Have you ever watched those TV shows on “Animal Planet” or news segments where they show dogs doing things that almost seem like magic?
Such as opening doors, answering phones, turning on lights, etc?
When I was a kid, I used to dream of having a super intelligent dog who could do things like that. A “genius” dog who could “wow” everyone and make me the envy of my friends.
Well, today… brilliance is almost the LAST thing I want in a dog.
Simply because smart dogs tend to be more disobedient, stubborn and dominant.
And, as a result, they can many times be much harder to train.
I have a friend who has an extremely intelligent Doberman. This dog can do things I didn’t even know were possible for dogs to be able to do!
Like, for instance, opening the refrigerator door, grabbing him a beer and then bringing it to him.
When I asked him how he did it, he said it wasn’t easy. In fact, he said training his smart dog to just be obedient (like stop barking) was the equivalent of pulling teeth. The reason why is because — just like human geniuses — smart dogs tend to be great problem solvers and are easily bored.
In other words, they figure out what you’re up to during training, and want to get back to having fun.
This often means them teaching you how to stop a training session.
What does this mean for you?
If you have a dog who is naturally smart, be prepared for a bit of a challenge when it comes to getting him to behave and do as you say.
Although his potential will be such that he can perform amazing tricks and tasks none of your friends’ dogs will ever be able to do — you are going to have your hands full just getting him to listen to you and stay interested in what you are teaching him.
If it’s your first dog then definitely prepare to work with a professional trainer and let them show you how to do it. Otherwise, you’re probably going to end up frustrated, angry and probably mad at your dog.
With his only “crime” being too smart.