Do You Know if These Common Beliefs About Dogs Are True or False?

Becky

Dogs have nine lives.

This is false. Cats are said to have nine lives, but even they really only have one.

Irish wolfhounds are the tallest dogs.

This is true. The Irish wolfhound can grow as tall as 30-35 inches.

Dogs eat grass when they are sick.

This is false. Some dogs just like to eat grass. There is no solid proof that dogs eat grass because they don't feel well.

It's OK to give my dog any kind of bone.

This is false. Cooked bones can splinter, so you should avoid giving them to your dog.

President Lyndon Johnson owned two beagles named Him and Her.

This is true. Not so imaginative, but definitely different.

A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human mouth.

This is false. And, although we enjoy puppy kisses as much as anyone, both dog mouths and human mouths are full of gross stuff.

You can figure out the age of your dog by multiplying his true age by seven.

This is false. Actually, by the time your dog reaches his first birthday, he's already technically a teenager.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

This is false. Just like humans, dogs learn faster when they are young, but they are capable of learning new tricks any time.

Dogs and cats do not get along.

This is false. Although some dogs and some cats don't get along, some people don't get along with everyone either.

It's not OK to give dogs chocolate.

This is true. As little as one ounce of dark chocolate can be deadly for a small dog. It's best to avoid giving your dog any chocolate.

Puppies can sleep 18-20 hours a day.

This is true. Puppies are working hard on growing big and strong. All that hard work means lots of naps.

The greyhound is the fastest breed of dog.

This is true. The greyhound can reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour.

Dogs can't see colors.

This is false. Actually, dogs can see colors; they just can't see them as well as humans can.

Dogs can smile.

If you've ever seen a dog smile, you know this is true, although what we call a smile is actually just a very relaxed state.

Straight-eared dogs hear sounds better than floppy-eared dogs.

This is true. For obvious reasons, dogs whose ears stand straight up can hear better than dogs whose ears flop over and block the ear canal.

The average dog lives 10 to 14 years.

This is true. Dogs live an average of 10-14 years.

Smaller breeds live longer than larger breeds.

This is (mostly) true. On average, smaller dog breeds live longer than big dog breeds.

The mastiff is the heaviest breed of dog.

This is true. The mastiff can weigh in at as much as 200 pounds.

Chow chows are born with pink tongues.

This is true. Chow chows are born with pink tongues, and they turn a bluish black when the pup is about 8-10 weeks old.

Dogs heal their own wounds by licking them.

This is (mostly) true. Dogs do help their wounds heal by licking them, but too much licking may signal a problem.

No two dog nose prints are alike.

This is true. Just like human fingerprints, no two dog nose prints are the same.

The first animal in space was a dog named Laika.

This is true. A Russian dog named Laika went into space in 1957.

Adult dogs have 42 teeth.

This is true. Adult dogs have 42 teeth. Puppies have 28 teeth.

Dogs wag their tails only when they are happy.

This is false. Although dogs do often wag their tails when they are happy, the may also wag them when they are nervous.

A vegetarian diet is OK for a dog.

This is false. Dogs are omnivores. They eat meat, grains and veggies. Vegetarian diets really don't provide the nutrition dogs need to stay healthy.

Dogs can't see the color red.

This is true. Although dogs aren't actually color blind, they have no receptors for the color red, so they can't see it.

Dogs need their teeth brushed.

This is true. Although most people don't brush their dogs' teeth, brushing them can prevent bad breath and serious health issues.

The Newfoundland has webbed feet.

This is true. The Newfoundland has webbed feet and a water-resistant coat.

Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet.

This is true. Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet.

Dogs are pack animals.

This is true. Dogs do not like to be alone.

If your dog's nose is warm and dry, he is sick.

This is false. There is really no meaning to a dog with a dry nose other than it's a dry nose.

A fenced-in yard is enough exercise for a dog.

This is (mostly) false. Although some dogs might be happy with just a yard to move around in, most dogs are healthier with more exercise. Take your dog to the dog park and for regular walks.

The world's oldest dog breed is the Saluki.

This is true. The Saluki originated in Egypt about 329 B.C.

Petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure.

This is true. Research has shown that petting a dog can lower blood pressure - yours, not the dog's (maybe the dog's, too... we really don't know).

Puppies are blind, deaf and toothless when born.

This is true. Puppies use heat sensors in their noses to find mom until their eyes and ears open.

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About This Quiz

Many of us consider dogs part of the family, but there are many common truths and misconceptions about man's best friend that still tend to trip up even the most seasoned canine owner. Do you know enough about dogs to ace this quiz? Prove it.

One of the most commonly held misconceptions about dogs is that a dog with a warm, dry nose is not feeling well. The reality is that this is not true. Sure, a sick dog might have a warm, dry nose, but for the most part, a dog with a warm, dry nose simply has a warm, dry nose - there's no meaning to it and you shouldn't read anything into it. In fact, when many dogs first wake up (from a night of dreaming about chasing cats or from one of their many daily naps), their noses are often warm and dry.

Another common misconception about dogs is that they love to chase cats.  And, although some dogs do love to chase cats, most dogs couldn't care less about giving chase to a feline housemate. Of course, some breeds, like greyhounds, have a very strong small prey drive and might actually dig into your precious kitty, so make sure that your dog and cat get along before leaving them alone together.

Take this quiz to find out how much you really know about dogs.

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