There is basically one main reason for buying a dog and it usually sounds like, “I want a dog really bad!” And there are also a number of reasons to give a dog away, which include a sudden allergy, the birth of a baby, financial issues, and a lack of time. However, sometimes the owner is simply not ready for the specifics of a certain breed. While it can be easy to find the right approach to one type of dog, other types might require a certain level of preparation. Our 4-legged friends can disobey, bite us, destroy our homes, and ruin our belongings.
We at Bright Side understand that any dog is a big responsibility and a bunch of tasks. Still, we decided to find out what breeds carry more difficulties and which breeds end up getting into the category of “refused” ones most often.
Husky puppies are charming and adorable wolf-like cubs with blue eyes and fluffy fur, who simply won’t leave anyone indifferent. But when they grow, they become extremely active, playful, and start to ruin everything at home if they don’t have an active lifestyle. There are many complaints about Husky’s unbridled appetite and their active shedding, which leads to tons of fur at home if not taken care of properly. Even an everyday clean-up is useless, the fur will somehow be there anyway.
One Husky owner shared her experience, “Don’t be seduced by those blue eyes. A Husky’s place is in a harness next to its mates. When we got Runa, I had to leave work for a while because she would simply destroy our apartment when she was alone. All of our family members stopped wearing slippers because Runa was eating them. We walked her on the leash only because she fought with other dogs, attacked cats, and liked to lie in garbage dumps. And, she always tries to run away. She also howls at night and likes to hide food, like bones, in our closets or under pillows.”
Just a normal day with a Husky
This dog will gladly renew your interior, “Huskies possess designer talents. My dog started his renovation in the entranceway and in the kitchen, having torn down all the wallpaper he could reach. Of course, it was me who finished the renovation. He likes to move furniture like the kitchen table, chairs, and a small chest of drawers. Huskies gnaw everything, not just shoes. My dog likes to unwind balls of thread, run away from me with my new jeans, and ruin my friends’ tights. In an effort to stop him, I’ve tried to buy him various toys. He destroys rubber balls within 2-3 days and eats up a tennis ball within one day.”
Owners’ opinions are the same, “If you want to renovate your apartment, but can’t figure out how to start, get yourself a dog, preferably a Husky.”
A powerful protective dog can be both a guard and an affectionate member of the family. However, it needs a strong person nearby. Women and kids can’t deal with Rottweilers sometimes. There are also complaints about their aggression and the fact that they can be uncontrollable. Most often, all this happens due to a lack of proper training. Still, once the Rottweiler starts to look dangerous, many owners are not able to deal with their emotions and they start looking for a new home for the pet.
“I started to live with my boyfriend and he decided to solidify our relationship and create one big family. Since we weren’t ready to have kids yet, he started to dream about getting a Rottweiler puppy. It’s not an issue to adopt or buy one, but training it, taking care of it, and spending time with it takes a lot of time, energy, and money. We tried our best to do it, but ruined clothes and “poop” and “pee” all over the floor were always there while he was a puppy. Gradually, walking with him and training him became my responsibility. After that, my boyfriend started to say he hated this dog. The last straw was when the dog chewed up our slippers, which cost about $3. I locked the guilty pet in the room and started to watch how this person, who wanted a dog so badly, was jumping around the house with anger. You can congratulate me! Now I have the Rottweiler and the phrase, “You exchanged me for the dog,” one girl said when sharing her story.
One woman has a shelter for Rottweilers and finds homes for these dogs whose owners got rid of them. “I don’t have any prejudice about young people. I believe that if a person is responsible, they are responsible from childhood. I often find female owners around age 22-23 for my dogs. If the dog is trained properly, it doesn’t matter what size it is. It walks on the leash, obeys its female owner, and won’t drag her anywhere. Moreover, young people don’t feel shy about asking me something if they don’t know how to train or handle the dog in a certain situation. On the contrary, sometimes people who are over 50 come to me to adopt a dog and when I ask them, ’Where are you going to keep the dog when you go on vacation?’ they say, ’We don’t know.’ When I say to them that they will need to walk the dog 2 times a day in any weather, they say, ’OMG, does this mean I will have to get up at 6 AM every morning? We think we need some time to decide.’ And they leave.”
3. Central Asian Shepherd Dog (Alabay)
These seemingly imperturbable giants are often adopted in order to guard a house, but after moving from the house to an apartment, people often refuse to take such a large animal into their new shelter. Moreover, Alabays who have lived their whole lives outside, most often don’t have any skills when it comes to living in an apartment, which makes it very difficult to find them a home in adulthood as well as to adapt them to a new life. This breed is very complicated. They need to be loved and talked to. However, the most important thing is to make sure the dog knows who the leader in the house is.
This story proves how important proper and correct training is, “Once a woman visited our club of dog breeders and started to beg me to adopt her male dog who was about 1.5 years old. She had all the necessary documents with her, the dog had a perfect pedigree, and looked stunning. The issue was that the woman didn’t pay enough attention to the dog. The time she spent with him was not about training, but about stroking and caressing him. The animal has never been punished and as a result, he decided to take his place as the leader. The woman couldn’t reverse it due to her mild character. Now here’s the question, “Who would agree to adopt a bold 1.5-year-old central Asian shepherd dog? Right, no one.”
“Some people are afraid of Zeus because of his size, but he is really sweet.”
“My husband is a dog handler. Once one of his clients brought him a 5-month-old central Asian shepherd puppy for training and asked to keep the dog with us for a while until the owner finished building his new house and building a dog house for the dog. We agreed that the dog would stay with our family for 3 months. The first month passed according to the agreement, we were training the dog, and the owner was coming to see her and pay us for our services. The second month started with payment delays, and the owner didn’t show up. When he finally came during the third month, he got shocked by the size of the dog and brought a sack of bones instead of money. After that, he vanished… He didn’t answer our calls, we waited for the entire month for him to come and take the dog, but alas, he never showed up. Our friends recommended that we sell the dog, but my husband got attached to her so much that we decided to keep the animal with us. The puppy grew and turned into a handsome, smart, and well-trained dog. Athena is 9 years old now and we still can’t understand how someone could dump their animal,” they shared.
4. English Bulldog
An English Bulldog looking through a cat door
The appearance of an English bulldog alone can scare off any potential criminal, but that’s actually all the dog can do. After decades of breeding, much of the initial aggression is gone. This dog is very dependent on humans, and its appearance in the house is comparable to the appearance of a child. Due to their physiological characteristics, bulldogs require a lot of care, starting with a regular massage (since they cannot even scratch or lick themselves) and ending with wiping the folds of the skin on their face and tail.
It’s quite costly to have an English bulldog. Many of them have health problems, and they are also intolerant of intense training. They often require specialized meals and frequent health checks. Here is what English bulldog owners say, “Had I known how much money I’d have to spend on vets, I would have refrained from adopting an English bulldog. Within 3 years, my dog has undergone surgery to remove an adenoma of the upper eyelid, several exacerbations of chronic cystitis, heatstroke, and a cesarean section because females can’t give birth to puppies with huge heads by themselves. Moreover, Samantha has limb dysplasia.”
Dachshunds are one of the most recognizable and one of the most popular dog breeds due to their size. But few people expect to get a real hunter when adopting a dog of this breed. The Dachshunds’ bad character is the result of an insufficient physical load, without which night hunters start to “dig” linoleum and baseboards. That’s when owners who thought they were adopting a so-called “sofa” dog get disappointed in their choice.
Here is one of many similar reviews about Dachshunds: “We decided to adopt a puppy in the spring and landed on a smooth-haired Dachshund. It was somewhat OK during the first months — we kept forgiving her attempts to eat wires, poop in the apartment, and howl at nights, justifying it by the dog’s young age. We trained her to pee and poop in a special place only, but if we were not looking, she would still go and pee in the wrong place. Her love for wires grew even stronger with age. We bought her a lot of toys for gnawing, but still, she didn’t refrain from gnawing on wires. The internet cable, 2 chargers for my mobile phone, my husband’s earphones — everything was ruined. The dog itself is extremely active and she eventually turned out to not be our cup of tea. We got exhausted by her and we couldn’t even train her. We had to give her to other kind people.”
Still, there are many people who love and appreciate Dachshunds despite all the difficulties they cause, “They are bold slyboots who give very good emotional feedback. We were living in a wooden house, which was heated by a furnace. It was warm near the furnace in the winter, but the floor was cold anyway so I would wrap the dog into a blanket, after which she would just lie there and smile at me. Yep, the dog was smiling. And looking at this smile, I would forget all the bad things that happened to me during the day.”
It’s impossible to stand up to the Dachshund’s persistence. “Once in my childhood, we went on a picnic with my whole family. As we were sitting and having lunch around the bonfire, we saw a skinny Dachshund coming toward us from the woods. We gave her some food and started to get ready to go home. The kids asked us if we could take the dog home, but my father strictly refused. The car started to move and the Dachshund started to run after the car. My father increased the speed, and the dog was still running. My father stopped the car, grabbed the dog, and put her inside. We were afraid to breathe for the entire trip, feeling scared that our father would change his mind. We couldn’t find the dog’s former owners. The Dachshund lived with us for 15 years and was an ideal pet and friend.”
6. German Shepherd
Many shepherd dogs serve their whole lives as a part of the police force, the army, or guarding state enterprises, and when they “retire” they have to look for a new family. Also, some people get German Shepherds as companions after having watched “police” series. As a result, they fail to either train them properly or can’t handle the dog’s instincts.
One girl left the following message on a forum, “My friend gave away her German Shepherd due to the dog’s bad character. The animal was aggressive toward her younger sister and even bit her several times. They tried to correct the pet’s behavior but it was all in vain. They lacked enough patience and experience. It was easier for them to find another owner for the dog. They would visit the pet afterward. By the way, things are going quite well for the dog with its new family.”
“My 93 lb German Shepherd is pretty pleased with the amount of inconvenience he’s causing.”
7. Jack Russell Terrier
It looks like a small “compact” dog, which should be suitable for keeping in an apartment. But despite its outward cuteness, Jack Russell Terriers have quite a complicated character. This breed was created as a hunting breed. All Jack Russel Terriers like rules and rituals and are ready to follow them if the owner doesn’t contradict themselves, like letting the dog sleep on the couch today and forbidding it from doing so tomorrow. If it’s forbidden, it should be always forbidden. The dog is very active and doesn’t become calmer with age. Males will always keep questioning and challenging their owner’s leadership in the “pack.”
The author of this article decided to share her experience: “4 years ago, I bought a Jack Russel Terrier through an ad. When he was brought to the garden of his previous owners, he instantly started to chase cats, bark, and generally behaved quite joyfully. When I brought him home, he instantly started to challenge my leadership — he jumped on the bed and didn’t want to let me on it. He wanted me to recognize him as the leader in our home, and perhaps wanted me to sleep on his bed. I had to get him away from the bed with the help of a broom because he started to attack me. As we were getting used to each other, he even bit me several times. The situation couldn’t continue the way it was and I had to approach a dog handler. Turned out, the dog had serious mental disorders because his former owner perhaps treated him poorly and he doesn’t trust people.
By the way, training sessions with a specialist are more focused on the owner because the behavior of the dog depends on how adequately its owner acts. I tried my best to win the trust of my dog: we were walking a lot, I was buying him treats, I was taking him everywhere with me, and I even took him to the sea a couple of times. I think he loves me in his own way. Sometimes when he is in a good mood, he will cuddle me and spend the entire evening in this position. Still, he is quite strange due to his childhood trauma. For example, if there is a human who starts to break my rules and feed him from the table or let him sleep on the bed, my pet instantly starts to show his teeth to me, and I get scared of him again. However, apart from my hands, Beetle (that’s what I call my dog) has not bitten or ruined any other thing at home.“
Unfortunately, some people are less lucky, like the person with this dog: “The dog gnawed everything that was lying on the floor. He has torn off the wallpaper in 2 rooms. When his teeth are coming out, he behaves like a baby. He will even bite me during this period. Basically, it’s not a breed that will stay at home calmly. In addition, they like to dig holes. Luckily, we live in a private house and the dog digs holes in the back yard. My friends’ have the same breed of dog and live in an apartment, so their pet tried to ‘dig’ through their laminate. Make sure to think twice before adopting a Jack Russell Terrier.”
8. American Pitbull Terrier
These dogs are considered fighting dogs. They were incredibly popular in the ’90s. Now the interest in them has faded a bit, but many people still adopt them in order to increase their self-esteem and create an image of the owner of a serious dog in the eyes of those surrounding them.
Many Pitbulls have to look for new families because their owners simply don’t have enough time to devote to their pets. When this dog is not trained, owners can’t handle them properly: “Those who consider getting a Pitbull Terrier should think this decision through well. It’s a very good challenge for those who have no kids because this dog has the character of a child — it is trainable, but it will require as much energy from you as raising a child. Some people say these dogs are aggressive… well, people are aggressive too.”
“This is Atlas. Most people don’t like him because he is a Pitbull but all he wants is love and to dress up.”
Sometimes it happens vice versa: a dog that was adopted as a guard dog turns out to be too soft. A comment from one man confirms that this breed sometimes only looks scary, “If you have a goal to raise an aggressive monster, you can raise this from a breedless dog — aggression has nothing to do with the breed. I walk with my Pitbull Terrier, without a leash, and he never shows aggression. If you like Pitbull Terriers as dogs, don’t hesitate to adopt them. They will be a good friend and protector. But don’t raise aggression in them. All the negative things that people say about Pitbull Terriers are because they actually know nothing about this breed.”
And this story is actual proof of how important the proper training is: “Once I was going home and there were 2 big stadiums nearby. At a distance, I saw a woman playing with a young Pitbull Terrier. The next moment, the dog rushed to me and started to growl. The dog’s owner started to shout to him and then said, ‘Ok, now I am offended by you! I am leaving!’ The dog showed zero reaction to her words — all its attention was on me. The woman really turned around and went home… being completely offended. While I just stood there, in front of a growling dog for what seemed like forever (at least that’s what I felt) until the moment some man whistled from the window and then this monster rushed home.”
“To people who think Pitbulls are cold-hearted and evil: I submit this sweet, sweet boy on his adoption day after being in the shelter for almost a year.”
Oftentimes, owners simply can’t handle the hunting instincts of Spaniels, who like to chase after cats and hunt for birds if they live in a more private area. Each Spaniel’s health and appearance requires a lot of attention: its fur, eyes, ears (which are prone to various diseases) have to be taken care of properly. These are unnecessary troubles for many people. Since Spaniels are a hunting breed, they require tremendous effort when it comes to grooming and providing enough exercise for them. Physical activity is a necessity for this breed.
Spaniels often cause issues with neighbors, “Our dog is very emotional. No, she is hyper-emotional! She can’t stand loneliness. When we leave her alone at home, she starts to bark non-stop. Sometimes it lasts for 30 minutes, other times she doesn’t stop until we come back. I am now on maternity leave and spend most of my time at home. I have no idea how we are going to live in the future, but now if I leave home for a couple of hours, our neighbors start complaining about her non-stop barking.”
One girl shared her story about irresponsible owners, “Several years ago I visited my relatives who adopted a kind and sweet Spaniel for their kid. After 6 months, it turned out that the dog was not there anymore. When I asked where the dog had gone, they said, ‘He had become too big and started to chew on everything around, so we gave him away…’ The other day I dropped by their home again and they shared their joy, ‘We are choosing another puppy, we want to get a Yorkshire Terrier this time.’ When I asked, ‘What if you don’t like something about this dog?’ they answered ‘This breed is small. It’s a different story.’ If we’re judging based on the treatment of their previous dog, it’s easy to realize that these people had better stay away from adopting animals.”
10. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers suffer a lot from their incredible popularity as an ideal family companion and a babysitter for kids. This breed is often used in commercials that show a mother, who is the “ideal housekeeper,” with a happy baby and a Labrador. People believe in what is shown in these commercials and adopt this breed. However, later it turns out that the dog is not a toy — it smells, it sheds, it drools, and in general the pet gets into a lot of trouble, which advertising is silent about.
Here is what the lack of time for training a Labrador might lead to, “It all started with the fact that we were not able to potty train the dog. The leash was always strained when we were walking outside. We felt as if the dog was walking us, not vice versa. Apart from ruined carpets at home, our dog has ruined almost all our slippers too. Then it started to run away from us. I was pregnant and had to run after it and feel stressed. The most offensive thing was that when strangers called her, she approached them, but she would ignore us completely. I got so exhausted from this whole situation. Eventually, I gave birth to my baby prematurely, as a result, the baby was too small, and I had no one around. I lost my patience when the dog’s hair covered my whole apartment, it was there on the diapers too. We gave it away for free to complete strangers. I kept crying during the first 6 months, every day, and as a result, my breasts stopped producing milk. After 1.5 years I still blame myself for buying this dog. Perhaps she would have had much better owners than us.”
“After I got a Labrador, people started to ask me where and how I exercised my arms so well. At this moment I usually gave the asker the leash and watched them run after the dog.”
One girl described all the difficulties of living with a Labrador: “He is very sly. For example, when he sees I am around, he knows he can’t gnaw the chair’s legs. Then he takes his toy, puts it near the chair’s leg, and pretends he is gnawing the toy but eventually, it turns out he has been gnawing the chair’s leg the whole time. Labradors are like inquisitive kids — they feel like checking everything you do. When I come from a shop, he checks the bags and he sincerely doesn’t understand why I make him get off of my bed. One fine day I surrendered and the dog started to sleep with me. When walking with him, I always have the following monologue, “Come here! No! Don’t do that! Spit it out! Where are you going? Stop! Don’t bite that dog! Stop smelling that!”
“At the age of 12, I got a Labrador puppy. We have grown up together — now the dog is 14 years old. He is a faithful friend and lives with me. One year ago I met a girl. After a while, she moved into my apartment. She turned out to be allergic to my dog’s hair and refused to medicate herself. Later she started to insist that I either give the dog away to someone or euthanize it. Eventually, she gave me an ultimatum — I had to choose between her and the dog. I chose the dog and never regretted it. I realize she is not my cup of tea but still, I feel sad she is not around,” one man shared.
11. Akita Inu
Many people recognize these smiling faces from the movie Hachiko. However, the Akita Inu breed is not that innocent in everyday life. They have quite a unique character: they are smart and love their owners endlessly, but they always make their owners feel like they don’t actually need them that much. Moreover, they don’t trust strangers and don’t like other people’s kids. Also, the adult dogs of this breed often behave aggressively toward other animals, and especially toward other dogs, which they will attack without warning despite the big difference in size.
“We gave away our dog because it was way too aggressive toward our kids. I admit we made mistakes too, but I didn’t expect that it would be so different from the famous Hachiko. I wish I had known the truth earlier. Hachiko would walk wherever he wanted and that’s what each Akita Inu’s personality is all about,” a former owner of this dog breed shared.
“Its hair is everywhere. It sheds hair endlessly. We try to comb it and groom it but it never stopped shedding.”
Still, some people found that the Akita Inu was the right dog for them, “My friends have been trying to persuade me to get a dog for a long time. I was horrified at the thought of having to walk the dog twice a day. Ruined shoes, gnawed furniture, and ruined relationships with my neighbors (because no one likes barking and whining) scared me off as well. It needs to be fed, trained, stroked, and taken to the vet. I, in my turn, am a lazy bone who likes to play computer games and of course, I wasn’t fond of the idea of getting a dog. Never go somewhere to look at puppies! When this puppy got into my hands, I was ready to pay any amount of money for him! As a result, we have had this dog for 3 years already. She doesn’t bark and doesn’t ruin our furniture and clothes. She never asks to go for a walk and doesn’t smell bad. There is a forest with a pond near my house and I like to walk with her a lot. Even when I come back from work tired, we always go for a walk. Sometimes my wife and daughter get offended because they think I love the dog more than them. Never have I regretted that I got this dog.”
Do you have a dog? What difficulties did you encounter while living with it?
Even Puppies Get the Point
Dogs’ ability to understand us and respond to our attempts to communicate with them has long been considered a fundamental part of the close relationship we share. More than two decades ago, researchers first provided evidence that dogs can follow human pointing gestures.
Many studies have since shown that when humans point at one of two identical objects to indicate the location of the food, dogs respond by choosing the one pointed more often than we would happen to expect. This may sound like an easy skill, but maybe that’s because it’s so easy for us. The idea that another species can respond to our hint is a big deal.
As with any significant discovery, this topic has been discussed at length. Behavioral questions mainly revolve around whether dogs are learning what this gesture means from spending so much time with us, or whether they can naturally understand that pointing is a way to get their attention to something interesting.
It is difficult to study for practical and ethical reasons. Most adult dogs have a lot of experience with humans. Raising dogs without such contact for the purposes of scientific study would be cruel and totally unacceptable. It would also be pointless because such dogs would be so poorly socialized and so fearful that they would not be able to participate in studies. However, puppies are a different matter.
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In a recent study, researchers used the fact that young puppies have limited experience with humans to examine their ability to respond to human pointing gestures. The 375 participating puppies were between 7.3 and 10.4 weeks old (mean age 8.4 weeks). The puppies were loaned out by Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit group that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities. The 203 females and 172 males came from 117 litters. In terms of breed, there were 98 Labrador Retrievers, 23 Golden Retrievers, and 254 Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever crosses.
The experimenter hid food in one of two places and either (A) pointed and looked at the bait container, or (B) placed any marker next to the bait container. (C) Puppies exceeded chance expectation with both social cues, but not in an olfactory control state. Source: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.17.434752
In the study, the pups had a choice of two containers, one of which held a piece of snack food. While one person was holding the pup, another caught the pup’s attention and either pointed and looked at the food reward container, or showed the pup a marker (a small yellow block) and then placed the marker next to the correct container. Based on the dot gesture, the pups chose correctly more than two-thirds of the time. They correctly picked almost three-quarters of the time the person communicated the location of the food by placing the marker.
In control trials, where puppies were not directed and were likely to choose based on the smell of the food, their decisions had a success rate of 48.9 percent – essentially random and slightly worse than you’d expect based on chance alone. These experiments showed that puppies could not find the food by sniffing it out.
Multiple replications did not appear to improve the puppies’ performance. This suggests that they don’t learn the task while studying. (They had either already learned the task even though they were so young, or they could do it without having to study.) Previous studies in adult dogs – both lap dogs and assistance dogs – found similar success rates for the pointing task, and were even higher Success in the marker task.
Another aspect of this study examined the genetic basis for the variation in dogs’ ability to find food based on human information about their location. They found that 43 percent of the variation was due to heredity, confirming a long-standing belief that genetics play a role in dogs’ social and cognitive abilities. This is an important finding. In order for selection to affect a dog’s ability to respond to human communication, as there are many theories about the domestication of dogs, there must be a genetic basis.
It is important to understand that even a natural ability can be adaptive. Hence, it is not that dogs either have an innate ability or need to learn that ability. The idea that behavior is binary is extremely out of date. In fact, an influential 1967 study in my field of ethology had the brand name “Ontogenesis of an Instinct”. To understand why it was so dangerous, it is important to know that ontogeny means evolution.
The study looked at changes in a pattern of behavior that was believed to be instinctive: a gull chick pecks at one point on the beak of an adult gull to trigger feeding. Such species-specific behavior patterns were viewed as innate rather than learned. In a series of studies, Jack P. Hailman, PhD showed that learning took place and that gull chicks improved their chopping accuracy with practice.
The idea that instinctive behavior can be improved and that learning occurs in relation to such behaviors was revolutionary and has changed the field significantly. But here, more than 50 years later, we are still debating whether behavior is instinctive or learned. It is more complex than that, and we have to accept that learning can play a role even in natural and species-prevalent behavior.
One possibility that must always be considered is that dogs have a tendency to learn the ability to follow human gestures. That is, it can be easy and natural for them to learn. In fact, it can be so simple and natural that it can be difficult to find dogs who have not yet learned how to do it. The current study provides evidence that even young puppies who have not had extensive experience with humans can perform this task and – equally interesting and important – that there is a genetic basis for this behavior. However, dogs have not been shown to have this ability in the absence of experience with humans.
The researchers say it fairly in their work: “Taken together, our results show that the social skills of dogs are very important in early development and that the variation in these traits is strongly influenced by genetic factors.”
Source * thebark.com – * https://thebark.com/content/even-puppies-get-point
How to Tell if Your Dog is a Genius
Anyone who has lived with a dog knows their ability to learn the meanings of words, even those you wouldn’t want them to know. How many times did you have to spell the words “going” or “dinner” to avoid an explosion of excitement?
Previous studies have looked at how non-human animals, including chimpanzees, sea lions, and rhesus monkeys, learn words. But now, a paper published in Nature shows that some dogs learn the name of a new object after hearing it just four times, a skill previously believed to be limited to humans.
The researchers found that this skill was not common in all dogs studied, but may be limited to a few “talented” or well-trained individuals. So how do you know if your own dog is a genius or not?
The study was simple and easy to repeat at home. Just follow the researchers’ steps to see if your dog can learn the names of objects that quickly. But don’t worry if your dog doesn’t have this ability. This can only be due to his race or previous experience.
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Whiskey and Vicky Nina
The new study included a collie named Whiskey who knew 59 objects by name and a Yorkshire terrier named Vicky Nina who knew 42 toys.
The researchers tested each dog’s knowledge of their toy by asking them to bring each toy in turn. Neither the owners nor the experimenters could see the toys so as not to influence the choice of dogs.
Once it was determined that the dogs knew the names of all of their toys, the researchers introduced two new objects, each placed one at a time in a group of familiar toys. In this test, Whiskey chose the new toy every time. Vicky Nina got the right one in 52.5% of the attempts, which is a bit more than chance.
Learn new names
For the next part of the study, the dog was shown a toy, given its name, and then allowed to play with it. After repeating the name of two different new toys four times, the dog was asked to choose one of the two new toys.
No known toys were included in this part of the experiment in order to prevent the dog from choosing the right toy through exclusion. Knowing the name of all the other toys, the dog may choose the right toy, guessing that the unfamiliar word must indicate the unfamiliar toy.
Both dogs opted for the new toy more often than chance would predict, suggesting that they actually learned the name of a new object very quickly. However, her memory deteriorated significantly after 10 minutes and almost completely after an hour. This shows that the new learning needs more reinforcement if it is to be maintained.
Read More: Six Tips For Grooming Your New Puppy According To Science
The test with the new toy was also done by 20 volunteers with their own dogs, but these dogs did not show the ability to learn new names after a few hearings.
The authors suggested that the difference between the performance of the two dogs in their test and the volunteer dogs means that the dog may need to be unusually intelligent or have a lot of name learning experience in order to learn new names quickly.
It is likely that a combination of factors are at work in these experiments. It is significant that the most common breed used in studies of this species is a border collie, specifically bred to perform audible commands and very highly motivated to perform tasks and please the handler. Yorkshire terriers also enjoy mental and physical stimulation.
Similar tests have been carried out by other research groups, usually using border collies. In 2004, a dog named Rico was found to know the names of 200 different objects, and in 2011 Chaser learned 1,022 unique objects.
Other breeds may be less interested in playing with or fetching toys. For example, greyhounds such as salukis and greyhounds are primarily bred for hunting or racing and are therefore generally more difficult to train. They may not show any interest in toys at all and be far less motivated to please the handler.
Smart dogs can learn new names quickly.
Both test dogs in this study received extensive training through play and social interaction to pay attention to the names and characteristics of the toys. This could make them more likely to notice the differences between new and familiar toys and to care about the verbal cues associated with them.
While their training was not formal, it was nonetheless positive reinforcement training, a powerful method of teaching animals and people. The dogs have undoubtedly learned their skills to a great extent.
It is entirely possible to train all dogs to perform tasks, including learning the names of objects. However, the degree to which they are willing and able to learn and perform the task depends heavily on the breed of dog and the motivation of the individual dog.
If your pet is an Afghan or Saint Bernard, don’t expect them to be interested in spending hours getting toys for you. On the other hand, if you have a border collie or poodle, their abilities can only be limited by your imagination and commitment to playing with them.
10 Most Challenging Dog Breeds That Are Full Of Love
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All dogs need love, attention, and training – but some dog breeds need a little more than others. Every dog breed has its strengths and weaknesses. That doesn’t make any particular breed less loveable, but these 10 dog breeds may need a lot more patience and obedience training than others.
These breeds tend to be intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making then the least obedient dog breeds. Successfully training one of these breeds should win you an award!
00:00 – Intro
00:30 – Afghan Hound
01:19 – Chow Chow
02:04 – Basenji
02:45 – Bulldog
03:24 – Bloodhound
04:08 – Pekingese
04:45 – Dachshund
05:22 – Welsh Terrier
06:03 – Beagle
06:37 – Borzoi
07:10 – Outro
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