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DS March / April Responses
[Describe the cleverest thing that you have ever seen your dog do spontaneously (in other words, not something you have trained him or her to do)]
• I had a Doberman (Ravenhills’ Kahana Royale) “Kahana” who loved anything to do with food. My old house in Aldergrove, BC had a young wild apple tree in the back yard and every fallKahana would eat her fill when she was outside. In October the tree was becoming quite bare, and there were very few apples still left to fall to the ground. One day one of the branches held the last apple of the season, this apple was attached to a branch that connected to another branch in a “v” shape. The branch that had the apple on it was slightly higher than Kahana could reach even when she stood up on her hind legs to get at it. The other branch that was part of the ‘V’ was lower. Kahana tried several times to stand up, leap and get at the apple but to no avail. After several attempts she stopped and sat directly under the branches and stared at the apple. Then I saw something interesting happen…it was clear to me, by watching her head move, she started to follow the branch that had the apple from the apple to the other (lower) connecting branch, and back to the apple again. She then changed her position around, stood up on her hind legs, reached for the lower branch, and with her front paws, pulled the branch down, leaned over to the higher branch and picked the apple off the tree! That was truly amazing! – Barbara – AAC Registrar –Farm’s Pride English Shepherds
• The cleverest thing I have seen my dog do was when I was giving out dog cookies in the kitchen. I had three dogs at the time 2 German Shepherds and a corgi puppy. I asked all the dogs to sit for a cookie. The corgi was young and hadn’t quite got the hang of sit. My 5 year old female shepherd knew no one was getting a cookie until everyone was sitting, so after a couple of minutes of waiting she sighed and placed her paw on the corgi puppy’s rump and pushed him into a sit. I quickly gave them all cookies. When my husband got home a few minutes later I told him about it. He of course said it was a fluke. So I asked the dogs to sit for cookies again and very quickly this time our female shepherd placed her paw on the puppies rump and pushed. This continued for a couple of days until our corgi quickly learned sit. – Cindy – Lincoln, AR.
• The Cleverest thing my dog did spontaneously: I was beginning articles training with my Golden Retriever Chicklets. I started by hiding an article and encouraging her to find it. She looked for a minute, then went to the bag where the rest of the articles were, picked an article out of the bag, and brought it to me. – Kathryn – Ottawa, Ontario
• I was reading the recent volume of DogSport and immediately thought of something that happened recently with my cocker spaniel, Harleigh D – I am sure it is a natural instinct and would happen with most dogs, but, when this happened, I, along with my friend, were very impressed. I was on vacation with a friend in Florida last month. Harleigh D sometimes will, in middle of night, wake me, by ‘gently touching my arm…His way of saying ‘please let me out! Normally,he would never go to anybody except me. I fell and had injured knee, therefore was on some ‘heavy medication/off feet for a few days. Harleigh D seemed to realize he should not come to me for anything…That first night, he went to my friend’s room, touched her arm…got no results, so touched it again and finally made a more aggressive ’slap on her arm so she would get up and take him outside. He obviously knew I could not get out of bed, etc. He is a dog that learns everything quickly…but, this, he did on his own. He continued to go to my friend every time he wanted outside until I was able to get around! Dog are just so intelligent…too bad their two legged friends weren’t blessed with the same degree of compassion and intelligence !! – Kelly –Fredericton, N.B.
• One very clever thing I saw one of my 6 dogs do was: I gave one of my six dogs an almost empty jar of peanut butter. It had been lick clean by several of my dogs except for the very very bottom of the jar that no one could reach. My little Miniature Pincher, Tori, then took the jar. I couldn’t believe it but she was sticking her front leg all the way into the jar and scraping out the last little bit of peanut butter with her paw and then of course licking her paw. She kept doing this until she got every little speck of peanut butter out of that jar. She is a very smart and resourceful dog! – Linda – Central Point, Oregon
May/June Question – We Ask, You Answer!
[With each sport (obedience, rally, dock jumping, agility, flyball) it seems as though the 'ideal' competitor is given to a specific breed due to their natural abilities (speed, sense of smell, etc). Do you believe that it is the breed of the dog OR the will and determination of the dog that determines the level of success they reach?]
• I think it is the will of the dog AND handler that determines the success of each dog at sports. I train an Irish Setter in many activities. No, he will never be herding group perfect at agility or obedience, but that doesn’t mean that he cannot be successful and reach his full potential at whatever he does. My setter is trained to draft, and is training in agility and competitive obedience. Just like all the border collies and shelties, he does like his jobs. When I first got my setter, many people were very willing to tell me that setters are stupid and can’t be taught much – nowadays the setter’s job is to look pretty. The same people are amazed to see Skylar working and have now changed their attitude. He may never be on the world team, but he has taught a lot of people that breed isn’t everything in a dog’s working potential. – Barbara, Dartmouth, NS
July/August Question – We Ask, You Answer!
[If you could go anywhere with your dog, where would it be? And why?]
• If I could go anywhere with my dog, Buster, I would go to Camp Dogwould in Port Elmsley, ON. For a 3 day weekend in June, people and dogs congregate, meet old friends, get educated, and have fun. There are training courses in agility, flyball, rally-o, tricks, disc, and search and rescue. Guest lecturers give talks on pet first aid, Tellington touch, grooming, and many other various topics. My dog loves best to go swimming between classes. Fun matches are organized for the instructors and campers. There is so much to see and do all weekend, I think it’s the best family vacation imaginable. — Peggy, Ottawa, Ontario
September/October Question – We Ask, You Answer!
[How important are the ingredients in your dog's food? Do you prefer organic or holistic?]