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Lewis Moon

Do you take it for granted?

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Every once in a while it dawns on me just how much I take Cerbs intelligence for granted. I really expect him to do what I tell him, no matter if I've trained it or not. A couple of examples: Last night when I came to bed Cerb was curled up on the spot where my feet would go. Without thinking and much fanfare I said "move it, buddy" and he promptly moved over where I could get in comfortably. Not real big but it showed he was thinking. Then there was the little Yorkie cross we were sitting. She's very playful and Cerb was obliging her, but with the 30lb weight difference I was worried. I told Cerb to sit, he did (duh) but he then proceeded to endure her onslaught of nips and bats without reciprocating. He just pulled in his chin and took it. That is exactly what I meant for him to do, but it's nothing I really trained for or expected. I'm sure there is a lot of other stuff, but the gist is, I now just expect Cerb to do what I tell him, no matter what (within reason). There are plenty of times he doesn't get it right, and you can see him hunting and trying, but I'm pretty knocked out by how often he does get it right.

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I agree, our current foster has reminded us of this. He is easy to train basic commands to (sit etc), just like a border collie but he is a stubborn blockhead when it comes to life skills, no matter how many times our older dog has corrected him for slamming his paws onto his back, or other rude behavior he just keeps repeating himself and seems blind to the snark and show of teeth from the resident boss man.

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Yes, we take their intelligence for granted too. One night JJ didn’t listen to me when I called the dogs in from their last bathroom break for the night. After a pause, I calmly said “Now” without thinking. He quit ignoring me and came right up. The other 2 also know that ‘command’ too though I admit Josie can be a bit stubborn at times. One time Josie ignored me when I told her “Now” so I said “Squirrel, get up here”. (Squirrel is her nickname.) She turned away from the next door neighbor’s dog and came running. Another time I was teaching JJ his left from his right. When DH came home from work that night I wanted to show him what I had taught JJ. He did his “Give me right” perfectly. When I said “Give me left”, he gave me his right paw again. I said “other left” (again) without thinking. JJ dropped his right paw and gave me his left. When DH asked me how I taught him to do that, I started explaining how I kept slowly rubbing JJ’s left leg and repeating “left, left, left”. He said “No, how did you teach him to give you his right paw again and ‘other left’ meant dropping his right paw and giving you his left?” I just looked at DH, looked down at JJ, looked back at DH and said “I didn’t. He gave me the wrong paw and I just said the first thing that popped into my head”.

 

Others might disagree but JJ taught us it’s better to over-estimate their intelligence than to under-estimate it. And because of that, I’m sure there are people out there who think we’re crazy for talking to our dogs like they’re human (Ex: You see the little wheels turning in their head and you say "Don't even think about it" or you catch them in the middle of doing something they know they aren't suppose to be doing and you say "Excuse me??" and they quickly correct themselves) but I really believe the more we talk to them, the more they pick up.

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Actually, I often find myself thinking how much I love that level of interaction with Quinn. Maybe because I have two other non Border Collies. Both are clever and well trained. They understand a lot of stuff, but not on the same level as a Border Collie. Like you describe with Cerb, Quinn will look for what it is he thinks I want. I love that he responds to the sound of me dropping something by coming over to see if I want him to pick it up. Or if I tell him to "go get…<whatever>," he looks for what is out of place. One time it was a dollar bill that fell behind the sofa. Of course, at the dog friendly office, I put a 5 on a coworker's chair and Quinn must have thought it didn't belong there, because he removed the bill twice until I realized tha I needed to leave it in a different spot. :D

 

One of the things I find myself doing is talking to Quinn in a very conversational tone and he responds as though he "understands every word." This freaks people out a bit and makes me smile at both his response and theirs. At work recently, I went to throw my pop can in recycling and it was brimming over, so I got out the big trash bag to put the cans from the recycling receptacle. The container was so full, cans kept falling to the floor and I said, "Quinn, could you help me out here?" I heard his paws hit the carpet in my office as he rolled over from the loveseat where he had been dozing and he trotted into the room where I was. Without me saying anything more, he picked up the two cans that were on the floor and put them in the big bag I was holding. Quinn has lots of practice with putting pop cans in bags or the recycling container (he is also great about taking items to the laundry drop when I tell him). So it isn't especially amazing since he knew what to do with cans and bottles. But I couldn't see my other dogs being similarly responsive, even if they were physically able to pick up pop cans. I would need to do more in the way of micromanaging their assistance.

 

Now as much as I appreciated Quinn's intelligence and helpfulness when I was trying to put the pop cans in the bag, I couldn't help thinking "Doesn't he hear me struggling in here?" as pop cans started falling on the floor while I was transferring them. Like he was a thoughtless or lazy teen ignoring his mom having a problem with some task, :lol:. That would be an instance of where I might be taking his intelligence too much for granted.

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Others might disagree but JJ taught us it’s better to over-estimate their intelligence than to under-estimate it. And because of that, I’m sure there are people out there who think we’re crazy for talking to our dogs like they’re human (Ex: You see the little wheels turning in their head and you say "Don't even think about it" or you catch them in the middle of doing something they know they aren't suppose to be doing and you say "Excuse me??" and they quickly correct themselves) but I really believe the more we talk to them, the more they pick up.

Oh...I agree. Sometimes it's so transparent that they're trying to "work" you to get you to do something with/for them. Cerb loves to eat paper and knows I hate it (you should see what ends up in the back yard), but he also loves attention. Sometimes I'll catch him doing the slink out of the study with a piece of paper in his mouth. He'll look up as if to say "I was a baaaaad boy" and stand there until I tell him to leave it, which he will. If he wanted to eat it, why would he come out to the living room and wait until I saw it and reprimanded him? We take this as one of his "I'm bored and want some attention" cues.

Last year I was hiking with him on a pretty rough trail. As there were leash restrictions, he was on lead. On the way down the mountain I didn't want him to pull me down from the front so I just pointed behind me and said, "behind" and he did it. Now he does it whenever I start walking downhill on a restrictive trail. He'll just wait and pop in behind me.

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Now as much as I appreciated Quinn's intelligence and helpfulness when I was trying to put the pop cans in the bag, I couldn't help thinking "Doesn't he hear me struggling in here?" as pop cans started falling on the floor while I was transferring them. Like he was a thoughtless or lazy teen ignoring his mom having a problem with some task, :lol:. That would be an instance of where I might be taking his intelligence too much for granted.

:lol: This reminds me of a joke. I hope no one minds me sharing.

 

One day a gentleman walked into the butcher shop to pick something up for dinner. As he walked in he noticed a Border Collie standing in line. When it was the Border Collie’s turn, the butcher asked him what he wanted. The dog pawed the glass front at the pork chops. When the butcher asked him how many he wanted, the dog barked 3 times. When the butcher asked the dog if there was anything else he could get him, the dog shook his head no. The butcher wrapped up the chops and told him “That will be $8.56”. The Border Collie walked around to the side of the counter so the butcher could retrieve his money from a small pouch hanging from the dog’s neck. After which he handed the dog the chops he had placed in a plastic bag.

 

The gentleman was so amazed he followed the dog outside instead of placing his order. The dog walked 3 blocks then turned left. The gentleman followed. After walking another block, the dog stopped, looked both ways, and then turned right. The gentleman continued to follow. After the dog walked a few yards he turned right and walked up a driveway. When he got to the porch, he stood on his back legs and pressed the door bell with his paw. An older gentleman opened the door and let the dog in.

 

The gentleman was so impressed by what the Border Collie did he walked up to the front door and rung the door bell. When the older gentleman answered the door, the other gentleman told him “I was at the butcher shop when your dog was there! I couldn’t believe what I saw! He’s so smart!!!” The older gentleman looked at the guy and said “Naw, he ain’t so smart. This is the 3rd time this week he forgot his house key.”

 

ETA: FWIW, I find myself acting like that older gentleman at times. :)

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Lol. great joke but so true. I couldnt figure out why Black Jack couldnt find his toy in the field when I pointed to it (you could plainly see it) so one time I started yelling out "to your left" "right" and so on and he actually knew what I was talking about and found the toy very easy. So now I can tell him to get anything as long as I use left, right, behind, and out front. I wish I could say I taught him that but I cant.

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I think I take it for granted sometimes and, sometimes, I think it makes me a little haughty because I have this dog with such a beautiful state of mind and capacity for thinking. He's still very young, but I can see him maturing now. His thinking skills are starting to sharpen, but for the better. Now he uses his mind to communicate more effectively rather than to get himself in trouble.

 

Although troublemaking still happens, often.

He's learned how to close my laptop by pushing the top with his paw, for instance. I have no idea where he thought to use that method before and it amazes me, but at the same time it's a bad habit that I've got to teach him /not/ to do, lol.

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He's learned how to close my laptop by pushing the top with his paw, for instance. I have no idea where he thought to use that method before and it amazes me, but at the same time it's a bad habit that I've got to teach him /not/ to do, lol.

:lol: One of the frequent commands I used with Quinn when he was a youngster was, "Quinn, get off the computer!". Also, "Quinn, put down the remote!". One time he changed the channel to QVC. If I had found him with the phone (which he also liked to pick up), I would have been really worried. :D

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"Quinn, put down the remote!". One time he changed the channel to QVC. If I had found him with the phone (which he also liked to pick up), I would have been really worried. :D

 

Hide your credit cards, woman. Your dog is out to have a good time with some home shopping fun ;)

 

Ruth

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No, I don't, because ours isn't very bright.

He takes things too literally and can't work out that what I say isn't necessarily what I mean. All the others can and tend to do what's in my mind rather than what comes out of my mouth.

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I think we all take it for granted after a while.

 

I am constantly reminded that I am expecting too much too fast of the non BCs that I train on occasion.

 

I just speak to my dogs in a conversational tome a lot of the time, too.

 

They understand me even if I don't use the actual "command" word.

 

I love it that, over time, they and I have learned just to understand each other. I know when a bark means "friend here" and when it means "this particular friend here", or "stranger here" or "coyote outside".

 

 

They understand if I say things differently to mean the same thing.

 

I am always toying with the idea of having another breed of dog "some day". I like goldens and poodles. But I don't really know if I could ever have anything but a BC. Their way of thinking just suits me so well. :)

D'Elle

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No way do I take it for granted! I loved Lassie Collies since I was a kid, and I've had many. They used to be smart, intuitive dogs - dogs you could talk to and be understood. Not so much any more.

 

Rudd Weatherwax was very conversational in his training of his Collies. He used full sentences instead of rapping out sharp, one-word commands. But the first Lassie, Pal,

post-10533-002155600 1328815250_thumb.jpg

was a very different kettle of fish from the Collies of today.

Now we have this...

post-10533-004181300 1328815291_thumb.jpg

 

The Border Collie I have now is like the Collie I had when I was a kid. He knew what to do and when to do it. I talked to him like a person, and he understood. That's how Sugarfoot is. I'm completely ruined for any other kind of dog. Seeing the Border Collie in the breed ring makes me shudder. Already there is a noticeable lack of spark, energy and intelligence. So sad.

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I don't know that I'd say I take it for granted. I am used to it, although it still catches me by surprise from time to time. But I definitely appreciate the Border Collie intelligence, the way their brains work, the ideas they come up with, and the twists and turns of conclusions that they draw.

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:lol: One of the frequent commands I used with Quinn when he was a youngster was, "Quinn, get off the computer!". Also, "Quinn, put down the remote!". One time he changed the channel to QVC. If I had found him with the phone (which he also liked to pick up), I would have been really worried. :D

 

 

Hide your credit cards, woman. Your dog is out to have a good time with some home shopping fun ;)

 

Ruth

 

Where's a like button when you need one?!

 

Too funny! :D

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We've had border collies for 5 years now, and I don't think either of us takes it for granted, really. We're used to it, yes. But even still, just the other night my husband said something to Alex, and when he did whatever it was, my husband said to me, "That dude is SO smart. SO friggin smart!"

 

However, I wish I could say that applied to all the border collies in my house, but sadly it doesn't. *coughWillcough* :rolleyes:

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Then there was the little Yorkie cross we were sitting. She's very playful and Cerb was obliging her, but with the 30lb weight difference I was worried. I told Cerb to sit, he did (duh) but he then proceeded to endure her onslaught of nips and bats without reciprocating. He just pulled in his chin and took it. That is exactly what I meant for him to do, but it's nothing I really trained for or expected.

 

Dex is the same with our Yorkie cross, he just sits there and takes the jumping and nipping. She also likes to climb all over his back when he is laying down. He only proceeds to correct her or play with her if I tell him to. I was getting annoyed that he wasn't giving any correction (My border collie getting beaten up by an 8 pound dust mop). Now I give him permission to play and it has evened out. He is very gentle though which impresses me other than sitting on her once! which I don't think was intentional?....but maybe it was. :D

 

I can't say I take it for granted as I'm still suprised by it on almost a daily basis. I'm used to Labs and Goldens which seem "dumb" in comparsion (I had two goldens before Dex and grew up with black labs). I actually had to adjust my training to suit Dex and I've found that he responds better to being treated like a "Human". I tend to talk to him like I'm talking to a person when I'm trying to teach him something and not much repition is required either.

 

I've also found, like others have noted, that he picks up things on his own just based on what I say and what he "thinks" I want.

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Oh...I agree. Sometimes it's so transparent that they're trying to "work" you to get you to do something with/for them. Cerb loves to eat paper and knows I hate it (you should see what ends up in the back yard), but he also loves attention. Sometimes I'll catch him doing the slink out of the study with a piece of paper in his mouth. He'll look up as if to say "I was a baaaaad boy" and stand there until I tell him to leave it, which he will. If he wanted to eat it, why would he come out to the living room and wait until I saw it and reprimanded him? We take this as one of his "I'm bored and want some attention" cues.

 

Sometimes, though, I think they really enjoy the process of being told what to do and then doing it. They like the ritual interaction. But maybe that's another way of saying what you said.

 

Last year I was hiking with him on a pretty rough trail. As there were leash restrictions, he was on lead. On the way down the mountain I didn't want him to pull me down from the front so I just pointed behind me and said, "behind" and he did it. Now he does it whenever I start walking downhill on a restrictive trail. He'll just wait and pop in behind me.

 

Yes! They do this sort of thing! And I often hope that owners notice it. I hope they're not so preoccupied with life's distractions that they think to themselves "Why the heck is this dog walking behind me?" -- having forgotten the previous interaction. I fear that I myself may have been that distracted, unobservant owner early on, before they made me so dog-centered. :(

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Meanwhile, deep in the woods.....

 

 

 

Me-"come bye."

 

 

The Broom- "Not that way, Tea"

 

Me- "COme Bye."

 

 

The Broom, "Here I'll look in the direction they went into the woods."

 

Me- "Hum?"

 

The Broom- "?"

 

Me- "Sweep, "go find 'em, cause I d9on't know where they are."

 

The Broom, "Ok.....I'll be back."

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lol yup, I am this way with my girls, if I am bringing in grocerys I will be like "wanna come Hap?" and she follows me out the gate, I load up my arms, and austomaticly "can you get the gate please?" and Happy will run ahead and open the gate for me, and I dont respond "good dog" I say "thank you!" she is my "bank dog" the bank branch I use in in a sketchy area and the only chance I have is to use the machine at night, so I always take Happy with me, she just walks beside me, looks both ways before crossing the street with me, while I am at the machine, she lays in front of my feet and watches my back.

 

Mistys its like she can read my mind sometimes...a few weeks ago for example I was at work, and a dog would not come in, he was playing "catch me if you can", now there is a large shed in the cornor of the fence in that yard, and the dogs will use this, they will run behind it and just stay there, and no matter which side you go to to get them, they will rbolt out the opposite and leave you as far from them as possable, so me and Misty were outside trying to catch this dog, and he ran behind the shed, I went bolting for one end of the shed, and Misty jsut automaticly ran to the opposite end and blocked the dogs escape, she didn't let up until the dog was in my hands.

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