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Old 12-06-2012, 05:17 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Talking of intelligence,I saw on the news that a rescue in Australia has taught 2 dogs to drive! They weren't Dobermen ,they were driving old,beat up wrecks and a Dobe wouldn't have been seen dead driving that. However how smart is that?
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:16 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Not Australia, New Zealand Silly Aussies always trying to steal our credit!!!!!
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:39 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Sorry,I checked the story,it was NZ and 3 dogs. How phenomenal is that though?
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:52 PM   #29 (permalink)
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No.

Having had the pleasure of living with and loving one of the most brilliant dogs ever, I have stories about him that would raise the hair on your neck, I would say No.

My collie is proving to be pretty smart...he is a rough collie not a border collie. I don't think he will be my Strider's league though. Not many dogs would be in Strider's league. Strider was a GSD, none of my other GSD's were in his league either although they were very intelligent. My aussie Sierra was so biddable that she seemed to have super intelligence, she was intelligent, very but again, not in Strider's league.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Brain size has zero to do with intelligence. They have discovered that wild parrots have language and Raven's are considered more intelligent than dophins. Just saying because people forget about birds and how intelligent some species are, bird brain is now a compliment.

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It kind of is from intelligence. Aside from the bigger brain size, we've bred dogs to be more dependent on people and have removed (or tried to remove) factors that would make a dog NOT rely on us. One of those factors is indeed intelligence. A high-content hybrid is a difficult animal to keep penned up, for example, because it figures out ways to get out that many dogs don't dream of. They're legal here if you've got a permit and a buddy of mine has a rescue that he can't leave anywhere. Broke out of crates, so he let it free roam in a room. Figured out his latch, so he got a new lock that requires thumbs. Figured out that one too, somehow, so he got two deadbolts instead. Broke the door down, so he got a heavier door. Dog couldn't get out via door, so he broke the window. Blaze is a pain in his side, to say the least. He's an F1, from a half wolf daddy and a wolf mama. He also hangs back and analyzes situations before deciding how he's going to react to them, and my friend has complained before about how creative he's had to get to train this dog because he just doesn't care about toys or praise or milkbones.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Well, having been up close and personal with border collies and with dobies, I think that Border collies are more trainable, they have more self-discipline if you like and if they were people, we would probably say they all had obsessive compulsive disorder. This actually makes for a great dog for following repetitive orders though and they give 100% of their attention to any task you give them. They do have great memories and a very strong drive to please that motivates them to try to solve any problem we give them even when they don't know the answer - the combination makes for a very nice dog to work with.

You don't get the same with a dobie. Now, dobies vary hugely depending on the lines - I have seen Dobies with no drives really and others that have chased birds off cliffs and dam walls to their deaths. I have seen Dobies that can't seem to master even simple commands, Dobies that master them easily but then because of their temperament and relationship with their owner, aren't motivated to perform and then others that are just putty in their owners hands. I think this is common with breeds that were originally protection breeds because for many generations now, there are lots of dogs that haven't been bred for any purpose and so working ability and how trainable they are have not been factors considered for selecting which dogs to breed for a long time in some lines.

Most border collies are great contenders for pure positive reinforcement training. I find with Dobermans (of working lines with decent drives) you need to teach and shape behaviours with positive methods but then introduce some stress or compulsion if you want to create consistency. If you can obtain Dobies from working lines (and there aren't many) with SCH/IPO titles, they are very smart dogs. Now everyone wants a Malinois because they are considered easier to train and you get the better picture. The more I watch them work, the more it seems that they just combine good working drives (aggression, bite, prey etc) with the OCD like a Border Collie.

When they do these tests to put together a list of most trainable (not intelligent) dogs, I would love to know where they got the dogs from. Show line dogs can be almost a different breed from the working lines, not necessarily less intelligent of course but if you're not assessing intelligence and trainability, you can't guarantee that it will be in the next generation. Depending on the breed as well, some will pick up a new task more quickly. If you were teaching herding, obviously a BC is going to excel beyond a Dobie. But then my Dobie learned to 'run the blinds' the first time we ever tried to teach it because it was something that was interesting to him - when his brain is in gear, he learns new things on the first try, and retains it.

I don't know, I would love to see a new breed intelligence test put together. Even more than that, I would love to see intelligence and trainability become an essential criteria for breeding dogs. Intelligence + trainability = a safer dog, a dog that is more useful and a dog that can accompany their handler more places.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #32 (permalink)
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A smart dog will develop more intelligence with less human intervention. IOW, it you let a dog be a dog they will learn to think and reason better than if you dominate their time and baby them.

I read an article similar to that thought, tho don't know where it is now, and once I began to think about the article and my Blue, it all made sense. Again...father was a doberman and mother was a weimaraner...his brain took after the doberman side.

I had stepchildren and didn't have the time to fool with and train him like I had my other dogs, but he developed an intelligence superior to any dog I have ever had growing up that way. He learned to think for himself reason what he needed to do for each situation he might be confronted with. You could literally see his brain working in his eyes.

Example; My ex and I received some mallard ducks which we hastily put in a low fence pen with a kids swimming pool with water...husbands idea. One left before we got the second one in.

The next morning, I heard Blue at the door with his, "there's trouble, Mom" high pitched bark. I quickly got dressed and went to the door, asking, "What is it, Blue? He takes off toward the duck pen and I follow...no duck. I look at Blue and ask, "Where's is he?" Blue takes off across the road toward the lake and I run following him and see the neighbor's dog, Argus, just as he was picking up the duck by its breast. I hollar, "Argus, you drop my duck!!!", which he did and everyone lived happily ever after.

Just one of many heroic Blue true stories...
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Last edited by LindaH; 12-07-2012 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Dobes are definitely intelligent, but I would definitely not label them as the most intelligent.

I've lived with many dog breeds, and regardless of her (very high) level of trainability, the most intelligent, smartest dog I've ever lived with was my Toller/Border Collie mix, Tango. Her thought process was entirely different from any of my other dogs. Sky, a Dalmatian we had for a while, was nearly as intelligent as Tango. And Dance, my Toller, is pretty high up there in intelligence as well although not quite as high as Sky and Tango. Jesse, our first Miniature Dachshund, while totally not biddable or into training at all, was also incredibly intelligent and a big thinker in her own right. She just used her intelligence for trouble LOL.

Of the Dobermans I've owned, I honestly can't say that any of them even really compare to the most intelligent dogs I've lived with. They're definitely intelligent, but also have a tendency to come across as rather daft sometimes compared to my above mentioned dogs. That's nothing against them, as they certainly process things and learn new things (either from experience or because I taught them) quickly, but it's different. Other Dobermans would probably rival mine, but based on my own experience with the breed, I can't honestly say that they're the most intelligent.
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