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Are you smarter than your dog? — 28 Comments

  1. My mama found this out too Roxy and Torrey! Then my trainers told her the same thing, not to let me get away with it or else I am in charge! BOL! We know better but I do comply because I like being a good girl and getting hugs from Mama and the The Kitty crew! So happy you are Pet 360 Ambassador! We lov them and Blog Paws so much! Remember, no half sits! Mwah!

  2. I agree! Teaching proper leash walking is where I fall short. I’ve settled for mediocre behavior because I just wanted to walk and not mess with the constant corrections and doling out of treats. Also, Pierson has used a doggy version of a successful 2-year-old technique – Barking (crying) in order to get what he wants. When Pierson barks outside, I immediately call him back in so his barking won’t bother the neighbors. As a result, he’s learned that whenever he wants to be inside all he has to do is bark. Let’s just hope Pierson doesn’t learn how to throw temper tantrums in order to get what he wants.

  3. Since I do competitive agility with Jimmy, I am very aware of not rewarding for sloppy behavior! The timing of the reward is very important so that he knows what exactly earned him the treat. Too much bad timing on the treat delivery and you soon have an unwanted behavior like knocking down a jump bar or blowing a contact.

  4. Mom says that the trouble with my sister and I is that we are often smarter than she is…we get the best of her often!

  5. Dogs instinctively know how to listen to humans. They are far better at nonverbal communication. In that sense they are much smarter than we are. Many humans think dogs have nothing to teach them because humans can be arrogant.

  6. I’ve always wondered if Torrey were a mini. I’ve met some minis who were able to get away with a lot from the mom or dad hehe. I think Shiner does some of these things to me lol.

  7. I haven’t read the article, so i can’t really comment on whether I disagree or not, but I’d be really interested in how you re-trained Torrey to come the first time you call her. As you probably know, Delilah is always on leash as she is fairly unreliable. :-(

    • I wish I could say Torrey comes every single time I call her, on the first try. She is getting much much better, but if she is distracted by smells, critters, people…you name it. It can take a couple three times to get her to me. Oddly enough..and maybe this is just my perception, adding the word NOW!! has an impact and she comes running. It’s that two year old thing again.

  8. Mom Kim here – Shiloh iz the one that keeps proving to me just how adept he is at counter-surfing. They are so food/treat motivated and over the years they must have learned that I can be just as strong-willed and determined as they can because when it comes to obedience commands or when I ask them for a trick, most of that is almost automatic for the Beaglebratz. But Shiloh and his counter-surfing – even when I am sure that he can’t get to whatever it is I have left on the counter or table is out of his reach, he proves me wrong. So now, most of the time, ANY food goes in the fridge or cupboard – I’m waiting for him to learn how to open them.
    By the way, the Beaglebratz (or me) FINALLY put up a post today thanking you for the Frosty Paws gift pack. It is wonderful – I have never seen an insulated back pack before.
    Mom Kim

  9. I definitely agree with the “as smart as a 2 year old” thing in general. Of course, some dogs are smarter than others. Our beagle was n excellent communicator! She had no trouble getting her point across in most situations. She was stubborn, but super smart. Rita is the first dog I’ve had that actually seems to want to please me. I don’t think she’s as smart as Bailey was, but she’s sweet – which goes a long way. (That Torrey – she’s got brains and beauty! She’s the full package!)

  10. Good article, and boy is it true.Jack is probably the most trainable dog we’ve had and he can be perfect…if I make him and sloppy if I let him. It’s kind if “do the minimum, hope for the treat,”

  11. Well, depends on the individual dog and the individual person, doesn’t it? Jasmine was really the only dog that was ever hard to outsmart. She was way too clever. And what dogs definitely have over us is patience. So outsmarting humans takes smarts AND patience.

    Example? At one point we didn’t want Jasmine munch on horse poop. And she didn’t. When we were watching. But sooner or later, everybody got distracted … guess what happened? She knew exactly whether we were paying attention or not.

    The question is this: are dogs really smarter, or just better learners/observers? Because we, humans, really suck at those two disciplines.

  12. Mollie being a Collie is super smart. You do something once and she remembers. Training she is good at but gets over excited. We teach dogs things without realizing . Mollie copies. We try to shoo a fly out and now she has seen us do it, every time a fly comes in, without us even moving, she thinks it’s her job to get it out. LOL xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  13. No doubt – my dogs have trained me in many ways, and they’ve learned very subtle cues that I didn’t mean to teach them. For example, in the late afternoon, they both expect to go on a hike if I touch my camera bag. Camera bag means hike to them!!! Then there’s Shyla who requires me to say “sit” twice every time before she sits. Yup, we’re working on retraining that one.

    Great post!

  14. Love the photos :) I definitely think Charlie is smarter than me at times. He often knows what I’m going to do, even before I do it. I think he must sense a certain change in my breathing or body language, it’s crazy.

  15. One thing I struggle with is calling our dogs back. They know that they have up to three changes to respond and it’s something that I need to break myself of.

    I agree that our dogs are smart; they blow me away with how smart they are the what they understand.

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