11 Interesting Facts And Myths About Dogs All Owners Should Know
There are many myths and misconceptions about dogs: dog vision, behavior, fun habits, diets and training. In this article, you will learn the explanation of these myths, some amazing facts and important things you should know about dogs.
1. Their sleeping positions says a lot about them
- The donut: They are caring and gentle, but possibly anxious or uncomfortable. When curled up, they make themselves less vulnerable in a new environment to external threats. Also, they can protect their fundamental organs while sleeping.
- The Superman: The position allows dogs to snooze quickly and sometimes might mean your furry friend wants to cool off on a cold surface. Those who sleep in the Superman position are playful, bouncy, and energetic in such a way that they’ll play until they can’t anymore.
- Side sleepers: When they sleep on their sides, they feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable in their surroundings and with the temperatures of the environment. They are easy-going, calm, trusting, and loyal. And they have an affectionate and close bond with their owners.
- Lion’s pose: They are just resting but not in a deep sleep state; they start out in the lion’s pose so as to get up to play whenever they’re ready.
- Cuddle bugs: They are bonding and wanting to get close to you or other dogs around. It is a sign that they are affectionate and loving.
- Belly up: They are also loving and trusting of you and their environment to fall asleep. Because their bellies have less fur and their paws hold sweat glands, it helps them beat the heat and cool off by lying on their back.
2. Smaller breeds live longer
In most cases, small dogs live longer than large ones. There is no exact answer to the question of why this happens, but some experts believe that age-related diseases develop in large dogs earlier than in small ones.
3. Each dog breed is prone to a certain temperament
There are 7 classes of breeds:
- Herding dog personalities are energetic, as they were bred for active work in fresh air to graze the herd all day. Therefore, they are very athletic, which means they are used to working hard.
- Terrier dog personalities are bold and funny; they need a person who will be as active as they are.
- Hound dog personalities use their vision to find what they’re looking for and are agile and speedy. Those who use scents are tough and slow.
- Sporting dog personalities can be hunters or water dogs, and they also make for great therapy or assistant dogs. In general, this group of dogs is highly active and able to multitask, which goes very well with a similar lifestyle.
- Decorative dogs’ small size is compensated by their character. They may not be big but they’re full of energy.
- Working group dogs are the breeds that were created to help people in various spheres. They know how to guard, pull sleds in harnesses, and even rescue people.
- Non-sporting dog breeds are a group that includes breeds that were historically created for certain activities that are no longer practiced. Dalmatians, for example, were raised to accompany horse-drawn carriages.
4. They don’t need to only eat meat
A balanced dog diet should include, not only meal, but also other foods, such as plant foods. Only then can the pet can get all the necessary nutrients. Feeding dogs with meat exclusively may cause a calcium deficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism (a disruption in the endocrine system).
However, never feed human food to your dog, it’s way too salty, too spicy, and too fatty for them. In fact, lots of our food is very dangerous or even toxic for dogs. You should definitely never feed your pet any table scraps while you are having a meal. This teaches your dog very undesirable begging habits and dogs are incredibly good learners when it comes to things they’re not allowed to do.
5. It’s possible to stop a fight without intervening physically
Although many fights are territorial, some may be related to resource guarding, possessions, such as toys, food, poor social skills, etc. Some triggers may cause this situation too. For example, the urge to protect their pack may also ignite a fight. A friendly dog may turn into a fighter if it’s in pain.
They may exhibit aggressive behavior due to their natural canine instincts or fear of feeling threatened. Redirected aggression and unlearned emotional self-control may lead to this spur too. But you can de-escalate the situation without intervening physically.
It’s not easy to jump in amid elevated aggression. It’s scary and dangerous. If you encounter such a breakout, don’t think that a dog won’t bite you, even if it’s your dog. There are a couple of tips to pull it off successfully:
- Remain as calm as possible.
- Clear the scene. That is, send or remove any children or crowds away. However, it’s best to have 2 people around, particularly the dog owners.
- Hose them down with water aimed at their heads.
- Spray them with citronella or vinegar, as dogs dislike the smell. Pepper spray isn’t good, for it may damage the dogs’ eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
- Make noise through a loud whistle or a car horn.
- Use objects, such as long heavy blankets, to disengage them. This way, they may focus on the blanket for a moment and end the fight.
6. When to know that a dog is about to bite you
Dog bites often signal that they are uncomfortable, stressed, or threatened by something. There are plenty of reasons why our furry pals use their teeth to communicate their fear, anxiety, pain, or predatory instincts due to their prey behavior or territorial acts. Whatever the reason is, it’s essential to work on the warning signs.
While a comfortable and happy dog has a relaxed body and a wagging tail, we see just the opposite posture in a dog that has a fearful aggressive stance. A frightened dog has a lowered body with a low tail tucked between its legs, whereas an aggressive dog has a stiff and rigid body with a raised tail. When the dog feels an intense threat, it lowers its body posture to protect its throat during an attack.
What to do: It is excellent to understand your dog’s body language. See if it gives away any sign of uneasiness. Regardless, make sure you use caution, move away, and give the dog some space. You can calm it down with your voice.
7. They don’t see the world exactly in black and white
Even though dogs don’t see the world the way we do, they still see color. Their eyes are like those of people with red-green color blindness. So dogs see yellow and blue well but don’t see red and green.
8. The reasons cats and dogs often dislike each other
Dogs have a natural instinct to chase small animals that try to run away from them, which is what cats do when trying to avoid open confrontation. Sometimes, however, cats can take more drastic measures: start hissing, arching their backs, and even swiping at the dog with their paws — claws fully extended of course. When confronted by this behavior, some dogs will respond by becoming afraid of cats in general.
But the main reason why cats and dogs fight lies in their fundamentally different behavior. They speak completely different languages.
Dogs are very mobile and behave like children: they want to run and play. This is the way they usually approach cats. Cats, in turn, are wary and suspicious. They freak out and defend themselves when they are suddenly attacked, not realizing that dogs just want to play with them. When a dog realizes that it is being treated in an unfriendly manner, it either leaves or begins to act in the same way.
9. The reason why they howl when they hear music
Howling and melodic “singing” is considered normal behavior for dogs, inherent in them by nature. This is not a sign of annoyance — it’s how animals communicate. In addition, they also have their own musical preferences. You can conduct an experiment and find out what sounds your pet likes most, whether it’s a famous musical hit, an opera, or just the howl of another dog.
But if this howling is a problem for you, try the following:
- If the dog is reacting to a specific sound source, make it quieter.
- Teach the dog the “quiet” command, and give it a treat if it stops howling after you say the command.
However, sometimes just playing another composition is enough.
10. The reason why they lick your face
If a dog licks another dog’s face or a person’s face, this is normal social behavior. This is also a way for the dog to ask you to share food (that you have recently eaten), as well as to show affection and attention. Dogs often lick each other or their owners as part of natural grooming. If the dog suddenly licks a stranger’s face, then this may be an attempt to calm down a person who, in the animal’s opinion, can be dangerous.
11. It’s not pointless to train an adult dog
Many people think that only puppies can be well-trained. But it’s actually the other way around. Adult pets are easier to train — they control themselves better and hear your commands. And regular command training can maintain the sharpness of your dog’s mind.
Bonus: There is truth behind the popular belief that dogs look like their owners.
Studies suggest that people tend to choose a pet that, to some degree, looks like them, which also demonstrates that these frequent reports are certainly valid.
But why does this happen? Well, the answer is quite simple: we prefer things that seem more familiar to us, which is a psychological phenomenon technically known as “the mere exposure effect” or “the familiarity effect.” This could also explain why people still listen to radio stations that play only old tunes, or why people may be willing to read the new versions of classic novels.
In this case, to say whether there’s a resemblance between a dog and its owner, their faces would be the key element. Our face is one of the physical traits we’re largely familiar with. Every morning, we look at ourselves in the mirror to shave, fix our hair, or apply make-up, and we probably see ourselves hundreds of times every year as we walk close to reflecting surfaces.
Therefore, just like it happens with everything else we have looked at many times, science suggests that we should feel quite fond of our faces, which could give us a clue regarding why people usually have dogs that look so similar to them. If the main facial characteristics of a specific dog breed look like the general traits of our face, that one breed should promote a more welcoming response in us.
Do you feel like you know dogs better now? Do you have a dog and if so, how easy do you think it is to take care of it? Make sure to let us know what other myths and amazing facts about dogs we should add to this list.