Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm starting to believe my dog is just plain stupid

Yes.... I've heard it a millions times.
I'll be taking Ace for a walk and someone will say "is that a Border Collie?"
and I'll say "Yes" and then they will say "you know, they are supposed to be the smartest breed of dog there is...."

My neighbor told me "they are the Einstein of the dog world" "off the chart when you compare other dogs IQ..."

Blah, blah, blah.

What I really want to say is "Well not this one! I think he might have been dropped on his head before we got him"
I even blogged about it before.
Here's some more of the things he has done/does and my thoughts at the time in italics:

~running full speed into the front porch step, which would hit him square in the chest and he would gasp. He did that over and over for months. "Oh, he's just a puppy...he'll learn."

~as he got older he would try and leap over the front step and always leap 2 or 3 strides too soon and smack his face on the step. He would also do when trying to get on the bed or couch. "maybe he has something wrong with his depth perception.... Do dogs ever wear glasses?"

~"playing" with the cat. He will stand there and the cat will be on his hind legs slapping the sides of Ace's head over and over. It's like a bad Three Stooges skit. "maybe he thinks this is how cats play?"

We did go to puppy kindergarten. And he did pretty good there, I thought.
The trainer there did warned us.

She told us to be careful, Border Collies are SO smart that they pretend not to get things just because they don't want to do them or to try and manipulate you.
I kinda wish I had never heard this.
Then I could go on just believing that I have a really stupid dog.

Instead I'm finding that I'm playing mind games. Trying to figure out what Ace is really thinking.

Not good. Here's an example.
It all has to do with fetch.

I have been trying to take Ace out everyday to get some exercise.
I've heard all about how if they don't get enough, they can get destructive.

So I decided the best thing for Ace is to go onto the golf course behind our house and play Frisbee. I figure I will throw the Frisbee, Ace will do a lot of running and fetching. Much better than just a walk on the leash around the neighborhood. Get those most out of our time out in the freezing weather.

All good except Ace has other ideas.

I throw the Frisbee.
Ace runs and gets it.
Then I spend 10 minutes chasing after him to get the Frisbee back.

"oh! I'm sorry did you want this"

So I'm thinking that he thinks this is a game (because he's supposed to be an Einstein- right?).
A game I really don't want to play.
I want him to be a normal dog. I throw, he fetches, we go home, he takes a nap and stops chewing on my furniture, the end.

So I quit chasing him. (that'll show him)

He still won't bring it to me.

Ace will run past me and leave it about 30 feet away and then crouch in his "I'm ready to go position"

If I don't go over and get it he starts whining. Eventually he will go over get the Frisbee and flick it in the air (like he's saying see this fun thing? I'll just have fun without you then.)

So I just stand there and watch him and he starts to whine louder pushing it around with his nose.

I have tried everything.
~Praising him continually as soon as he catches it and starts to run towards me....and stopping when he runs past.
~Praising him only when he gets near.
~Ignoring him completely
~Walking away
~Using my "stern voice" and saying "drop" or "come"
this has been going on forever. No matter what he won't bring it back to me. And I don't give in. It ends up being a huge frustration. I only throw the Frisbee once or twice and we play battle of the wills the rest of the time and eventually go home.

"Frisbee? what Frisbee? I have no idea what you're talking about."

I've spent a lot of time standing on that golf course freezing my butt off trying to figure out what is going on inside his head.
I've come up with two possibilities
#1. He is just plain stupid.
#2. He is obviously concerned with the large amount of time that I spend sitting on the couch blogging and the lack of exercise I'm getting. He also notices the extra pounds that I've put on from not moving around enough and he is concerned about my health.

Yeah. and now I'm feeling pretty insulted.

I think it might be safer to go back to believing my dog is just plain stupid.


Corrie Howe said...

He's brilliant! And he's wondering about getting a "stupid" owner who hasn't learned how to play the game the way it is supposed to be played.


Joyce said...

O.K. Tori, that dog may be naughty, but he is Soooo cute!

Brian Miller said...

lol. cute dog. maybe he is just showing you who is in charge...with the frisbee. smiles.

otin said...

I always get the strange pets! I have a 13 year old dog that acts hyper! Everyone said that he would calm down after 2 years, but I am still waiting!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

I vote that he's a smart manipulator.

rxBambi said...

I'm with Corrie, he just wants to play HIS way. I don't usually throw the balls or frisbee with my dogs, but I let them run when we're on the golf course (as long as threre are none of those pesky golfers around!)

hurstburst said...

"Border Collies are SO smart that they pretend not to get things just because they don't want to do them or to try and manipulate you."

Sounds like my husband!

shortmama said...

Hes a stupid genius!

Tracie said...

"Do dogs ever wear glasses?"...rofl!

After reading this "Border Collies are SO smart that they pretend not to get things just because they don't want to do them or to try and manipulate you." I'm starting to wonder if my husband might be distantly related to a border collie.

I had a black lab growing up and she did the same thing with the fetch. She would go fetch the ball....bring it partway back and then drop it, staring expectantly until my mom would go get it. That was one crazy dog.

Your dog might be manipulative, or stupid, I'm not sure....but either way, he sure is CUTE!!

Sewn With Grace said...

I think he's just messing with ya, Tori, he knows if he can act stupid then he'll have your attention longer because you'll have to chase him around. Negative attention is better than none. Didn't we learn that from our husbands, I mean kids, I mean.... :)

ken said...

Maybe you should read the book you got for Christmas. Or get a long rope, hook it to Ace, throw the frisbe a short distance and pull him back to you, keep increasing the distance . Repeat until he gets it or you think its not working. As a last resort read the instruction you got with Ace or the frisbe maybe one is defective????

mint said...

soooooooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matty said...

We have friends in Maine who own a farm and three border collies. Those dogs are SMART. They just love to play, and they play nice too. Sounds like Ace just has his own style and personality, and he expected YOU to adapt. But from the sounds of it, you're not doing so well. LOL

mommyto3kiddos said...

ROFL about the husband/dog comparisons!

I have to agree w/a couple other commenters...I think he's just got his own idea about that game is supposed to work. :)

blueviolet said...

He's pushing your buttons!!! That little stinker!

Kelly Polizzi said...

I guess it's OK to be stupid when you are that georgous! Look at those cute little white socks for goodness sakes! Too adorable for words. Thanks for always making me smile!