Friday, 11 October 2013

Border Collie Intelligence

I knew the Border Collie was an intelligent dog but some of Ruby's antics have still taken me by surprise. At just under 12 weeks old, she has clearly been keeping a close eye on where we put some of the good stuff (ie rubbish).

Our Bin
We have a brabantia bin just like this one, in our kitchen. We will put all manner of kitchen waste in there and Ruby has clearly been taking note of all this. 

Cue Ruby suddenly deciding to see what all the fuss is about by copying what we do. So she promptly got on her hind legs and whacked her front legs down onto the lid, causing it to flip open. She could then just about reach her snout into the bin to check out all the goodies.

Another thing she has learned is that if she grabs the draught protecting strip along the base of the kitchen door, she can pull the door open and get out into the hallway. So I decided to use her natural curiosity and intelligence to set her a little test. She has been playing with a crushed 1 litre plastic milk carton for the last few days. Today, I crammed in some her dried food, ensuring it was well packed into the crushed inside and would not fall out easily. For the next 45 minutes, Ruby used a variety of methods to release the tasty treats. She stood the carton on its end, grabbed it by the handle and whacked it against the sofa...and so on. She got every last treat out of the bottle eventually.

They grow so quickly
I keep having to look twice at Ruby as I still find it hard to believe how quickly she is growing. Rhianna put these two pictures together to show the difference in just under 4 weeks. 

Her levels of energy and craziness seem to be growing at roughly the same rate. Mind you, it's hardly surprising given that she is still officially not allowed out into the big wide world. Her injections are effective (so the vet says) from next Wednesday. However, we are going to take her for a walk this weekend; making sure that she doesn't get too close to other dogs or their poops. I'm hoping that by getting her out and about and properly exercised, she will be less inclined to go mental. Of course, being a puppy, she is going to have her fair share of mad moments but it must be really frustrating for her to only be able to go into our back garden and nowhere else.

I am also going to contact our local dog training club this week as they offer puppy training classes each Monday evening. It will be good to get some structure to my training as I have hit a bit of a wall when it comes to trying to get Ruby to 'stay' and 'come'. She is a quick learner but it can be difficult to get her to focus when she gets giddy. Again, I have to accept that as a young puppy, she will be like this, but still, I would welcome some experienced input. 

Once the basics are in place, I want to take Ruby to visit Gillian (the breeder) so she can socialise with some of the dogs on the farm and maybe do a bit of herding. But all that comes later.