Friday, May 28, 2010
Buffy is a really smart dog . . . sometimes
Buffy's breed Shetland Sheepdogs are regularly listed as one of the top 10 smartest dog breeds.
These "smartest dog breed" lists usually measure adaptive intelligence, the dog's ability to problem solve, understand language and social cues. Even though we have yet to do one of these tests on Buffy I can tell you Buffy is smart puppy.
this earlier post discusses this process). She has been pretty easy to train, except for the coming issue but we've made a lot of progress with that. She remembers where we put things, she knows what time things should usually happen and she learns quickly what she should and should not do.
As impressive as Buffy is she never fails to remind us that she is smart for a dog. Remember this early clip of Buffy fighting herself in the mirror?
Yeah that's just the start of it.
Buffy likes to chase her tail which is normal dog behavior and often Buffy will actually catch her tail in her mouth. What's a little weird is how sometimes she'll stop, look back at her tail and try to run away from it. . . sigh.
I got to admit though the way she tries to talk to me has got to be a sign of something going on in her brain (and it's really cute).
Then there the stuff Buffy feels she need to bark at. Now Buffy doesn't really bark at people or other dogs but she definitely shows her dislike to inanimate objects like flags, swifter wipes, lint rollers, paper towels, basically anything that we use to try to clean the house. Vacuum cleaners? It's nor so much the sound or the vacuum in motion that bugs her, just the fact that when i move it it's not in the place she think it should be.
Buffy's aversion to cleaning is kind of ironic as Shetland Sheepdogs are known as the cats of the dog breeds because of their tendency to want to stay clean. Buffy will almost always spend time cleaning her paws whenever they get wet. . . I guess she just doesn't like the idea of us doing cleaning ourselves.
Buffy does try to eat things that are gross and while I understand her instinct to smell other dogs "markings" that can't be a sanitary habit and not exactly a sign of higher level thinking.
Oh and there's the fact that Buffy sometimes seems to forget sometimes that my feet are part of my body and not a little animal for her to heard. Sometime I can't walk because I have an appendage in the form of a dog trying with all her might to get my foot to stop moving. Then when my foot finally does stop moving Buffy will sit there and incessantly bark.
What? I guess this is her herding instinct. . . bark at something until it stops and then bark at it when it does to get it moving? Riiiight.
Don't get me wrong I love my little "girly-bear." She's sweet, affectionate, loyal and responsible. When Diana and I are in different rooms she makes sure she sits equidistant between the two of us so that she can keep track of us.
In the evening when Diana and I are getting ready for bed Buffy will try as her might to stay awake until the both of us have settled down in bed. She will sit there and her eyes will slowly drop closed and she will quickly perk up when we walk by. This level of care she has for us is one of the most touching things she does.
She may not be able to do math or appreciate Shakespeare but she works hard to take care of us Buffy reminds me that intelligence isn't necessarily the most important thing in the people in our lives. It's what in the heart that endears people to us.