Saturday

Intelligence or Trainablity? Doodle Dogs and Afghan Hounds

Today I met a woman who had with her an adorable fluffy black 12 weeks old pup.
He was an Aussie-Doodle,his new owner had driven 10 hours to meet with the breeder and paid a 1000 dollars for him.
An agreeable little guy,solid black with a straight fluffy coat about 3 inches long. With monkey-like whiskers sprouting out of his otherwise smooth muzzle,giant puppy feet and a long smooth coated tail that curved over his back like a teapot handle,he looked rather like an Afghan Hound puppy. Scratching him under the chin, I made this comparision to his new owner...she replied in a most derogatory manner,''Oh,thank God, he'll be smarter than those STUPID dogs''.
Now, I have owned, shown, rescued and rehabbed more than my share of Afghan Hounds. The grey one pictured here is Camille, look at her rescue picture, matted, weighing 32lbs, full of parasites, including heartworm,she was beaten and burned repeatedly by her owner, yes, I said burned. The owner put cigarettes out on her body. Camille cried and barked so much the owner had her vocal cords cut. The vet called me about her and I was able to rescue her. (The owner went to a mental institution.) It was a tribute to the high intelligence of this breed that Camille was able to recover enough to function in a caring home situation after all she had been through. Look at her 'after' photo, this pic is scanned in from a dogshow paper, and you can see how far Camille came in her rehab.
Afghan Hounds were my first love. And despite what you may have read from 'stupid' trainers and behaviorists, they are not stupid, they are actually highly intelligent and evolved in their decision making.
This breed developed over thousands of years in some of the worlds most rugged terrain. Their masters used them to hunt and kill the dangerous Snow Leopard, a formidable foe and one in which the wrong decision could mean death. These dogs are very intelligent, quick thinking and independent...
The woman I met today with the Aussie Doodle has confused intelligence and trainability.

A dog can be smart and trainable...but a dog doesn't have to be smart to be trainable.
Different breeds learn things differently, and breeds eager to please execute commands with ease, while the more independent natured breeds are more of a challenge to motivate....but don't call them stupid.
STUPID IS DRIVING TEN HOURS TO PAY A THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A MIXED BREED DOG.....
She could have adopted a dozen mixed breeds at the shelter for that price...

The doodle dog craze has gotten out of hand,while cock a poos , peke a poos and schnoodles have been around for decades, the doodle dog breeding became a status symbol marketed by so-called dog designers to make a buck. Originally the labradoodle was developed in Europe when security professionals wanted a Labs' trainability with a non shedding easy coat . Labs are really smart, I believe smarter than Poodles, but a Poodle never quits and will work himself into exhaustion,it is my personal belief that it is that 'go, go go, never quit' trait that the Europeans wanted as much as the non shedding feature. Either way they got it, as all the Labradoodles I have met have a more poodley personality than the energetic, but still grounded temperment of the Lab. Originally labradoodles looked much like Otterhounds and only needed a bath and a brush out. Now that the so called dog designers are breeding labradoodle to labradoodle and occasionally bringing in more Poodle for color, they are getting dogs who have to go to the groomer on a regular basis...which completely nullifys the point of the hybrid( as if there actually was a good one)...
so get a Lab, or get a Poodle or an Aussie or a mix breed if that is what you want but remember to consider your dogs nature and natural breed traits when training.
You don't want unrealistic expectations or else you and your dog will both be unhappy. DOGS KNOW WHEN THEY DON'T LIVE UP TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
And speaking of Labs, check out this fabu site Sean Green sent me...http://clublabrador.com/
For Afghan Hound Rescue:http://www.afghanhound.net/


( and thanks Rita for giving me the cool 2009 Afghan Rescue Calendar available on this site)