AKC debunks common pet myths

Published Nov. 11, 2013

We think we know everything there is to know about our pets, but if you believe you can't teach an old dog new tricks, think again. There are countless myths about our pets, many so old they've become common folklore. While most of these inventions are harmless, some could end up hurting your pet. Here are some common dog myths debunked.

Dogs can't see color: false

It was once thought that dogs could see only in black, white and shades of gray, and many people still believe this today.

Dogs can see color, but not in the same way as most humans. It is believed that dogs can see blue, greenish-yellow and yellow, in addition to various shades of gray.

Dogs age seven years for every human year: false

This myth has been around for so long that it's nearly become fact. While dogs do age faster than humans, they don't age seven years for every one human year. Dogs age faster when they're younger and slower as they get older. The size of the dog also has much to do with the aging process. Larger dogs age faster.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks: false

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks" probably stemmed from someone who couldn't get his dog to catch a Frisbee. You actually can teach a dog new tricks no matter what the dog's age — including how to shake hands, speak and roll over — by keeping training sessions short and fun and using plenty of positive reinforcement, including praise and treats.

For more information on training, visit the AKC at