ferrets can be wild animals, but not wild in the sense that they are untamed and undomesticated. They are wild in the good sense of the word, meaning they are outrageously fun, active, acrobatic, little balls of chaos. They are no doubt God's little clowns. The domestic ferret, Mustela furo, is and never was found in the wild. Domestic ferrets cannot survive outdoors for very long, because they lack the instincts and skills to do so. In addition, they can succumb to extreme cold, while higher temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit can be deadly to them.

MYTH: Ferrets Are Nocturnal
Ferrets are not nocturnal, they are crepuscular - most active during dawn and dusk, but they do sleep a lot. Domestic ferrets have been bred over the centuries to be good companion animals for people and are right at home fitting into our daily lives.

MYTH: Ferrets Carry Rabies
As often is the case, some people fear the unknown, which can lead to jumping to some pretty outrageous conclusions. I have come across people who assume ferrets carry all sorts of disease. However, this simply is not true. Phyllis Spy, president of Massachusetts Ferret Friends, a ferret club and rescue, reports that there is a widespread belief that ferrets are carriers of rabies. The fact is that ferrets are unlikely to become infected and are very poor carriers of the disease. Rabies is only transferred through saliva from a bite that punctures the skin. Ferrets usually die from the disease before it can shed in their saliva. You will be happy to know that there has never been a recorded incident of a person contracting rabies from a ferret.

MYTH: It's OK To Feed Any Food To Ferrets
Unfortunately, the belief that a ferret can eat pretty much anything or live on rabbit or dog food can prove to be extremely harmful to ferrets. Often, people feed their ferrets fruits, vegetables, chocolate, candy, soda, raisins and more. People think it is OK to give it to them, because they like it. Every single item on that list is unhealthy for a ferret and some of them can be fatal. Ferrets are obligate carnivores. This means their gastrointestinal system is specialized for digesting meat and is unable to digest vegetable protein. Death due to an intestinal blockage from fruit or veggie consumption is excruciatingly long and painful. In fact, a ferret can become extremely unhealthy and be at risk of dying just from not eating kibble that is high enough in protein. Ferret food should be at least 36 percent animal protein - however, a higher percentage is better.

MYTH: Ferrets Can Life Their Life In A Cage
This could not be further from the truth. Ferrets need time out of the cage to play. Many of the people assume that ferrets, like hamsters or rats, should stay in their cages most of the time. Many people, even some ferret owners, don't realize how smart and inquisitive they are. With that intelligence comes a need for stimulation - play. Just like any other living being, ferrets enjoy the outdoors. But be aware, you cannot turn them loose outside and expect them to come back. Before taking your ferret outdoors, make sure its shots are up to date and that it is well protected from outside pests.

MYTH: Ferrets Don't Require Veterinary Care
What shots, you ask? You were told that your baby ferret had already been given shots and that it would rarely need veterinary care? Kiss those myths goodbye. Ferrets need regularly scheduled rabies and distemper shots, as well as checkups from a veterinarian. In addition, ferrets also need to be protected from fleas, ticks, heartworm and other parasites, just like a dog or cat.

MYTH: Ferrets Have Potty Habits Like A Cat
Many people believe that ferrets will use a litter box just like a cat. That is only partially true. Yes, ferrets do use litter boxes. Some ferrets are good at it too. But some ferrets miss the box quite a bit. That is just a reality of owning a ferret. Another reality is that ferrets potty frequently, sometimes every two hours. Possibly that is one of the reasons some people believe they are dirty. Ferrets are very clean creatures. They don't like to poop in messy spots, so they continually find clean spots to go in. The cleaner the spot they like is, the less likely they are to find a new spot!

MYTH: Ferrets Stink!
Possibly the most annoying myth to ferret lovers is that ferrets stink.The most misunderstood thing about ferrets. People seem to think that it's like having an animal that's been sprayed by a skunk running around your home. Ferrets do have a unique odor that is unlike any other pet. Because it is alien to most people, it can be interpreted as being a bad smell. But they might think the same about a dog if they had never been around one before. Ferret odor is very easy to control by frequently changing their bedding, feeding them a high-quality diet, cleaning their ears and bathing them every few months.

MYTH: Ferrets Bite And Are Mean!
This is one of the most common and negative myths surrounding ferrets, but this stereotype does have a tiny grain of truth. Ferrets use their mouths as much as a human baby. Because of their high intelligence and curiosity, ferrets seek out information in any way they can by using every sense and physical tool available. This is how they explore their environment, stimulate their brain and gather knowledge. The belief that ferrets are vicious biters probably emanates from this behavior, coupled with the perception that their teeth are large in proportion to the size of their heads. Their teeth are actually smaller than a kitten's, and their actual bite strength is not anything unusual. Fear can lead people to leap from one assumption to another. The strangest of all rumors about ferrets is the notion that they eat babies. In fact, ferrets are far less likely to bite than a dog, cat, rabbit or even a person. Dogs are five times more likely to bite, and their bite is far more damaging. The press loves to sensationalize those rare instances when ferrets bit children. No baby should be left unattended with any type of pet, doing so poses great danger to both the baby and the pet.


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Mary Harwelik

While we hate that there are people who would abuse animals, the term "bait dogs" is very overused by the well intentioned but misinformed. Unless there are witnesses to the cause of injury, mysterious bite marks on a dog remain an unhappy mystery with an unknown perpetrator. To shout "bait dog!" whenever a dog with bites appears keeps a popular myth alive and may actually be encouraging copycat crimes by offering animal abusers ideas we would rather they didn't have. What's in a name? Well, lots if your name is "bait dog" or "fighting dog". And these labels often determine the fates of the dogs that wear them. Bait dogs are typically thought of as "victims" and "non aggressive" but fighting dogs are all too often viewed as "vicious, trained killers" instead of the abuse victims that they truly are. There are many mistaken beliefs about fighting dogs, and the supposed use of bait dogs to "train" fighting dogs. This article attempts to address some common concerns and misconceptions about fighting dogs, and the "bait dog myth".


What's a "bait dog"? - In a nutshell, according to popular Pit Bull culture, which often includes elements of myth, a "bait dog" is a young, weak, or inexperienced dog - Pit Bull or otherwise, that is used to teach fighting dogs how to fight. The objective is to use a dog that does not fight back and injure the fighting dog, and to help the fighting dog "learn" how to fight, "get a taste for blood" and so on.

What's a "fighting dog"? - For the sake of this article, a fighting dog is one that has been used in the illegal "sport" of dog fighting and has been fought in organized fight conventions or used in informal street fights - any dog that has been purposefully conditioned to fight and then allowed to fight another dog, or dogs confiscated from "fight busts", whether or not they have actually been fought. It is important to note here that dogs coming out of fight busts have not necessarily been fought or even conditioned to fight. Don't assume! Judge the dog's behavior and not his unknown history.


Historically, dog fighters never used "bait dogs". Fighting dogs were not traditionally "trained" to fight, but rather physically and environmentally conditioned to do so. First, they were exercised, running and walking mostly, to build up stamina. Second, they were consistently placed in threatening situations with other dogs that encouraged defensiveness and kicked fight drive into gear, resulting in dog-directed aggression. Remember - fighting behavior is something that ALL dogs can potentially perform. Fighting is defensive behavior, conditioned in the dog through environmental processes. With Pit Bulls, in part this conditioning would occur by means such as: chaining in close range of other dogs, lack of socialization & training, "rolling", etc.

So where'd this idea of using bait dogs come from?
Most likely from misinterpretation of old time fighting dog magazines and books that talked about "cat mills" and treadmills, on which some dogs were encouraged to run by use of a small animal in a cage held in front of the dog. Another possibility was a misunderstanding of the process of "rolling" during which a new, young fighting dog would be placed in the pit with an older, seasoned dog in order to teach the young one "the ropes". It's ironic that the true method for conditioning a fighting dog actually involved putting him up against a more experienced dog, not a weaker or non-aggressive dog unlikely to fight back. Rolling was all about allowing the new dog to gain experience and learn to maneuver in the pit against a strong, experienced fighter. Rolls were typically stopped before either dog could get seriously hurt. Lots of rescue organizations seem to be quick to label - if it's cute, beat up, and sweet, the Pit Bull must have been a bait dog... right?


These are all assumptions made carelessly and not based on fact. The histories of many dogs coming into rescue are only known in part or not at all. Just because a rescue places a label on a dog does not mean that label is accurate. Ask for details - often you will find that the details are sorely lacking. Same goes for labeling dogs of unknown history "fighting dogs" when they happen to have a scar or two. Bottom line, if an organization does not know for a fact the dog's history, they should not label the dog! The term "bait dog" in our opinion should never be used, as it sends the wrong message about Pit Bulls in general, and propagates mythology. The "taste of blood" myth goes something like this: once a dog has fought another dog or killed another animal or otherwise had the opportunity to "taste blood", the "taste for blood" will drive him to viciousness towards other dogs and people. Let's get this straight - "tasting" blood won't make your dog vicious, or a good fighter. And no, a dog who fights will not automatically be "vicious" towards people, since dog-directed aggression is completely different than human-directed aggression.


The two behavioral issues are NOT related. ALL dogs can and will fight another dog given the right set of circumstances. In the case of fighting Pit Bulls, you have dogs that were repeatedly put into situations that encouraged and demanded dog-directed aggression. Given a whole other set of circumstances, you might never see dog-directed aggression in a particular dog. This is one reason why ex-fighting Pit Bulls can and DO make wonderful pets and YES can even get along with other dogs when supervised properly - change the circumstances and you change the behavior of the dog! We must drive this point home: dog-directed aggression does NOT equal human-directed aggression: a dog that fights other dogs will NOT necessarily be vicious towards humans. There is another important reason why ex-fighting Pit Bulls can make great pets. Pit Bulls as a breed have NEVER been meant to be aggressive towards people! Pit Bulls were bred to excel in the pit, BUT also be extremely deferential towards humans, and safe to handle EVEN under duress.

Don't dog fighters use "bait dogs" to train fighting dogs?

"Bait dogs" are safe to place in new homes, while fighting dogs are not?
As the recent extremely successful rescue and placement of some high profile fighting dogs has shown, ex-pit dogs can and do flourish in kind, knowledgeable, and responsible homes. These dogs are proving that the baggage they come with needn't be carried around for the rest of their lives. In fact, these dogs are showing just how resilient the Pit Bull breed is and how very quickly they bounce back from bad beginnings. The atrocities committed against dogs in the name of "dog fighting" are horrendous. These dogs are victims in the purest sense of the word. Breed is irrelevant in these cases. The dogs are exploited, their innate talents misused to the highest degree imaginable, their true value stifled and ignored. The bottom line is, each dog should be evaluated on his or her own merits โ€“ labels mean nothing, and a label does not determine behavior! Careful evaluation of all dogs entering an adoption program is a must - fighting dog, "bait dog", or just dog โ€“ good dogs come from all walks of life, and their future should not be determined based on a label they have been saddled with. "Bait dogs" and Dog Fighting are Animal Abuse Issues, NOT "Pit Bull Issues"!

This is called PROPAGANDA, anti Pit Bull propaganda.


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One of the biggest misconceptions about your dog's doo is that it's a natural fertilizer. However, it contains bacteria, diseases, and nitrogen which are harmful to people, other pets, and the environment. The idea of your pet's waste being a fertilizer stems from the use of cow or horse manure as a soil enhancer. Unfortunately, not all waste is created equal. In order for waste to be considered a viable source for fertilizer depends solely on the animal's diet. Because cows and horses are herbivories, their waste mainly consists of plant matter, making their waste the ideal candidate for fertilizer. Your pet's diet is made up mostly of animal products, therefore making it unsuitable for being used as a fertilizer.


Another misconception about your dog's doo is that many pet owners think that the natural process of decomposition will just eliminate the harmful bacteria and waste over time. The bacteria from your pets waste never really decomposes. It seeps into the soil and inevitably into the underlying local waterways. Rain and sprinklers can wash pet waste down storm drains which also causes water pollutions since most of these drains lead out to local creeks, rivers, and other water resources. A single gram of dog waste can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. Most dogs can excrete up to 5 pounds of waste a week. Now imagine how many dogs are in your area alone? That's a whole lot of doo on your mind! All of this waste cannot just sit there because it will affect the surrounding environment over time. Fences do not keep your dog's doo on your property. It's important to take an active role in picking up your dog's waste not only for your health but also the environment. Every doo matters because it adds up over time!


Pet waste removal is an important part of responsible dog guardianship. The first step is picking up what your pet leaves behind. The second is ensuring it is disposed of properly. Cleaning up the doo in your yard once a week is a good habit to get into. You can dispose of it in the trash once you have picked it all up. The trash is one of the easiest and most effective way to get rid of your pets waste. Remember, it does matter if you pick up after your pet. If others see you picking up after your pet, it may create a culture of pet responsibility. If everyone works together to scoop the poop, dog doo will be the least of our concern! Unless there is a medical reason causing the behaviour, eating faeces,also called coprophagia, is normal, although there is potential for it to pose a problem. It all comes down to whether the faeces-eating dogs owner can stomach the episodes! There is usually more than one cause to coprophagia:

It can be yummy for the dog

It's a learned behaviour

To seek attention

Maternal behaviour

Feeding behaviour - dogs that are fed once a day may use coprophagia to supplement their diet

There are ways to prevent the behaviour, such as putting a muzzle on your dog and picking up faeces regularly so there will be none to eat. Pups often exhibit coprophagia but will often grow out of it. It can be caused by undigested nutrients from the food they eat being passed in the stools, which makes them more appealing to eat. Changing the diet to a more digestible food can help prevent it. Behavioural issues also need to be addressed.For more tips on preventing coprophagia.

Dogs eat poop for fun
TRUE! Coprophagia or eating their own excrement is probably the most disgusting habit a dog will get. It's really hard to diagnose and can come from a variety of reasons. Going from feeding a puppy twice a day to once a day might encourage this to fill their stomachs. Learning this great thing from other dogs just as a pure habit. Mother dogs will clean their pups and eat their excrement to keep them clean so there is the thought that this habit is inherent and some females never outgrow this need, yet it does not explain male dogs with this desire. There are so many thoughts on how to stop this like products on the market, feeding pineapple, etc. the one sure way to stop this behavior is to basically pick up the poop as soon as the dog is done and get rid of it. Staying on top of this and watching your dog so it does not seek it out is the only true way to stop this. It's retraining and consistency, and the dog learning the term "leave it".

MYTH: Dogs eat rocks, lick concrete or eat their or another animals stools because of nutrient imbalances
FALSE: No one really knows why dogs do this - some veternarians believe they eat "things" out of boredom. The truth is, if you feed a dog a good well balanced diet and provide plenty of exercise, this will reduce the chances of your dog eating unnatural things.


1000 CUTE PUPPIES! :o)

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