Friday, September 17, 2010
Who's the Smarter One Then?
My dog Ansa is a rescue. We've been together over 5 years now. She was in rough shape when she found me. Skinny, fur falling out, underfed on bread only, never walked and tied up for most of her life up to the point she arrived.
It took nearly two years for her to bond with me. And I remember the moment. I was walking her on leash - as she would run away if off leash - up a hill and she stopped and looked behind at me and then sat down with her eyes on my face. From that moment on she obeyed all commands and I could walk with her off leash and give her the run of the property without fear of her running away. Her intelligence and overall happiness captivates even strangers. She is by far the brightest dog I've ever had and obedient to a fault.
Her only truculence has come at night and I've put it down to a battle of wills.
I say to her: "Time for bed, Ansa" and she skulks off to my office while I go upstairs.
I call her from upstairs:
"Come to bed, Ansa" and it takes some very harsh words to get her to come upstairs, slowly and reluctantly.
If I leave her downstairs, she comes up an hour later and scratches at my door which is both disturbing and annoying.
She pulled this routine the other night when it suddenly dawned on me that the command "bed" meant her bed in my office. Well triple "duh" me! No wonder the dog was completely baffled and what I had put down to a streak of stubbornness was actually obedience.
Now I use the word "Upstairs, Ansa" when I am going to bed at night and she bounds up the stairs instantly.
I'm a bit slow, but her training of me is getting there.