Pleased to meet you. Are you intelligent?
#1
This is a semi-serious question:  when you meet a dog for the first time, how can you tell if he or she is 'intelligent'?

Smile
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#2
Define intelligent.

What most people mean is willingness to please

Do I see "willingness" yes, As a trainer I am always assessing this and how to get it.
In fact my new boy Flynn, I took upstairs to "play" but is was a total assessment of the dogs willingness and desire to please.
I like to see smart, quick to learn as well, but willingness needs to have the balance.

For instance one of the smartest breeds has to be a husky, I have been blown away with their intelligence and problem solving abilities however there is generally a lack of the need to please and a heavy dose of humour thrown into this breed. That I personally struggle with them
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#3
(07-28-2017, 07:05 AM)Quirkydog Wrote: Define intelligent.

What most people mean is willingness to please

Do I see "willingness" yes,  As a trainer I am always assessing this and how to get it.
In fact my new boy Flynn, I took upstairs to "play" but is was a total assessment of the dogs willingness and desire to please.
I like to see smart, quick to learn as well,  but willingness needs to have the balance.

For instance one of the smartest breeds has to be a husky, I have been blown away with their intelligence and problem solving abilities however there is generally a lack of the need to please and a heavy dose of humour thrown into this breed.  That I personally struggle with them

Thank you - that's a really interesting answer.  I haven't really thought about what I mean by 'intelligence', and hadn't considered willingness to please at all - but yes, that would be part of it.

Can you tell within the first 10 minutes of meeting a dog? 

I've heard it said that Border Collies have a sense of humour too.  They have made me laugh, but I'm not sure they experience things as 'funny'?
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#4
Border Collies are weirdos, quirky. That is what I love most about them
A Border Collie is probably the most willing to please breed. However handle with care.
There comes a responsibility with that. I have seen them shut down because of harsh handling. Or trying so hard but failing to understand what is expected, because of poor training. when in thiis situation their minds will work at breakneck speed but over the threshold to work, stressed up, and this breed does not handle failure well.
They need to know it is ok to make a mistake, I mean they really need to know this.
In my opinion, don't micromanage as they will allow you to do this. I like a thinking dog. They are so fun. Personally most people struggle with the quickness of this breeds thinking. It is a magical dance because you need to adjust equally fast to what information the dog gives you.
I see them mentally as thoroughbreds, racing cars, enjoy the ride, lol
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#5
I don't know if my dogs understand the concept of funny but they do seem to like it when the humans laugh. Tasha loves to steal things, usually a sock or flip-flop from my daughter. I will hear, "Wait! That's mine!" and Tasha will race down the hall with her latest treasure. If I laugh (and I usually do since Tasha looks so pleased with herself) Tasha will race around the house playing keep away while my kid yells, "Thanks for helping, Mom!"
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#6
(07-28-2017, 06:25 PM)Tasha Wrote: I don't know if my dogs understand the concept of funny but they do seem to like it when the humans laugh.  Tasha loves to steal things, usually a sock or flip-flop from my daughter.  I will hear, "Wait!  That's mine!" and Tasha will race down the hall with her latest treasure.  If I laugh (and I usually do since Tasha looks so pleased with herself) Tasha will race around the house playing keep away while my kid yells, "Thanks for helping, Mom!"

Yes! I used to know a collie that always barked if he heard me laughing - as if he wanted to join in the fun.  I just can't get my head round a dog having a sense of humour - I can see that they enjoy a kind of 'teasing' which seems to be based on their liking for chase games, eg, 'I've got this sock, let's see if you can get it off me'.
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#7
(07-28-2017, 03:27 PM)Quirkydog Wrote: Border Collies are weirdos,  quirky.  That is what I love most about them
A Border Collie is probably the most willing to please breed.   However handle with care.
There comes a responsibility with that.  I have seen them shut down because of harsh handling. Or trying so hard but failing to understand what is expected, because of poor training. when in thiis situation their minds will work at breakneck speed but over the threshold to work, stressed up,   and this breed does not handle failure well.
They need to know it is ok to make a mistake, I mean they really need to know this.
In my opinion, don't micromanage as they will allow you to do this.  I like a thinking dog.  They are so fun.   Personally most people struggle with the quickness of this breeds thinking.   It is a magical dance because you need to adjust equally fast to what information the dog gives you.
I see them mentally as thoroughbreds, racing cars, enjoy the ride, lol

I love this post.  I think it perfectly captures why I want a border collie in my life - I've always called them the 'Ferrari' of breeds and I'm really drawn to their complexity, sensitivity, speed and their quirkiness. I've looked after other dogs, and they've been very loveable - but not as intriguing as the collie.

This forum is so helpful - not least because it's helping me to understand some of the mistakes I made with my failed rescue earlier this year.  Hopefully I'll be a bit more switched on next time around.
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#8
Quirky sums things up beautifully and I so agree. I feel the problem solving and also the ability to calibrate and work as a team with both humans and other canines is indicative of intelligence. The speed with which they learn something new can be phenomenal and combine that with an eagerness to please and you have yourself quite something special.
Connecting the dots and planning ahead is something I have noticed with my two and Max has recently been busted big time for doing this. We have been doing a lot of work with Jaspers reactive barking towards Max and this usually involves treats as reward for correct response to "quiet". Max usually gets a treat also for nice behaviours while Jasper is learning. Haha, so Max started deliberately pressing Jaspers buttons to create a situation in which we would jump to training and rewarding Jasper. It snuck up on me but a week or so ago it was so obvious I was stunned and said to my partner, "did you see that, did you see what Max just did or am I imagining that ? "
We had been thinking, poor Max, he is so tolerant of Jaspers behaviour. Hah, poor Max indeed ! He had figured out how to work Jaspers issue to his advantage.
The sense of humour, Oh I sure do understand that. One example is Mao's returning of a ball. He knows where it should be put in order for the game to continue but he likes to get creative and will from time to time just put the ball somewhere else. Not just anywhere but somewhere weird like in a pot plant or on top of his crate or on top of a hedging plant. Somewhere where he actually has to go out of his way to do it. He's a crack up at times and I must be careful not to quash this quirkiness while at the same time not letting him just randomly change the game rules.
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#9
I love Tasha's personality.  She was my first Border Collie and I am amazed at how fast she learns new things.  Mattie has been a challenge for me to teach because I often expect her to be like Tasha.  Tasha has had constant attention since the day she was born.  Mattie was found as a stray at nine months old and from what her foster mom, a couple of dog trainers, and I have been able to piece together we all think she was severely neglected.  Mattie is so smart!  But teaching her something new is very different from teaching Tasha.  Where Tasha will bark if she gets confused, Mattie will shut down.  I have had lots of people say, "Oh, Mattie!  She isn't very smart, is she?"  They compare her to Tasha and that isn't fair.  

I used to have a Miniature Schnauzer, Pepper.  She just didn't seem very intelligent.  I would say, "Pepper, sit!"  And she would stand there staring at me.  She was a cute little thing that wanted nothing more then a nice comfortable spot to take a nap.  In her 13 years of life my only real complaints about her is she barked at everything and nothing and she wasn't the best at being housebroke so she always slept in a crate at night and if I was away from home I would have to call every five hours or so and tell someone to let her out or she would have an accident in the house.  A few years after she died I read about an experiment done with six week old puppies to see if they responded to verbal or visual cues. Miniature Schnauzers were one of the breeds in the experiment and they responded to visual cues.  And finally an incident with Pepper made sense.  When Pepper was a puppy my oldest daughter taught her how to "Hi-Five".  One day my youngest daughter found out about this trick and wanted to see Pepper do the trick.  I remember thinking that it had been at least seven years since anyone had asked Pepper to do the trick and there was no way she would do it but I decided to try.  Keep in mind that by this time Pepper was an old dog and had lost most of her hearing and much of her vision.  I went and got Pepper (because she NEVER came when called) and asked her to 'sit'.  It took a couple of minutes to get her to sit which was typical Pepper.  And then I said, "Pepper, Hi-Five" and held up my hand.... And her paw slapped my hand!!!  So when I read, years later, about Miniature Schnauzers being visual my first thought was, "Why didn't anyone tell me this 15 years ago!"
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#10
I have had a number of breeds that are considered unintelligent because of their lack of desire to please, but if you lived with them any amount of time, you would find out just how smart they really are. My Saluki could escape from anything. He could unlatch any kind of crate and open all different kinds of house doors, but he never once opened the front door and escaped the house. He could open any kind of treat or food container, but he never over-indulged. In spite of his lack of willingness to please, he was one of the smartest dogs I have ever known.

For me, I assess intelligence by observing how interested the dog is with it's environment.
Gotta love 'em.
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