Home Page Forums Darwin’s Ark amazed by the thinking process of my Labrador

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    amy busby

    Have you ever encountered this with a dog:
    We take our dogs for a walk each morning and evening. Every morning we go either left or right at the end of our street.
    We let our Labrador pick which way he want to go and without fail he goes the opposite of the morning before so this morning we went right tomorrow morning he will for sure go left. He never gets it wrong and that really amazes me
    that they have that sort of thinking process! Does this surprise anyone or am I just being silly?


    dawn miller

    This is interesting. I have about six different routes I take when I walk from my house. I try to keep things mixed up and interesting. There are times when my dogs have “suggested” which way they want to go but never consistently like your lab has. Dogs do love routine but variety is nice, too. Looks like your pup has found the best combination of the two.

    My dogs “help” me with laundry. Today is my typical day to run a big load. My boy picked up an item from the laundry basket as if to say, “isn’t today laundry day?”. Honestly, I don’t think he knew it was laundry day and more likely to have seen some physical cue from me. Perhaps I looked at the laundry basket a bit longer than usual. ( I will admit the dogs seem to have an uncanny sense of time, though)

    So watch your body language when you get to the corner. Could you be offering a clue without realizing it?


    linda holub 2

    Dogs do love routine. Lucy, my tiny diabetic poodle, recently started taking Amantadine for pain but it has also increased her dopamine. She has started telling me when it is time for to get out of bed in morning to go to work and when it is time for me to lay down to go to sleep. It’s a bit funny but she is quite insistent about it.


    rachel long

    That is such a cool story! During the rainy season, one of my dogs likes to run through puddles at the barn. We usually go to the barn before work, and he quickly learned to avoid puddles on workdays or else have to get rinsed down and go to work wet.

    On my days off, even if we went to the barn at the same time, he would immediately run into the puddles and lay down and get filthy. He knew we’d be there longer, and I guess it was worth it to him for the extra enjoyment from the mud he would get to have before getting rinsed down and going home. While I know he isn’t aware of what day of the week it is, he can take the cues from my routine to estimate what the rest of the day’s routine is going to be like and make a choice based on that conclusion, which always blows my mind 🙂


    hazel beeler

    A long-ago Norfolk Terrier, Ace, did something that left my husband and me slack-jawed. He was painting the end of the house, and had a drop cloth spread across the width of the deck, with pieces of scrap lumber holding the outer edge down. Ace came trotting around the corner and onto the drop cloth, and we both told her “no” (we didn’t want her to step into paint splashes). She backed off carefully, and the next thing she did was cross the cloth by bounding from board to board, so she could get across without setting foot on the cloth. It was, my husband said, the sort of solution a literal-minded small child might have come up with. So what if border collies can remember gazillions of commands and names for objects? I think problem-solving is a major indication of intelligence. (And don’t get me started on all the delightful attributes of the late, great Ace.)


    dawn miller

    that is a neat story Hazel. I think sometimes we do too much thinking for our dogs. We should be patient enough to let them puzzle things out.


    allison miller

    My little dog often refuses to go on the same route twice in the same day.


    dan ramlose

    The best way to keep one of my dogs from pulling whether in her preferred direction or not is to drop her lead and tell her to “heel”.
    She knows what’s expected and vocal corrections work better in this situation than tugs and the same vocals to discourage pulling on the leash.

    Note – this is not for the faint of heart nor for the inexperienced owner. If you want to try it, use a long lead or at least a 6′ leash. Not the thing to try while walking a pumped up dog in your slippers on a dark morning. This was only attempted outdoors after a high level of proficiency was demonstrated indoors. I still just drop the leash as opposed to removing it.

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