Dog training myths debunked!


Simple training myths that everyone thinks are true.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

We all know this isn’t true. Where this old line came from, no one knows. But there are many shelter dogs out there that disprove this theory everyday. In fact, sometimes the older dogs are easier to train because they are past their “teenage” or naughty phase.  (So don’t let the age of a dog stop you from adopting him!)

He will grow out of it

No, no he won’t. In fact, if you let your dog do something you don’t like, thinking he will grow out of it, it’s more likely the behavior will get stronger and a lot worse in the long run. The shelters are full of dogs that were relinquished due to behavior issues. So don’t wait for something that is never going to happen – training your dog is the only answer to bad behavior.

Rubbing his nose in his oopsies

There are several reasons why this is a myth. For starters, a dog can’t piece together that you are rubbing his nose in his own mess because you don’t want him to do it in the house. Dog’s don’t feel shame or guilt and can’t grasp the concept of a belated punishment, and most dog’s end up hiding to go the bathroom in the house as a result of the punishment–making it even harder to house train. Don’t do it, ever.

Dogs only listen to Alphas

This myth came about because dogs are distantly related to wolves and so someone decided they must act like wolves, too. However, there are two things wrong with this: dogs are not wolves and the original study that started this myth has been debunked by scientists as not the way wolves act in nature. (The original study was based on captive, un-related wolves, which would not occur in nature.)

Training with food is bribery This myth came from a group of people that do not want to feed their dog to train them. However, expecting your dog to work for free insults their intelligence. Do you work for free? No. Even kids doing homework get rewarded for doing it – a good grade, a present from their parents, watching TV after it’s done, getting to play with friends, etc.. We all get dessert for eating our dinner, right? Using food in dog training is a reward for your dog choosing to do the right thing.