14 Dog Myths Debunked

jimwallace57, Flickr

By Mikkel Becker, via Vetstreet

Although dog training has become more of a science than a craft in recent years, some persistent myths still mislead us when reading canine behavior. Don't let a myth harm your relationship with your pooch. Here, we dispel 14 common myths and look at the facts.

1. An old dog can't learn new tricks.
False. Old dogs not only learn new tricks but they thrive when trained. My late Pomeranian, Mr. Teddy, who was adopted at an estimated 10 to 13 years of age, was a training superstar in Vetstreet videos, which were filmed two weeks before he passed away. By the same token, older dogs without housetraining experience as puppies can successfully be housetrained. As long as a dog is mentally and physically capable of learning to perform a behavior and is properly motivated, it's entirely possible to train her. While intense agility training for Teddy was not realistic, teaching basic commands was.

2. A dog shouldn't sleep with you or be allowed on furniture, or she'll think she's the boss and will misbehave.
False. Just like humans, dogs simply want a comfortable place to lie down. If comfort can be combined with being next to their beloved human, whether it's right next to you on the couch, or even on top of your lap, then they're all for it. In rare cases, dogs will guard their sleeping and resting areas, and will show aggression when humans approach these sacred areas. This type of behavior will require remedial training. But for the average Rover, sleeping in bed or resting on the couch has no adverse behavioral effects.

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