Myth Busters: The Truth About Dogs

When it comes to dogs, myths abound – from misinformation about their care and temperament, to behavior and intelligence.

 border collie
To separate fact from fiction, the American Kennel Club sets the record straight on some of the most well-known dog myths.  Among them:
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – False

    The most common untrue dog saying probably stemmed from someone who couldn’t get his dog to catch a Frisbee.  You actually can teach an adult dog new tricks – such as how to shake hands, speak and roll over – by keeping training sessions short, fun, and using plenty of positive reinforcement including praise and treats.

  • Dogs are sick when their noses are warm – False

    The temperature of the nose does not indicate health or illness.  The only way to tell your dog’s temperature is to take it with a thermometer.

  • A dog’s wagging tail means he’s happy – False

    While a natural, mid-level wagging tail indicates happiness, most other wags mean the complete opposite.  A high, stiff wagging tail means the dog is agitated and ready to protect something, and a low and very quick wag means the dog is scared and submissive.

  • Dogs can learn 250 words – True

    The smartest, best trained dogs are similar to a 2-year-old child in their ability to learn and recognize words. There are several Border Collies who are well-known for their amazing knowledge of the English language.

For more information on responsible dog ownership, visit the AKC website.

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JT   Surprise, AZ

9/29/2011 11:20:47 PM

Very interesting!

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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

9/28/2011 7:15:39 PM

Well, I think most dog people have no trouble recognizing a happy wag.

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