The Daily Yap....News for Dogs....

ScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2009) — Although you wouldn't want one to balance your checkbook, dogs can count.

They can also understand more than 150 words and intentionally deceive other dogs and people to get treats, according to psychologist and leading canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia. He spoke Saturday on the topic "How Dogs Think" at the American Psychological Association's 117th Annual Convention.
Coren, author of more than a half-dozen popular books on dogs and dog behavior, has reviewed numerous studies to conclude that dogs have the ability to solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought.
"We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors [that] Lassie or Rover demonstrate," Coren said in an interview. "Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought."
According to several behavioral measures, Coren says dogs' mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.
The intelligence of various types of dogs does differ and the dog's breed determines some of these differences, Coren says. "There are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems) and working and obedience (the equivalent of 'school learning')."
Data from 208 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada showed the differences in working and obedience intelligence of dog breeds, according to Coren. "Border collies are number one; poodles are second, followed by German shepherds. Fourth on the list is golden retrievers; fifth, dobermans; sixth, Shetland sheepdogs; and finally, Labrador retrievers," said Coren.
As for language, the average dog can learn 165 words, including signals, and the "super dogs" (those in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence) can learn 250 words, Coren says. "The upper limit of dogs' ability to learn language is partly based on a study of a border collie named Rico who showed knowledge of 200 spoken words and demonstrated 'fast-track learning,' which scientists believed to be found only in humans and language learning apes," Coren said.
Dogs can also count up to four or five, said Coren. And they have a basic understanding of arithmetic and will notice errors in simple computations, such as 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.
Four studies he examined looked how dogs solve spatial problems by modeling human or other dogs' behavior using a barrier type problem. Through observation, Coren said, dogs can learn the location of valued items (treats), better routes in the environment (the fastest way to a favorite chair), how to operate mechanisms (such as latches and simple machines) and the meaning of words and symbolic concepts (sometimes by simply listening to people speak and watching their actions).
During play, dogs are capable of deliberately trying to deceive other dogs and people in order to get rewards, said Coren. "And they are nearly as successful in deceiving humans as humans are in deceiving dogs." smart are the humans who need a scientist to work this out for them....come on guys....we are even smarter than your realise....

Monday, December 28, 2009

doggie christmas...

its been a dog gone long time since I wrote here last.....I have been busy, tourists are in town and there is a lot of yappping to do keeping them in their place....there are more strange doggies on my walks and they also need to be shown who is boss....and of course I have had many nice family visitors to lick and cuddle and take for walks.....they love me to show them about town!! I had a great Christmas day, ate more than usual ( which is saying something), sneaked a few tidbits from various softies in the extended family and was so tuckered out by it all I forgot my guarding duties for a day and just slept!! Ah well 'tis the season and all that!!

I was quite happy with my lot of presents too, sant left me some lovely doggie treats and new rubber squeaky device to practice my guarding duties with.....then there was the minty breath freshners that great granny gave me and for which I am grateful, but do not really need, my breath smells lovely!!! And there was the furry toy that I could get my teeth into for a bit, until the old girl decided that fluff everywhere was not a good look when visitors were about! I got a nice new feeding bowl too, only it could have been bigger than the last one.....

So I am enjoying hte hullaballoo in town at the momnet, never a dull moment and walks are always full of surprises!! I jsut wish the old girl would stop putting me in the ocean for a swim....I can guard her better on the sand.......

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

ninja dog

yes call me ninja to leap tall poodles in a single bound and get a good handle on their wooly little rumps before they know what has hit to attack wild breathing dragons ( vacumm cleaners) from round corners and wrestle them out of my poor unsuspecting humans to balance precariously but with utmost confidence in my ability on the verandah ledge in pursuit of a better view of the hairy mutts wandering my to appear in deep asleep and in the same second leap to the front door to growl menacingly at a prospective perveyor of MY to sneak tuna patties out of the fridge right under my yet again unsuspecting human's I believe to do anything i choose in the pursuit of 'evil fighting' and any other activity I deem worthwhile.....

I have been on the ball lately its true!! Figuratively and well human has a big blue exercise ball that she lies all over and does funny things with her arms and legs upon...I have perfected the ninja art of big ball pushing and on my skinny but muscly hind legs I stand and push this thing around...great for upper body felxibility!!!!

And I have been extra busy protecting my is school holidays and athere are more undesirables around than usual!! A dog cannot get too careful during times like these...vigilence is a must....i give equal time to looking out of all the windows in the house and all the viewing spots on both verandahs..and for better spying I have done a little decor adaptation too..chewing a viewing hole or two in the curtains.....I am sure my humans understand the dire neccessity for this.....and of course appreciate me!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

thoughts on the meaning of dog.....

D could be for 'do it again come can roll over again..come on do it for us...'
or 'damn dog, it chewed my socks AGAIN, ( big sigh) lucky he's so cute....'
or Dinner...come on it smells so...good, ( pat on the head) eat up there's a good boy...'
( no prizes for guessing which one I like best!)

O could be for 'Oh my ####, you little#### you left your bone under my pillow again!!!!! Yuk!'
or 'open your mouth, let go of my shoe, come on, just let go PLEASE...........( long whiney sound from human) ...'
or "on your feet little man, we are going for a walk" ( you can imagine which words actually warrant a response from me !!!)

G could be for ' good boy, gorgeous poochy, great trick, go fetch or just plain GO..(depending on what I have recently been up to......) or glad you are mine, get away from there and finally my favourite one of all....God is just dog spelt backwards.......

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The sleep of good dog....

My humans are funny....they walk real fast or sometimes run when I am with them and a big dog type starts to stalk me...they avoid ( and try to do so surreptitiously) cats and other furry things and they look sheepish when I do what after all I am really out and about to do...relieve myself! I can handle myself quite well with big dog types thank you, I can still see those damn cats and other furry things and will have my way with them if they step over the territory mark....and what’s natural is natural for dog’s sake so why not praise me for remembering to hold it in till I am outside!

It’s been so cold lately I have been sleeping under the covers of the big bed with the old girl and grumpy old guy. They are ok. But they can snore a bit....that’s why I really need to burrow in and get comfy down by their blocks it out a little. Apparently the old girl can sleep through a hurricane, because the other night I was trying to get back in the bed after greeting the grumpy old guy back from a late shift and she wouldn’t budge to let me in, I jumped on her head and scratched at her back and growled in her ear, but she just kept snoring!! And the grumpy old guy just sat there looking at me with a half smile on his face. The conceit of it!! I had to settle for the noisy arena on top of the doona and I just curled up and gave up in the bend of her knee.

I did get a little payback later when she made the bed in the morning and I pulled it apart and got back under! I kinda needed an extra dognap after my difficult night!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

of "holidays" and other worrying stuff...

It’s been a long week/ I have ostensibly been on holiday at the dog holiday kennels....seems my humans needed to go away where fierce and protective dogs like me were unwelcome. Where is the logic? How would they protect themselves....I spent some nights worrying over them I can tell you!

On the surface I was all wagging tail and friendly overtures to the staff and other doggies at the holiday farm, eating tasty morsels and playing wildly with interesting toys and jolly puppy companions... but underneath I was all a twitter about my poor humans, fending for themselves, braving the scary world alone...I am sure they did not enjoy themselves!

I was strong though and went off with my new carer without even batting an eye. I did not want to make my humans worry...I am selfless like that! Then when they arrived to collect me, I made sure to lick carers too so no-one would feel left out...and I gently let my humans know that they put me in a worrying situation by a little disdain and off handedness when they tried to pamper me and pet me in that irritating friendly way that humans have.

In the end I generously let bygones be bygones and took the treats they offered me! It was good to see that they were all ok!!! I guess they got lucky...but now they have me back to protect them, I know they will be fine. It’s a load off my mind! Enough to make me take an exercise run around the old house in excitement!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a little canine poetry....

heres a little poem I yapped up whilst looking after my poor flu ridden human, old gal ....( she has been needing a bit of TLC and of course I have obliged by staying close to her in bed and snuggling up on her feet to keep them warm....its a hard job, but someone has to do it!!!)

Ten ways to make a dog happy....
One, you can share that roast chicken with me...I like to share its cool
two, you can let me lick your plate clean too, its the least I can do
three, you can forget the bath, I 'm beautiful just the way I am...and so are you...
four, Don't fuss about the cushions, they weren't that great anyway and you know you wanted new ones...
five, let me fight the big fights when we're out doing a recky....I'm a big boy now you know(lol)
six, keep the heater on, the cold isn't good for anyone ( just thinking of you)
seven, let me play till late, I'll sleep when I'm ready....and you just sleep too much anyway
eight, you can share that cake and custard with me too if you like, it'll only go to your thighs....
nine, encourage me to keep fit and make that walk last even longer...or better yet, run with me...I like it when we both sound like Darth Vader...
ten, tell me what a good dog I am, I am you know!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rain and how to make your own fun!

It has been raining...really wet and I ahve missed my usual recky around the neighbourhood. Goodness only knows what manner of mishap may be happening out the rain...only i do not know! I am sitting here looking out of windows and all i can see is water. I bark and whine a lot at things I think I see and my humans get mad, but you can never be too careful!

I went out briefly yesterday, and pottered around the church grounds next door... but it was raining still and I got pretty wet. When I came back in I rolled myself dry on the carpet and it was quite fun, but again the humans weren't impressed! Perhaps all this rqaian has made them depressed and angry....I am so.....patient about it compared to them...and I am the one who needs to go out and protect the neighbourhood!!

The verandah was wet as this morning. I could just barely look over the verandah rails without disturbing something that sprayed water at me. My food dishes were all full of water. I had to have my breakfast indoors.

All unsettling ...and I need exercise, so I have been chasing plastic bottles all over the house. ..they make a lot of noise and are pretty good for exercise!! Lucky the rain was so noisy that my humans were not disturbed by my antics!!! I wasn't sleepy at bed time though, jsut not enough to do in my I did a lot of blanket rearrangement and pulled the covers off my humans to wake them up to play with me...I was not such a hit then!! But I did enjoy myself...gotta keep thse humans on theior toes! Especially the grumpy old man and old girl...make sure they know who really rules the roost around here!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

sickness and thunder....and good places to hide!

Oh my I am a poor dog little attention from my band of sick humans...they have been barking (coughing) a lot and being very idle...only just managing to take me around on my patrols....I have had to entertain myself by being extra vigilant on veranda watch and barking up a storm of my own!!!
This week we have had visitors though and all the humans seem to be in brighter spirits!! It’s been good to finally extract some extra attention for myself...I deserve it!! I have been growling ferociously at passing dogs of questionable attitude...I have been digging around the pot plants to make sure nothing untoward has been hidden in there...I have been rearranging the humans bedding in case any germs have been idling about in there and causing all this sick stuff...and if have been keeping everyone on their toes and not allowing them to lapse back into lethargy and get all sorry for themselves which just wouldn’t help them all get better!! What would this bunch of humans do without me!!

So you see I have not had much time for writing.....very busy keeping it all on track!! A few nasty storms out there in the weather too lately and lots of rain...I have had to do justice to the thunder and lightening and make sure that it doesn't eneter the house needs me to bark twice as loud as usual and run around making sure all hiding places are still viable!!!

The humans seemed surprised when they found me huddled up in the grumpy old mans cupboard...but I was jsut pointing out a good place to retreat to when the final thunder hits...someone has to show them these things.....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Beach Patrol

A little foray to the beach for some border security turned into a mighty day for me! First there were some fierce ,big, hairy dogs about and it meant I was on guard at all times, waiting for them to put in one wrong move! They must have realized I was on their case because overall they behaved quite reasonably. Second I was forced to do some swimming, real heavy swimming! The old girl was obviously feeling a little fearful ( so many shark reports lately I gusess she needed someone to ward them off) so she dragged me into the deep with her….I was starting to feel like a navy dog you know? I don’t think she realized but I needed to be on shore..( to keep an eye on the big dogs) so as soon as possible I made a bee-line for the sand and I was pretty quick, (great doggy paddle skills she said….Honestly, how embarrassing, great dog-stroke skills I would say!). Anyway she kept taking me back in…..and I kept making my point by dashing for the sand…..the old girls getting a bit slow I think! Thirdly and finally I had a bit of a moment with one of those snappy creatures that hide in holes in the sand. They are not to be trusted…would you trust anything that hides in holes for the majority of their lives??????? I think not! Anyways lets just say I needed to rub my nose a bit after that…….the old girl laughed at me too….and to think I was protecting her! GRRRRRRRRR

I was glad to get back to my normal turf after that......and I justifiably caught a bit of nap too!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Catching up.......

Its been a while...I have been quite humans took a holiday and left me with running boy for a while...just the two of us in the fight against evil, minding the family home and the neighbourhood!!! I felt the weightiness of responsibility, believe me. I had a hairy meeting or two with a big dog or two...and survived to tell the tale....I may be small but I am feisty!
Running boy and friends were less willing to let me fight the good fight though so they took me away sighing heavily.....I think they were worried for the other Dogs.....its ok as long as everyone knows just who is boss around here! And then there was the verandah watch...I did alot of that, and caught up on my furniture rearranging and c ushion stuffing ( or should I say destuffing ) skills. Running boy was not too happy abut this, but I have to keep on top of my form and exercise is paramount....

I was pretty pleased to see the rest of the humans safe and well when they returned last week...I really don't know quite how they survived without me! But I cannot be in two places at once..although I am working on it. I gave them a big greeting just to show them they were missed...they need that reassurance, sensitive creatures that they are! And of course I did a little territory marking around still has to have the upper hand....but the humans really kick up about this...easily threatened creatures too! Got to love the cute things though don't you!