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Old 03-21-2014, 01:57 PM
Location: North Idaho
22,548 posts, read 28,491,298 times
Reputation: 43421


Smart dogs can be so difficult to train. They can think of 100 different ways to do something and they want to test them all to see which ones work and which ones don't. They think about whether they really want to do it, instead of just doing as they were asked.

Dumb dogs are easy. Repeat, repeat, repeat, the same way each time and they form the habit and don't stop to think that they have other options.

Wyatt McRiot's latest variation on his training:

He's learning to find his supper dish for me. He only has to touch it, but he picked it up and handed it to me and that got good results, so now he hands the dish to me. He invented his own trick, much better than the one I was trying to teach him.

He picked up the dish and tried to give it to me and I told him that only works if I ask him for the dish. So, he threw it behind the dining room table, wedged in behind a chair.

I was thinking that the next "where's your supper dish" session was going to be difficult because he'd pretty effectively hidden it. But no, he remembered exactly where it was. He crawled in and got it carried it to me and offered it to me.

But when I reached to take it, he threw it across the room. He then went and picked it up, offered it to me and when I reached out to take it, he threw it. He did that a couple of times until I asked him if he really wanted his dinner or not. He then gave it to me.

But now, tested and proven, he can play a little game of fetch before dinner. He's invented a new game.

Next time, he flipped the dish over and was drumming on it with his feet and pushing it around with his nose, "trying" to get it turned over so he could pick it up. I leaned over to pick it up, and he flipped it over, grabbed it and threw it. He then picked it up and placed it in my hand.

So many different ways to find the supper dish and so many of them still result in dinner.

He can be such a jerk.

Wyatt has worn his beeping collar for a year now. He hasn't been beeped at all after the first week. So, we decide to wean him off the collar. Surely, after an entire year, he has learned to come when called?

It was going well for the first two weeks and then, I called him. He snapped to attention, started running towards me and then took a detour, around the back of the woodpile, the back of the shop, all the way around the back of the house. He was running so fast that he left a trail of smoke.

He slammed himself to a sit at my feet and sat at attention. Rules followed? Yes. He came immediately, he came as fast as his legs could propel him, he did a beautiful "front" when he reached me. No disobedience there.

He was just testing to see how many variations could be used and seeing what was acceptable.

The beeping collar is now back on the charger and will be accompanying Wyatt on his future outdoor excursions.
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Old 03-21-2014, 02:34 PM
Location: West Virginia
12,400 posts, read 31,382,423 times
Reputation: 8093
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:28 PM
Location: Georgia, USA
23,315 posts, read 28,122,929 times
Reputation: 28803
Well, when will we see a Wyatt McRiot book? Complete with pictures? How about some video?

Sounds like Carolyn Scott's freestyle dancing dog, Rookie, who like to make up his own dance moves.

Carolyn Scott & Rookie - YouTube
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Old 03-21-2014, 03:35 PM
13,675 posts, read 13,514,075 times
Reputation: 39794
My Houla is crazy smart. But he's terribly obedient and eager to please. However, watching him work through a puzzle or test the limits of his own abilities is always interesting.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:05 PM
Location: Charlotte, NC
189 posts, read 276,544 times
Reputation: 622
Hahaha...my little terror has figured out if the "beep collar" isn't on her, she can do whatever she wants.

But as soon as I put that thing on her, boy does she get in line! I too am waiting for at least a picture of the famous Wyatt McRiot!!
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:11 AM
Location: Western NC
729 posts, read 1,216,400 times
Reputation: 1108
My sister in laws border collie would travel the 1/4 mile up their driveway, get the newspaper, bring it back intact then go to the cupboard and open the door, get her dog cookie box and take it to them for a treat. One day they handed the box back to her and told her to put it away. Rosie took it to the cupboard and started to open the door then stopped. She had a look on her face like "what the heck am I doing??? - they want me to put the cookies BACK?????" she picked up the box and took it back to her owners, asking for more!
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:01 AM
Location: Princeton
1,078 posts, read 1,119,061 times
Reputation: 2137
I love Service Dogs, I would report for duty everyday and my fellow officers would be on duty with their dogs, truely amazing, one of the Service Dogs was my friend, he didn't speak much, he was always on duty as a behavior detection officer, one of his many duties, Danny spoke two different languages and only answer to his partner, it always made feel good knowing Danny was there standing tall as I walked on by. Amazing! truely Amazing. A soon as I get squared away this summer and have some free time, I'm going to start my search finding a pup and great friend like Danny and bring him home. The LE community used several different breeds for the job, another one was Troy the Beagal. Great friends and great Troopers..
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:33 PM
Location: Lakeside. Of course.
532 posts, read 1,566,916 times
Reputation: 1245
Awww, Oregon! I must spread the reputation around before I can give you more...

Your story made me smile. I have TWO smart dogs of my own.

Our youngest is quite a character. He's still young so he goes to doggie daycare during the day to help wear him out. He's got a few "issues" with strangers and when his daddy picked him up one day, he got all loud and rowdy with someone he didn't know. When they got home, his dad was telling me all about it. He said, "Why do you have to be so stupid sometimes?" and nudged his hind quarters, gently, with his foot. The dog looked up at him, then down at his shoe and stepped forward, right on his dad's foot! As if to say, "you nudge me, I'm gonna nudge you back!" If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it!!! LOL!
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:00 PM
Location: Montana
1,752 posts, read 1,646,679 times
Reputation: 5951
We had a Samoyed when I was a kid. We used to chain him out the back door with a 75' run to potty and hang out. Neighbor kids would come, ring the doorbell, and we would open the door and invite them in. We started getting doorbell rings, and when we opened the door, there stood Kipper, wagging his tail. Thinking it was a "ring and run" joke, I shut the door. Three rings later I figured out it was the dog! He was so pleased when he finally got me trained!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:46 AM
24,843 posts, read 32,321,534 times
Reputation: 11452
I had an Old English Sheepdog....Maggie.

She learned to hit the handle on the screen door and let herself out......then she learned how to let herself back in by hitting the handle and getting it to bounce....and open.
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