Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dumb animals? I think not

I just watched a video that had a doorbell ringing. As soon as that played, Murphy jumped up, ran into my office and barked. OK, great. He knows what a doorbell is. But I don't have a doorbell. Never have. Where is he getting this from? He's always been a kennel dog or an outside dog before I got him.

Lagniappe was the same way. He'd go nutty when he heard doorbells on TV, too. And again, as long as I had him, I never lived in a house or apartment that had a doorbell.

But the strangest one? My first German Shepherd, Oliver. If he heard another German Shepherd bark on the TV, he'd run into the room from wherever he was and sit right in front of the set, staring at the Shepherd on the screen. (Usually old episodes of "Cops".) If it was any other dog, he wouldn't even stir but if it was a Shepherd I'd usually wind up having to watch the rest of the show between his big pointy ears as he'd be parked a foot from the screen, watching until he was sure that dog was gone.

Oh--and Murphy is alert to engine and vehicle types, too. Not only does he alert to the UPS truck whenever it comes here, but when he was at my mother's over the holiday, he sounded off when an identical Big Brown Truck slowed down in front of her place as well. No other vehicle gets him going, but a braking UPS truck? It's on like Donkey Kong even before the truck is in view.

Oh, and my nephew, The Spud, still can't figure out how come he can never win at Hide and Seek with any of my Shepherds that he's ever played with. They've always found him in seconds no matter how well he's hidden, when they've bothered to actually look for him, that is.

People who think that dogs are dumb really need to watch a Shepherd in action for a bit.


  1. I believe it was a common mistake for people to believe the Nazis used these dogs because they were mean. They used them because they are smart.

  2. They ARE smart... :-)

  3. I understand on the vehicle thing. I have a gal friend that stayed here for a few days as one house sold and the closing wasn't quite done on the new place.

    She worked early and was home before I got there. She said Barkley would start barking at least 10 minutes before she heard the key in the door. He had to recognize the sound of the truck, even if it was only one of a dozen or so vehicles coming down the road that time of day.

  4. Speak to Spud about frequent showers. At least challenge the dog a bit.

  5. I think dogs know way more than we think. I also think they have a 6th sense we don't know about.

  6. My northside neighbors were very surprised to discover that Apollo recognized the sound of both their vehicles. The folks across the street are unaware Apollo knows their car, but I expect they'd appreciate it less since his reaction is much more protective.

  7. My appreciation of animal intelligence increased a great deal when I started having indoor animals and so started interacting much more with them. They are way smarter than people have credited.

  8. A friend of mine had a Rottweiler that would bark and try to attack the TV if there were horses on it.

    Also, KX59 had a Weimer that would see birds on the TV and point.

    Dogs are funny, and yes, they're smart.

  9. I am so glad that Nyquil doesn't run the commercial with the rooster on it anymore - the one with "You'll sleep like you did before the neighbors rooster went blind." The sound of that bird would cause Chloe to come running and she would search the entire living room for it before giving up. Doorbells on tv also get her barking up a storm.