A little bit peeved

I was looking around youtube and I found a video with the top 10 dumbest dogs. Thinking this will be hilarious I clicked only to find Basenjis at number 2. Many people mistake Basenjis stubbornness for being unintelligent but it is the opposite anyone else a little bit frustrated my B gets called dumb all the time even though the person is dumb for not doing their research…

Whats the funniest/most intelligent thing your b has done?

yea, that's been around for a while. it's based on a list put out by stanley coren who used a survey sent to trainers to compile that list. not very scientific. there's also the question of methods used to train the dogs, etc. i tell people that basenjis are "clever" when someone asks if they are smart. if they ask if they are hard to train, i reply "they can be hard to motivate". if someone were to tell me basenjis are dumb, i'd say "well, Diggie had over 30 titles. How many does your dog have?" and smile sweetly.

… and they actually posted it after the lack of research put into the survey. Humans are idiots and basenjis are our owners 😛

Intelligence in dogs brings similar characteristics that you see in humans. There are a lot of intelligent humans that are difficult to motivate. 🙂

But with that said, we (basenji owners) all know the true intelligence in this breed.

@agilebasenji:

i tell people that basenjis are "clever" when someone asks if they are smart. if they ask if they are hard to train, i reply "they can be hard to motivate".

LOVE the choice of the words "clever" and "hard to motivate". You should go into politics! It reminds me of my working days when I was overloaded with work and someone tried to give me another project. I learned to say "I'd like to give someone else the opportunity". Yea right, but it was much nicer sounding than "get out of my face", or "say what?".

This list seems to go around every few months. I am not so sure it is all that bad a thing that some people think our dogs are "dumb" since some of the people who are looking for a "smart" dog would never be able to live with a "thinking" dog. There are people out there with all sorts of weird misconceptions about canine intelligence. Like the ones who inquire saying they want a girl because they are so much smarter than boy dogs.

When most people say "smart" they mean "trainable" or "biddable". The same people who say they want a smart dog are horrified to hear stories of how my boy would open the fridge and help himself to tri tip roast or lamb roast. They don't find it at all amusing that nearly every drawer and cabinet in my house has a child safety lock because the basenjis find investigating the contents a great game. When I tell a fellow basenji owner how TC opens my mom linen closet removes half the towels on the lowest shelf and makes a nest in there for her afternoon nap, they laugh or say "how cute". Those people who wanted a "smart" dog seem to have wanted to hear something more about how well they hold a sit stay while they chat with their friends or retrieve the paper.

I agree lvoss…. fully.... people are equally horrified when I used to tell them about finding my Tri Mickii sitting in the middle of the kitchen table every 4 months or so... and with a look that clearly says "just wanted to make sure you know I can, if I want to"..... or just sitting at the table in one of the chairs... which yesterday our 16wk old Tri, C-Me figured out how to get on the kitchen chairs... and sit at the table.... and all because "she can".....

I have always believed Basenjis to be clever with a mind of there own. Since getting the Pup we can clearly see the level of intelligence. She picks up what we teach extremely quickly and you can almost see the cogs going in her brain. We do realise however that she may not always demonstrate what shes learned when we want her to.
At 8 weeks old we taught her to leave, by offering food in the left hand and rewarding with the right, within a day she didn't bother looking at the left hand, gazing instead at the right.

@tanza:

I agree lvoss…. fully.... people are equally horrified when I used to tell them about finding my Tri Mickii sitting in the middle of the kitchen table every 4 months or so... and with a look that clearly says "just wanted to make sure you know I can, if I want to"..... or just sitting at the table in one of the chairs... which yesterday our 16wk old Tri, C-Me figured out how to get on the kitchen chairs... and sit at the table.... and all because "she can".....

When ask "what are they like" I always describe mine as 1/3 dog, 1/3 raccoon and 1/3 chimpanzee.

We are preaching to the converted here, I'm afraid. Jewel is able to close doors as well as openng them and as i have told before can get out of a padlocked crate. Basenjis are brillliant prioblem solvers at any age - this denotes intelligence to me.

Competeitive obedience dogs are said to be more intelligent which isn't strictly true as they are simply quick at obeying human commands.

Spectacurlykat asks for instances of intelligence in Basenjis but where to start? - I know I just take for granted what mine can do and its not until somebody exclaims about something they see them do that I realise that maybe that's not so normal for other dogs!

Intelligence can be evaluated in different ways. Sheep are thought to unintelligent and yet they are certainly not. They learn their call names quicker than any dog and work out answers to problems exceedingly quickly.

@Patty:

Sheep are thought to unintelligent and yet they are certainly not. They learn their call names quicker than any dog and work out answers to problems exceedingly quickly.

I did not know that about sheep. However, I did know they sometimes solve crimes :p

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Bags-Full-Sheep-Detective/dp/0767927052/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271379699&sr=8-1

(fun read if you haven't already read it)

There's a book called 'the intelligence of dogs' that's pretty good, since it measures problem solving ability, and not obedience.

Having said all that, it's a common misconception. How often are our kids in schools (human kids, not four legged ones) called 'stupid' because they're not obedient!

When zoey wanted something Lizzy the lab had she would grab Lizzys favorite toy and start playing with it. When Lizzy would run to get the toy and play with it zoe would run and take what Lizzy had. lol She is trying this same trick on Cheif and it's not working so well lol.

That list is based on Stanley Coren's "The Intelligence of Dogs"
He mentions that there are many types of intelligence. The study is not badly done, and Stanley Coren was very brave to even attempt to write the book.
The list is from the detailed list he gives for Obedience or Trainability.
I would not disagree with the rankings in this list considering that they are only discussing trainability.
The book is worth a read so you can understand what people are saying when they discuss the list, even if they don't know :), but it is a slow, trudging read. It isn't as engaging as books like the one by the Coppingers.

-Nicole

@Craigh:

When ask "what are they like" I always describe mine as 1/3 dog, 1/3 raccoon and 1/3 chimpanzee.

😃 LOL!!! +1!

Many people equate intelligence with blind obedience. IMO, all that proves is a dog is so dumb it relies on a human to do its thinking for it. I prefer my B boy, who can problem-solve for himself. He figured out how to open a wing window that was latched and let himself out through it because he wanted to be near me. He also figured out how to use the electric window button. I'm happy to report this truck does not have wing windows that open and the electric windows are disabled when the key is in the "off" position. I love watching him, when given a command, think about it to decide whether it's in his best interest to do what I want or to do something else.

Agilebasenji for…US Representative?

They are soooo smart. When my Willie was about 8-1/2 weeks old my daughters were playing a game with him around the kitchen island. They had him chasing them and it took him about a minute to figure out if he stayed at the end of the island, he could just go left or right from there to catch them.

That being said, if he doesn't want to do something, it's really hard to get him to do it. Food helps, but he is, as they say, an "independent thinker." A very intelligent independent thinker.

My boss asked recently if I'd reached the point where I could leave my dog alone in the apartment outside the crate yet, and I told her that I didn't know if I ever would - he's a chewer and if I'm not there to watch what he's chewing, I don't know if I can trust him. She said "oh, so he can't be trained?" "He is trained, he's just a chewer." "Hmmmm…" was her reply, with a face that said "either you're a bad trainer, or he's a dumb dog."

Happier note: took Paco to a dog-friendly restaurant last night, and the bartender yelled "Is that a basenji?!?!" from across the place, ran over to say hi, and went on and on about how her neighbor in the States bred them and how smart they were. 😃

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.