Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
The other day I was taking Ellie for a walk right after a storm had passed through.
Ellie was nibbling on some grass in a neighbor's yard when the homeowner came out.
"Oh, poor thing. She doesn't feel well." my neighbor said.
"Oh, she's fine," I replied. "She just likes eating wet grass."
"Weird," said my neighbor, perplexed.
You see, she had always heard that dogs eat grass when they're sick and trying to make themselves vomit.
As it turns out, that's not true.
While some dogs do eat grass when they're nauseous, others do it out of boredom, opportunity, or they simply enjoy the taste of it, like Ellie.
Grass eating is just one of many dog myths that have been floating around over the years.
While some are true, many others are completely false.
Another false dog myth? Rubbing your dog's nose in his "accident" will prevent him from doing it again.
You see, you can really only correct a dog's behavior at the time the misstep occurs.
So, if you see your pup going potty in the wrong place, you absolutely should redirect him to the proper location right away.
But, rubbing your dog's nose in a pile of his "business" hours after the infarction has taken place, is just punishing the dog, and won't lead to a change in behavior.
It may even make the situation worse.
Now, speaking of dog's noses, have you ever heard that a warm, dry nose is an indication that a dog is sick?
This is false, plain and simple.
Many things can affect the wetness and dryness of a dog's nose.
Allergies, dry air, even taking naps.
The occasional dry nose is no cause for alarm.
However, if your pup's nose is chronically dry and cracking, you should make an appointment with your vet to get him checked out.
We've all heard the saying, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
This has actually been studied and proven to be false.
Senior dogs can learn new tricks, it just might take a little longer than younger pups, especially if their hearing and vision aren't as sharp as they used to be.
But with some patience – and a lot of treats – you can teach your old girl something new.
What dog myths have you heard?
Does your dog do "weird" things like eat grass like my Ellie?
Write me back. I love hearing stories about my readers and their pups.