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I thought dogs were supposed to be intelligent

(40 Posts)
Cheria Wed 31-Aug-11 09:10:11

Especially golden retrievers. But mine is really thick. He's obedient in exchange for food, but thick. He's scared of bins but will run after a tractor ploughing a field. He'll run away from a rabbit but go and annoy a wild boar (and no, we won't be going to that part of the woods again). And he will swipe my cat around the head even though he knows at some point the cat will retaliate and he will come off worse.

And don't get me started on the crap he eats (and I mean that literally and figuratively).

However he's got emotional intelligence. After my DHs grandfather's funeral he came to the wake - a room full of about 20 strangers. Went straight up to DH grandmother and put his knee on her lap. Hadn't met her before but just knew.

Anyway felt the need for some lightheartedness on here so would like some stories of intelligent dogs. Yes that is an open offer to boast. Or if, like me, you've got a thickie but you love him anyway, how thick do they really get?

Scuttlebutter Wed 31-Aug-11 10:19:56

Pround greyhound owner here, but the first to admit - they are not the nuclear physicists of the dog world.

You know those American high school movies where there's a geek, cheerleaders, and jocks who are really sporty but ever so happy and a bit thick, well, that's grund No. 1. Happy to race around and get tickled - no brains at all for anything else (except stealing food).

Grund No. 2 is a dowager duchess with highly developed intelligence in regards to spotting medication when it's hidden in food - sigh. We have a kind of arms race going on with ever more complex and subtle snack delivery mechanisms to administer tablets. The rest of the time, like most dowager duchesses she concentrates on looking good, sleeping and looking down her nose at the other two.

Grund No. 3 is a surfy dude - super laid back, friendly, loves everyone and is even blonde. He needs a camper van, a Billabong surfer coat and some friendship bracelets. Far too laid back to worry about intelligence. Having said that (pauses, clears throat for some unashamed boasting) he has just completed his KC Gold award - the only greyhound our tutor has seen in the Gold class, and not bad for a dog who's nearly 12, has had a bastard of a life and is still sporting quite a few scars.

SoupDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 10:26:05

My Cocker Spaniel is highly intelligent and can recognise his name when it is spelt out.

Admittedly this is because when persuading the SmallDragons to take him for a brisk run round the block, I say "Take D I L L out for a W A L K". At one point, spelling his name was the only way I could get the little bugger darling to come in at night.

Other than that, I think he possibly has more looks than brain. Or he is so intelligent he can hide it well... That's an option.

Cheria Wed 31-Aug-11 11:03:33

Scuttle my dog loves taking medication. Don't even have to hide it. He is that thick! Just sits and opens mouth when we get a pill packet out.

The cats on the other hand are far more wily, and I have the scratches to prove it!

PersonalClown Wed 31-Aug-11 11:11:43

My Doodle is as thick as 2 short planks. Looks at you baffled if you ask him to do something that he just did for food.
Is terrified of cats, smaller dogs, anything more hyper than he is...complete all round wuss.

Desperately wants you to throw the ball but won't give it to you to do it. He runs away still holding it then comes back and begs at you!

Staffy seems positively genius compared to him! grin

SoupDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 11:15:09

Yes, Dill does the whole ball thing. Then, when you've given up and gone to sit down with a hot cup of tea, he comes and drops it at your feet, sitting there like the perfectly trained dog in the world.

Cheria Wed 31-Aug-11 11:17:40

Ditto to both for the ball thing. Will only hand back the stuff he has retrieved in exchange for either a treat or another ball. Spend half my life it seems running round collecting the balls he drops on the way to fetch other balls. I'm sure he finds it amusing.

Quodlibet Wed 31-Aug-11 11:30:47

Our lurcher (who definitely inherited the greyhound not BC brains) never ever learned in 12 years of living in the same house that if she went in my sister's room the door would swing closed behind her leaving a gap which was apparently too small for her to get out of despite the fact that we'd seen her get through much smaller gaps in pursuit of a fox or squirrel. So she used to go in the room, mostly for no reason, then turn straight around and cry until someone would come and let her out.

Admittedly we didn't learn to just consistently shut the bloody door.

She'd get selective brain freeze about negotiating other objects as well. Get over a stile on a country walk? Impossible. Leap over an equal sized obstacle in pursuit of a fox? No problem at all. Get in the back of the car? Really hard, needs thinking about, much encouragement and possibly help with back legs. Get into unattended double bed, much higher than car? Easy peasy.

Our BC on the other hand was an evil genius who used to do all sorts of deviously clever things such as hiding things in really weird places that required the manipulation of several objects to get at (eg down the back of the sofa cushions, behind a guitar under a tissue...) and could open every door in the house, easy peasy. She also developed stealth silent plates-in-dishwasher licking technique after she clocked that the noise of the plates rattling would alert someone to what she was up to.

mistlethrush Wed 31-Aug-11 11:38:42

I've had 4 family dogs. The first we got when I was 5 - so we sort of grew up together. She was a lurcher type, thick as two short planks - she was very obedient as there was no room in her head for another thought.... The car was treated as a magic box that you got into and then it magically transported you elsewhere.

We then had two collie crosses - one was pretty intelligent - for instance she knew there were 7 days in a week and never got up to wait for the postman on a Sunday. The dog we got as her companion was a collie/terrier cross and she was extremely intelligent - you could see her working things out and weighing up the pros and cons of different courses of action.

Our current dog is much more 'normal' for a dog intelligence wise I think. She's not thick - but she's certainly not that clever either. She's very good at remembering people and routes. And always knows which people in the park carry treats. But she'll accidentally shut the door by pushing it with her foot when she could have poked her nose around the gap and pulled it towards her.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 31-Aug-11 11:51:33

Not my dogs but my parent's. They have three, Lurcher Boy is very much top dog, followed by Flying Whippet, poor Stray Dog knows he is at the bottom of the pecking order and will not do or eat anything without 'permission' from LB.

If Flying Whippet gets a bone LB is not pleased, he says who gets the bones in that house. He knows he could fight for it, but is far too lazy for that. Instead he will go into the recycling bin and select a peice of cardboard. He will sit and chew his cardboard in Flying Whippet's sight. Flying Whipet will think "Ooh, he doesn't want my bone. He has something else, it must be better than my bone" she will leave her bone in order to see what he has. He happily hands over his soggy cardboard and trots off to retrieve her bone. She falls for it every single time hmm.

mistlethrush Wed 31-Aug-11 12:02:21

Collie cross and terrier/collie cross were sometimes given a large bone shaped biscuit each in the garden. Terrier cross would grab hers, run across the garden and put it down, wait for collie cross to bite a bit off, then steal the remainder of collie crosses, and rush off to eat it, sitting on top of her untouched one.

SoupDragon Wed 31-Aug-11 12:03:45

I remember readng an article about the least/most intelligent dogs based on some spurious test or other. I believe Afghan Hounds came top of the Least
Intelligent list.

slug Wed 31-Aug-11 12:09:46

I give

glitch Wed 31-Aug-11 12:13:57

I have a goldie as well and she too is totally thick.
I think it is a myth that they are in any way clever.
She has no idea what to do with a door, chases tractors, horses, cows but runs away from my timid cat, has absolutely no sense of direction or finding me when out and about - basically just stupid grin

Ormirian Wed 31-Aug-11 12:14:37

Harley is incredibly intelligent.

We are thinking of applying to Oxford on his behalf to study quantum theory. He is also half way through his second novel - the first was a best seller.

Actually, no, that is not true. But he seems to be working out how to get through the back door when it is ajar hmm

Pagwatch Wed 31-Aug-11 12:15:28

Once you have had to pull a plastic bag out of your dogs arse you lose any illusions about their being smart.

Saltire Wed 31-Aug-11 12:15:51

Like Soupy'ss dog, our Border Collie can understand when his name and the word W A L K is spelt out and he goes and sits by the door. He has also perfected commando crawling to a level that would impress HM Royal Marines. He isn't supposed to be upstairs, but doesn't like his new bed - well it's his old bed but in a new house. He figured out pretty quickly how to jump the stair gate on kitchen door and sneaks upstairs. Then he nudges our bedroom door open (all the while thinking we can't see him) and then commando crawls to my side and commando crawls under the bed and lies there in hope that we won't move him.

glitch Wed 31-Aug-11 12:16:33

Slug, that blog is hillarious.

Mine took ages to work out stairs and just responded to the name "Fridge"!!!

I will try the rest of the tests later but I think I might have a retarded dog grin

Saltire Wed 31-Aug-11 12:16:58

Pag - I've pulled bags,socks, football socks, bits of wood and rubber toys from the rear end of our dog.
He also once chewed a socket off the wall and caused a power cut

DooinMeCleanin Wed 31-Aug-11 12:19:55

Speaking of dumb dogs I was wondering why my house was so quiet. I mistakenly believed all dogs had fallen alseep somewhere. I was wrong. 2 out of three had decided to go into the yard via the dining room window. They could not get back in via the window. Instead of barking they stood in yard looking pityfully at the door. The solid door with no windows in, as if if they stared hard enough some-one might spot them hmm

Pagwatch Wed 31-Aug-11 12:20:56

Saltire. It is like the worlds worst lucky bag, isn't it.

BitterAndTwistedChoreDodger Wed 31-Aug-11 12:24:40

I used to have a super intelligent Weimeraner - she would respond to a raised eyebrow and you could see her constantly working out whether what you had just asked her to do was to her advantage or not.

I now have a 9mo black lab who is super nice but thick as mince. I the test where you throw a blanket over him to see how long it took him to get out from under it. He just lay down and went to sleep under the blanket, tail still wagging.

Agree though that thickos are easier to train - it doesn't occur to them to not do as they are asked grin

glitch Wed 31-Aug-11 12:25:12

Have just moved on to the other tests on the blog that Slug linked to.
Haven't laughed so much in ages "Fridge" (the new name for the dog), just froze under a sheet, and the cup is still sitting over the cheese - I think the cat has more idea than the dog!

Brilliant grin

CoffeeIsMyFriend Wed 31-Aug-11 12:28:35

My dogs must be very clever indeed... not sure why, but they are. Maybe because they are mine. wink

CoffeeIsMyFriend Wed 31-Aug-11 12:31:12

hmm bitterandtwisted

My boy is easy peasy to train, smart and does as he is asked without 'thinking about it'... girlie puppy is very clever, but you can see her brain working out if what you ask her to do is to her advantage or not before she does it. Drives me insane. She picks up lots of good things from her big brother which is a help when training though.

Swings n roundabouts. grin

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