Jodi over at Heart like a Dog wrote a post about how her dog, Sampson, manipulated her into letting him off leash during a walk. Which made me laugh, because so many people claim dogs are stupid. But I think they are more clever than we realize, and here are some of the reasons why:
Our dogs know, by reading our facial expressions and body language, when we are happy, sad, angry, worried or frightened. They can not only judge our moods, but they either join us in our happiness, or try to offer comfort if we are not in a good mood.
We had one dog, Mojo, who taught herself how to open the fridge, and she would make midnight raids. When we blocked off the fridge, she learned which button on the microwave to push to open it, and would steal the loaf of bread we stored in there.
And they know how to beg for food, without ever saying a word. Our boy Ryder is the master of the "heavy head" trick. To be fair, this is our fault, because the first time he did this, we didn't discourage him. So what is this trick? We can be sitting on the couch, eating something, and Ryder decides he would like us to share. So he will hop up on the couch, sit next to you, lean against you and put his head on your shoulder. That's it, there is no whining or drooling, just his head on your shoulder. If this doesn't work, he will press his head closer, so that his cheek is pressed sweetly against you. If it still doesn't work, his head becomes progressively heavier and heavier, just in case you were some how unaware he was there. It's a pretty unique form of begging, and he will quit and get down if you tell him to stop, so it's not obnoxious. But I have given in and shared whatever snack I had at the time, because I do think he was pretty clever to think of it...
So in what ways has your dog shown how clever he or she is?