My African Grey, Rocco, has a play area adjacent to my desk at work. When his treat dish is empty, he carries it to the far end of a perch and drops it, hitting me on the head or shoulder. It gets his point across. He also says things appropriate to what’s going on. When the dogs bark, he says, “settle down” in my voice. When my gf says something, he yells, “What?” In my voice (I often take my hearing aid out at home).
Our German Shepherd, Kali, can open the big gates in the barn. My gf taught her this “trick”. If we do not carefully latch the gates, we have horses walking around the yard.
Kali likes stuffed animals. We call them her baby. Saying “get your baby” leads to her retrieving a stuffed animal, while “shake your baby” leads to her vigorously shaking the thing. That kind of bothers visiting friends with infants.
At night, our cat JZ comes and wakes me up by licking my face and meowing if there’s a problem. Problems comprise: she threw up in the kitchen and doesn’t know what to do or the baby needs attention and she doesn’t know what to do.
Last night, the Shih Tzu was laying down looking out the sliding door. My husband was later than usual getting home from work. Kiddingly, I said let me know if you see daddy coming. About 15 minutes later, my daughter and I both saw him perk up and turn his head. Sure enough, my husband was coming up the street and turning to get into our development.
GSD Kali just showed how intelligent she really is.
Our old 90 pound mix breed was lounginging on the comfy dog bed in our living room. Kali approached and stared hard. She wanted the bed. She walked over to the window and barked, like there was an intruder about to break in. Ella jumped up to look, Kali walked over to the bed and laid down. Boom.
My Siamese tell time. They know exactly when its treat time. They are perfect alarm clocks, they never fail come in to wake me up in the morning. Never. They tattletale on the dogs. The male ‘Bear’ uses the toilet down stairs sometimes. He doesn’t flush though. ( just like a man) I started teaching him how to target. I can hold my finger up and he touches it with his paw, it has actually turned into a manipulative trick. He pats my chin with his paw if he wants petting. I am waiting on him to claw my eye out if he disagrees with me.
Sadly my little dogs are kinda dumb. It doesn’t seem to make their life less happy.
And I love them.
I had a Rat Terrier that was so smart it was scary. She did so many things I could write a book on her exploits. She was also a comic. Such a joy to have in my life. I wanted to get another Ratty but I was afraid I would be disappointed it how it was. So I got a Yorkie instead. My little beagle was a orphan that I bottle fed, she doesn’t even know how to be a dog.
My now-deceased Doberman Grace would sometimes want a bed that another dog was using. What she would do is come over to me to get pets and scritches. When the others dogs saw her getting the loving, they’d jump up and come over, too. Then she’d have her pick of beds. It happened way too often for it to be coincidence.
While I have many stories of how smart my dog is, one of the things that impresses me the most is how good dogs are at telling when their owners are coming.
I’ll have dogs in the back, sleeping, being quiet and just chilling, then suddenly, one will start barking. I look up, and see the owner’s car pulling into the lot.
I can only assume that they have really good hearing and recognize their owner’s car, but sometimes, they will start up a minute or so before they are in the lot, while they are still some distance away.
My late Widget was a hilarious liar who would do the fakey bark thing to get bigger dog Bear to move away from a favorite toy so Widget could steal it. He would also stare intently at people to get them to take toys for him if Bear wasn’t biting on the fake bark trick.
New dog Shoga is pretty crazy smart too, she’s learned “get your toy” then if she brings a hard bone toy or the like has learned “no, bring pull toy” to go get a rope toy so we can play with it. She loves her outdoor time and regularly alerts me that she wants to go out so I ask her if she needs to potty, and being a typical girl she doesn’t want to go alone so she bounces over to wake Bear up so he’ll go out with her. It’s paralyzingly cute watching her boing around acting all excited so he’ll want to go with. I’m also teaching her people’s names so when she fetches back a ball I’ll tell her to “give it to [name]” so she learns who’s who. She’s also the one who, when the squirrels kept getting away by climbing a tree, figured out how to get enough momentum going to follow them right up–got ten feet up a multi trunked cedar and really freaked the squirrel out.
My Siamese cat used to be locked in our semi-finished basement. And she somehow figured out you turned the knob to open the door, presumably by watching humans. She was never able to do it, but she tried it often.
Our Briard sheepdog used to get separation anxiety when we left the house. And to deal with it, she would get ahold of a paper towel, and tear it into tiny, neat little strips. She was very smart in other ways too, I remember.
Heck, I have grown up around animals all my life. And I have many more ideas like this, if anyone is interested.
My smart Rat Terrier was named Grace also. Funny.
She could climb trees it the most scary way. She would tear her nails out, they always got sore. Of course she complained about it. That was the one dumb thing about her, she had no fear for her own safety. We always said she’d jump off a roof to get to a squirrel. Mr.Wrekker took her out in his boat to go fishing. Many times he had to pull her out of the drink.
My cat Pluto often stares a feral demon glare into the depths of my soul standing stock still as a way of asking to go outside. Then again, sometimes I know when he wants to go outside before he does, as the glare is more of a bored compulsive act at times. I can tell the difference between an absolute desire to go outside and kind of a “let me fuck with you and see how many times I can get you to get up while I pretend to want to go outside” look, as well. He often meows to himself and wanders around until he figures out he wants out, so I sometimes know what’s coming and can kind of talk him to the door.
He paws at the window when he is too lazy to push behind the blinds and wants me to lift them for him. Stares at closed doors in the bathroom and waits for them to be opened, etc.
Then again, he also likes to bolt down into the basement at top speed and commune with the walls, meowing non-stop for a minute or so. So he may or may not be bright.
I have cat beds and dog beds allover the house. Sometimes they all want the same spot in a bay window. The cats sneakily roam around doing their snack time meow. It never fails to get the dogs perked up and to the kitchen. Cats then take over the preferred seating. These 2 cats are relative geniuses. The dogs don’t have a chance.
My cats are also intrigued by flushing and running water. But let a paw get wet and Katie bar the door, insanity occurs til it gets licked dry.
I wanted a touch faucet when we changed the kitchen sink. I was afraid the cats would figure it out and flood the kitchen while I was gone. They definitely understand what makes the water come out, but they can’t make it work by tapping on it. They would be dangerous if they had opposable thumbs.