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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why do we pick, who we pick?

We were reading an article in PetMedsOnline.org about the top 10 most intelligent dogs.

The list included: Border Collies (that's Gracie's primary breed), Shelties (that's me!), Australian Cattle Dogs, Rotties, Paps, Labs, Goldens, Dobies, German Shepherds and Poodles.

This started me thinking. Is intelligence, everything? Sure, the intelligence of us pups helps the humans train us and keep us out of trouble more easily, perhaps. But I'm sure it doesn't make the two-leggers love us any more, or less.

So why do certain humans pick certain dogs? Is it because intelligence seeks intelligence? Brawny, picks brawny. Skinny, picks skinny? Is it a physical attraction, an energy attraction, a look?

I asked Mum about this. Why did she pick me? Why is she crazy about me and why does she drool when she sees certain dogs?

Here are her answers:

Johann: Mum, why did you pick me at the shelter?

Mum: I picked you because you were, #1 very cute, #2 because you let me hold you and didn't squirm away, and #3 you didn't seem like you wanted to eat the cats at the shelter (very important to our resident cats).

Johann: What is it about me that you are so crazy about now?

Mum: I admit, I didn't know I was getting an energy machine when I adopted you. But, now I love all your energy and life, it adds so much more to my life. You make me exercise, get out of the house, get away from work when I've been there too long, meet friends, and more. And even though you have all that energy, you will still cuddle with me on the couch while we watch TV. I love that!

Also, you are very smart, just as the article said. I love watching you learn, and finding out things you know, that I didn't know you knew. You always want to please me and it seems that I am the center of your universe. That makes me feel very special (even though it carries with it, much responsibility).

Johann: If you were going to pick another dog, what kind would you pick?

Mum: That's a tough question, buddy. But I'd have to say that I would pick a pup that you, Gracie and the kitties got along with, was intelligent, attentive, had lots of energy and drive, but still would like to cuddle. A pup that was curious about life, but yet wanted to check in with me often. And, just to be superficial - I am partial to black and whites, with some fur to ruffle up.

Johann: Would you pick me again, now that you know much more about dogs?

Mum: Now for the real toughie, huh? I encourage people to read about different breeds before they select the type of pup they want to add to their household. Because a good fit is very important. I admit, I didn't do that when I went to visit you at the shelter.

The nice thing about you and me, bud, is that we got lucky. We are a great fit. I'm really glad you needed something like agility to expend all that energy, because I just love it, and I know you do too. And I love your loyalty, faithfulness, willing to please attitude, and (as you get older) your independence. So, the answer is a definite, YES!!!!

OK - readers out there in blogging land; Mum and I are curious - why did your two-legger pick you???? Tell us, we'd love to know.


  1. Arrroooo! Thanks for stopping by my blog! The Woman picked me because I am Perfect, of course. Well...ok....more or less..

  2. They are just plain wrong about the 10 dogs. Collies such as my own self, are not listed. Obviously this was a careless oversight right?

  3. Classifications - what are they thinking! Us dogs don't go for that kind of stuff, right?

  4. My humans picked me after fostering me, they couldn't let me go. It was the perfect fit.

  5. Mom always laughs when she sees a 10 smartest dog breeds list. *They* never list dachsies because *they* say dachsies are hard to train. Well, did *they* ever consider that dachsies know what you want and decide to do differently? Isn't decision making a higher intellect trait?

    Roxie, Sammy & Andy

  6. You go Roxie, Sammy and Andy! That's what my sis Gracie says too!

  7. I read The Intelligence of Dogs.. it's a controversial book but I enjoyed it.. read it years ago so my memory of it isn't good. But he based 'intelligence' off a dog's ability to learn with a certain number of repetitions. I think the border collie was number two, I think the poodle was number one, actually. Collies are about 12 or 14. The hounds, sweet as they are, were on the bottom. ;)

    When I was looking at dogs I new I wanted herding breeds. I knew I wanted a dog with nothing cropped or docked (ruled out aussies). It came down, in the end, between smooth collies and beligian malinois, because I also wanted short hair. The smooth collies won out because they are lower energy.. and they come in blue merle. I know looks don't matter but since I was a wee tot I wanted a blue merle dog! Now I have three. Chase, the black BC, is an honorary blue. ;)
    I didn't think I could handle a BC or a Belgian at that time, and I think I was right. Then doing dog sports the collies didn't have enough energy, so after fostering Chase, we kept him. It was a good fit!

  8. Oh, that was so lovely to read, made us feel all warm inside.
    Johann, you have such a sweet face, that's what we always think when we see your photo!
    Bimmy wanted a border collie because she used to have one when she was a little girl and they were great friends.
    When she came to pick me, my little brother ran away to play, but I snuggled up and gazed at her with my bright blue eyes, and she was smitten!
    She says if she ever has another dog it would have to be QUITE different to me, so she would choose a great dane or deerhound,.McAndy says his next dog is cat. TSK - Whatver THAT means!


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