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Things your dog does that you didn't train them to do

(28 Posts)
SnakeyMcBadass Thu 06-Mar-14 10:37:45

Well, consciously anyway. The poodley thing has started jumping up into my arms so he can lick my face. I'm not keen, tbh, but if I don't catch him he might fall to his splatty death. I did not train him to do this. He also walks around on his back legs doing a strange sort of salsa move to get attention when we're eating dinner. He has never been fed from the table, but we do appreciate the entertainment. The spaniel taught himself to search for things with no real input from me. He will work an area methodically, tail a blur, until he finds whatever I might have dropped. He's great at finding keys.

Blistory Thu 06-Mar-14 12:15:24

She trained me which certainly wasn't the intention. I had planned on doing it the other way around.

She taught herself to give a left/right paw depending on which hand the treat was in.

She taught herself to follow pointing as a direction. I point left, she goes left. Dunno how that happened.

She taught herself that a paw in the face will get immediate attention when I'm sleeping and that licking my leg gets her nowhere. Each time she's used it, it's been because she needs out to be sick in the early hours. To be fair, it's a gentle pawing.

littlewhitebag Thu 06-Mar-14 12:32:00

My dog also taught herself to go where i point. I never set out to teach that.

She also realised quickly that a stuffed kong means we are going out so she rushes into her crate to wait for her treat. I didn't actually teach her to go to bed on producing the kong.

They are smart creatures.

HelgatheHairy Thu 06-Mar-14 13:02:34

My boy taught himself to open both the front and back doors. It's very annoying when he lets himself in when he's covered in mud and has jumped on the bed before I realise he's in the house.

Slebmum Thu 06-Mar-14 14:10:17

DDog knows 'turn right' and 'turn left' when we're out for a walk.

Betrayedbutsurvived Thu 06-Mar-14 14:20:02

Our dog won't so much as sniff his dinner till we all sit down with ours. Then he tucks in enthusiastically.

WeatherWitch Thu 06-Mar-14 14:34:21

Mine fetches his bowl to me when he's finished his meal, wherever I am. Very helpful when I've gone back to the utility room where it lives. Less useful when he barges open the door of the downstairs loo and shoves it at me while wagging proudly. He can also tell the difference between toas that's being made for breakfast (when he gets the corner of a crust so sits by the counter and waits for it) and toast that's being made for lunchtime beans/egg/something on toast (when he gets nothing so just goes and lies on his bed as usual).

WeatherWitch Thu 06-Mar-14 14:34:47

*toast not toas

mistlethrush Thu 06-Mar-14 14:37:06

We had a dog that used to wait (with great anticipation) for the postman - who used to arrive at about 6.30am in his van. But he didn't deliver on a Sunday so she stayed in bed.

loveulotslikejellytots Thu 06-Mar-14 14:41:50

My dog knows when cheese is being unwrapped. The minute the cling film is touched he's there. Yet I unwrap cling film off half an onion for example, he doesn't even move.

Cakeismymaster Thu 06-Mar-14 15:19:43

My dog can tell the time, otherwise how else does she know to follow me everywhere I go in the house from 4.30pm onwards without fail (she has her dinner at 5pm!)

nostress Thu 06-Mar-14 15:29:17

My boy has a method to alert me to the fact he wants something. Basically he will scratch my hand. It started with food but he now has a massive vocab of demands and it can actually get quite tiresome. It goes like this:

Vince (dog): scatches hand
Me: do you want something?
Vince: sits down in the best obedient sit he can muster.
Me: are you hungry/want breakfast?
Vince: if he is hungry he will jump up and down and run to utilty room for food. If not he stays sitting it continues
Me: do you need x, y z??? It continues for as long as it takes. Here are all the things he asks for:
Poo (yes separate words instead of one for toilet)
Outside (thats just for a play)
Jumper on (if its chilly in the house)
Jumper off
Back scratch (usually after jumper off)
Cuddle (on sofa)
Pick up (for this one he scratches hand and then when i say "do you want a pick up? He will reach up with his front legs standing on his back legs like a toddler reaching up.)

He will also express a preference as to which jumper/coat he would like to wear.

Oh yes and he also comes to me if he wants his bum wiped (due to a little bit of poop hanging on). On these occasions he will come up to me scratch and instead of doing a really good sit he will sit with his head low to the floor in shame.

He has taught me all of these things and i have only ever taught him sit, on bed, in car, off, no.

Sometimes he can be quite demanding and i ignore him (eg he wants me to pick him up and im cooking) and then he goes to DH, and then DS1. Hes 3 and a boston. Oh yes and hes never learnt to fetch as he sees that as pointless. My other dog is awesome at fetch and the only thing she has taught me is staring at the backdoor = wants to go out.

moosemama Thu 06-Mar-14 16:32:52

There's some interesting stuff in the book The Genius of Dogs about how experiments that ascertained that dogs are able to follow the direction a humans points, proved that they are capable of more complex, independent thought than was previously believed.

Primates cannot follow human pointing unless domesticated/raised by humans, same with foxes and wolves cannot do it at all, but puppies of domesticated dogs can do it by 9 weeks old.

Nostress, my pup and I have very similar conversations and he's able to indicate whether he wants to go out, is hungry, wants water. I know when he wants something because he comes and sits directly in front of me and stares right at my face. Then I ask "What do you want?" and he stands up, then I go through the list "Are you hungry?/Do you want to go out? Do you want water?" etc and as soon as I say the right one he cocks his head on one side and heads to the appropriate location to wait for me.

As for things he's taught himself, most of them are just him responding to cues in his environment that he has noticed are consistent when something is about to happen eg, when I close the laptop I am usually about to remove my backside from the sofa, so he gets up and comes to see what I'm up to.

He has however taught himself to walk backwards a few paces so I can open the back door without bumping him and I have now put that on cue and find it useful in a surprising number of situations.

He had taught himself to use the kitchen bin as his personal food dispenser, but we've foiled that one now by buying a new metal pedal bin, as he really hates the clanging noise it makes.

While I was ill he did train my Mum to repeatedly get up and and close the back door, by coming and opening it then running off up the garden. You could see how funny he found his new game and knew to only try it with her, as no-one else would stand for it.

Lurcherboy, my older lad, is one of those dogs that knows when my husband has just left his office and is on his way home. I've checked several times and he's always right, despite dh having had three different jobs and using three different modes of transport including car, train and bicycle. He even knows when dh leaves head office in London, even though he won't be home for another couple of hours. Of course he's not that bright, because as soon as dh leaves Lurcherboy goes and sits by the living room door to wait for him, which is a bit daft if he's not going to be home for two hours. grin He always does the same thing - gets out of his bed, yawns, comes and puts his paw on my lap, wags his tail then goes to lie by the living room door. smile

mistlethrush Thu 06-Mar-14 16:39:15

Moose, one of our family dogs picked up on the fact that my bedroom was 'aired' when I was about to come back from University - and would wait for me - one November she went and waited outside in the rain and my parents hadn't realised until they wondered where she was at about 9.30pm! (Unfortunately I wasn't arriving until the following morning that time) After that my mother had to do surreptitious airing of my room.

Mistlehound will tell me what she was - but is not able to ask for a chew as that is never one of the questions - so carries on pestering until we get her one...

LtEveDallas Thu 06-Mar-14 16:41:02

MuttDog worked out that if she stands by my side of the bed, whines and wags her tail against the bedside table in the early hours it wakes me up and I get out of bed assuming that she needs a wee. She waits until I leave the bedroom so she can then jump up onto the nice warm spot I have left behind and continue snoozing (once I am awake and up I cannot go back to bed)

She can hear the opening of the fridge from 100 yds down the garden and can tell the difference between ham and cheese.

She knows that DH picking up his lighter means that he is going outside, and she generally beats him to the door.

She knows that we walk as a pack at 1230 every day, and won't settle from 1200 onwards. She starts whining about 10 minutes before our friend appears in the office, which means she knows he has left his office a good 500 yds across the carpark.

She is currently pawing at my feet, because she knows I am usually packing up by now. Sorry Mutt, it's a later one tonight smile

littlewhitebag Thu 06-Mar-14 16:53:28

Also my dog knows that in the morning, if DH comes downstairs dressed in his suit then she will be let out, fed and returned to bed. She is calm and goes back to bed happily.

At the weekend when he comes down dressed in old clothes she goes loopy as she realises he is taking her for a long walk. There is no way she would go back to bed.

punter Thu 06-Mar-14 18:20:12

When I go into the hall and go to the stairs and start to open the stair gate, my Velcro lab stops, shrugs his shoulders, and walks back to the kitchen.
He goes to dog playgroup on a Tuesday - he knows the day and waits by the front door for the dog lady to collect him between 8.30 and 9am.
Other days he will mooch around the garden during this time.

IAmNotAMindReader Thu 06-Mar-14 19:18:11

Our two have taught themselves to unscrew the lids from various drinks bottles. They always pick one that are less than half full and chew on the lid and twist as they go, after a while the mangled lid is off and they gently tip the bottle slightly to release whatever's inside and drink it.

HuskyWoman Thu 06-Mar-14 20:09:22

Husky pup is only 8 weeks. Been here days but when we eat he trots of too his crate to play with his ball. We didn't teach him but we're very pleased with him.

pigsDOfly Fri 07-Mar-14 00:12:08

Among the many things she seems to have taught herself my dog has developed a special quiet night time bark. I'm a very light sleeper and it doesn't take much to wake me so if she wants to go out for a wee in the night she will take herself downstairs - she sleeps on my bed - and bark very quietly until I go down to let her out.

butterfliesinmytummy Fri 07-Mar-14 01:14:54

She shakes a paw to have her chest rubbed. She started by just lifting a paw as a "please rub my chest" prompt and we've taken it from there. She also runs to her crate when I fill a kong .... she knows what's coming!

musicposy Fri 07-Mar-14 07:43:24

To open doors. At first it was just jumping at the handles and pushing, but then she taught herself to open doors that go inwards.
We first discovered this when she opened a kitchen cupboard and ate her way through a good few cereal boxes, box and cereal.hmm

Then she taught herself to get out of the crate. This is a two step process - she pushes against the hinge and lifts the door with her nose. I have no idea how she worked that out.
It's a pain in the neck as we can never shut her in anywhere. I really ought to get doorknobs instead of handles.

She's Houdini in dog form grin

needastrongone Fri 07-Mar-14 09:01:58

To jump ON the tunnel, rather than go through the tunnel at our first agility class last night smile

starsandunicorns Fri 07-Mar-14 09:22:53

Dafty dog knows when dp is leaving for work as she know she gets cuddles on sofa she moves closer to sofa the more work clothes dp puts on

She goes for a wee when I get up for work and then goes back to her bed in our bedroom instead of her bed in lounge (i would need to move her otherwise) when we both worked simlar shifts dafty dog would always try for a poo on the last wee chance before we went to work

She knows the sound of the car ( busy road multi cars parking) and will be at the door when we get in

Still nervous after 8 years of car travel though after 10 mins she stops shaking

Is the most well behaved dog when she goes for a pamper to get exrta loves ( dog palour has said she is the most well behaved )

Shes a very much a velrco dog and a mummys girl

ScaryMcLary Fri 07-Mar-14 11:57:48

When I say 'shall we go and wake the children' ScaryDog will race upstairs and leap on their beds. I did not consciously train him to do this, but I guess it is the power of repetition (and reward that they give him a cuddle)! I can even say 'lets wakeScaryDC..'..1, 2 or 3 and he will leap on the correct child.

He will also go and sit by the door if he hears a doorbell on tv - we don't even have a doorbell, so I have no idea why he links that sound to our door!

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