6 Myths about Dog Behaviours Debunked

6 Myths about Dog Behaviours Debunked

Dogs are great characters with each and every one of them boasting their own unique personalities. There are so many breeds around that choosing one to share your home with can be quite challenging, especially if you are a first time dog owner. There's a heap of information on the internet about the various breeds, how to train them and how they need to be cared for which is great. However, there are a few common myths about our canine friends which in fact, are just myths and not correct at.

Older dogs are set in their ways and cannot learn new things!

For a long time the old adage of “you can't teach an old dog new tricks” has been a real favourite with many people, but it could not be further from the truth. Older dogs relish learning new things and although they might not be as quick as their younger counterparts, they excel when being trained which is probably because they tend to be that much calmer than young dogs. Another myth that seems to still do the rounds is the fact that more mature dogs cannot be house-trained which of course, they can.

As long as their cognitive powers are still intact and they are physically in good shape, older dogs are more than capable of learning new things and if they are correctly motivated, they are highly trainable although taking them to agility might be a little unfair on their older bones!

Dogs should never be allowed on furniture or beds because they'll think they are the alpha dog!

This is a real myth because if the truth be known, dogs just like being comfortable. On top of this being close to the people they love is a real pleasure for our four legged friends so when they are allowed to jump up on the sofa for a cuddle or to curl up at the end of a bed for them, it’s heaven. It certainly doesn't mean they think they are the boss of the household.

However, some dogs may get a little protective over a favourite chair and growl if anyone or another pet tries to jump up on it. Should this happen, a little remedial training will put things right. The thing to bear in mind is that for most dogs spending time on a sofa or bed means they get to be as close to their owners as they can which is something they adore.

Dogs that cower have been abused by people in the past!

Dogs cower for a number of reasons and not always because they think they are about to be abused or beaten. Some dogs, if they were not well socialised at a young age have a tendency to cower because they feel nervous and then there's the fact that genetics can play a role in how anxious or fearful a dog tends to be. However, dogs are quick learners and soon realise that by ducking away from a person means they won’t be able to grab hold of their collars.

Many people also get it wrong when they first approach a dog they don't know by reaching down to stroke their heads. Many dogs find this approach quite frightening which results in them cowering. It's far better to approach dogs from the side and to let them come to you before kneeling down to say hello to them!

All rescue dogs come with far too much baggage!

It would be very unfair to think that all rescue dogs come with a ton of baggage because many of these lovely guys are super well-behaved and boast loving natures. Most dogs that end up in rescue centres make wonderful pets. They are eager to please with the best part being that adopting an older canine companion means you don't have to go through those awkward puppy stages when things around the home tend to get chewed and there's no house-training to have to go through either!

All dogs need and love to be around other dogs!

This is another myth that is still a popular belief, but if the truth be known, not all dogs enjoy the company of other dogs much preferring the company of two-legged friends. Dogs have definite preferences when it comes to other dogs although their breeding may play an important part in how social they are around them. Terriers are a great example of a breed that can be a little ferocious around other dogs especially if they have not been very well socialised when young. With this said even some well socialised dogs are not particularly fond of having loads of other dogs around them when they are out for a walk in the park, much preferring a quieter walk with their owners.

Treats are bribes and dogs only do things if they are given one!

This is another myth that often does the rounds and although our canine friends need a little more in the way of motivation when they first start being taught things, as time goes by they will still obey a command and perform when asked without the need for treats. Playtime is a super reward that dogs really appreciate, but giving the occasional treat keeps a dog motivated. It's something they love but don't necessarily expect to be given every time they are well behaved.


There are lots of myths about dog behaviours some of which are partially true, but most of them can be dismissed for what they are. However, if you think your dog has developed a behavioural problem, it might be worth taking them along to the vet for a check up to make sure there's no underlying health issue causing the problem. If nothing is found to be wrong with them the next person to talk to is a dog behaviourist who would be able to offer the right sort of advice on how to convince your pooch to behave properly.



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