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.