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 Post subject: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:49 pm 
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I ran across this list in typical Internet 'follow the links' fashion. I read the post on Lacys being back in the ARF registry, went to their website, saw the dogs listed there... decided to check up on a breed I know and.. by then I forgot what the heck I was trying to do to begin with. :-\ The web... ADD.. I think the two are somehow related?

Anyway... this list ranks dog intelligence based on obedience trainability, recognizing that isn't the only valid factor. Setting pride aside, where do you think the Lacy fits? I've owned #3, #4 and #10. In my experience, the Lab needs to drop down, and the Aussie needs to move up, but what do I know? Cannon is at least on a par with the Aussie I owned, but then I understand training much better now. I was young when we had a Shepherd as a family dog.. that dog was definitely smart, but hard to say how he compares to Cannon, since the circumstances were so different. There are a lot of impressive BCs out there... trying to be as objective as I can while looking at the breeds I know, I'd have the BC, GSD, ACD and Lacy vying for the top spot.

Brightest Dogs
Understanding of New Commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions.
Obey First Command: 95% of the time or better.
1. Border Collie
2. Poodle
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
5. Doberman Pinscher
6. Shetland Sheepdog
7. Labrador Retriever
8. Papillon
9. Rottweiler
10. Australian Cattle Dog

I pulled the list from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intelligence_of_Dogs

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:51 pm 
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I think it is just too big of a game of numbers. I had a border collie that was as dumb as a box of rocks. Too many varibles.............. what dog is smarter- a dog that works out a 10hr track or one that opens a fridge and gets a beer for its owner? To each their own. Hard to compare a herding dog to a gauard dog.


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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:40 am 
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Yeah, I'd be curious to see how they did that list. Because from what I've seen of Golden Retrievers, they are dumb as a box of rocks. We've had three in agility class with us and each one learned at a snail's pace and couldn't retain anything from one week to the next. I've seen some pretty dense Labs, but I've seen smart ones too, so I'm a little more willing to buy their placement.

So I would take off the Golden Retrievers, probably bump Poodles down, put ACDs up and insert Lacys near the top. Sadie can usually learn in a new command in two or three repetitions. And I'd say she understands commands 100% the first time they are given. But unfortunately she is a little too smart and may make her own decisions when it comes to following the rules.

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- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:56 am 
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One of the really best things about clicker training is developing the willingness in the dog to experiment and think for itself. That ability doesn't fit the criteria used for the list, but once a dog understands it's okay to try new things and see whether they are rewarded for them, training (anything) happens really really fast. I think our Lacys have a lot of that innate ability to think for themselves, and if it used as a basis for training, then they will keep up with any breed in learning skills and reliabling following a handlers cues, which -is- the criteria used for the list.

I'm getting there with Cannon, and he is recognized by the agility instructor as a really smart dog. Because his early training was such a mixed up mess (as Ann says "You mean you made him psycho") I've had to work to break some of his tendency to wait for me to show him what to do. Teaching by forcing a behavior or coaxing a dog into it doesn't create the same conditioning as clicking a behavior just as the dog tries it himself. The clicker method bypasses the cerebral cortex and goes straight to the Amygdala (as all conditioned reinforcers do), almost hard-wiring it into the same are of the brain that holds instinctive behaviors.

I had Cannon inside last night escaping the heat, and decided to try a variant of a clicker exercise known as "101 things to do with a box". See http://www.clickertraining.com/node/167 The idea of the game is get the dog to do as many different things as possible with an item; to think them up themselves. Last night, I used a wastebasket Ann had just bought for one of the kids rooms. I set it down, and of course because I had just put it there, he looked at it. That's one "thing" and so I clicked and treated. He naturally looked again, and I rewarded that with a click and treat. Then I stopped rewarding just looking, and didn't reward him until he sniffed it. Then I moved to rewarding putting his nose in it, and finally to touching it with his foot. I quit when I had him lifting his paw and gently touching the wastebasket, which was 4 things. Interspersed in the session were periods of him whining, barking and trying all sorts of other behaviors like sitting, down, jumping in the air. I didn't reward those, and that pissed him off a bit. When you stop rewarding an old behavior to encourage a new one, it will often cause what is called an "extinction fit".Once he really understands that I want him to experiment and think for himself, he'll focus more on trying new behaviors instead of the old ones, and won't get so upset when old behaviors aren't rewarded.

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:21 pm 
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Jim,

I would like to try clicker training, but man, it sounds complicated. I am so terribly ADD that I cant remember to do one thing before the other, and just have stayed away from that because clicker training sounds like something that I couldnt do. Do you like the clicker training better than the SATZ method? I did a little with SATZ. Another of my ADD problems is follow thru!!

We havent done any blood trailing with Abe until this past Sat. I laid a trail and had Roy and Abe follow it. Abe didnt do too bad. He does have a good nose. But, I was thinking that clicker training would be a good tool to use with him on blood trailing. He is so used to running where ever he wants to when we are out walking that he got distracted a couple of times, but we were able to get him back on trail no problem. I would have to learn the training myself, then train him on some plain stuff, but I would like to see if how he would do with it, IF I can do it.

Betty

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:08 pm 
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I think SATZ overcomplicates things for both the handler and the dog. For the handler, there is no clear 'path' to success, and the use of the "bridging sound" is a royal pain. From the dogs perspective, the use of your voice just isn't precise enough to identify the exact instant that, in the dogs mind, it did what it was you were looking for. Plus the nature of the click sound helps put it in a category that goes to the correct area of the brain. Just like a loud noise will startle any animal, instinctively, because it bypasses the cortex, a click works at that same instinctual level. And for the dog, I think the bridging sound (exexexexexexexe) needlessly complicates things. I made very little progress with SATZ. I've made (shockingly rapid) progress with straight clicker training. The theory stuff is great to read, but if you want a nuts and bolts "here is what you do first", then go to this website: http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/%20Dog1/levels.html But it's expensive. A clicker usually costs almost $2.00!

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:58 pm 
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I think that Ill stick to squeal training and dogs who load up but have no idea what "sit" means.......... Ill leave the apples to oranges comparisons and smartest dog designations to someone else.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:05 pm 
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My ADD kicked in before I could finished the post about clicker. It sounds really neat, I would confuse the heck out of my dogs though. They are used to the shocktillyoupee and the kickupsidethehead training methods. Plus I think my lab would find and chew up the clicker. Thats what she did to all the whistles when she was a pup. Sounds like a cool training method though.


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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:55 pm 
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we haven't used the clicker with the Lacy Dogs however I have one I used with my Aussie..she took well to it when she was a pup. We didn't use it with the Lacys because we work them differently.

I wonder what would happen in the woods to a Lacy on a hog if it heard a click sound similar to the training clicker? Just a weird thought I had..it's been one of those days :))

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Thanks for posting the sight, Jim. I looked at it and thought I might can do that!! I'll have to get a clicker and I wont be going into town until next week, but I am going to try it.

Betty

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:21 pm 
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MisB wrote:
I wonder what would happen in the woods to a Lacy on a hog if it heard a click sound similar to the training clicker? Just a weird thought I had..it's been one of those days :))


The dog would no doubt ignore it. You can be in a class with 10 people clicking their dogs with the same brand clicker, and your dog still knows when it has been clicked.

Just like being in a huge gym where there are 20 volleyball matches going on at once, with ref's whistling all over. I can never understand how the girls know when it's their ref whistling, but they do. Not that I'm calling them dogs, mind you! Sheesh, hope my stepdaughter doesn't read this!

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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:49 am 
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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMM I`m telling! :))

I wonder how it is they differentiate ? Kind of intriguing when you thing about it.

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Bayed Blue...Bayed True...That's A Lacy Dog
If You can't keep up with the Lacy Dog...stay on the porch!
http://www.nationallacydog.org/index.html
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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Jim's right, they really do know when it's you clicking, and it doesn't seem to correlate much to where you are positioned either. I'm not sure why, but I bet there is an article about it somewhere.

But they sheer reward of baying is so much higher than a treat, I really don't think a click could distract them when they're on a hog. I would be willing to try that experiment with Sadie next time we hunt, load up the clicker and then see what she did. My bet is she'll do nothing but continue to eat the pig!

And Betty, clicker training is pretty easy for the handler. I did have a slight pat-your-head-rub-your-stomach moment with getting the timing down on clicking and treating, but it will become smooth and automatic in no time.

Now that I'm doing most of my agility training on my own, I may start doing this more. It is great for teaching small, specific actions like contacts.

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:17 pm 
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I had just started my first Lacy pup on clicker training when she got out and was lost/stolen.

I remember 101 things to do w/a box. This was the 'watershed' moment for her -- when she finally 'got' what I wanted her to do (think up stuff for herself). I had the box (one of those soda 'flat' boxes) and Chula was about 12 weeks old. Within 15 minutes (or less) she would sit in the box when I said 'box'. I did this all w/out touching her at all from a chair 6' away. Then I wanted her to do something different so I stopped clicking her for sitting in the box.

She tried that a couple of times & got nothing. THEN..... you could SEE the wheels turning in her head. She actually thought a second, then grabbed an old sock lying on the ground and dropped it into the box! Then looked at me, proud as punch!

I will never forget that moment as long as I live. That and the time she snuck in by the cat door without a sound @ night. When I got up I found her on the couch, wagging her tail, and surrounded by all the dog toys she had carefully removed, one by one, from the basket by the fireplace......


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 Post subject: Re: Smartest Dogs List
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:43 pm 
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That "Oh, I got it!" moment is so great. And it isn't even that they figured out how to do something, it's that they figured out what you were asking them to do. These dogs definitely think for themselves, but when you can get them to think with you as well, it's awesome.

And that is too cute about sneaking inside and rearranging all her toys. Sounds like you had a special little girl.

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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