Monday, July 11, 2011

Is he smart?

I'm in a world of chaos at the moment - technically speaking. My rusty trusty laptop which I was due to exchange for a new one crapped out on me late this afternoon - about 15 minutes before I was due to walk out the door. The good news is that I don't think I lost a lot of data and I've got my new laptop ready to go here, but I'm missing all my applications: photoshop, video editing software, itunes for syncing my phone, and then there's all the configuration I need to do for my real job. It's a frazzling feeling honestly. Over the next day or so I'll get all my data and apps installed and in short order it'll be like nothing ever happened, but for now a bit of personal chaos for this compulsive girl.
07/11/2011: Even with temperatures in the mid-80's , 
Kipling gets cold after some time in the pool. I watch 
him pretty closely and try to get him out and dried 
off before he gets too cold.  He's finally a strong
enough swimmer that he got to swim with the 
BIG dogs tonight and after 15 minutes or so he left 
the upper deck. I poke my head around and see the 
Kipling sitting on the bench on the deck. He's had 
half a dozen swims over the last two weeks and
after each swim one I pick the shivering puppy up 
on the bench to towel him off. Today he put himself
up. I consider this my not so subtle puppy hint that
he's cold, he's had enough swimmies and he'd like
his toweling now.

Anyhow, instead of our regularly scheduled program I thought I'd mention an interesting puppy topic that I've been hearing a lot lately. It's one of the most asked questions when people hear that I have a new puppy - particularly when I mention that he is Teller's son. Any guesses?

No, it's not "how is his tail" {giggle} it's always "Is he smart?" or "Is he as smart as Teller?". I'm pretty shocked at the question actually and it's coming from dog people and non-dog people alike... I haven't yet figured out if they are asking because they think Teller is a genius (I do of course) or if they're expecting Kipling the infant to demonstrate a perfectly cued tap dance routine on command. Is it a reflection on me as a trainer that people want to judge my puppy's intelligence?  I'm still not sure how to feel about the question.

I think K's favorite part of swimming is the drying off part.

Kipling is still a baby! At 12 weeks old there's so much time for him to master grand tasks. So much of the world is new to him, so many of the experiences and routines I take for granted with my BIG dogs are new to Kipling. And with those variables, he really is a puppy with a puppy-sized attention span. All the really good things come with maturity. All puppies are smart, an awful lot of puppies are clever. If the question is "Is he as good as Teller?" it's a pretty unfair question. Are you as good as your mother? Are you the same as your father?

The BIG boys await their towel-dry.
The topic has spurred some interesting conversation as I've polled my friends who happen to have multiple children: "Do random people ask you if one of your kids is smarter than the other?" The consensus was 'yes' with some pretty shocking anecdotes from parents who have been asked all sorts of rude questions comparing their children - including one about presuming that a child of Asian heritage would naturally be really good at math.

My answer to the askers has been "oh, of course he's smart! All puppies are smart", for the non-dog people, or the clueless dog people I might also offer that  "some puppies don't have smart owners". It's mostly true - puppies are born clever and born with the ability to problem solve, sometimes they don't live up to their potential because they have people who don't train them, don't train them consistently, people who don't treat them with kindness and (or) people who don't encourage them to think for themselves...

And one more photo from today - all three boys enjoying their nightly rawhides before tucking in for the night.

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