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“Rise of the Planet of the Border Collies”

From the NYT:

To Rate How Smart Dogs Are, Humans Learn New Tricks
By JAN HOFFMAN JAN. 7, 2017

… Suddenly how smart your dog is seems to matter — an aspiration that has also not gone unnoticed by the commercial pet industry. Walk into any pet supply chain, such as the aptly named PetSmart, and take in the toys, gadgets and foods advertised as optimizing a dog’s intelligence. Or just do an online search for “brain games to play with your dog.”

The swelling interest, eagerly amplified by the pet industry, has given a boost to the relatively new academic field of canine cognition, with research centers sprouting up on campuses across the country. In the fall, the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science devoted an issue to the topic.

I wrote last year about one of the articles in that issue, “A General Intelligence Factor in Dogs” by Rosalind Arden.

At Yale, the three-year-old canine cognition center has been barraged by humans eager to have their dogs’ intelligence evaluated, volunteering them for research exercises and puzzles. Some owners drive for hours.

“People like their kids to be smart, and they like their dogs to be smart,” said Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology who directs the center. “Some people will call and sound apologetic, saying, ‘I’d like to bring my dog in, but he might be too dumb.’”

(By the way, here’s a bubble-bursting secret: Smart dogs often aren’t that great to live with, precisely because they’re too smart.)

I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.

But when owners use “smart” and “dog” in the same sentence, what exactly do they mean? Smart compared with what? A cat? Another dog? A human?

Scientists define and measure a dog’s smarts differently from the way owners do. Over a decade ago, evolutionary anthropologists realized that in the dog, whose development has been so strongly shaped by humans, they had a star subject to observe. Unlike gorillas, dogs are fairly inexpensive to study — their numbers are plentiful, their room and board happily covered by owners.

Now some researchers are studying the dog’s brain. Others are trying to identify the dog’s cognitive abilities, debating about the extent to which dogs may be unique among animals. Comparative psychologists are looking at how those capacities stack up against those of children.

Experts agree that when owners discuss how smart their dogs are, they are imposing a human construct on an animal. A dog may seem “smarter” to its owner than the neighbor’s dog, but even the popular notion derived from some studies — that dogs are as intelligent as toddlers — is, practically speaking, meaningless.

Many animal behaviorists say that what people really mean when they call a dog smart is that the dog is highly trainable.

“People think dogs are more intelligent than cats because they obey,” said Frans de Waal, a biologist and primatologist at Emory University in Atlanta. “But it’s not the same thing.”

Dogs have lived in intimate proximity with people for some 30,000 years, evolving along the way to pick up human cues and training us to feel obliged to feed and house them. As survival instincts go, that is pretty smart.

On the other hand, cats train us without us training them. Seems pretty smart to me …

Canine cognition research is underway on campuses from Berkeley to Barnard, and at universities in England, Hungary and Japan. The field’s growth has coincided with a shift in how dog owners view their animals.

“This is the logical consequence of the ‘humanization of pets’ trend,” said Hal Herzog, an anthrozoologist and emeritus professor of psychology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C. Indeed, owners are often referred to as pet parents.

Like human parents who bought Baby Einstein CDs, hoping to enhance the intelligence of offspring even in utero, many pet owners succumb to gadgets advertised as enhancing their dog’s brain function. (See: IQ Treat Ball.)

“What parent doesn’t want their child to have the best cognitive stimuli you can give?” said David Lummis, senior pet market analyst with Packaged Facts, a market research firm. “Guilt is a big part of it.”

But as some pet parents discover, a smart dog can seem less like an adorable toddler than a know-it-all teenager.

“Smart dogs are often a nuisance,” said Clive D. L. Wynne, a psychology professor who directs the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. “They get restless, bored and create trouble.”

Mutts tend to be descended from dogs smart enough to figure out how to get out of the yard.

Of course, we are still generally talking about dogs as a species. While stereotypes of breeds are deeply rooted, Dr. Hare said, there is no evidence to show that one breed is cognitively superior to another. But in 1999, Stanley Coren, now an emeritus psychologist at the University of British Columbia, produced a list of 110 breeds ranked by intelligence, based on his survey of some 200 professional dog-obedience judges. The top three: Border collie, then poodle followed by German shepherd.

“Giorgio is one-third poodle, so he’s really smart a third of the time,” Ms. Giordano asserted.

(Skulking down at the bottom of the list: bulldog, Basenji, Afghan hound. If it is any consolation, Dr. Hare said scientists did not consider surveys to be definitive proof.)

I don’t know if border collies are smarter, but they certainly want to be trained to do work more than the average breed. The small number of Afghan hounds I’ve met were just plain dumb, unable to keep a thought in their head for more than a few seconds at a time.

But that was back in the 1970s, so I don’t know about contemporary Afghans. Dog breeds can change pretty rapidly if breeders decide to make them change — collies are dumber than in the Lassie days, while Doberman pinschers aren’t so mean as when they were WWII guard dogs.

Certain dogs excel at tasks for which they have been bred for centuries. Bloodhounds have an astonishing sense of smell. Australian shepherds can keep a flock of sheep together as skillfully as a nursery school teacher with a playground full of 3-year-olds.

And, distinctively, dogs seem to trust us for problem-solving help. When they are flummoxed (for example, the rubber ball becomes stuck under a bed, the kitchen door shuts), they turn to their humans, yipping, pawing, gazing dolefully. A wolf reared by a human, by contrast, will just keep trying to solve the problem on its own.

But intelligence per se may not be the trait that truly sets dogs apart, at least in human-animal interaction, researchers say. …

“I think ‘smarts’ is a red herring,” he continued. “What we really need in our dogs is affection. My own dog is an idiot, but she’s a lovable idiot.” …

Chaser, a Border collie known for understanding over 1,000 words, is often labeled the smartest dog in the world. She had some intriguing results on Dognition, Dr. Hare said.

Researchers placed 10 items that Chaser could already identify in a pile with an unfamiliar one. Then they asked her to fetch the one that she had not yet learned. She did so correctly because she inferred it was the only object she did not recognize, researchers said. A week later, when asked to retrieve the same item, Chaser remembered.

On Dognition, in areas of inference and memory, Chaser unsurprisingly scored off the charts, Dr. Hare said.

But as for Chaser’s results in empathy and communication, qualities that owners do cherish in their dogs, Dr. Hare said the dog was “totally uninteresting.”

 
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  1. Jefferson says:

    “I don’t know if border collies are smarter,”

    Border Collies are certainly smarter than the average hate hoaxer in America.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    My house has small round doorhandles and sliding latch locks on all internal doors, ca. 1920s vintage, and presumably before that "upgrade". Because it was a shepherd's tied cottage. Border collies have less potential to be neurotic than shelties, but how relatively intelligent they are is unknown to me, above and beyond the door thing, and very surreptitiously extracting loot of various kinds from hung-up jacket pockets.
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  2. How weird (or serendipitous) is this; just before I turned on the website I was thinking about dog-training.

    I’ve spent much of the past week running after my 2month old chow chow. It’s amazing to see the cognitive rewriting that’s happened within the last few days; the obsession with my dog.

    I actually wanted a cat but in the end I gave into my wife. My personal theory (as a first time dog-owner with about four days experience under my belt) is that the bond with the dog is so much stronger because the owner needs to clean up after them.

    Finally considering Chaser’s intelligence look to the parent; the owner is a professor emeritus. So a very distinguished fellow, who’s retired and has plenty of time (and patience), working with the smartest breed. Bound to have some results.

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    • Replies: @TWS
    A chow is your first dog? Yikes talk about jumping off the deep end.
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  3. prosa123 says: • Website

    “Australian shepherds can keep a flock of sheep together as skillfully as a nursery school teacher with a playground full of 3-year-olds.”

    I’ll bet the dog could do better than the teacher with the playground of 3 year olds.

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  4. utu says:

    “I think ‘smarts’ is a red herring,” he continued. “What we really need in our dogs is affection. ”

    There is something about dogs that they got that goes beyond cognition to do tricks, memory and solving puzzles. The list compiled by those who train dogs is misleading. Actually disobedient dogs are often smarter, they have will and get easily bored so they are not easily trainable.

    This young dog here is trying to share its treat with the old cat who was traumatized when the dog was introduced to the household:

    What level of communication is it? What kind of intelligence is involved here? But clearly we recognize it as human.

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    • Replies: @Lurker
    Dogs = SWPL!
    , @SPMoore8
    I think animals are naturally disposed to empathy and altruistic behavior as long as they feel that they are part of a group, regardless of species. Humans tend to need religion to bring that out, but animals don't. Of course, animals are also quite ferocious to anyone who is not part of the group: they need SWJ training, I guess.
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  5. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “Black Dog Syndrome
    Why do people discriminate against dark pets?”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/06/black_dog_syndrome_are_people_racist_against_black_pets.html

    Just when you were hoping there were no new ways to be racist, it turns out people may be racist against dogs. Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted. “The effect is very real,” says Mirah Horowitz, executive director and founder of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “We recently had a litter of five very cute, very fluffy puppies, two yellow and three black. And the yellow ones all went immediately, but for the black ones it took weeks.”

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    • Replies: @SIMPLE
    My gf's mom's cat had a litter of 4 kittens. One was male, all black, and twice as large as siblings. This cat did not purr and was not affectionate. I didn't like it although it had a strikng appearance. The other 3 kittens (white with calico, calico black, and black and white) were all affectionate, playful, and purred.
    , @Yak-15
    "Just when you were hoping there were no new ways of being racist."

    HAHA!

    Is that a complete sentence?
    , @Abe

    Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted.
     
    Yeah, but has any tawny Labradoddle gotten a classic hard rock song named after it?
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  6. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Outsource nationalism to Israel, outsource spirituality to homos(via homomania), outsource morality to blacks(Magic Negro knows best), and outsource intelligence to dogs.

    DBD or dog-bio-diversity

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  7. fnn says:

    Border Collies were selectively bred to be work-a-holics, while Pit Bulls (fighting lines) for psychotic behavior. Neither is a good choice for a pet. Staffies look like Pit Bulls, but they split off early from the fighting lines (under the AKC) and they should (I think) not be a problem.

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    • Replies: @Cabrini Green Mommy
    Border collies are work-a-holics, sure, but it's not like they're devoid of loyalty and affection. In my experience (two border collies), they endeavor to form deep bonds with their owners, and give as much as they demand. The greater intelligence makes them more personable.

    Before we had a baby, we used to take our border collie to a trainer who competed her border collies in sheep herding competitions. Occasionally she would have sheep herding clinics at her farm in the burbs. As far as I know, our bc had never seen a sheep before in his life (he came up the underground dog railroad from Kentucky to Chicagoland when he was a pup). But he was transformed into a herding machine as soon as he got into the pen with the trainer and the sheep. It was amazing to watch his instinct kick in like that.

    But, yeah, don't get a border collie unless you have time to exercise their mind and body. And in the city that means walks and dog park sessions in all weather.
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  8. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Will there be a Planet of the Dogs scenario?

    Dogs are bred to be smarter and smarter. Some began to talk, and they make demands.

    I can see it now. CJW or Canine Justice Warriors. They will demand the closing of the Gap between collie intelligence and chihuahua intelligence.

    SHAGGY DA was prophetic.

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    • Replies: @utu
    White God

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnXt50VouKI
    , @utu
    Priss, here is a better clip from White Dog for your Planet of the Dogs:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjzdXF3GF0g
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  9. Lot says:

    Chaser, a Border collie known for understanding over 1,000 words,

    I doubt any dog knows 1000 words. However, the most impressive dog I’ve met was a BC and the owner took me on a walk with him. Responding to a stranger’s commands is harder for dogs, but this was immediately responded to me saying “left” “right” “halt” “faster” etc.

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  10. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Dogs used to be smarter when you could beat the hell out of them when they didn’t listen. The liberals changed all that with the meddling laws and now we’re stuck with dumbed down dogs.

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  11. Lot says:

    cats train us without us training them

    Cats just were never bread to obey commands. Plenty of cats are dog-like in their personality, guileless and endlessly friendly rather than catty, but still do not easily learn more than the most basic tricks.

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  12. I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.

    This holds true for women as well.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    This holds true for women as well.

    I guess this means you are not worried about whether your kids can spell diseugnic, dysgenic, never mind, negative eugenics.
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  13. unit472 says:

    That Michael Vick kept dogs shows a certain stupidity on the part of dogs. A dog, had it human like intelligence, would be suspicious of strangers, just as humans are. That a human a dog has never met, or even smelled his butt, can offer a dog a piece of meat and the dog will accept it is stupid. It is how humans trap animals. Humans are a lot more skeptical. Even a child once warned not to take candy from strangers is more likely to tell on the stranger than accept the candy.

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  14. Lurker says:

    OMG. Chaser looks so like my dog! Mostly white with black patches. Less black speckles though. Though my collie only has three legs now. :-(

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    • Replies: @G Pinfold
    I have seen numerous three legged collies on farms and some are still working happily. Does this propensity to get too close to heavy machinery indicate abundant enthusiasm and a certain lack of guile?
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  15. Daniel H says:

    >>Of course, we are still generally talking about dogs as a species. While stereotypes of breeds are deeply rooted, Dr. Hare said, there is no evidence to show that one breed is cognitively superior to another.

    Got it? You better get it. This is the real important point the article wants us to understand.

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    • Replies: @melendwyr
    There's a breed of dog that instinctively pulls the testicles off deer it's running down.

    And they expect us to believe that all dogs are equally smart? Riiight.
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  16. Lurker says:
    @utu
    "I think ‘smarts’ is a red herring,” he continued. “What we really need in our dogs is affection. "

    There is something about dogs that they got that goes beyond cognition to do tricks, memory and solving puzzles. The list compiled by those who train dogs is misleading. Actually disobedient dogs are often smarter, they have will and get easily bored so they are not easily trainable.

    This young dog here is trying to share its treat with the old cat who was traumatized when the dog was introduced to the household:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt9dLhdPXc0

    What level of communication is it? What kind of intelligence is involved here? But clearly we recognize it as human.

    Dogs = SWPL!

    Read More
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  17. Svigor says:

    I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.

    Amen to that.

    On the other hand, cats train us without us training them. Seems pretty smart to me

    On the other hand, I’ve never seen a whole family broken up by the death of a cat, but it’s SOP with dogs. There’s something wrong with Dad (or the dog) if he doesn’t get a lil’ misty when the dog dies, and if he does when the cat dies.

    I don’t know if border collies are smarter, but they certainly want to be trained to do work more than the average breed.

    “Game” is the word you’re looking for. Well, sort of. It isn’t usually meant to imply any demands or needs.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    "I’ve never seen a whole family broken up by the death of a cat, but it’s SOP with dogs."

    Kipling nailed it more than a century ago in "The Power Of The Dog".


    "Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear."
     
    http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_dog.htm
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  18. Jefferson says:

    Since this is a blog about dogs, what is everybody’s favorite pet film of all time?

    Mine is The Adventures Of Milo And Otis.

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    • Replies: @TWS
    Better not tell any animal lovers. That was a foreign film and those poor cats and dogs were actually tortured/killed in filming. Just watch that scene with the seagulls again and not think about it.
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  19. Svigor says:

    Cats really are dumb as Hell. Octopuses are supposed to be one of the smartest marine animals, and I’ve heard them compared to cats in that department. I couldn’t help thinking that there must be a lot of stupid fish in the sea.

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  20. SPMoore8 says:

    Having had many dogs and cats, I cannot say that high IQ is even a preferential trait. I had a Border Collie, and it was certainly the smartest dog I ever had — the things she could do with her paws as far as doors or cabinets were concerned was remarkable — but dogs like that are high energy and need a lot of exercise. No, not for me at this point in life. Also, by instinct, BC’s are control freaks. I don’t need that.

    Actually the key to dog IQ is repetitions, it is a question of being “biddable”, not “trainable”. A BC of GS will usually get a command in half a dozen tries, dumber dogs, like my pug, will require several dozen repetitions (I’ve seen as high as 90 repetitions.)

    It is interesting that our society keeps doubling down on high intelligence because of its association with wealth and success, and thus social prestige, but intelligence is not a trinket you wear around your neck, and it’s not something you “arrive at”, either. It’s a way of living your life and bidding, if you will, how your mind spends its time. In this respect the fashion of high intelligence coupled with the mind numbingly moronic ways people actually live their lives — including seeking out social prestige — is revealing.

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  21. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Uh Oh, article on comparative dog intelligence? I think it is safer to stick to something less controversial, like comparative religions. It probably disturbs people less if someone says Jesus is a hoax than to suggest their dog is dumb.

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  22. utu says:
    @Anon
    Will there be a Planet of the Dogs scenario?

    Dogs are bred to be smarter and smarter. Some began to talk, and they make demands.

    I can see it now. CJW or Canine Justice Warriors. They will demand the closing of the Gap between collie intelligence and chihuahua intelligence.

    SHAGGY DA was prophetic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSOBN04u0t0

    White God

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    That's an okay movie. I thought AMORES PERROS was much better.
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  23. OT:

    I watched Obama’s speech. It was very heavy on America as a proposition nation, or a universal nation. The biggest applause line of the night was something about Muslims being patriotic. Also, Obama’s rhetoric always has a very positive view of human nature, and that theme was stressed strongly tonight.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Nope
    The Obama family's fake crying is pretty funny. They're all so bad at it.
    , @TWS
    So if they don't agree with the original proposition and views of the founding fathers we can throw them out? That's the logical outcome of saying the US is a proposition nation. Either it is or it isn't. If it is, and you don't agree with the original vision we should have a way to repatriate those who are in disagreement.
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  24. Jefferson says:
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  25. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Svigor

    I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.
     
    Amen to that.

    On the other hand, cats train us without us training them. Seems pretty smart to me
     
    On the other hand, I've never seen a whole family broken up by the death of a cat, but it's SOP with dogs. There's something wrong with Dad (or the dog) if he doesn't get a lil' misty when the dog dies, and if he does when the cat dies.

    I don’t know if border collies are smarter, but they certainly want to be trained to do work more than the average breed.
     
    "Game" is the word you're looking for. Well, sort of. It isn't usually meant to imply any demands or needs.

    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don’t understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

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    • Replies: @middle aged vet!
    I say this from decades of experience - Dogs, like monkeys, are exponentially smarter than most of us think (cats, too, and while I do not encourage the losers in life to act like they are exciting people by buying chimps and tigers and similar exotic pets, chimps and tigers too are exponentially smarter than they are generally given credit for). (Crows, too.) Remember: no animal is stupid enough to pretend to be smarter than it is if pretending to be smarter than it is will lead to its being put to work. Kipling explained that long ago, in verse, and there was a sub-plot on a Simpson's episode, somewhere in the 1990s, explaining the same thing. Very few people are as good at training animals as they think; One of the few natural aristocracies on this earth is the aristocracy of people who understand how to make the smarter animals prosper. That - the people - is where you find the difference - not in the animals. Genesis (Jacob and the sheep), Isaiah (dozens of different animals expressing various elements of truth), Proverbs, Psalms, the Book of Daniel (try and figure out what Daniel said to the Lions) and several New Testament books, starting with the first chapter of Matthew and ending somewhere towards the end of the Book of Revelation, express this concept better than I ever could, of course.
    , @Cabrini Green Mommy
    I can't see a cat without thinking about toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia. I'm pregnant with second child, and at a recent prenatal visit was pleasantly surprised to have midwife ask me if we had a cat in the house. Guess the public health worries about schizophrenia finally trickling down to prenatal care providers.

    Next they need to get expecting parents to have their homes lead tested.
    , @Alec Leamas
    Cats are more companion animals than vermin control - terrier dogs are much more enthusiastic and capable ratters and mousers on an industrial scale - though cats may be a useful at discouraging the presence of vermin to some degree.

    I imagine that in general women have a greater propensity to anthropomorphize animals, and in concert with the greater neotenous appearance of adult cats with a more human-appearing face form cats are more relatable as surrogate children than adult dogs. Puppies from most breeds lose much of their neoteny fairly early on and their faces appear less human-like with the growth of the muzzle, visible canine teeth, etc. This would be the case with all or nearly all types of dog if you exclude the recent companion breeds consciously designed for a life-long neotenous appearance. My experience is that women aren't as fond of large breed adult dogs in the way they are of cats, puppies, and neotenous companion dogs. Single women with large dog breeds give off more of a surrogate boyfriend/husband vibe.

    In contrast, I think men bond with dogs differently and the relationship arises more out of admiration of the dog's loyalty as a subordinate member of his "pack," and the dog's ability and willingness to participate in the accomplishment of a man's tasks. This ancient relationship is most evident in guard dogs, herding dogs, or hunting dogs but probably explains the relationship between dog and man for the rest as well.
    , @Anon
    All my cats were male, all my dogs were female, so I tend to associate cats with males and dogs with females.
    , @Clyde

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance.
     
    It used to be common to see a cat snoozing away in a store window where it was sunny. It was kept there as a mouser.
    , @Autochthon
    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women; the current reality contradicting the long held sterotype.

    I know, for instance, that, contra the accepted widsom; cats are in fact currently more popular pets than dogs (and have been for several years) but I do not know (though I'd like to check) the distribution of the two types of pet according to owners' genders.

    Scratch that; I checked and preliminary findings indicate I am right:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2606478/Cats-really-mans-best-friend-Men-today-prefer-felines-women-sooner-dog.html

    Akinokure has some iSteve-ish and HBD-related theorising on why this is so, here:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2015/12/animal-cruelty-ads-show-liberal.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2013/12/cat-vs-dog-people-clues-from-pet-items.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2014/06/are-veterinarians-biased-against-cats.html

    (He's written scads about it, ao I just chose three of the pieces I find most compelling.)

    The gist of the ideas is that cats appeal more to men and conservatives because they are more coequal and independent; while dogs appeal more to women and liberals because they are more needy and subservient. I find this to be a sound hypothesis, bourne out by my own experiences.

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  26. utu says:
    @Anon
    Will there be a Planet of the Dogs scenario?

    Dogs are bred to be smarter and smarter. Some began to talk, and they make demands.

    I can see it now. CJW or Canine Justice Warriors. They will demand the closing of the Gap between collie intelligence and chihuahua intelligence.

    SHAGGY DA was prophetic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSOBN04u0t0

    Priss, here is a better clip from White Dog for your Planet of the Dogs:

    Read More
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  27. “Smart dogs are often a nuisance,” said Clive D. L. Wynne, a psychology professor who directs the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. “They get restless, bored and create trouble.”

    I owned a DDR lines working German Shepherd and this is absolutely true. It is also the case that the trouble increases exponentially with the size of the dog and the dog’s prey drive.

    For example, my dog figured out how to turn doorknobs (by slapping at them with one paw) and open cabinet doors very early in his life, the problems caused by which I’ll leave to the readers’ imaginations. It started with his ability, as a puppy, to manipulate the latch on his crate in order to free himself from crate confinement.

    They’re terrific dogs but it is true that they need a job to do to be well behaved, and in the absence of that they become your job.

    Read More
    • Agree: SPMoore8, TWS
    • Replies: @TWS
    They're also pretty 'sharp' from the dog handler's perspective meaning they enjoy the bite. One of our local breeders has working line shepherds from DDR. Yikes those bad boys really wanted to get their bite in. Great dogs but if I were a dirt bag I'd be worried.
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  28. @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

    I say this from decades of experience – Dogs, like monkeys, are exponentially smarter than most of us think (cats, too, and while I do not encourage the losers in life to act like they are exciting people by buying chimps and tigers and similar exotic pets, chimps and tigers too are exponentially smarter than they are generally given credit for). (Crows, too.) Remember: no animal is stupid enough to pretend to be smarter than it is if pretending to be smarter than it is will lead to its being put to work. Kipling explained that long ago, in verse, and there was a sub-plot on a Simpson’s episode, somewhere in the 1990s, explaining the same thing. Very few people are as good at training animals as they think; One of the few natural aristocracies on this earth is the aristocracy of people who understand how to make the smarter animals prosper. That – the people – is where you find the difference – not in the animals. Genesis (Jacob and the sheep), Isaiah (dozens of different animals expressing various elements of truth), Proverbs, Psalms, the Book of Daniel (try and figure out what Daniel said to the Lions) and several New Testament books, starting with the first chapter of Matthew and ending somewhere towards the end of the Book of Revelation, express this concept better than I ever could, of course.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "Dogs, like monkeys, are exponentially smarter than most of us think" - Are they smart enough to know what exponentially really means and when to use it?

    But I agree that dogs and also cats are smarter than most people think.
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  29. Mutts tend to be descended from dogs smart enough to figure out how to get out of the yard.

    So true.

    Border Collies and Australian Shepherds around sheep and cattle are a wonder to behold. Amazingly intelligent animals and true friends of Man.

    I have a current dog conspiracy theory that there is a now an explosion in fake “service dogs”. Basically, “service dogs” are becoming like medical marijuana prescriptions in California.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SIMPLE
    The congress passed a law a few years ago that you could have emotional support animals on planes (not just guide dogs). The whole thing is a scam. SWPL on steroids.

    I don't care if you have a genuine emotional need for the animal. I have a need to not be bothered. So go drive.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/pet-owners-game-emotional-support-animal-system-fly/story?id=30064532
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  30. My trend-slave neighbor got a “smart dog” this summer. One Saturday morning, I’m in my kitchen and hear this horrendous canine yelping. I look outside and see smoke rising from my neighbor’s pool. Apparently the dog had jumped in and its lithium battery shorted out.

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  31. Peterike says:

    The desire for smarter dogs = status signaling. And since little Jayden and Emily are often never born, you get dog substitutes

    Status signaling explains 98% of white people social trends in America today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @27 year old
    >Status signaling explains 98% of white people social trends in America today.

    It's a little more than that. It's status signaling adapting to the reality of sharply declining living standards (and incomes).
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  32. @fnn
    Border Collies were selectively bred to be work-a-holics, while Pit Bulls (fighting lines) for psychotic behavior. Neither is a good choice for a pet. Staffies look like Pit Bulls, but they split off early from the fighting lines (under the AKC) and they should (I think) not be a problem.

    Border collies are work-a-holics, sure, but it’s not like they’re devoid of loyalty and affection. In my experience (two border collies), they endeavor to form deep bonds with their owners, and give as much as they demand. The greater intelligence makes them more personable.

    Before we had a baby, we used to take our border collie to a trainer who competed her border collies in sheep herding competitions. Occasionally she would have sheep herding clinics at her farm in the burbs. As far as I know, our bc had never seen a sheep before in his life (he came up the underground dog railroad from Kentucky to Chicagoland when he was a pup). But he was transformed into a herding machine as soon as he got into the pen with the trainer and the sheep. It was amazing to watch his instinct kick in like that.

    But, yeah, don’t get a border collie unless you have time to exercise their mind and body. And in the city that means walks and dog park sessions in all weather.

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  33. Maybe it is breed specific, maybe not. We had a garden variety mutt that was sharp as a tack, and loyal as hell. Used to wander out to greet us as we arrived home from school as if she could read the clock. When my sister was attacked by a German Shepherd, our little mutt took on the dog four times its size and beat the damn thing off the attack … needed a sh!t-load of stitches, but lived another 8 years to bask in the glory. It really is a two-way street in many dog-human relationships.

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  34. @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

    I can’t see a cat without thinking about toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia. I’m pregnant with second child, and at a recent prenatal visit was pleasantly surprised to have midwife ask me if we had a cat in the house. Guess the public health worries about schizophrenia finally trickling down to prenatal care providers.

    Next they need to get expecting parents to have their homes lead tested.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    What schizophrenia? Cat may get it form a baby?
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  35. @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

    Cats are more companion animals than vermin control – terrier dogs are much more enthusiastic and capable ratters and mousers on an industrial scale – though cats may be a useful at discouraging the presence of vermin to some degree.

    I imagine that in general women have a greater propensity to anthropomorphize animals, and in concert with the greater neotenous appearance of adult cats with a more human-appearing face form cats are more relatable as surrogate children than adult dogs. Puppies from most breeds lose much of their neoteny fairly early on and their faces appear less human-like with the growth of the muzzle, visible canine teeth, etc. This would be the case with all or nearly all types of dog if you exclude the recent companion breeds consciously designed for a life-long neotenous appearance. My experience is that women aren’t as fond of large breed adult dogs in the way they are of cats, puppies, and neotenous companion dogs. Single women with large dog breeds give off more of a surrogate boyfriend/husband vibe.

    In contrast, I think men bond with dogs differently and the relationship arises more out of admiration of the dog’s loyalty as a subordinate member of his “pack,” and the dog’s ability and willingness to participate in the accomplishment of a man’s tasks. This ancient relationship is most evident in guard dogs, herding dogs, or hunting dogs but probably explains the relationship between dog and man for the rest as well.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Pugs maintain their neoteny lifelong, like other thousands of year old flat faced Asian dogs. They are loyal companions, very curious, and actually excellent watchdogs but not very biddable. Plus they are small enough that they won't fight you for space on the bed or sofa. We have a friend who has had a succession of Great Danes: how she and her husband handle that I will never know.

    I remember there was a Russian scientist who sought to breed a fox that was more attuned to human companionship, bearing in mind that foxes have the same kind of spitzy face as most dogs. IIRC, The more he selected for human companionship, the flatter the face became.
    , @TWS
    I think some of the anthropomorphizing is hormonal. Our bitch will try to mother the smaller white cats (she has white pups) when she is pregnant. She'll do that until the pups are gone or they reach a certain age (weening). Our male dog has no interest in the cats except to not chase them and making sure I know he's being good and not chasing them, 'uh, no boss I am definitely not interested in chasing that thing!'.

    But our females treat the little guys like their own pups. Not that the cats appreciate it all the time.
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  36. utu says:
    @middle aged vet!
    I say this from decades of experience - Dogs, like monkeys, are exponentially smarter than most of us think (cats, too, and while I do not encourage the losers in life to act like they are exciting people by buying chimps and tigers and similar exotic pets, chimps and tigers too are exponentially smarter than they are generally given credit for). (Crows, too.) Remember: no animal is stupid enough to pretend to be smarter than it is if pretending to be smarter than it is will lead to its being put to work. Kipling explained that long ago, in verse, and there was a sub-plot on a Simpson's episode, somewhere in the 1990s, explaining the same thing. Very few people are as good at training animals as they think; One of the few natural aristocracies on this earth is the aristocracy of people who understand how to make the smarter animals prosper. That - the people - is where you find the difference - not in the animals. Genesis (Jacob and the sheep), Isaiah (dozens of different animals expressing various elements of truth), Proverbs, Psalms, the Book of Daniel (try and figure out what Daniel said to the Lions) and several New Testament books, starting with the first chapter of Matthew and ending somewhere towards the end of the Book of Revelation, express this concept better than I ever could, of course.

    “Dogs, like monkeys, are exponentially smarter than most of us think” – Are they smart enough to know what exponentially really means and when to use it?

    But I agree that dogs and also cats are smarter than most people think.

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    • Replies: @middle aged ve!
    Assuming your question was not simply rhetorical: Technically, the concept of exponents is understood by 99.9 percent of contemporary humans in, at best, an analogous way: I and probably you are in the one tenth of one percent who know about things like little deltas and epsilons (that is, the calculus explanations for vanishing second derivatives - I am using slightly wrong terminology here to make the concepts less foreign to those who do not really understand the simple and pure technique),and are able to think of exponents in vaguely the same way, say, Newton might have. There are zero dogs who will ever understand calculus the way I do, and you probably do. But give a well-trained dog 40 years (remember, unlike humans, their learning curve is constant with each year after the first, not the weird parabola segment that most closely approximates human learning over the years), and he will have as good a visual mathematical understanding of exponents - and ability to respond thereto - as an average human. Now I take the Biblical view that humans are created in God's image and dogs and monkeys are not, but nobody has ever convinced me that dogs and monkeys are not smart enough to figure out pretty much every technical thing an average human can, given enough hours of improving conversation. There is a reason there are lots of observant and even, two or three times, talkative animals in the Bible. That being said, the natural law will always be beyond them, and most art-forms. But exponents, and the basics of logic, and many of the jack-of-all-trades aspects of the industrial revolution - those who think such things are necessarily outside of the average dog or monkey's wheelhouse are, whether they know it or not, just plain ignorant.
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  37. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    I’ve had a number of dogs over the years. It’s all true. On one hand, it is amazing how much more fun can be had with a smart dog as opposed to the dumb one. On the other hand, smart dogs very frequently mean either more work or more trouble, choose one.

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  38. Nope says:
    @Lord Jeff Sessions
    OT:

    I watched Obama's speech. It was very heavy on America as a proposition nation, or a universal nation. The biggest applause line of the night was something about Muslims being patriotic. Also, Obama's rhetoric always has a very positive view of human nature, and that theme was stressed strongly tonight.

    The Obama family’s fake crying is pretty funny. They’re all so bad at it.

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  39. Nope says:

    I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so."

    I agree it's out of hand. Perhaps people are increasingly idealizing dogs as so many people are becoming increasingly crappy. Along those lines, have you noticed how many commercials now feature dogs in them? Advertisers have discovered that dogs draw and hold the attention of modern TV audiences.
    , @dfordoom

    I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so.
     
    I guess white American liberals have to love their dogs since they don't have children any more.
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  40. utu says:
    @Cabrini Green Mommy
    I can't see a cat without thinking about toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia. I'm pregnant with second child, and at a recent prenatal visit was pleasantly surprised to have midwife ask me if we had a cat in the house. Guess the public health worries about schizophrenia finally trickling down to prenatal care providers.

    Next they need to get expecting parents to have their homes lead tested.

    What schizophrenia? Cat may get it form a baby?

    Read More
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  41. SPMoore8 says:
    @Alec Leamas
    Cats are more companion animals than vermin control - terrier dogs are much more enthusiastic and capable ratters and mousers on an industrial scale - though cats may be a useful at discouraging the presence of vermin to some degree.

    I imagine that in general women have a greater propensity to anthropomorphize animals, and in concert with the greater neotenous appearance of adult cats with a more human-appearing face form cats are more relatable as surrogate children than adult dogs. Puppies from most breeds lose much of their neoteny fairly early on and their faces appear less human-like with the growth of the muzzle, visible canine teeth, etc. This would be the case with all or nearly all types of dog if you exclude the recent companion breeds consciously designed for a life-long neotenous appearance. My experience is that women aren't as fond of large breed adult dogs in the way they are of cats, puppies, and neotenous companion dogs. Single women with large dog breeds give off more of a surrogate boyfriend/husband vibe.

    In contrast, I think men bond with dogs differently and the relationship arises more out of admiration of the dog's loyalty as a subordinate member of his "pack," and the dog's ability and willingness to participate in the accomplishment of a man's tasks. This ancient relationship is most evident in guard dogs, herding dogs, or hunting dogs but probably explains the relationship between dog and man for the rest as well.

    Pugs maintain their neoteny lifelong, like other thousands of year old flat faced Asian dogs. They are loyal companions, very curious, and actually excellent watchdogs but not very biddable. Plus they are small enough that they won’t fight you for space on the bed or sofa. We have a friend who has had a succession of Great Danes: how she and her husband handle that I will never know.

    I remember there was a Russian scientist who sought to breed a fox that was more attuned to human companionship, bearing in mind that foxes have the same kind of spitzy face as most dogs. IIRC, The more he selected for human companionship, the flatter the face became.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    “Pugs maintain their neoteny lifelong, like other thousands of year old flat faced Asian dogs. They are loyal companions, very curious, and actually excellent watchdogs but not very biddable. Plus they are small enough that they won’t fight you for space on the bed or sofa. We have a friend who has had a succession of Great Danes: how she and her husband handle that I will never know.”

    Pugs make for good family pets and for good pets if you live by yourself.
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  42. SPMoore8 says:
    @utu
    "I think ‘smarts’ is a red herring,” he continued. “What we really need in our dogs is affection. "

    There is something about dogs that they got that goes beyond cognition to do tricks, memory and solving puzzles. The list compiled by those who train dogs is misleading. Actually disobedient dogs are often smarter, they have will and get easily bored so they are not easily trainable.

    This young dog here is trying to share its treat with the old cat who was traumatized when the dog was introduced to the household:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt9dLhdPXc0

    What level of communication is it? What kind of intelligence is involved here? But clearly we recognize it as human.

    I think animals are naturally disposed to empathy and altruistic behavior as long as they feel that they are part of a group, regardless of species. Humans tend to need religion to bring that out, but animals don’t. Of course, animals are also quite ferocious to anyone who is not part of the group: they need SWJ training, I guess.

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  43. Rod1963 says:

    I had a stray Chow that was pretty nice but aloof. Smart, maybe. Definitely a one owner dog. My current dog a Aussie Cattle /Akita mix is just perfect for working with other farm animals such as chickens and pigs. Not to mention being a loveable mutt that takes verbal orders very easily.

    However if I didn’t have other animals she could interact with all day I think she’d be a PITA. This sort of working dog needs to keep it’s mind on something. I think that is the downside of having a somewhat smart dog.

    Certainly not a dog for a apartment or a housing tract dweller that works all day and leaves the dog totally alone. I think this is how neurotic and destructive dogs are created.

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  44. cthulhu says:

    For some reason, this puts me in mind of Mikhail Bulgakov’s short novel Heart of a Dog, a wicked satire of the New Soviet Man written in the ’20s. The novel tells of a stray dog found by a successful surgeon, who proceeds to implant various human organs (including a pituitary gland) into the hapless dog. The dog then begins taking on human characteristics, but in particularly slovenly and grotesque fashion. Obviously it was samizdat originally, and wasn’t officially published in the USSR until the late ’80s. Hilarious and profound.

    On topic, count me on the side of those who think that smart dogs make poor pets for most people; they get bored and cause mischief.

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  45. Mr. Anon says:
    @Nope
    I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so.

    “I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so.”

    I agree it’s out of hand. Perhaps people are increasingly idealizing dogs as so many people are becoming increasingly crappy. Along those lines, have you noticed how many commercials now feature dogs in them? Advertisers have discovered that dogs draw and hold the attention of modern TV audiences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Perhaps it was 10-15 years ago when I noticed that dogs were in because there were many articles and cartoons about dogs in the New Yorker. I found it puzzling then because having dogs traditionally was not a Jewish thing. So I considered it as a positive indicator of Jews becoming more like goys. In last several year the New Yorker is more into babies and children though.
    , @Autochthon
    I find much of this annoying obsession with dogs comes of their owners' (often women; see my earlier comment) use of them as a proxy for children, given white peoples' recent embrace of genetic suicide.

    Contra the crazy cat lady trope (old spinster with transference issues, etc.) dogs are the more common proxy because they fit better with the obsession with attention-whoring and status-signalling: most cats won't walk to heel, tolerate leashes, or allow themselves to be put in ridiculous clothes – dogs are more amenable to that nonsense and so easier to cart around and conspicuously show off.

    , @IAmCorn
    Totally out of hand. Just as disturbing as the "dogs are children" mentality is this tendency I've noticed in some women to treat their dog/cat as a platonic boyfriend.
    "Awww. Alfie's so cute, he loves to cuddle with mama!"

    Maybe if these ladies didn't want to share their beds with Fido and listen to him yap they could be cuddled by real live human men.
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  46. SIMPLE says:
    @Anonymous
    "Black Dog Syndrome
    Why do people discriminate against dark pets?"

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/06/black_dog_syndrome_are_people_racist_against_black_pets.html



    Just when you were hoping there were no new ways to be racist, it turns out people may be racist against dogs. Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted. “The effect is very real,” says Mirah Horowitz, executive director and founder of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “We recently had a litter of five very cute, very fluffy puppies, two yellow and three black. And the yellow ones all went immediately, but for the black ones it took weeks.”

     

    My gf’s mom’s cat had a litter of 4 kittens. One was male, all black, and twice as large as siblings. This cat did not purr and was not affectionate. I didn’t like it although it had a strikng appearance. The other 3 kittens (white with calico, calico black, and black and white) were all affectionate, playful, and purred.

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  47. My cat doesn’t do tricks or come when called or even know its name. None of which bothers me in the least. I can appreciate her for her cat qualities (like jumping and quickness), and for contributing a calming influence wherever she goes.

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  48. AnonAnon says:

    We have an Australian Shepherd that is pretty smart – she’s definitely decoded our habits – after I take a shower and blow dry my hair she’s already in her crate when I come downstairs because she knows I am usually heading out without her – but I think it’s her eagerness to please her people that is her most important trait. Before her, we had beagles and they’re smart enough when *they* want to be – like when it comes to figuring out ways to dig in the trash bins as soon as our backs were turned – but they didn’t care too much about pleasing us. My brother has had Border Collies and they are a little too intense for me. His first one would bark at the tv – basketball games really set him off but anything in motion on the screen usually resulted in barking. That one was a a pain in the ass but he probably would have been better off on a ranch as a working dog. It was interesting to see the difference between his current BC and our Aussie when visiting our parents at Xmas last year. Our Aussie goes into shut down mode around 9 pm so was laying on the floor near my husband, the alpha, while we were watching a movie in the family room. In contrast, my brother’s BC would regularly make circuits through the other rooms of the house making sure the rest of the herd (i.e., the kids in the living room) were still present. I’m spoiled by having a smart, people-pleasing, velcro dog now and don’t think I’ll ever get a different breed. We’ve taken ours paddle boarding and pushed her butt onto the gondola at Mammoth. We’ve become one of “those” people who take vacations with their dog but she’s so well-behaved and tolerates the new adventures we put her through that it’s not that much of a drawback to bring her along on trips.

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  49. SIMPLE says:
    @Clifford Brown

    Mutts tend to be descended from dogs smart enough to figure out how to get out of the yard.
     
    So true.

    Border Collies and Australian Shepherds around sheep and cattle are a wonder to behold. Amazingly intelligent animals and true friends of Man.

    I have a current dog conspiracy theory that there is a now an explosion in fake "service dogs". Basically, "service dogs" are becoming like medical marijuana prescriptions in California.

    The congress passed a law a few years ago that you could have emotional support animals on planes (not just guide dogs). The whole thing is a scam. SWPL on steroids.

    I don’t care if you have a genuine emotional need for the animal. I have a need to not be bothered. So go drive.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/pet-owners-game-emotional-support-animal-system-fly/story?id=30064532

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    • Agree: utu
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  50. AnonAnon says:

    A funny story about my brother’s first Border Collie. My brother was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving or Xmas and the dinner biscuits my mom made had turned out rather hard. She gave one to the dog thinking he’d eat it, but he wasn’t interested and just let it lay there on the floor. She kept pestering him – “Where’s your biscuit?” “Eat the biscuit” so he finally picked it up, went over to the back door to be let out, and then once in the backyard, buried it.

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  51. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @utu
    White God

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnXt50VouKI

    That’s an okay movie. I thought AMORES PERROS was much better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "That’s an okay movie. I thought AMORES PERROS was much better."

    I liked Amores perros v. much. But you can't compare the two movies. Totally different categories. Anyway I did not posted it because it was good. I posted it to augment your post. I did what you should have done when making your post about Planet of the Dogs but you were either unaware of the movie or forgot.

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel all used the schtick of running several interweaving stories that, I think, was popularized by K. Kieslowski in his earlier movies.
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  52. utu says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so."

    I agree it's out of hand. Perhaps people are increasingly idealizing dogs as so many people are becoming increasingly crappy. Along those lines, have you noticed how many commercials now feature dogs in them? Advertisers have discovered that dogs draw and hold the attention of modern TV audiences.

    Perhaps it was 10-15 years ago when I noticed that dogs were in because there were many articles and cartoons about dogs in the New Yorker. I found it puzzling then because having dogs traditionally was not a Jewish thing. So I considered it as a positive indicator of Jews becoming more like goys. In last several year the New Yorker is more into babies and children though.

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  53. J1234 says:

    My folks’ Border Collie wasn’t that smart. It would try to herd cars going up the street. I think it was half setter or something. Looked exactly like a Border Collie, only slightly larger. She sure was a sweet and loving dog, though. That dog made me believe there’s a dog heaven…where she currently resides.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    a dog heaven…where she currently resides

    Try to herd the wrong car?
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  54. utu says:
    @Anon
    That's an okay movie. I thought AMORES PERROS was much better.

    “That’s an okay movie. I thought AMORES PERROS was much better.”

    I liked Amores perros v. much. But you can’t compare the two movies. Totally different categories. Anyway I did not posted it because it was good. I posted it to augment your post. I did what you should have done when making your post about Planet of the Dogs but you were either unaware of the movie or forgot.

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel all used the schtick of running several interweaving stories that, I think, was popularized by K. Kieslowski in his earlier movies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    The Planet of dogs movie would have to feature creatures with human bodies but dog-heads.

    Suppose a scientist bio-engineered dogs that were human-like with different physiology.

    They would have dog-heads and dog-nature but with human-like bodies that walk upright and with intelligence higher than humans.

    And there could hog-head folks too who are appalled by the killing of pigs.

    And cat-head folks with human-like bodies.
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  55. Here’s a chart purportedly showing the earned/unearned trendiness of dog breeds. Categories are intelligence (binary dumb/clever), size and type.

    There’s also a cat in there.

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    • Replies: @res
    Did you follow the link to the underlying spreadsheet? That looks like a treasure trove for anyone looking for hard data comparing dog breeds. Though the intelligence rankings (not just binary, both categories and a numerical ordering) might trigger some people (e.g. Dr. Hare).

    One thing that caught my eye was estimates on the order of $20k for the lifetime cost of a dog.
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  56. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

    All my cats were male, all my dogs were female, so I tend to associate cats with males and dogs with females.

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  57. Your cat knows exactly how you feel. He doesn’t care.

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  58. Collies, corgies, and poodles are the smartest by far.

    Dumbest and most dangerous are mastiffs and chows. I’ve known many pit bulls that were sweet as strawberry wine.

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  59. Jefferson says:
    @SPMoore8
    Pugs maintain their neoteny lifelong, like other thousands of year old flat faced Asian dogs. They are loyal companions, very curious, and actually excellent watchdogs but not very biddable. Plus they are small enough that they won't fight you for space on the bed or sofa. We have a friend who has had a succession of Great Danes: how she and her husband handle that I will never know.

    I remember there was a Russian scientist who sought to breed a fox that was more attuned to human companionship, bearing in mind that foxes have the same kind of spitzy face as most dogs. IIRC, The more he selected for human companionship, the flatter the face became.

    “Pugs maintain their neoteny lifelong, like other thousands of year old flat faced Asian dogs. They are loyal companions, very curious, and actually excellent watchdogs but not very biddable. Plus they are small enough that they won’t fight you for space on the bed or sofa. We have a friend who has had a succession of Great Danes: how she and her husband handle that I will never know.”

    Pugs make for good family pets and for good pets if you live by yourself.

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    • Agree: Spmoore8
    • Replies: @IAmCorn
    I'm going to take what seems like a contrarian opinion nowadays: I don't like pugs. I will say they are cute. Sometimes anyway. The way their black skin folds droop down they often look sad or depressed to me, but they can be cute. Still don't like them.
    Last year I went out on a few dates with a woman who owned a pug. Their flat face makes breathing difficult. Every time I went to this gal's house I was treated to 3 hours or so of snorting, grunting and snoring sounds, even if the dog was awake. And that's when it wasn't yipping out the window or yipping for a treat. Almost non-stop noise.
    Pugs are great dogs if you're a childless woman who needs to be needed. Otherwise, I'd describe them as loud, annoying little attention whores.
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  60. In Taiwan I noticed more and more clothes stores for dogs. People walk their dogs around in strollers or holding them in their arms. I think they don’t want them to get dirty.

    On Facebook and elsewhere I noticed more and more women caring for dogs. Rescuing them and posting cute photos of them. I think men are too disappointing, and children too hard to get.

    Dogs are the future. Yes we bark!

    PS:

    I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.

    Time to make a list of Steve aphorisms!

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  61. @Svigor

    I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.
     
    Amen to that.

    On the other hand, cats train us without us training them. Seems pretty smart to me
     
    On the other hand, I've never seen a whole family broken up by the death of a cat, but it's SOP with dogs. There's something wrong with Dad (or the dog) if he doesn't get a lil' misty when the dog dies, and if he does when the cat dies.

    I don’t know if border collies are smarter, but they certainly want to be trained to do work more than the average breed.
     
    "Game" is the word you're looking for. Well, sort of. It isn't usually meant to imply any demands or needs.

    “I’ve never seen a whole family broken up by the death of a cat, but it’s SOP with dogs.”

    Kipling nailed it more than a century ago in “The Power Of The Dog”.

    “Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.”

    http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_dog.htm

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  62. Clyde says:
    @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance.

    It used to be common to see a cat snoozing away in a store window where it was sunny. It was kept there as a mouser.

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  63. @Peterike
    The desire for smarter dogs = status signaling. And since little Jayden and Emily are often never born, you get dog substitutes

    Status signaling explains 98% of white people social trends in America today.

    >Status signaling explains 98% of white people social trends in America today.

    It’s a little more than that. It’s status signaling adapting to the reality of sharply declining living standards (and incomes).

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Status signaling is a human constant. The question is the extent to which that status is an accurate reflection of ones character/the value of one's contribution to the commonweal and the availability of that status to those who strive to achieve it by legitimate means.
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  64. David says:

    The year the book about dog intelligence came out the Bell Curve was also published. Before that, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary illustrated on the same page the word “Afro” with a smiling black guy with an Afro and the word “Afghan” with a smiling black Afghan dog. After, they nixed the dog and put a serious face on the black guy.

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  65. Yak-15 says:

    Dogs have evolved into present form from 100s of years of selective breeding. The chances of them being smart or dumb is related to their breed. In fact, some dog breeds never produce intelligent dogs capable of performing complex labor tasks.

    Human races evolved over more than 30,000 years. Depending on……….

    **************FULL STOP**************

    ******CRIME-THINK DETECTED*******

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  66. Yak-15 says:
    @Anonymous
    "Black Dog Syndrome
    Why do people discriminate against dark pets?"

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/06/black_dog_syndrome_are_people_racist_against_black_pets.html



    Just when you were hoping there were no new ways to be racist, it turns out people may be racist against dogs. Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted. “The effect is very real,” says Mirah Horowitz, executive director and founder of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “We recently had a litter of five very cute, very fluffy puppies, two yellow and three black. And the yellow ones all went immediately, but for the black ones it took weeks.”

     

    “Just when you were hoping there were no new ways of being racist.”

    HAHA!

    Is that a complete sentence?

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  67. iffen says:
    @ScarletNumber

    I like my dogs the same way I like my elected officials: first and foremost, I want them to be on my side. Brains are a lower priority.
     
    This holds true for women as well.

    This holds true for women as well.

    I guess this means you are not worried about whether your kids can spell diseugnic, dysgenic, never mind, negative eugenics.

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  68. iffen says:
    @J1234
    My folks' Border Collie wasn't that smart. It would try to herd cars going up the street. I think it was half setter or something. Looked exactly like a Border Collie, only slightly larger. She sure was a sweet and loving dog, though. That dog made me believe there's a dog heaven...where she currently resides.

    a dog heaven…where she currently resides

    Try to herd the wrong car?

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    • Replies: @J1234

    Try to herd the wrong car?
     
    :) No, natural causes.
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  69. @Anon
    I think the gender split cat vs dog has a historical root.

    Cats were kept to clear rats away, especially from the kitchen and food prep areas where they tend to be a nuisance. Since that was the female work center, they developed a bond for their helping animal, the cat.

    Dogs were outdoor workers that assisted the man, with his hunting or herding or whatever.

    The only thing I don't understand based on that model is why women are as fond of dogs as they are of cats, in most cases.

    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women; the current reality contradicting the long held sterotype.

    I know, for instance, that, contra the accepted widsom; cats are in fact currently more popular pets than dogs (and have been for several years) but I do not know (though I’d like to check) the distribution of the two types of pet according to owners’ genders.

    Scratch that; I checked and preliminary findings indicate I am right:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2606478/Cats-really-mans-best-friend-Men-today-prefer-felines-women-sooner-dog.html

    Akinokure has some iSteve-ish and HBD-related theorising on why this is so, here:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2015/12/animal-cruelty-ads-show-liberal.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2013/12/cat-vs-dog-people-clues-from-pet-items.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2014/06/are-veterinarians-biased-against-cats.html

    (He’s written scads about it, ao I just chose three of the pieces I find most compelling.)

    The gist of the ideas is that cats appeal more to men and conservatives because they are more coequal and independent; while dogs appeal more to women and liberals because they are more needy and subservient. I find this to be a sound hypothesis, bourne out by my own experiences.

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    • Replies: @peterike

    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women;
     
    Yes, the lonely, childless cat lady of the past will be a dog lady in the future.

    In all this dog-related SWPL virtue signaling, the weirdest trend is young white women "rescuing" pit bulls. I don't wish to speculate on why, but I'm sure Whiskey will fill us in!
    , @Jefferson
    "I find cats are more commonly kept by men,"

    Dr. Evil made it cool for a Heterosexual man to own a cat.

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  70. These animals were made for specific tasks and for the most part the task was not laying around in a house being a status symbol. There’s a sense in which denying a herding dog anything to herd is worse than kicking a fighting dog for losing a fight. I’m surprised the PETA crowd have not caught onto this.

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    • Replies: @Almost Missouri

    "I’m surprised the PETA crowd have not caught onto this."
     
    PETA's task is to lie around the house being a status symbol.
    , @larry lurker
    A female friend of mine who lives alone has an adolescent English bulldog that spends 10 to 16+ hours a day in her cage, depending on whether my friend has plans after work that day. Granted English bulldogs aren't the most active breed since they can barely breathe, nor are they especially bright, but it still seems pretty f*cked up to have a dog spend half its life in a tiny cage. The friend basically admitted as much when I brought it up to her once.

    (She doesn't let her bait bulls either)

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  71. @Mr. Anon
    "I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so."

    I agree it's out of hand. Perhaps people are increasingly idealizing dogs as so many people are becoming increasingly crappy. Along those lines, have you noticed how many commercials now feature dogs in them? Advertisers have discovered that dogs draw and hold the attention of modern TV audiences.

    I find much of this annoying obsession with dogs comes of their owners’ (often women; see my earlier comment) use of them as a proxy for children, given white peoples’ recent embrace of genetic suicide.

    Contra the crazy cat lady trope (old spinster with transference issues, etc.) dogs are the more common proxy because they fit better with the obsession with attention-whoring and status-signalling: most cats won’t walk to heel, tolerate leashes, or allow themselves to be put in ridiculous clothes – dogs are more amenable to that nonsense and so easier to cart around and conspicuously show off.

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  72. peterike says:
    @Autochthon
    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women; the current reality contradicting the long held sterotype.

    I know, for instance, that, contra the accepted widsom; cats are in fact currently more popular pets than dogs (and have been for several years) but I do not know (though I'd like to check) the distribution of the two types of pet according to owners' genders.

    Scratch that; I checked and preliminary findings indicate I am right:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2606478/Cats-really-mans-best-friend-Men-today-prefer-felines-women-sooner-dog.html

    Akinokure has some iSteve-ish and HBD-related theorising on why this is so, here:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2015/12/animal-cruelty-ads-show-liberal.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2013/12/cat-vs-dog-people-clues-from-pet-items.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2014/06/are-veterinarians-biased-against-cats.html

    (He's written scads about it, ao I just chose three of the pieces I find most compelling.)

    The gist of the ideas is that cats appeal more to men and conservatives because they are more coequal and independent; while dogs appeal more to women and liberals because they are more needy and subservient. I find this to be a sound hypothesis, bourne out by my own experiences.

    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women;

    Yes, the lonely, childless cat lady of the past will be a dog lady in the future.

    In all this dog-related SWPL virtue signaling, the weirdest trend is young white women “rescuing” pit bulls. I don’t wish to speculate on why, but I’m sure Whiskey will fill us in!

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "In all this dog-related SWPL virtue signaling, the weirdest trend is young white women “rescuing” pit bulls. I don’t wish to speculate on why, but I’m sure Whiskey will fill us in!"

    Social Justice Warrior White women believe in nurture over nature, so they think they can transform pit bulls from the Dindu Nuffin/Allahu Akbar of the dog world into the White folks of the dog world.
    , @Desiderius
    http://www.standupforpits.us/one-million-pibble-march-on-washington-dc/
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  73. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    It’s not like “humans”.
    Dogs apparently vary in intelligence.

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  74. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    No Dog Left Behind, please!

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  75. Abe says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    "Black Dog Syndrome
    Why do people discriminate against dark pets?"

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/06/black_dog_syndrome_are_people_racist_against_black_pets.html



    Just when you were hoping there were no new ways to be racist, it turns out people may be racist against dogs. Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted. “The effect is very real,” says Mirah Horowitz, executive director and founder of Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. “We recently had a litter of five very cute, very fluffy puppies, two yellow and three black. And the yellow ones all went immediately, but for the black ones it took weeks.”

     

    Black Dog Syndrome is the name shelter workers have given to the tendency of dark-furred pups to languish in kennels while their lighter-furred brethren get adopted.

    Yeah, but has any tawny Labradoddle gotten a classic hard rock song named after it?

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  76. @27 year old
    These animals were made for specific tasks and for the most part the task was not laying around in a house being a status symbol. There's a sense in which denying a herding dog anything to herd is worse than kicking a fighting dog for losing a fight. I'm surprised the PETA crowd have not caught onto this.

    “I’m surprised the PETA crowd have not caught onto this.”

    PETA’s task is to lie around the house being a status symbol.

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  77. TWS says:
    @Zachary Latif
    How weird (or serendipitous) is this; just before I turned on the website I was thinking about dog-training.

    I've spent much of the past week running after my 2month old chow chow. It's amazing to see the cognitive rewriting that's happened within the last few days; the obsession with my dog.

    I actually wanted a cat but in the end I gave into my wife. My personal theory (as a first time dog-owner with about four days experience under my belt) is that the bond with the dog is so much stronger because the owner needs to clean up after them.

    Finally considering Chaser's intelligence look to the parent; the owner is a professor emeritus. So a very distinguished fellow, who's retired and has plenty of time (and patience), working with the smartest breed. Bound to have some results.

    A chow is your first dog? Yikes talk about jumping off the deep end.

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  78. TWS says:
    @Jefferson
    Since this is a blog about dogs, what is everybody's favorite pet film of all time?

    Mine is The Adventures Of Milo And Otis.

    https://youtu.be/U0JyoOSJaHo

    Better not tell any animal lovers. That was a foreign film and those poor cats and dogs were actually tortured/killed in filming. Just watch that scene with the seagulls again and not think about it.

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    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Better not tell any animal lovers. That was a foreign film and those poor cats and dogs were actually tortured/killed in filming. Just watch that scene with the seagulls again and not think about it."

    That's fake news. Those tortured murder rumors lead to a dead end.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Milo_and_Otis#Alleged_animal_cruelty
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  79. TWS says:
    @Lord Jeff Sessions
    OT:

    I watched Obama's speech. It was very heavy on America as a proposition nation, or a universal nation. The biggest applause line of the night was something about Muslims being patriotic. Also, Obama's rhetoric always has a very positive view of human nature, and that theme was stressed strongly tonight.

    So if they don’t agree with the original proposition and views of the founding fathers we can throw them out? That’s the logical outcome of saying the US is a proposition nation. Either it is or it isn’t. If it is, and you don’t agree with the original vision we should have a way to repatriate those who are in disagreement.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Sound points, but moot: A fundamental part of the proposition is that the nation was then for the founders and is now for their posterity.

    As I tirelessly but happily reiterate: There were not any Lings, Eshoos, Patels, Obamas, etc. fighting alongside General Washington.
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  80. TWS says:
    @Alec Leamas

    “Smart dogs are often a nuisance,” said Clive D. L. Wynne, a psychology professor who directs the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. “They get restless, bored and create trouble.”
     
    I owned a DDR lines working German Shepherd and this is absolutely true. It is also the case that the trouble increases exponentially with the size of the dog and the dog's prey drive.

    For example, my dog figured out how to turn doorknobs (by slapping at them with one paw) and open cabinet doors very early in his life, the problems caused by which I'll leave to the readers' imaginations. It started with his ability, as a puppy, to manipulate the latch on his crate in order to free himself from crate confinement.

    They're terrific dogs but it is true that they need a job to do to be well behaved, and in the absence of that they become your job.

    They’re also pretty ‘sharp’ from the dog handler’s perspective meaning they enjoy the bite. One of our local breeders has working line shepherds from DDR. Yikes those bad boys really wanted to get their bite in. Great dogs but if I were a dirt bag I’d be worried.

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  81. Winston Churchill had a pet pig. When asked why he came up with wonderful quote.

    “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us. Pigs treats us as equals.”

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  82. TWS says:
    @Alec Leamas
    Cats are more companion animals than vermin control - terrier dogs are much more enthusiastic and capable ratters and mousers on an industrial scale - though cats may be a useful at discouraging the presence of vermin to some degree.

    I imagine that in general women have a greater propensity to anthropomorphize animals, and in concert with the greater neotenous appearance of adult cats with a more human-appearing face form cats are more relatable as surrogate children than adult dogs. Puppies from most breeds lose much of their neoteny fairly early on and their faces appear less human-like with the growth of the muzzle, visible canine teeth, etc. This would be the case with all or nearly all types of dog if you exclude the recent companion breeds consciously designed for a life-long neotenous appearance. My experience is that women aren't as fond of large breed adult dogs in the way they are of cats, puppies, and neotenous companion dogs. Single women with large dog breeds give off more of a surrogate boyfriend/husband vibe.

    In contrast, I think men bond with dogs differently and the relationship arises more out of admiration of the dog's loyalty as a subordinate member of his "pack," and the dog's ability and willingness to participate in the accomplishment of a man's tasks. This ancient relationship is most evident in guard dogs, herding dogs, or hunting dogs but probably explains the relationship between dog and man for the rest as well.

    I think some of the anthropomorphizing is hormonal. Our bitch will try to mother the smaller white cats (she has white pups) when she is pregnant. She’ll do that until the pups are gone or they reach a certain age (weening). Our male dog has no interest in the cats except to not chase them and making sure I know he’s being good and not chasing them, ‘uh, no boss I am definitely not interested in chasing that thing!‘.

    But our females treat the little guys like their own pups. Not that the cats appreciate it all the time.

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  83. @27 year old
    >Status signaling explains 98% of white people social trends in America today.

    It's a little more than that. It's status signaling adapting to the reality of sharply declining living standards (and incomes).

    Status signaling is a human constant. The question is the extent to which that status is an accurate reflection of ones character/the value of one’s contribution to the commonweal and the availability of that status to those who strive to achieve it by legitimate means.

    Read More
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  84. res says:
    @Jenner Ickham Errican
    Here’s a chart purportedly showing the earned/unearned trendiness of dog breeds. Categories are intelligence (binary dumb/clever), size and type.

    There’s also a cat in there.

    Did you follow the link to the underlying spreadsheet? That looks like a treasure trove for anyone looking for hard data comparing dog breeds. Though the intelligence rankings (not just binary, both categories and a numerical ordering) might trigger some people (e.g. Dr. Hare).

    One thing that caught my eye was estimates on the order of $20k for the lifetime cost of a dog.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    That looks like a treasure trove for anyone looking for hard data comparing dog breeds.
     
    This could confuse the rankings:

    Cuteness (rated 1 to 6) — Pug: “1 or 6 depending on taste”

    One thing that caught my eye was estimates on the order of $20k for the lifetime cost of a dog.
     
    Kid: I want a Great Dane!

    Dad: Hell no, it’ll eat us out of house and home.

    Kid: I checked the numbers, it’ll be dead before I’m off to college. You’ll save a ton on food compared to the average dog!

    Dad: You’re pretty cold-blooded for a fourth grader. No dog for you.
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  85. J1234 says:
    @iffen
    a dog heaven…where she currently resides

    Try to herd the wrong car?

    Try to herd the wrong car?

    :) No, natural causes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    natural causes.

    But herding is natural.
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  86. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @utu
    "That’s an okay movie. I thought AMORES PERROS was much better."

    I liked Amores perros v. much. But you can't compare the two movies. Totally different categories. Anyway I did not posted it because it was good. I posted it to augment your post. I did what you should have done when making your post about Planet of the Dogs but you were either unaware of the movie or forgot.

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel all used the schtick of running several interweaving stories that, I think, was popularized by K. Kieslowski in his earlier movies.

    The Planet of dogs movie would have to feature creatures with human bodies but dog-heads.

    Suppose a scientist bio-engineered dogs that were human-like with different physiology.

    They would have dog-heads and dog-nature but with human-like bodies that walk upright and with intelligence higher than humans.

    And there could hog-head folks too who are appalled by the killing of pigs.

    And cat-head folks with human-like bodies.

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  87. @Jefferson
    "I don’t know if border collies are smarter,"

    Border Collies are certainly smarter than the average hate hoaxer in America.

    My house has small round doorhandles and sliding latch locks on all internal doors, ca. 1920s vintage, and presumably before that “upgrade”. Because it was a shepherd’s tied cottage. Border collies have less potential to be neurotic than shelties, but how relatively intelligent they are is unknown to me, above and beyond the door thing, and very surreptitiously extracting loot of various kinds from hung-up jacket pockets.

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  88. @27 year old
    These animals were made for specific tasks and for the most part the task was not laying around in a house being a status symbol. There's a sense in which denying a herding dog anything to herd is worse than kicking a fighting dog for losing a fight. I'm surprised the PETA crowd have not caught onto this.

    A female friend of mine who lives alone has an adolescent English bulldog that spends 10 to 16+ hours a day in her cage, depending on whether my friend has plans after work that day. Granted English bulldogs aren’t the most active breed since they can barely breathe, nor are they especially bright, but it still seems pretty f*cked up to have a dog spend half its life in a tiny cage. The friend basically admitted as much when I brought it up to her once.

    (She doesn’t let her bait bulls either)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I don't mean to be rude, but why on Earth would you count such a person your friend? I'd be half-tempted to steal the dog and find it a decent home, even if the applicable laws woudn't quite formally justify my acts.
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  89. Cat is more like human-type than dog exactly because they are very hybrid between instinctive ego (read: “defects”) and domesticated ego while dog tend to be more placed to the domesticated mode. Also cats can find their own home while dogs seems unable to do the same thing, seems. It’s say something relevant or not about cat and dog cognition if recognition of the own space and capacity to move inside their territory is a very smart capacity/necessity.

    Very nice people unfortunately is perceived as natural suckers easy to be dominated while “cat-types” tend to be more hard to become passive. It’s not a dog or cat thing it’s a degree of domestication that make cats less doomed than dogs.

    But cat have a physical advantage to explore their territory. So, maybe, street dogs/abandoned dogs are better “taxi drivers” to understand their own territory than house-dogs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Dogs are generally worse at finding their way home if displaced.

    Even in a feral state, cats establish and maintain a quite finite and fixed territory, dogs not so much; their packs wander where they will, perhaps sticking to the same extremely large area over time, but nothing like the defined territories of cats.

    Thus, cats can better return to an established and static territory, but dogs don't necessarily have the wiring for the concept, as it were.
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  90. Jefferson says:
    @TWS
    Better not tell any animal lovers. That was a foreign film and those poor cats and dogs were actually tortured/killed in filming. Just watch that scene with the seagulls again and not think about it.

    “Better not tell any animal lovers. That was a foreign film and those poor cats and dogs were actually tortured/killed in filming. Just watch that scene with the seagulls again and not think about it.”

    That’s fake news. Those tortured murder rumors lead to a dead end.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Milo_and_Otis#Alleged_animal_cruelty

    Read More
    • Replies: @TWS
    Certified without any oversight? Gulls will eat anything and that kitten was not enjoying itself.

    How in the world would you prove it after the fact anyway?
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  91. Jefferson says:
    @Autochthon
    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women; the current reality contradicting the long held sterotype.

    I know, for instance, that, contra the accepted widsom; cats are in fact currently more popular pets than dogs (and have been for several years) but I do not know (though I'd like to check) the distribution of the two types of pet according to owners' genders.

    Scratch that; I checked and preliminary findings indicate I am right:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2606478/Cats-really-mans-best-friend-Men-today-prefer-felines-women-sooner-dog.html

    Akinokure has some iSteve-ish and HBD-related theorising on why this is so, here:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2015/12/animal-cruelty-ads-show-liberal.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2013/12/cat-vs-dog-people-clues-from-pet-items.html

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2014/06/are-veterinarians-biased-against-cats.html

    (He's written scads about it, ao I just chose three of the pieces I find most compelling.)

    The gist of the ideas is that cats appeal more to men and conservatives because they are more coequal and independent; while dogs appeal more to women and liberals because they are more needy and subservient. I find this to be a sound hypothesis, bourne out by my own experiences.

    “I find cats are more commonly kept by men,”

    Dr. Evil made it cool for a Heterosexual man to own a cat.

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  92. Jefferson says:
    @peterike

    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women;
     
    Yes, the lonely, childless cat lady of the past will be a dog lady in the future.

    In all this dog-related SWPL virtue signaling, the weirdest trend is young white women "rescuing" pit bulls. I don't wish to speculate on why, but I'm sure Whiskey will fill us in!

    “In all this dog-related SWPL virtue signaling, the weirdest trend is young white women “rescuing” pit bulls. I don’t wish to speculate on why, but I’m sure Whiskey will fill us in!”

    Social Justice Warrior White women believe in nurture over nature, so they think they can transform pit bulls from the Dindu Nuffin/Allahu Akbar of the dog world into the White folks of the dog world.

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  93. @peterike

    I find cats are more commonly kept by men, and dogs by women;
     
    Yes, the lonely, childless cat lady of the past will be a dog lady in the future.

    In all this dog-related SWPL virtue signaling, the weirdest trend is young white women "rescuing" pit bulls. I don't wish to speculate on why, but I'm sure Whiskey will fill us in!
    Read More
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  94. TWS says:
    @Jefferson
    "Better not tell any animal lovers. That was a foreign film and those poor cats and dogs were actually tortured/killed in filming. Just watch that scene with the seagulls again and not think about it."

    That's fake news. Those tortured murder rumors lead to a dead end.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Milo_and_Otis#Alleged_animal_cruelty

    Certified without any oversight? Gulls will eat anything and that kitten was not enjoying itself.

    How in the world would you prove it after the fact anyway?

    Read More
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  95. iffen says:
    @J1234

    Try to herd the wrong car?
     
    :) No, natural causes.

    natural causes.

    But herding is natural.

    Read More
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  96. melendwyr says: • Website
    @Daniel H
    >>Of course, we are still generally talking about dogs as a species. While stereotypes of breeds are deeply rooted, Dr. Hare said, there is no evidence to show that one breed is cognitively superior to another.

    Got it? You better get it. This is the real important point the article wants us to understand.

    There’s a breed of dog that instinctively pulls the testicles off deer it’s running down.

    And they expect us to believe that all dogs are equally smart? Riiight.

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  97. G Pinfold says:
    @Lurker
    OMG. Chaser looks so like my dog! Mostly white with black patches. Less black speckles though. Though my collie only has three legs now. :-(

    I have seen numerous three legged collies on farms and some are still working happily. Does this propensity to get too close to heavy machinery indicate abundant enthusiasm and a certain lack of guile?

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    • Replies: @Lurker
    I can't really say, as in our dog's case the leg was removed because of suspected cancer (turned out there was nothing there).

    I'm pretty sure I've noticed more three legged dogs and cats in rural areas, I often wondered if it was due to such factors as narrow winding roads and the animals being less car-aware.
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  98. @TWS
    So if they don't agree with the original proposition and views of the founding fathers we can throw them out? That's the logical outcome of saying the US is a proposition nation. Either it is or it isn't. If it is, and you don't agree with the original vision we should have a way to repatriate those who are in disagreement.

    Sound points, but moot: A fundamental part of the proposition is that the nation was then for the founders and is now for their posterity.

    As I tirelessly but happily reiterate: There were not any Lings, Eshoos, Patels, Obamas, etc. fighting alongside General Washington.

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  99. @larry lurker
    A female friend of mine who lives alone has an adolescent English bulldog that spends 10 to 16+ hours a day in her cage, depending on whether my friend has plans after work that day. Granted English bulldogs aren't the most active breed since they can barely breathe, nor are they especially bright, but it still seems pretty f*cked up to have a dog spend half its life in a tiny cage. The friend basically admitted as much when I brought it up to her once.

    (She doesn't let her bait bulls either)

    I don’t mean to be rude, but why on Earth would you count such a person your friend? I’d be half-tempted to steal the dog and find it a decent home, even if the applicable laws woudn’t quite formally justify my acts.

    Read More
    • Replies: @larry lurker

    I don’t mean to be rude, but why on Earth would you count such a person your friend?
     
    Totally fair question. We've been drifting apart the past couple of years, but like Larry David's secretary, I can never really "fire" her because she knows way too much about me.
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  100. Mr. Blank says:

    Back when I owned a dog, she occasionally seemed to possess the ability to figure out what I was going to do before the conscious intention even manifested in my mind.

    Psychic powers? Well, some folks would probably say so, though I prefer to think that she was just really good at reading my unconscious behavioral cues. Still, it was super-spooky.

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  101. @Santoculto
    Cat is more like human-type than dog exactly because they are very hybrid between instinctive ego (read: "defects") and domesticated ego while dog tend to be more placed to the domesticated mode. Also cats can find their own home while dogs seems unable to do the same thing, seems. It's say something relevant or not about cat and dog cognition if recognition of the own space and capacity to move inside their territory is a very smart capacity/necessity.

    Very nice people unfortunately is perceived as natural suckers easy to be dominated while "cat-types" tend to be more hard to become passive. It's not a dog or cat thing it's a degree of domestication that make cats less doomed than dogs.

    But cat have a physical advantage to explore their territory. So, maybe, street dogs/abandoned dogs are better "taxi drivers" to understand their own territory than house-dogs.

    Dogs are generally worse at finding their way home if displaced.

    Even in a feral state, cats establish and maintain a quite finite and fixed territory, dogs not so much; their packs wander where they will, perhaps sticking to the same extremely large area over time, but nothing like the defined territories of cats.

    Thus, cats can better return to an established and static territory, but dogs don’t necessarily have the wiring for the concept, as it were.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Santoculto
    And wolves*
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  102. @res
    Did you follow the link to the underlying spreadsheet? That looks like a treasure trove for anyone looking for hard data comparing dog breeds. Though the intelligence rankings (not just binary, both categories and a numerical ordering) might trigger some people (e.g. Dr. Hare).

    One thing that caught my eye was estimates on the order of $20k for the lifetime cost of a dog.

    That looks like a treasure trove for anyone looking for hard data comparing dog breeds.

    This could confuse the rankings:

    Cuteness (rated 1 to 6) — Pug: “1 or 6 depending on taste”

    One thing that caught my eye was estimates on the order of $20k for the lifetime cost of a dog.

    Kid: I want a Great Dane!

    Dad: Hell no, it’ll eat us out of house and home.

    Kid: I checked the numbers, it’ll be dead before I’m off to college. You’ll save a ton on food compared to the average dog!

    Dad: You’re pretty cold-blooded for a fourth grader. No dog for you.

    Read More
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  103. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Nope
    I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so.

    I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so.

    I guess white American liberals have to love their dogs since they don’t have children any more.

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  104. IAmCorn says:
    @Mr. Anon
    "I like dogs as much as the next person but Americans have gone over the top in their love of dogs the last ten years or so."

    I agree it's out of hand. Perhaps people are increasingly idealizing dogs as so many people are becoming increasingly crappy. Along those lines, have you noticed how many commercials now feature dogs in them? Advertisers have discovered that dogs draw and hold the attention of modern TV audiences.

    Totally out of hand. Just as disturbing as the “dogs are children” mentality is this tendency I’ve noticed in some women to treat their dog/cat as a platonic boyfriend.
    “Awww. Alfie’s so cute, he loves to cuddle with mama!”

    Maybe if these ladies didn’t want to share their beds with Fido and listen to him yap they could be cuddled by real live human men.

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  105. IAmCorn says:
    @Jefferson
    “Pugs maintain their neoteny lifelong, like other thousands of year old flat faced Asian dogs. They are loyal companions, very curious, and actually excellent watchdogs but not very biddable. Plus they are small enough that they won’t fight you for space on the bed or sofa. We have a friend who has had a succession of Great Danes: how she and her husband handle that I will never know.”

    Pugs make for good family pets and for good pets if you live by yourself.

    I’m going to take what seems like a contrarian opinion nowadays: I don’t like pugs. I will say they are cute. Sometimes anyway. The way their black skin folds droop down they often look sad or depressed to me, but they can be cute. Still don’t like them.
    Last year I went out on a few dates with a woman who owned a pug. Their flat face makes breathing difficult. Every time I went to this gal’s house I was treated to 3 hours or so of snorting, grunting and snoring sounds, even if the dog was awake. And that’s when it wasn’t yipping out the window or yipping for a treat. Almost non-stop noise.
    Pugs are great dogs if you’re a childless woman who needs to be needed. Otherwise, I’d describe them as loud, annoying little attention whores.

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  106. @Autochthon
    I don't mean to be rude, but why on Earth would you count such a person your friend? I'd be half-tempted to steal the dog and find it a decent home, even if the applicable laws woudn't quite formally justify my acts.

    I don’t mean to be rude, but why on Earth would you count such a person your friend?

    Totally fair question. We’ve been drifting apart the past couple of years, but like Larry David’s secretary, I can never really “fire” her because she knows way too much about me.

    Read More
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  107. @utu
    "Dogs, like monkeys, are exponentially smarter than most of us think" - Are they smart enough to know what exponentially really means and when to use it?

    But I agree that dogs and also cats are smarter than most people think.

    Assuming your question was not simply rhetorical: Technically, the concept of exponents is understood by 99.9 percent of contemporary humans in, at best, an analogous way: I and probably you are in the one tenth of one percent who know about things like little deltas and epsilons (that is, the calculus explanations for vanishing second derivatives – I am using slightly wrong terminology here to make the concepts less foreign to those who do not really understand the simple and pure technique),and are able to think of exponents in vaguely the same way, say, Newton might have. There are zero dogs who will ever understand calculus the way I do, and you probably do. But give a well-trained dog 40 years (remember, unlike humans, their learning curve is constant with each year after the first, not the weird parabola segment that most closely approximates human learning over the years), and he will have as good a visual mathematical understanding of exponents – and ability to respond thereto – as an average human. Now I take the Biblical view that humans are created in God’s image and dogs and monkeys are not, but nobody has ever convinced me that dogs and monkeys are not smart enough to figure out pretty much every technical thing an average human can, given enough hours of improving conversation. There is a reason there are lots of observant and even, two or three times, talkative animals in the Bible. That being said, the natural law will always be beyond them, and most art-forms. But exponents, and the basics of logic, and many of the jack-of-all-trades aspects of the industrial revolution – those who think such things are necessarily outside of the average dog or monkey’s wheelhouse are, whether they know it or not, just plain ignorant.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    I have already agreed with you that animals are probably smarter than we think. I just had a problem with your usage of the word exponentially. The idiom "A is exponentially larger than B" just does not make sense. Two points A and B can define a linear trend only. You need a third point to determine whether there is an exponential trend between A, B and C.

    Since you started about derivatives, you should know that derivatives of all orders of exponential function do not vanish anywhere. Furthermore the exponential function f(x)=exp(x) is invariant with respect to differentiation. In insane asylum for mathematicians patient Jones runs to the doctor screaming: "Please do something. Stein is differentiating Smith." Doctor runs to Smith an asks: "What Stein is doing to you?" and Smith: He is differentiating me but I do not care. I am an exponential function."
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  108. utu says:
    @middle aged ve!
    Assuming your question was not simply rhetorical: Technically, the concept of exponents is understood by 99.9 percent of contemporary humans in, at best, an analogous way: I and probably you are in the one tenth of one percent who know about things like little deltas and epsilons (that is, the calculus explanations for vanishing second derivatives - I am using slightly wrong terminology here to make the concepts less foreign to those who do not really understand the simple and pure technique),and are able to think of exponents in vaguely the same way, say, Newton might have. There are zero dogs who will ever understand calculus the way I do, and you probably do. But give a well-trained dog 40 years (remember, unlike humans, their learning curve is constant with each year after the first, not the weird parabola segment that most closely approximates human learning over the years), and he will have as good a visual mathematical understanding of exponents - and ability to respond thereto - as an average human. Now I take the Biblical view that humans are created in God's image and dogs and monkeys are not, but nobody has ever convinced me that dogs and monkeys are not smart enough to figure out pretty much every technical thing an average human can, given enough hours of improving conversation. There is a reason there are lots of observant and even, two or three times, talkative animals in the Bible. That being said, the natural law will always be beyond them, and most art-forms. But exponents, and the basics of logic, and many of the jack-of-all-trades aspects of the industrial revolution - those who think such things are necessarily outside of the average dog or monkey's wheelhouse are, whether they know it or not, just plain ignorant.

    I have already agreed with you that animals are probably smarter than we think. I just had a problem with your usage of the word exponentially. The idiom “A is exponentially larger than B” just does not make sense. Two points A and B can define a linear trend only. You need a third point to determine whether there is an exponential trend between A, B and C.

    Since you started about derivatives, you should know that derivatives of all orders of exponential function do not vanish anywhere. Furthermore the exponential function f(x)=exp(x) is invariant with respect to differentiation. In insane asylum for mathematicians patient Jones runs to the doctor screaming: “Please do something. Stein is differentiating Smith.” Doctor runs to Smith an asks: “What Stein is doing to you?” and Smith: He is differentiating me but I do not care. I am an exponential function.”

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    • Replies: @middle aged vet !!
    Good points, utu. I used the word "vanishing" not because I have any enthusiasm for the false (and boring) notion that derivatives vanish, I was trying to use an easier word than Churchill's "tergiversation" (the Churchill Society did a nice write up on Churchill's eloquent but brief memories of his calculus study days not too long ago). I first came across the "tergiversation" quote as an intro to one of Eli Maor's books - I think it was the one about e. Or maybe it was Trigonometric Delights, or maybe it was a book by Nahin or Havil. Anyway, I figured I would get away with "vanished" because it is easy to picture derivatives vanishing away into the distance. A dog in the countryside on the scent over a light fall of snow futilely but as accurately as possible tracing the paths of two foxes that crossed the same hill-crest at the same spot from two different snowy side-slopes was the picture I was going for.
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  109. Lurker says:
    @G Pinfold
    I have seen numerous three legged collies on farms and some are still working happily. Does this propensity to get too close to heavy machinery indicate abundant enthusiasm and a certain lack of guile?

    I can’t really say, as in our dog’s case the leg was removed because of suspected cancer (turned out there was nothing there).

    I’m pretty sure I’ve noticed more three legged dogs and cats in rural areas, I often wondered if it was due to such factors as narrow winding roads and the animals being less car-aware.

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  110. @Autochthon
    Dogs are generally worse at finding their way home if displaced.

    Even in a feral state, cats establish and maintain a quite finite and fixed territory, dogs not so much; their packs wander where they will, perhaps sticking to the same extremely large area over time, but nothing like the defined territories of cats.

    Thus, cats can better return to an established and static territory, but dogs don't necessarily have the wiring for the concept, as it were.

    And wolves*

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  111. @utu
    I have already agreed with you that animals are probably smarter than we think. I just had a problem with your usage of the word exponentially. The idiom "A is exponentially larger than B" just does not make sense. Two points A and B can define a linear trend only. You need a third point to determine whether there is an exponential trend between A, B and C.

    Since you started about derivatives, you should know that derivatives of all orders of exponential function do not vanish anywhere. Furthermore the exponential function f(x)=exp(x) is invariant with respect to differentiation. In insane asylum for mathematicians patient Jones runs to the doctor screaming: "Please do something. Stein is differentiating Smith." Doctor runs to Smith an asks: "What Stein is doing to you?" and Smith: He is differentiating me but I do not care. I am an exponential function."

    Good points, utu. I used the word “vanishing” not because I have any enthusiasm for the false (and boring) notion that derivatives vanish, I was trying to use an easier word than Churchill’s “tergiversation” (the Churchill Society did a nice write up on Churchill’s eloquent but brief memories of his calculus study days not too long ago). I first came across the “tergiversation” quote as an intro to one of Eli Maor’s books – I think it was the one about e. Or maybe it was Trigonometric Delights, or maybe it was a book by Nahin or Havil. Anyway, I figured I would get away with “vanished” because it is easy to picture derivatives vanishing away into the distance. A dog in the countryside on the scent over a light fall of snow futilely but as accurately as possible tracing the paths of two foxes that crossed the same hill-crest at the same spot from two different snowy side-slopes was the picture I was going for.

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    • Replies: @utu
    You got no clue, right?
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  112. utu says:
    @middle aged vet !!
    Good points, utu. I used the word "vanishing" not because I have any enthusiasm for the false (and boring) notion that derivatives vanish, I was trying to use an easier word than Churchill's "tergiversation" (the Churchill Society did a nice write up on Churchill's eloquent but brief memories of his calculus study days not too long ago). I first came across the "tergiversation" quote as an intro to one of Eli Maor's books - I think it was the one about e. Or maybe it was Trigonometric Delights, or maybe it was a book by Nahin or Havil. Anyway, I figured I would get away with "vanished" because it is easy to picture derivatives vanishing away into the distance. A dog in the countryside on the scent over a light fall of snow futilely but as accurately as possible tracing the paths of two foxes that crossed the same hill-crest at the same spot from two different snowy side-slopes was the picture I was going for.

    You got no clue, right?

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    • Replies: @middle aged vet !!!
    For the record, some people might think I have a clue, but they might be wrong. Not that it matters, I got a very good grade in undergrad calculus and have spent about a hundred or so hours per year since graduating on trying to understand the concepts of that great system of specific truths that we call calculus - reading things like the Mathematical Intelligencer, the AMA Journal, the Journal of Recreational Mathematics, and bios of talented mathematicians. (I don't like to study something difficult and then just drop it.) Last two math books I read from cover to cover were Derbyshire's book on the Riemann hypothesis (definitely worth buying if you don't own it!) as well as a Dover paperback on the concepts of calculus (skipped most of the 'problems'), and in the last decade I have read a few thousand quick math explanations in various magazines (when he was alive I often read Gardner's columns in the Scientific American, but that is long ago now). I don't have the time or talent for publishable original work, though; while I am fascinated by patterns in numbers, prime or not, and by unusual functions leading to unexpected curves, so are a lot of other people with more talent at it than me, and many of them spend much more time at it than I do.
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  113. @utu
    You got no clue, right?

    For the record, some people might think I have a clue, but they might be wrong. Not that it matters, I got a very good grade in undergrad calculus and have spent about a hundred or so hours per year since graduating on trying to understand the concepts of that great system of specific truths that we call calculus – reading things like the Mathematical Intelligencer, the AMA Journal, the Journal of Recreational Mathematics, and bios of talented mathematicians. (I don’t like to study something difficult and then just drop it.) Last two math books I read from cover to cover were Derbyshire’s book on the Riemann hypothesis (definitely worth buying if you don’t own it!) as well as a Dover paperback on the concepts of calculus (skipped most of the ‘problems’), and in the last decade I have read a few thousand quick math explanations in various magazines (when he was alive I often read Gardner’s columns in the Scientific American, but that is long ago now). I don’t have the time or talent for publishable original work, though; while I am fascinated by patterns in numbers, prime or not, and by unusual functions leading to unexpected curves, so are a lot of other people with more talent at it than me, and many of them spend much more time at it than I do.

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