Veterinarians Debunk 15 Dog Myths

Ann Hohenhaus: “One human
year equals seven dog years.” Myth. Myth. We could cut it right there. Carly Fox: “Certain dog
breeds are hypoallergenic because of their fur.” This is a major, major myth. “Only male dogs hump.” Hi, I’m Dr. Ann Hohenhaus,
I’m the staff veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center
here in New York City. My name is Dr. Carly
Fox, and I’m an emergency and critical care staff veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center. Hohenhaus: Today we’re
debunking dog myths. Fox: I think, honestly, the majority of male dogs do like to hump, but I guess female dogs also can be seen to exhibit that behavior. Hohenhaus: But males
hump more than females. Fox: Definitely, yeah. But, I mean, I guess female dogs can also hump, I mean, if they’re in the mood. Hohenhaus: Next myth:
“Dogs are colorblind.” Dogs are partially colorblind. People used to think they
were totally colorblind. Dogs have a little bit
of ability to see color, and so they see things in kind
of blue, yellow, and gray. But they don’t see a lot of color. Fox: “Dogs don’t like to be hugged.” I mean, biggest myth. Physical touch is one of the things that makes a dog a dog, so I can’t imagine that dogs
don’t like to be hugged. I mean, dogs will literally
climb onto your laps in order to be hugged, so
this is an absolute myth. You can’t and shouldn’t just go up to any dog and hug it. Dogs still are different,
just like people are. Some people are huggers,
some people are not. So some dogs don’t love
that very direct attention from someone perhaps they don’t know, so be sure to ask the owner if you can pet or hug their dog, and read the dog’s signs. Hohenhaus: Next myth: “One human year equals seven dog years.” Myth. Myth. We could cut it right there, but there’s some really
interesting research behind this question. So, the seven years probably comes when people lived to be about 70 and dogs lived to be about 10, so 70 divided by 10 is seven. That’s where that number maybe comes from. Nobody knows, it’s a myth,
so there’s no data behind it. Then, a number of years ago, a group of researchers
at Purdue University looked at developing a formula for dog age based on the size of the dog and the dog’s chronologic age, or how many calendar years it was old. And that formula might
actually be the best. This is a myth, but there are ways that you can calculate your dog’s age based on a complicated
mathematical formula. Next one.
Fox: Oh, OK. “You should shave fluffy
dogs in the summer.” This is mostly a myth. A lot of people will shave
their dogs in the summer because they think it
will make them cooler. That’s not necessarily true. Dogs have adapted to all types of weather, and they actually will shed different coats at
different times of the year in order to sort of be
comfortable in that weather. Hohenhaus: I think they
don’t like to be shaved because they feel naked. Fox: Yeah, probably. I mean, why wouldn’t they? They have no idea. Hohenhaus: Yeah, they’ve
never not had hair before. So I’m not sure that shaving them is always a good thing either, so myth. “Dog saliva can heal wounds.” When’s the last time
you got bitten by a dog? Fox: Probably, like, last year. Hohenhaus: And it’s ugly. It is not healing wounds;
it’s making wounds worse. This is a total, total myth. Dog bites are really
nothing to laugh about, and most veterinarians
get bit on the hand, and so we’re always worried
because we work with our hands, so any dog bite needs
to see a veterinarian because it’s a potentially
infected injury, and you need to go to your physician to have that bite looked at. Fox: “Certain dog breeds
are hypoallergenic because of their fur.” This is a major, major myth. So, all dogs produce allergens, and some dogs will produce
more allergens than others. Dogs that don’t shed, like poodles, or smaller dogs that shed less are less likely to produce
a large amount of allergen that can cause allergies
in the environment, and it really has to do
with how often they shed or if they shed at all. But definitely all dogs produce allergens, and all dogs could be allergenic, but some dogs will produce less. Hohenhaus: And now we
have a different myth: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I think that’s an idiom
rather than a myth, isn’t it? Some famous saying. I think that that is a myth. Training a dog is never easy, and it involves repetition and persistence and rewards in order to successfully train a dog, but I don’t think age is the problem. I think we’re more of the problem in not sticking with training a dog. Fox: Yes, they actually
did a study about this, and they did the same teaching of a trick to young dogs and old dogs, dogs that were six months to a year and then dogs that were 10 years old. And they actually found out that both sets of dogs
can learn a new trick. However, the dogs that were older, it took them twice as long to learn it. So they can learn it, it’s just something that requires more time, and that’s definitely something that you are going to have to commit to. But it’s possible, and they definitely can learn new tricks. Hohenhaus: “Dogs feel guilt.” I think that’s humans
want the dog to feel guilt for making a mess, chewing the furniture, taking the fringe off the
sofa, destroying the pillows, ’cause we want them to be like us. So, I don’t think dogs necessarily can really feel guilt, but since they’re not talking, it’s really hard to know
if that’s true or not. Fox: Our dogs will display
guilt-like behavior when they do something wrong, like, they’ll put their
ears back, they’ll hide, they’ll look very guilty. But I think in most cases, that’s really a reaction to you and your tone of voice or your anger at them and your body language rather than true guilt. Hohenhaus: One of the
reasons that dogs have been so effective in integrating themselves into our lives, the lives of humans for millennia, is because they are very good at picking up on social cues. Fox: “When dogs wag their tails, it means they’re happy.” I would say in a lot of times
when dogs wag their tails, it seems like they are very happy. However, tail wagging
is a behavior in dogs that can mean many different things, not necessarily happiness. Hohenhaus: And I think the wag matters. So you’ve got a dog whose
tail is quivering like this, that is not a happy wag. Think about the Labrador,
swish, swish, swish, swish, they’re pretty much always happy. And then there’s the dog
who their tail quivers and then it curls under. That’s not a happy wag either. That’s a “I’m really upset” wag. So in addition to looking at the ears and the eyes and the body posture, ask yourself, what kind
of wag is this dog doing? Because that’s gonna
give you an indication on the mood of the beast. Fox: “Human food is bad for dogs.” Well, there are very
particular types of human food that are definitively bad for dogs. For example, chocolate is
obviously bad for dogs. Grapes, raisins are toxic to dogs. Onions, garlic, those
things are bad for dogs. However, human food in general is not necessarily bad for dogs. We do wanna always limit the quantity of human food for dogs. I usually tell people less
than 10% of their diet should be human food. Just human food in moderation is not bad for dogs. Hohenhaus: Well, dog food is a
good balanced meal for a dog. I interpret it to mean,
should I cook for my dog? And that is a bad idea because what we eat is not a balanced diet for a dog. And so home-cooked diets run a huge risk of being deficient in nutrients that are critical for your dog, mostly deficient in calcium phosphorus. So cooking for your dog,
unless you’ve had a diet made by a board-certified
veterinary nutritionist, is a bad idea. “Dog mouths are cleaner
than human mouths.” No. Human bites are supposedly worse, although we don’t see a lot of human bites at the Animal Medical Center. But all of us have been bitten by a dog, and we know that those can
get really badly infected. What I’ve read is that if a
human bites another human, it’s awful, it’s a terrible
infection that you get. So, no, I don’t know
that either is better. Fox: Dog mouths and human
mouths are actually, it’s interesting, they’re sort of similar. Both humans and dogs have over 200 types of bacteria in their mouth. However, because disease is not really transmissible between dogs and humans, or there’s not that
much zoonotic potential between dog saliva and human saliva, they’re clean in that, you know, making out with your dog, you won’t contract the common cold, but making out with a
person, perhaps you can. So, in that case, they
sort of are cleaner. However, they still have
tons and tons of bacteria, just like people mouths do. Hohenhaus: “Dogs are afraid
of their reflection.” This is…just no. Just Google “puppies in mirrors,” and you’ll see that dogs love, they’re so enamored of that other dog that they never met before. They’re really cute. Fox: My dog loves his own reflection. He’s extremely handsome, and I think he likes looking at himself just like, you know,
I like looking at him. So, definitely dogs are not afraid of their reflection, and I think they rather like
them, just like most people do. “Dogs can’t digest grains.” So, this is a major, major myth. Dogs can absolutely digest grains. And not only can they digest grains, but recent research shows that they need grain in their diet. Dogs on a grain-free diet are predisposed to developing a very serious
type of heart disease called DCM, or dilated cardiomyopathy. And dogs that are on
a grain-inclusive diet are not as likely to
develop this heart disease. So if your dog is on a grain-free diet, it absolutely needs
grain back in its diet, and you should speak to your
veterinarian about doing so. “Putting a dog’s nose in their mess will break a bad habit.” This is definitely a myth. I think this is, like, a training method that people introduced a long time ago. However, I think with a
lot of research and time we found out that negative reinforcement is very bad for dogs, definitely doesn’t correct bad behavior and can actually breed bad behavior, as well as breeding aggressive behavior and fear in our pets, and that’s definitely not
something that we wanna do. Ideally you should always reward your dog with positive behavior,
like treats or playtime or feeding rather than punishing, which is never recommended in dogs. Hohenhaus: So, we talked
about dog myths today. And it turns out there are a lot of myths. In fact, Dr. Fox and I didn’t agree with hardly any of the cues
that we were given today because most of them are myths. So beware of Dr. Google. Beware of what your friends tell you, or the nice passerby on
the street who tells you you’re not taking care of
your dog the right way. And get an expert opinion
when it comes to your dog. I’ll be like David Letterman.
Fox: Yeah. Ready?
Fox: Top 10.


  1. Kisa M

    February 26, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    I would like this for cats too!

  2. hung well

    February 26, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    Here is a myth for you. There is no difference between a one year rabies shot and a three year shot. I lived next door to a lead vet at Busch gardens. He said it's all about money. Vets amd dentists are the most crooked people alive. I wouldn't go by ANYTHING these two say.

  3. Violet H.

    February 26, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    My dog would growl at me whenever I hugged him I think because it reminded him of being in small spaces at shelters/he felt like I was going to attack him. Or maybe he just wanted some personal space haha. I wish I would have just given him space but I was a child and just wanted to love him.

  4. Rebecca Stevens

    February 26, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Dogs hump to show dominance as well

  5. 14Raine14

    February 26, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Wow, gatta love when vets stays inside their box 🤦🏽‍♀️ shaving a double coated breed isnt going to make them self conscious because they are naked, its going to make them more hot and potentially sunburn their skin. Also, "people food" is a total myth, there is good food and bad food, and you dont need to be a veterinarian to build a well balanced diet (have you ever gone to a person nutritionist to make sure your diet is complete? No?) And grain free diets do NOT cause dcm, there hasnt been aa single person able to find a definitive, causative link between the two

  6. Cameron Gill

    February 27, 2020 at 12:14 am

    So at 9:50 Dr Fox used the term "negative reinforcement" when, from context, she meant "punishment" and like- I know those terms are commonly conflated, but they mean different things and that distinction is relevant to a vet (they're operant conditioning jargon and that's how animal training works). Basically, I'm just less trusting of her other dog training tips because of that.

    To clarify: reinforcement is anything you do to make someone DO an action, punishment is anything you do to make someone STOP doing an action. Positive and negative are how you achieve that – do you give something, or take it away.

    So positive reinforcement is giving a treat when the dog does the right thing. Negative reinforcement is taking away something bad (e.g. stopping a constant annoying sound) when the dog does the right thing.

    Positive punishment is spraying your dog with a water bottle when they do the wrong thing. Negative punishment is putting them outside when they do the wrong thing (i.e. taking away the thing they like, which is time with you).

    Sorry that's my long winded rant that's basically "these words are different, and it's not important for most people, but it is important for vets and other people involved with animal training, so I don't like that Dr Fox got them wrong"

  7. Matt Tidswell

    February 27, 2020 at 12:16 am

    Dogs can't look up!

  8. bs1820

    February 27, 2020 at 1:10 am

    The only one I disagree with is the one about shaving a dog. Growing up we had a Maltese and we would shave her hair every few months, she absolutely love it. Now we didn’t shave it all the down to the skin but pretty close like say maybe a 4 or 5 clipper guard.

  9. m

    February 27, 2020 at 1:27 am

    my dog humps specific stuffed animals. she has standards for color, texture, and size. she’s monogamous with her stuffed animal too. it’s all very odd. she’s very docile and never aggressive, leading me to assume that she humps to release her anger.

  10. Henry M.

    February 27, 2020 at 1:46 am

    How can I learn the superpower to know what another living thing is feeling?

  11. Vanessa Thomas

    February 27, 2020 at 2:19 am

    Lol I wish the one vet wore a different shirt. Looks like she’s wearing pajamas

  12. Monika Neliba

    February 27, 2020 at 2:59 am

    I love these episodes!! So informative, I have to watch them all 😃😃

  13. dErp PiGeoN27

    February 27, 2020 at 3:01 am

    When your a cat person, but knew all of these were myths


  14. Nick Gehr

    February 27, 2020 at 3:05 am

    D O G T O R

  15. I like dogs

    February 27, 2020 at 3:13 am

    "Dogs dont like to be hugged" some do some dont, but come in guys. Never hug a strange dog, no matter what the owner says. Would you like a stranger to come and hug you, even if you normally enjoy hugs from friends and family? Not to mention, not all humans are completely reliable. A dog owner may say their dog is friendly when it actually isnt. Please dont hug dogs you dont know.

  16. Metonymy1979

    February 27, 2020 at 3:26 am

    My female dog humped to be dominate

  17. hownovel

    February 27, 2020 at 3:28 am

    The human mouth being worse than a dog mouth myth comes from the fact that the worst kind of human "bites" are not bites at all. They are someone in a bar fight punching another person in the mouth and the "bite" becomes a lot messier and more prone to infection. Not that the dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's.

  18. Sutar Sarfaraz

    February 27, 2020 at 3:35 am

    Here I am, I don't have any dog still watching it. 😅

  19. TheRedLeaf

    February 27, 2020 at 4:34 am

    Putting a dog's nose in their own mess is not negative reinforcement, it is positive punishment. Hm.. makes me question her qualifications..

  20. Brittney Sharpe

    February 27, 2020 at 4:48 am

    This was soooo depressing 😫

  21. joshua miller

    February 27, 2020 at 5:35 am

    Wow very misleading on myth 14 she makes it sound like dogs need grains rather then what they put in grain free diets is the cause.

  22. blxckpxvrl

    February 27, 2020 at 6:08 am

    I like how when they got to "dog saliva can heal wounds" they only talked about dog bites. That didn't really answer the question… Lol

  23. Sue Y

    February 27, 2020 at 6:39 am

    How do we get this channel shut down? Every episode is just 2 women agreeing with each other without scientific backup information. "You agree with me, i agree with you and shame our viewers to agree"

  24. rubika shree

    February 27, 2020 at 7:10 am

    Yeah making out with a dog, as if people are gonna really do it

  25. D A X

    February 27, 2020 at 7:32 am

    2:25 Ok, do poodles need shaving or not? Now I'm confused (poodles are the only ones I know are shaved).

  26. Lexy Prieto

    February 27, 2020 at 7:42 am

    In Cuba we gave our dog our leftovers because that was all we had to give her . She lasted 16 years

  27. lugu gulu

    February 27, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Hello some one subscribe my chennel please

  28. Maria Patoka

    February 27, 2020 at 9:38 am

    We cook food for our dog, obviously it's not what we eat, it's his special food, just made from normal stuff you can buy and cook food for humans.

  29. Marcoo MK

    February 27, 2020 at 9:51 am

    the girl on the right doesn't know shit btw, 0 fact

  30. Brown otto

    February 27, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Labradors are pretty much always happy.😁

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