Brody is many things. Beautiful, yes. Feisty, without a doubt. Fun? Every day. Loving? Like a Care Bear. He is all that and more.
Smart, though? Well, I don’t know that I would put him on the Lassie end of the spectrum. He was more refractory to training than any dog I’ve had save Nuke, the elderly agoraphobic irradiated coonhound. It took me 6 months to get him reliably housetrained, despite following my trainer’s guidelines to a T. He just didn’t seem all that concerned with doing things the right way, and really, it isn’t a big deal.
My husband, however, has a major blind spot where Brody is concerned. “Goldens are the fourth smartest breed,” he informed me, despite having a copy of Outliers on his bedside table. “He’s totally smart.” Then he would subtly imply Koa, in contrast, was slightly deficient in her cognitive skills.
The other day, I bought some new puzzle treat balls for the dogs. I ended up going with the more basic ones as neither of them has the patience to deal with the complexities of the more complicated toys. I sat with Brody on the floor for 40 minutes trying to get him to master level one of his Twister Toy, but opening just one little slidey compartment was not something he was in the mood to handle.
He tried, oh, how he tried. I showed him. Over and over. I put the best treats in the house in the compartments. I had my preschooler patiently assist him through the puzzle. No matter, he persisted in grabbing it by the top and shaking it like a big flat plastic squirrel, to no avail.
Even with this, my husband insisted Brody was simply practicing new paradigms to solving the problem. So I decided to conduct an entirely unscientific Dog IQ test to see where we stood. After all, maybe I was underestimating Brody’s problem solving penchant.
Or maybe not.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter one way or another. He’s not here to solve problems for me.
As long as he keeps doing this, he can stay in the back of the class forever.
Deb Mendez says
Perhaps the towel reminded him of his Superman cape?
Ahahaha, poor Brody!
I did a whole dog IQ test once on Puzzle. I’d be interested in seeing how each of yours did on the entire test.
I agree, Deb. And since Brody is gifted with x-ray vision (after all… he IS a “Super Dog!”) he had no need to remove the towel. Why bother?
Awww, but it was a cute towel and went well with the whole surfer dude aura that Brody has going on. 😉
Lisa W says
Too funny — thanks for the Monday morning laugh!
Peggy @Peggy's Pet Place says
I see Brody as totally content, towel over his head or not! Perfect dog.
Pup Fan says
Aw, I did some of these tests on Bella once too… no dice: http://istillwantmorepuppies.blogspot.com/2010/07/bella-secret-genius.html
Thank goodness we don’t keep them around for their brains. 🙂
I’d say he gets a A in interpersonal relationships & buddy building!! Great post!
Maybe Brody is just more laid-back and didn’t care about the towel?
Susan Montgomery says
Ok, now I have to try that on Finn. Most likely he won’t even try to get it off, and will just rub against me. He loves his face toweled off after a bath.
Am I the only one who thinks ‘doggy torture test’? …Hehehehehehe…just kidding 🙂 I think both pups are pretty smart cookies. Brody was just more interested in that puzzle.
I though the same as monica – the towel didn’t really bother him! Our boy would have ditched it in 2 seconds but not because he’s smart! 🙂 He’s just not very patient or tolerant.
I was trying to remember where I had heard of dog IQ tests and then found this – hilarious!
That’s what I thought of immediately! I’m sure Brody isn’t a “special dog” though.
There are about a dozen goldens within a one block radius of my house (including ours). We should simultaneously throw towels over ’em and test your husband’s theory.
This post also reminded me of the Hyperbole and a Half post. That blog makes me laugh until I cry every time I read it.
I would say Brody has what they call “emotional intelligence.” What a good boy he is. xo.
I recently tried this with my dogs, just to see how “smart” Gypsy was. She got out of it in seconds! Then she came back for a second round and got out with ~style~. Then I tried J… Oh, he was so cute, standing there was an unsure wag, wandering into things and bonking his head. Gypsy felt bad for him and helped him out of it =) Doesn’t make him any less of a good boy, and knowing that he’s a little deficient made my expectations of him lower, so he’s been enjoying a much more relaxed life.
That is a heavenly picture- especially with Brody’s back leg thrown over your son’s leg! Priceless.