Dog Behavior Myths


Interpreting our dog’s behavior can be quite tricky. This becomes even more difficult since some persistent myths mislead us when reading the dog’s behavior.

In this article, we’ll debunk a few common misconceptions and get the facts straight.

Happy dogs wag their tail

Tail wagging usually means a lot of things, and not all of them are happy. If the dog wags her tail so hard that her booty is shaking, this means that she’s happy. But if it’s a slow back and forth wag; it may be an indication that she is uneasy.

If you don’t know the dog, try to look at other signs. Their eyes, mouth and ears can provide you with a lot of information.

Dogs attack without showing any signs of distress

Every dog would give you a sign that something or someone is making them uncomfortable. Sometimes, these signs are as subtle as flattened ears, pulling their head away or inching away. Remember, not all dogs would growl before lashing out, so try to look for these physical signs.

If you give dogs chew toys, they will chew everything

This is a common belief among dog owners, but there is no evidence to back up this claim. Dogs are smart creatures. With minimal training, they’ll be able to differentiate their toys from items that are prohibited.

Old dogs can’t learn new tricks

As long as the dog is properly motivated and is physical and mentally capable of learning a new trick, she can be trained. Old dogs are not only capable of learning new tricks, they thrive when trained.

A calm dog is a happy dog

If you encounter a dog who is sitting quietly, this may be a sign that the dog is terrified. Terrified dogs are extremely hard to read.

Punish the dog for growling. Otherwise, she’ll become aggressive

Dogs usually growl because someone or something that upsets her is too close. See, the dog is telling you that she is upset. If you punish her for doing this, she might end up biting the person next time without a warning.

Instead of punishing or shouting at her, make the dog comfortable. This way, she can forget about making the person or the thing that upsets her go away.

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