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This isn't really specifically poodle related... but TIME has an article about some experiments that are going on to finally determine the intelligence and social skills of dogs. It's an interesting read, and will be fantastic to see what they decide when they have finished testing 1000's of dogs.

One thing I think is not accurate though is something I had heard before. One scientist looked into "guilt" in dogs. Here's the excerpt:

"We've all seen guilty dogs slinking away with lowered tails, for example. Horowitz wondered if they behave this way because they truly recognize they've done something wrong, so she devised an experiment. First she observed how dogs behaved when they did something they weren't supposed to do and were scolded by their owners. Then she tricked the owners into believing the dogs had misbehaved when they hadn't. When the humans scolded the dogs, the dogs were just as likely to look guilty, even though they were innocent of any misbehavior. What's at play here, she concluded, is not some inner sense of right and wrong but a learned ability to act submissive when an owner gets angry. "It's a white-flag response," Horowitz says."

The thing is, one of our dogs used to get into trouble all the time when we were away from home or out of the car. We'd get home/ open the car door, and the first sign that something bad had happened would be that she was hiding somewhere. Then we'd find out what she'd done, THEN we'd get mildly angry. If she was only reacting to us, why was she hiding and out of sight before we'd even had a chance to react to whatever she'd done?


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1921614-1,00.html
 

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I agree, mine do that too. They act guilty and then I go look for the damage. Bailey in particular has a bad habit of lifting his leg on dust ruffles. Harley has a sensitive stomache and when he has accidents in his crate, he acts guilty even though I've never scolded him for it. (It's not his fault his sick, after all.)

I think the article will be an interesting read, but there is a difference between intellegence and trainability. Just b/c a dog isn't particularly eager to please, doesn't make them dumb. I think some of the dogs who get away w/ doing what they want, are the smartest of all. Harley is very trainable and picks things up often on the first try. Bailey learns quickly but you have to make it worth his while. I call Harley my honor student, but Bailey is just as smart, if not smarter. I know Afgan Hounds usually rank at the bottom on those test, but they're very intellegent, they just want to do their own thing.
 
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