Dogs and humans have been living side by side for thousands of years, but there’s still a lot we don’t understand about our furry companions. With that in mind, we thought it might be fun to take a look at some common myths about dogs and unpack whether or not they’re rooted in reality. Let’s dig in!
Myth #1: Dogs can only see in black and white
While dogs can’t see the same spectrum of colours humans can, they don’t live in a world of black and white. Dogs have what is called dichromatic vision, which means they only have two types of cone cells in their eyes to differentiate between colours (humans have three). With dichromatic vision, dogs can see blue and yellow, but other colours may not look consistent with what we humans see.
Even though their ability to see colours isn’t as developed as ours, dogs have an easier time seeing in low-light conditions, which is a significant advantage for them!
Myth #2: Dog mouths are cleaner than ours
Before you offer your dog a lick of your ice cream cone, we need to let you know that this common proclamation is indeed a myth. Both dog mouths and human mouths are chock full of bacteria.
The thing is, dog mouths have different bacterial ecosystems than human mouths. You probably won’t get sick from coming into contact with your dog’s saliva, but the notion that their mouths are cleaner than ours is incorrect. Both dogs and humans have dirty mouths!
Myth #3: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
A dog’s capacity to learn new things is more dependent on the individual dog than their age. While old dogs may not be quite as motivated by food or praise as puppies, they are still very capable of learning new tricks.
That said, depending on the dog’s history, an older pup may have fears, anxieties, or bad habits that are challenging to overcome. Where puppies are often keen to embrace new experiences, older dogs may have hesitations.
For instance, if your older pup is afraid of baths, it may be difficult to rebuild positive associations with water. But that’s not to say that you can’t work on helping a dog overcome such fears, it just may take some time and patience (and some high-value treats)!
These old adages still circulate, but while they may contain a sliver of truth, they aren’t exactly accurate. What’s a common myth you’ve heard about dogs? Let us know on social media!