Monday, March 27, 2017

Our Doodle Is Smarter Than He Should Be

Disclaimer:  When reading this, please note that I am not saying that any other dog does not have intelligence.  We have owned dogs before, some smarter than others. The breed that I am writing about today has been bred specifically for intelligence and obedience and sometimes for seeing if they can keep their owners two steps ahead of them.

Now I am just saying that no, I do not believe my Doodle is smarter than your 5th grader, however, he is pretty dang smart. First, let me explain that Doodles, for those who do not know, are officially called Goldendoodles. Unfortunately, they sometimes are lumped into the category of 'Designer Dogs.' They are a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Doodles came to be sometime in the 90's. The popularity has grown in leaps and bounds over the years.

There are several reasons for this popularity. First of all they are considered hypo-allergenic for those who have allergy symptoms around dogs and secondly, they are extremely intelligent. Just as the Golden Retriever, they are trained for therapy and service work dogs because of how easy they are trained and now people who have allergies can now work with a therapy dog. As one author who wrote one of the many books about Goldendoodles worded it: "They are not 'Designer Dogs,' rather, they are dogs of good design."

If you notice in the picture above, our Goldendoodle is not golden at all. Golden, caramel, cream, apricot, or white are the colors that most people expect to see. There are some more rare reddish Goldendoodles, but there are many black Doodles, also. When we have Davis out and about and people ask what kind of dog and we tell them, the first thing they begin to say is that he is not golden. My husband loves to put his finger up to his lips and say, "Shhhh. He doesn't know that."

What I can tell you is that this dog is so very amazing in just how smart he is. I sound like parents of the children that I used to teach. If this is what you want to believe then it is okay. My feelings won't be hurt. Let me just give you examples (and I might add that this is not just our puppy, it is Goldendoodles as a breed). They are sensitive, intuitive, wishing to please, agile, athletic, and highly social which just adds to their intelligence.

Some people want this kind of dog, thinking that they will have less to do in the training part of their pet. Let me tell you right now that this is so not true.  These dogs must be intellectually stimulated and properly trained, along with the extra socialization. Because of their high intelligence and the need to be with people, they can become bored which leads to mischief.

Doodles are quick learners and are often the star students in obedience classes, usually the one that the trainer pulls out to be the puppy who will demonstrate the skill being taught.  These dogs love to please and you will notice them tilting their heads and gazing into your eyes, trying to figure out what it is that you want them to do because they are ready to do it.  Due to the Poodle intelligence and the Golden Retriever  intuitiveness, this dog can read you like a book, so you want to be sure that you are sending the right messages.  

When training your Doodle, you must vary the routine or else he will have it memorized and do the commands before you get them out of your mouth.  In other words, if you have them sit, then down, next stay and last stand, he will run through them all once you say sit in the sequence that you taught them.  It is as if they want to make you laugh and giggle and they thrive at being the life of the party. 

Just remember to keep in mind that they are highly intelligent and inquisitive, therefore when in an unfenced area there are way too many more interesting things happening than you, his owner. If you find this hard to swallow and your ego is bruised, you just need to suck it up, Buttercup and find another way around getting the command through to him.

Simply the fact that these dogs are so quick and agile, I can assure you that playing catch the puppy if you can is not a good, nor a fair game to play.  They will win. This is when you must return to the collar and leash, so that they know who is in control. Otherwise the halo disappears and the little devil horns pop out and a wild eyed puppy is playing with you, the one supposedly in charge as he watches with fascination any one of the following things in his area: the wind blowing a leaf, the wind in general, a bug, a bird flying overhead, much less a loud aircraft, the prism glow on the fence caused by the sunlight on the door as it is opened or closed.

Their intelligence is enhanced by keeping them fit, which includes a good and steady walk and playtime daily. When out for a walk, whether it be around on a walking trail or walking in a pet store, this dog knows how to put on the prance.  He always stands taller, walks prouder with ears hanging just right and his little question mark tail held just the right way, as to draw attention to himself.  I can assure you that he needs mentally challenged constantly, which keeps you mentally challenged. It is most definitely impossible to start your day in a bad mood. Your happy voice and inner child will escape from within you all because of your Doodle.  

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