10 Common Dog Behavior Myths Debunked

10 Common Dog Behavior Myths Debunked
Some myths still persist about dog training and we are here to set the record straight once and for all!

1. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Not only can you teach an old dog new tricks, it is good for him! Mature dogs still require exercise, mental stimulation, and may even thrive on the challenge. Training and tricks help keep older dogs in shape mentally and physically and are a fun way for dog and owner to spend time together.

2. Never let your dog on the bed or furniture or he’ll get aggressive and dominate you.
Most dogs simply want to snuggle up close to their owners and love a comfortable place to rest with no adverse behavioral problems. It is rare for socialized and trained dogs to become aggressive and guard their sleeping areas.

3. If the dog goes potty on the floor, rub her nose in it!
If you want to instill fear into a puppy for performing a perfectly normal behavior and cause her to hide to do her business that she has no control over, rubbing her nose in it will work like a charm.

4. If you adopt a shelter dog, you’re taking on someone else’s problem dog.
There is an endless list of reasons why dogs land in shelters every day and the shelters are full of great dogs looking for secure, loving homes. Shelters are the perfect place to look for a dog if you don’t have time for a puppy. Another benefit is shelters and rescues will help match a dog to your lifestyle and provide temperament testing.

5. If your dog doesn’t like the dog park, it has not been properly socialized.
Just like people, dogs come with their unique personalities and quirks and form their own opinions about how they feel about other canines. Some dogs love a single dog companion but hate groups of dogs, or they may feel uncomfortable around dogs that may not have many social graces, or they simple rather spend the time alone with their owners. If your dog is socialized and well behaved but simple hates the dog park, there is no reason to force it.

6. My dog is trying to show me who’s in charge when she doesn’t listen.
If your dog is not listening to you, you are probably are not communicating in a way she can understand or providing enough motivation. Dogs are not spiteful or revenge seeking. She probably is enjoying what she is doing and could use more training and positive incentives.

7. If the dog misbehaves, it’s the owner’s fault.
Dog misbehave for a variety of reasons and certainly training and the relationship the dog has with its owner plays a huge role in the dog’s behavior. However, not all behaviors can be blamed on the owner, but most behaviors can be corrected with help and training. Just like no people are perfect, no dogs are perfect and even the best trained dogs can get into mischief now and then.

8. Dogs destroy things to punish owners.
If your dog chews up your favorite pair of shoes, she is not punishing you. She is simply enjoying chewing up those shoes! Dogs chew on things such as shoes, furniture, and other items because it relieves boredom, releases pent up energy, feels good on their teeth, and may indicate separation anxiety.

9. I can tell my dog feels guilty by the look on his face.
A study by researcher Alexandra Horowitz at Barnard College in New York revealed that the guilty look that dogs display when naughty is attributed by humans and has no relation to whether the dog feels responsible. The study disclosed that the dogs who had not actually done anything wrong, but were scolded by their owners anyway, showed more guilty body language than dogs who had actually behaved badly. The study concluded that the guilty look is simply a response of the dog to the owner’s behavior.

10. If a dog cowers, it means it was abused in the past
When a dog cowers, it does not always mean it was abused. Some dogs are simply more submissive or have received less socialization, are intimated by new people, places, circumstances, or not used to being touched. These dogs respond better if you don’t lean over them but prefer to approach at their own speed.

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