Have you guys seen this?



I just stumbled across this on facebook. Bunny is a sheepadoodle and she has a board with buttons with words, and it looks like she's communicating with her people. Apparently she's part of a study on animal communication and cognition. I don't know what I think. Is Bunny talking to them? I mean, I do think there are so many things about dogs that we don't know yet. I know my own dogs understand words and phrases that I didn't deliberately teach them. They absolutely understand "are you hungry?" and treat, cookie, bed, outside, and walk, among other things. Is it really so far fetched to think that they can "say" those things back to us if they're given the tools for communication? It looks like she's deliberately picking buttons and not just randomly stomping them. 

In any case, it's kind of fun to watch her. She's a cute dog. 


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  • To add to this, I was watching someone proof their recall last night in class. The dog is so focused and excited to come that she sometimes anticipates the command and comes before she's called. So her mom stands there and calls watermelon, taco, banana, before she actually calls her to come. And I could just see the little wheels turning. Every time she said the wrong word her little butt would come up off the ground about an inch and she was like, nope, that's not it. Nope, not that one either. Command discrimination. These guys are so smart. They know a whole lot more than what they are telling us. 

    Willlow has the most adorable head tilt and ear perk when I talk to her. She's a good listener. I so wish I knew what she was thinking.

    • One of the training problems I have with Jasper is anticipation. He knows what comes nextand will start to do it before I give him the command.  It's common in Miniature Poodles, especially those who are bred for performance. And it's much more common in Minis than in Standards. As my friend Carol the Poodle lady puts it:  "They can stand up to more repetitions in training. They don't shut down as easily as the Standards. They have more drive but sometimes that "drive" crosses over into arousal. It can be hard to capture correct behaviors because they will throw two more in before you can reward what you asked for."
      In formal Obedience, it is very hard for Jasper to hold his stay until I give him the "come" signal. And then it is very hard for him to wait until I give him the signal for the formal finish. He is always like "I know what to do next, you don't tell have to tell me!" One big pitfall with a dog like this is teaching routines, which we do in trick training and performance, where they learn a sequence. That has carried over to make it much harder to get him to only respond when he is commanded to in Obedience work. 

      I haven't had a chance to watch the video yet, but I'm already skeptical, lol. A sheepadoodle is a mix of the second smartest breed in the world with one who is ranked close to the bottom of the canine intelligence rankings. 

      • I wish Riley had a bit more "drive".  I guess part of her lack of drive is the Standard poodle, but I'm sure it has a lot to do with the notoriously lazy/stubborn Bernese side lol.

        • Standard Poodles have plenty of drive, just not as much as the Minis, lol. :)

          • Well she definitely favors her Bernese side on that front then haha.  She has had laziness down to an art form since a young age.  About the only thing she is NOT lazy about is protecting the house. :p  If someone closes a car door a block away she is ALL over that.



      • It's funny that you said this, because the dog I was referring to was V, the miniature Poodle. She is incredible. Her attention when she heels, and the way she sails over a jump is just gorgeous. The jump was set at 14" I think for her, and I said that it looked so high. They all kind of laughed at me. She could have done the 22" jump without blinking. She's just a beautiful athlete. Willow kind of plops over the jumps. I think Willow is fantastic, but V takes my breath away. It's not that she just does what she's supposed to do, it's that she's so enthusiastic and happy doing it. She's just a really cool dog. You should see her recall. I think my dogs do a nice job. Willow jumps up and comes and she has a really pretty front. But V is like a little lightning bolt. I can almost hear her screaming, "I'm coming! I'm coming! I'm here." She makes me happy.

        • Action photo of V????? She sounds amazing.

          • I'll have to see if I can get one. She is amazing. She is also a diabetes alert dog and doing quite well at scent work. Her mom didn't intend for her to do obedience, but she really likes it.  I want one like that! She and Willow get along really well. Willow loves everyone. I did a good job with that. It's so nice being in some of the more advanced classes and not worrying so much about dogs with behavioral issues being there. Willow even gets to meet and greet the tiny toy Poodles because everyone is just nice. Mostly they all just like to smell all over one another.

          • Here is V and Jasper's great-grandfather Jib (otherwise known as UWP ADCH CT MACH 4 AM CH Kallista's Silver Sails Aloft VCD4 RAE XF WCX WETX) jumping 18" at the European Open Agility Competition in the Czech Republic, at the age of 10 years old. 

            • Amazing!  Already looking for her next obstacle. She looks like she is having a good time.

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