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john G

Examples of BC intelligence

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Hello People,

 

I just read this fascinating National Geographic article (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/animal-minds/virginia-morell-text) that talks about animal intelligence. There was a BC on the cover of the magazine! Among other things, the article mentions a BC that can learn words after only a few repetitions, effectively having the language understanding of a toddler.

 

The BC study discussed in the magazine focused on language, but I'm wondering if any of you out there have additional examples of linguistic or cognitive intelligence in your BC's.

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Well, Kipp learned the name of the cat after about 3 repetitions (and I was not trying to teach it to him). For the next few months if you'd mention the word "Pepper" he'd start looking for the cat - it. was. very. annoying. He learns very quickly, but it has to be advantageous to him.

 

With Missy I just show her what I want, put a name to it and she does it - consistently. She is always trying to figure out what I want. Yes, she spoiled me.

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Happy like Missy will do anything right off the bat just by showing her what I want. I taught her to jump into my arms like that..I told her to watch Misty do it 3 times, I sent Misty out of the room, said "Happy up" and she jumped into my arms lol.

 

Happy will also show you stuff, she cant speak english so she will litterly show you what she wants. for example: last summer I had her with me at my friends house, we were standing on the deck and Happy wanted to play fetch, I was ignorning her, so she set the ball down at my feet and barked to get my attention(like she awalys does when I ignore her pleas lol) I didnt make any move, she she picked up the ball, threw it off the deck, ran out to the yard brought it back, and pointed her paw at the ball. I could not possably play dumb to THAT(she would think her owner was incredably stupid lol) so I threw the ball lol.

 

then there was the time she wanted to buy a sweater....seriously lol. I had her with me at a local pet store and there was a bunch of dog sweaters hung on low racks, I woas lookinh for something else entirly so I walked right past but Happy stopped moving at the sweaters and refused to come(she was leashed so I could not go any further with her refusing to move lol), so I walked back to her and she started pushing through the sweaters with her nose, she went through the first rack, and moved on to the second, where she apperntly found one she liked because she stuck her paw on the sweater and stared at me. I told her to forget it and dragged her away lol, she is a rough coat BC, she doesnt need a sweater!

 

then there was the towel...she was at my friends house with me and she was playing in the water, well she charged into the house when the door was opened, leaped onto my friiends bed(the backdoor opens into the bedroom) grabbed a towel off the bed leaped back off the bed with the towel and rolling herself dry on the towel. I thought that was very considerate of her lol

 

there was another thing that I didnt see myself, but my friend was eating ice and when she opened the door to let the girls in, a peice of ice fell out of her mouth and landed on Mistys head...she said Happy looked at the ice on Mistys head, smiled, lifted her paw and swipped the ice of Mistys head...from what I hear Mistys was non to pleased about being wacked on the head lol

 

oh then just recently Rusty was chewinh on a bone and he was tied up, and he acitdently knocked his bone of of reach, Happy, who was napping on the other side of me got up, mosied on over to the bone, picked it up and handed it back to Rusty before going back to her nap.

 

I swear Happy is like the smartest dog I have ever met..I will admit that she is my favorite :rolleyes:, my only dog that I dont have a single mean spirited nick name for...I am afraid she might actually be insulted lol

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The most recent one that sticks out in my mind, one morning I got up was piddling around, and I said to DH, "I'm going to feed the dogs in a minute". When I said that, Shiner jumped up, ran downstairs, and waited by his food dish. The odd thing about that is that I'd never used the word "feed" with them on purpose, I always say "Lets go eat", so he somehow picked up from listening to conversation, that "feed" meant he was going to "eat".

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Usually Skye has a positive reaction to words (different toys, Pupperoni, frisbee, etc.) but I must relay our story of the infamous "Doggie News."

On holiday two years ago to Maine, we found a plastic toy in the shape of a rolled up newspaper called "The Doggie News." From the first time I showed it to Skye and squeezed it to get her to play, she HATED it. Whenever I said, "Doggie News!" she'd get really cross and try to grab it from me and kill it. This was the one toy that she absolutely detested. Of course, the evil owner I am, we brought it home to Canada and I tortured her with it on occasion ( :rolleyes: )

Then one day, she asked to go out back, grabbed the "Doggie News", took it outside to the top of the porch stairs and literally threw it off the porch! Having made her point, she came back in. To this day, I'm not sure where that toy is...

We have since created a myth around it. The "Doggie News" is like the Expedia gnome; taken by dogs far away from home and left there so it will never bother them again...until it is unsuspectingly picked up by another doggie owner and brought somewhere else in the world to curse another dog.

Ailsa

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Ailsa - Ouzo found Skye's "Daily News" - or to be precise, I did and I gave it to him. He loves it :rolleyes: The noisier, the better :D

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Ailsa - Ouzo found Skye's "Daily News" - or to be precise, I did and I gave it to him. He loves it :rolleyes: The noisier, the better :D

 

Anda,

That's so funny! I'm relieved that Ouzo loves it ... but how did it get to Colorado????

A.

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I cannot say that Ruger ever got consistant enough to say that he absolutely knew his numbers but he put on a good show. I took 4 frisbees and numbered them 1 through 4. They were all the small Hyperflight. Two were green and two were red.I worked with him very slowly on this over several months. He could fetch the correct frisbee about 40% of the time. Some days he was better than others.

 

I eventually quit working with him on this. It was something I had to work on every single day. I don't know if he would be better now that he is older. I will say one thing, I have never seen another dog that could do anything like pick out numbered frisbees.

 

The biggest problem was he was too exuberant. I could tell that sometimes he was just guessing so he would get a frisbee toss. I had to get him to slow down and take his time. That is when he did better.

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We numbered the three trees at the small dog park : One, Two, Three. Ouzo would go running to the correct one and touch it with an accuracy of 80%, while I would call their names in random order.

 

Now, we only have one tree to play tag with, and it's known as One, Two, Three. For each name he gets to run to the tree and touch it. And lately, if I don't say it in the right order, he gets bent out of shape and starts barking: No, you have to say Three now, you cannot say Two twice in a row :D If I say with the same tone of voice, Four! or any other word, he does not react, but still demands I give the correct command :D

 

And this evening, I told him casually that he's a good boy, he's eaten three times today, and suddenly he jumps, grabs his ball and gets ready to bolt somewhere to touch something. Problem was we were inside and I was watching TV :D I had said "THREE". Better watch what I say :rolleyes:

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The Doggie News! Buddy's most special toy - "Squeaker," of "Hide and Squeak" game fame, the thing he'll search for over every corner of the house! The dog down the street used to come in our yard and take Squeaker, so I ordered a bunch of back-ups just in case. Buddy knows what drawer they're in, and pays very close attention if I ever go near that drawer.

 

On intelligence, this was a recent one that blew my mind. I didn't post about it because making the necessary diagrams seemed like a lot of work, but hey - while we're talking smart...

 

I was out walking one morning a couple weeks ago with my dog Buddy, my friend, and her dog Abby. Both dogs were on 16' Flexi leashes. Abby was by the side of the road, sniffing something in a snowbank like so:

 

Diagram1.jpg

 

Buddy saw Abby sniffing something that smelled good, and wanted to get where Abby was to find out what all the fuss was about. Most direct route to the scent was like so:

 

Diagram2.jpg

 

But Buddy didnt' do that. He made a very clear decision that this was a more logical way to go:

 

Diagram3.jpg

 

So he avoided bumping into Abby and my friend, leash entanglements, etc. I think it wasn't just the spatial thing that impressed me, but his seeming to "get" that Abby, moving forward, would be pulling my friend with her, and it would result in a big tie-up. Then he found the route that would free everyone up IF and WHEN Abby and my friend moved forward. I was really impressed!

 

Mary

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My old obedience boy Brinn used to watch a fellow competitor's miniature schnauzer in the Utility class. He would watch the Judge place the scented dumbbell down and watch Pete. If Pete got the right one, Brinn would look at me and wag his tail. If Pete screwed up Brin would look at me with this "how could he possibly screw that up" look in his eyes and huff. He never got it wrong!. He also did the same thing with the hand signal exercise. He would watch Elva give a hand signal and then look at Pete. If Pete got it right, I would get the happy look and a tail wag. If Pete got it wrong, Brinn just huffed.

 

I don't know how Brinn always knew, but he was never wrong about Pete. Everyone used to come and watch Brinn ringside watching Pete. He never showed any interest in Elva's other minuature Schnauzer at all or any other dog in utility, only Pete.

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"Come Bye" when it means a short, fast flank, "Come Bye" when it means a long sweeping flank, "Away" when it means short and quick, "Away" when it means long and sweeping.."Walk up" in versions of fast, medium and slow speeds, "Lie down" when it means really lie down or just pause there for a moment until your owner figures out what to do next, "that'll do", "here, these" for a shed of a few sheep, "this one" for the one with foot rot that needs shedding off, and the whistle versions of all the above commands, except my shedding ones. My puppy knows "stay", "lie down" and "that'll do"- except when she sees sheep- then all bets are off.,

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I guess I sometimes take Cody's intelligence for granted.

 

"Go get the grey elephant" and he goes to his basket and Voila! appears with the grey elephant stuffed toy.

 

 

"Go find Peter" sends him off to find my DH in the house to give him a big greeting. That works great when I tuck a note into his collar for my DH. When my parents were visiting last weekend, "Go find Grandpa" was said twice before he started identifying and finding my Dad in the room and out of the room.

 

Cody can pick the "right" or "left" cup correctly 90% of the time. He also knows those directions when we are walking or running and turns the correct way.

 

After showing him once how to make the Staples "That was easy" button work, he will lay there and press and press and press with his paw to hear the words. Over and over again. Do.Not.Buy.This.Thing.For.Your.Border.Collie.

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After showing him once how to make the Staples "That was easy" button work, he will lay there and press and press and press with his paw to hear the words. Over and over again. Do.Not.Buy.This.Thing.For.Your.Border.Collie.

 

Wow that's amazing. I'm sure they'd be interested in having him on one of their commercials!

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Ling knows the names of most of her toys, and will get them for you if you ask for them by name. Her favorite is "squirrel", but she knows the difference between "squirrel" the toy, which is always inside, and "squirrel" the real animal. If she's outside and you tell her to look for the squirrel, she'll run to the tree and look up, but inside, with the same request she'll go get the stuffie.

 

When she was about four months old, some friends had a cat toy that their cat despised. It was a vibrating mouse with a pull string to start the vibration (if it was on the ground is moved around). So they gave it to Ling after pulling the string ONCE and handing it to her while it was vibrating. When it stopped, she turned it over a few times with her paws, got it in the right position and pulled the string with her mouth and just laid there with it between her front paws, feeling it vibrate and watching it. She pulled the string and enjoyed the vibration for about an hour until the string broke. I was shocked at how fast she knew exactly how to make it work.

 

If Bingo has something she wants, she'll watch him for a few minutes, then run over to the window or door and bark. Being the box of rocks he is, he'll immediately leap up and run to see what it is, and she'll circle around behind him and snatch whatever he had and run to her crate before he knows what hit him.

 

There are new examples every day of words she learns and how tricky she can be! It makes life with her so much more interesting!

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Millie's done some spectacular things and is an extremely intelligent dog, but I think a lot of it has to do with intuition.

 

My mom has fybromyalgia and had 2 slipped disks in her spine at the time. She was doing landscaping stuff in the yard (yeah, she shouldn't but there's no stopping her) and fell off of a ladder. She was on the ground cornered between the car and a bunch of trash that had fallen over and couldn't get herself up again. She called out for help but nobody came. Except Millie. The front door was open with a tall baby gate. Millie had never jumped it before, but she took a running leap, landed on the stairs, went over to my mom, licked her face, and ran down our huge hill to get my mom's friends. She was acting like Lassie, barking and trying to get them to follow her.

 

 

She also somehow figured out how to open my door. No idea how. It's not even a french door handle. It's a round handle you grip and turn with your hand. But when I was in my room, Millie just came barging in. It was closed all the way, I have no idea how she did it. She's done it since then, too.

 

She used to have "The Doggie News" too. I had totally forgotten about that toy! She loved it because it squeaked so loudly.

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Dont know if its intellengence, but the other day the collies were all laying around in the living room, earlier that day one of them had stubed her toe nail pretty bad, and was nursing it. One of the other collies trotted through the room and accidently stepped on the injured dogs sore foot. She yelped and pulled the foot in, and started to lick it. The big foot, stopped, looked at what he'd done, cocked his head for a second, went over picked up his bone and took it over and gave it to the injured dog, layed it right in between her paws, clearly "offering it" as an aplolgy?? then walked to the other side of the room and layed down. We were all sitting there in the room, and watched this and couldnt believe what we'd seen. Pretty cool.

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Tiga picks up on names very quickly. There are certain names/words that we can't say when he's within ear shot or he goes bezonkers! Some of these are: Rowan (his best friend rottie that passed away recently), dog park, do you wanna (anything could finish this sentence), Lola (one of his other dog friends). All of these he learned after hearing them only 1 or 2 times. He also will point at his food when it's meal time or if he wants his treat ball. He'll just stare at me until I ask him what he wants then he'll make me follow him to the kitchen and either point at his food, the fridge (that's where the carrots are :rolleyes: ) or the counter (this is where we put his food before he gets it while it's soaking).

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Tuck figured out how to open the rabbit's pen so he could let the bunny out to come play. He never hurt the bunny but I had to be very watchful. We have a killer cat and the bunny would have been toast.

 

Sam is the first dog I've had who picked up hand signals. He also figured out how to get a few of my doors open. LOL I can't go to the bathroom or my bedroom by myself anymore.

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The owner of a large ranch and I were talking in his headquarters. I noticed the kitchen light was on and mentioned to the land owner that I needed to teach my BC to turn off that light. He bet me a cheeseburger I couldn't do it. I had trained my dog with a clicker so she was very receptive to this type of chore. The next evening we were sitting there and I had her turn off the light. He thought that was vey good, he asked me if I was going to teach her to turn on the light and I said no I didn't want her turning on lights. Now for the good part.

 

A couple days later I was getting the coffee pot ready, I had not turned on the light, it was dark but there was enough light I could see. All of a sudden the light comes on and I turn around and my dog friend (Koda) is sitting there giving me this look like, Why didn't you turn on the light. Cognitive thinking.

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A while back when I was at the dog park there was a couple playing with a lab. When I was finished I had a frisbee that was out about 60 yards. Ruger didn't know he had left it there and I only knew at the time we had one missing. Once I spotted it, I sent him out to get it. It took about one hand signal to get him to go to my left, he found it and brought it back.

 

I overheard the lady playing with the lab that Ruger made a blind retrieve. That was one of my proud moments. Smart dog and some training and he could compete with about any dog out there.

 

Most of us take for granted what we have. I wouldn't want any other breed. These guys are just too easy to train and too faithful of a companion dog. Ruger very seldom does anything that really makes me mad. I only wish I had known about the breed 30 years ago.

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Lucy know all her toys by name

i can hide 3 or more toys at the same time she will only bring back the toy i ask for!

It took lucy less than 5min to teach her how to turn off the lights.

went to a new environment a friends house and asked her to turn off the lights

she looked around for the light switch above the couch jumped on the couch

and hit the switch.

Most impressive she found me as her owner :rolleyes:

here is a video of her turning off the lights!

I can ask her to get a toy she will go get it I than ask her to give it to Mike my other BC

an she will go find him and give him the toy!!

when her water bowl is empty she will look at the bowl and than look at me and than at the bowl basically

saying " excuse me aren't we forgetting something here?"

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That's a great article. I don't usually read National Geographic, but I saw that BC face on the cover while I was in an airport bookstore and bought it. What a fascinating article!

 

My BC learns words very fast, sometimes just a couple of repetitions if she's really motivated (rabbit). Especially names (of people, other dogs). I can count about 60 words I know she knows. I suspect there are more.

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