Debunking common dog myths

By gapnsw.com.au
There’s no doubt that dogs are weird and wonderful creatures, and we love them despite of their odd-ball behaviours. But have you ever wondered what inspires your pooch to sniff other dogs' butts, eat grass or drag their bums along the lawn?

Today we’re busting common myths about dogs, including our much loved Greyhounds.

Myth 1: Sniffing each other’s butts is like shaking hands

While it seems disgusting to humans, this myth is… true.

Sniffing each other's butts is like shaking hands and saying 'how are you'. The anal region holds two special sacs, called anal sacs which house glands that secrete thick, oily, and often a foul-smelling liquid that is unique to each dog. It's their own Eu De Pooch-fume.

This unique smell is like a quick introduction and allows your dog to recognise whether they have met the other dog before if they're male or female, their mood, and even if they are sick!

Myth 2: Dogs eat grass when they are feeling unwell

While we’d like to think of our dogs as pharmacists, this one is false.

Dogs eat grass for a variety of reasons, in fact, up to 80% of dogs will eat grass at some stage in their life. Grass eating can be caused by:

-       An inadequate diet which forces your pooch to seek nutrition in other ways
-       Stress and boredom
-       They may simply like the taste of it.

Myth 3: Tail wagging means your dog is happy

While the position of a dogs' tail is a good way to read their emotions, dogs' tails serve a myriad of functions. So this one is false.

Dogs use their tail in lots of situations, such as for balance and stability, to communicate with other dogs, or to show assertiveness or dominance.

Viewing tail wagging in isolation as a way to read your dogs' emotional state can give you a false read. You should observe your dog's overall body language to understand if they're feeling happy, excited, stressed, scared, etc. To learn more about Greyhound body language and how to read your best friend head to our ‘News’ and ‘Resources’ pages at gapnsw.com.au.

Myth 4: Dogs drag their butts when they have worms.

People assume that when a dog is dragging its butt along the grass that it must be alleviating discomfort from worms.. however, this is false.

More often than not, this behaviour is a result of irritation to the anal glands. When your dog does number 2’s, the anal glands should empty at the same time. If this doesn’t happen, the glands can become full which causes irritation, resulting in butt scooting.

Your dog may also drag their butts if they experience a lump, allergy, faecal contamination, or parasites. If your dog is regularly dragging their butt seek advice from your Veterinarian as they may need some help emptying their anal glands or have another condition that requires treatment as mentioned above.