Five myths about dogs - busted


Dogs are our best friends, helpers, guides and everyday heroes. So why are our canine friends often mistreated around the world?

It’s no wonder that dogs are known as ‘human’s best friend’ - for centuries, they’ve been by our sides whether for companionship, home security or working with us as a team. With their little wet noses, adorable eyes and fluffy ears, it’s easy to see why they make the world a better place for people, and sometimes, they even save lives.

Dogs are everyday heroes. So why are our canine friends often mistreated around the world?

We're breaking down five myths about dogs that will help us all understand them better.


Some dogs aren’t obedient and are hard to control.


Dogs aren’t born with the knowledge of how to obey commands – training them takes time, effort and patience. 

Some dogs might be harder to control than others, which will often be circumstantial. This is dependent on a variety of things, such as age, life experiences, and whether they have had any training – their breed and intelligence may only play a very small part. With most dogs, including stray or rescue dogs, they can become well-behaved pets if they’re given the right guidance.

World Animal Protection/Carlos Vega


Sterilizing dogs is cruel and painful.


Recent findings by World Animal Protection have shown that only 43% of people currently sterilize their dogs, with many believing that this is cruel and painful. Sterilizing dogs is the process of removing the ovaries of a female dog, or the testicles of a male dog. This brings many benefits, such as eliminating the risk of her having unwanted litters of puppies which could lead to more stray dogs.

There is also a common misconception that dogs should be allowed to produce one litter of puppies, although currently, there are no recorded health benefits – emotional or physical.

When dogs are sterilized, they are put under a general anaesthetic, meaning they are asleep and unaware of the procedure taking place. This a safe routine operation that requires minimal aftercare. The benefits of sterilization outweigh the small price of minor discomfort.


I don’t need to get my dog sterilized because it’s a boy.


Sterilizing pets should be a priority for both females and males.

For males, this will ensure they don’t go roaming in search of a female dog to mate with and will be less territorial which could mean reduced aggressive behaviour. Sterilized animals are known to be better behaved, and the procedure eliminates a number of health risks, such as testicular cancer in male dogs.


Getting dogs registered and microchipped is unnecessary if they have a collar.


Microchipping is a very quick and relatively painless procedure, where a small chip (about the size of a grain of rice) is inserted under the skin of your dog. The computer chip stores essential information.

While collars can easily fall off or be removed, a microchip is a permanent form of identification. This is important as if dogs go missing and are then found, they are easily identifiable as a much-loved pet. This means they can’t be rehomed, sold on, or even euthanised. 


If you take in a stray dog, they will be badly behaved and likely to have diseases.


Both stray dogs and pet dogs can be badly behaved and carry diseases, so it’s important to make sure that appropriate care is sought for them. This means getting them vaccinated, getting them sterilized, and having them registered or microchipped.

Learn more about how we are improving life for dogs around the world through our Better Lives for Dogs campaign.

Support our work to protect dogs

Dogs – like all animals – have a right to live without suffering. So we work with governments and communities to manage dog populations humanely. And we help people learn how to look after dogs responsibly. We do all of these things to stop millions of dogs being culled without reason every year – and to help communities and dogs live together healthily and without fear.

Please donate and help us give a better life to as many dogs as we can.

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