We’ve all heard the line “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but is their any truth to this overused myth? No! And there are plenty more myths where this came from. Here are 10 training myths that will help you better understand your pooch and enrich your lives together!
1: MYTH: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
REALITY: Dogs are just like people in that they can learn something new everyday. Older animals have previously learned behaviors, so you may have to rehearse a skill or trick with them more frequently than you would a new puppy. On the other hand, older dogs have a higher attention span and more focus than puppies, which can help them master new skills. Remember: don’t give up on your older dogs; they aren’t a lost cause!
2: MYTH: All dogs that are afraid of people have been abused.
REALITY: While this may unfortunately be the case in some situations, this behavior is usually a sign of limited socialization. Dogs who lived in a restricted environment as a puppy may not have developed the ability to interact with people or other animals and enjoy new experiences in their adult life.
3. MYTH: When my dog looks guilty it’s because he feels bad for doing something wrong.
REALITY: Dogs have a gift for decoding your body language! They only know something is wrong because of what you are projecting in your posture, or facial expressions. They know when you are angry and upset about something so they are putting on that dopey-eyed guilt face to calm you down and avoid being punished.
4.MYTH: You should punish your dog when he growls at something.
REALITY: Dogs growl when they are afraid or if something threatening is too close. If you punish them for letting us know that something is upsetting them then they will learn to be quiet, and hide their emotions. This could lead to a dog biting anything near that’s offending them without warning. A better way to handle this scenario would be to make an upset dog comfortable around what he is growling so that he doesn’t feel the need to make it go away.
5. MYTH: If your dog uses the bathroom in the house it is because he is mad at you for leaving him alone.
REALITY: Dogs are not capable of retaliation, no matter how much we would like to think that is the case. There could be numerous reasons why your dog urinated on the living room rug, but getting back at you is not one of them!
6. MYTH: A dog should never sleep with its owner because it will think he shares his owners’ status.
REALITY: Dogs love to curl up and snuggle anywhere that is warm and soft. Sleeping with their owner gives them a chance to bond rather than giving them a feeling of equality.
7. MYTH: Playing Tug-of-war will teach your dog to be aggressive.
REALITY: Tug- of- war is an excellent way for your dog to release stored energy and is a great form of exercise. It is a game of cooperation, not competition.
8. MYTH: If your dog jumps during greetings it is to assert their height and rank over you.
REALITY: Jumping is actually just your pups attempt to reach your mouth and lick it; it’s a typical greeting ritual!
9. MYTH: Giving your dog treats while you train him is Bribery.
REALITY: When you teach anyone or anything something new, there needs to be some sort of motivation or reward system to show that that they are on the right track! Trainers use food or tricks because dogs find it worth working for!
10. MYTH: Using head collars will cause neck and spinal injury.
REALITY: Using these collars is not a last- resort training technique, and there are no documented cases of dogs with injuries caused by head collars. If you use these collars properly they shouldn’t have any negative physical effects on your dog.