There are many pieces of information on dogs that we have either taken as truth or might need to question. We have either learned these things as kids or recently, but in either case they are certainly worth addressing.

“Dogs are colorblind.”

In fact, this is partially true. Dogs see shades of gray and brown rather than some specific colors but can still differentiate by the shading.

Certain colors can be seen distinctly, such as various shades of blue, yellow and violet. I try to buy toys in those colors. However, dogs are red and green color blind. They can’t tell the difference.

“Let sleeping dogs lie.”

We have all heard this expression from a young age, often taught it by our parents. Don’t wake the dog! In fact, the direction should be more precise: Don’t TOUCH a dog while they are sleeping.

If you need to awaken them, do so by sound, not touch. Dogs have a very high startle reflex and, when they are touched while sleeping, they might react by turning and biting whatever is touching them. They don’t even realize it is you – they are just reacting. Make sure kids know this very important rule.

“Doodles are hypoallergenic.”

Poodles crossed with almost every breed have been in high demand for years. People often get them because of the perception that they are hypoallergenic and don’t shed. This is not true across the board.

Some might be, but some might not. Dander can cause an allergic response in a person. We think of poodles as having hair, not fur. But if they are crossed with a fur breed, then your dog might not be hypoallergenic.

Many people get these dogs and still can have an allergic reaction. The best bet if you are highly allergic to furry dogs is to get a cross of two hair dogs, not fur. This reduces, or in some cases eliminates, fur.

Kennel cough

Most of us get our dog vaccinated against kennel cough once or twice a year. But our dogs often come down with kennel cough anyway.

Kennel cough is a contagious range of bacterial-viral upper respiratory infections. One specific is Bordetella, which has a vaccine. Some vets treat with antibiotics and some do not.

In either case, keep the dog away from other dogs until the infection runs its course and your dog can resume dog-to-dog play. Sometimes it is worse and dogs need to be treated longer. In other cases it just goes away without treatment.

Take the dog to the vet anyway at the first signs. It is like kids getting colds when they go to school. In all likelihood it is going to happen, so please don’t panic.

But if the dog is vaccinated, why do they get the cough? This vaccine is not highly effect – in truth only about 60% to 70%. In addition, not all upper respiratory infections are Bordetella and the vaccine doesn’t work on other infections. Get your dog vaccinated anyway.

Abby Bird is owner of Alphadog Training Academy.