Dogs are incredible creatures, capable of many talents that we humans do not possess. Like us humans, they are quite diverse in their talents and abilities. Just as some of us are adept at certain things and inept at others, dogs excel in certain areas and not in others. Yu can go a long way toward averting dog boredom by tapping into your dog’s talents and in-bred abilities.
What influences their abilities most is their breed. Certain breeds have been trained in specific tasks for so many years that the ability to do those tasks seems to be passed down from generation to generation of those dogs. This is why some breeds are more adept at doing certain things than others.
Some dogs can herd, track, guard, and do search and rescue. Others can only fetch and give their human companions an incredible amount of love. Some dogs are wonderful therapy dogs, others barely tolerate being in that type of situation. Some dogs are easy to train, others are not. But every dog breed possesses certain types of talents.
If your dog is not a specific breed, or is a mixture of breeds, you will have to work with your dog to find out what specific talents your dog possesses. Be sure to go into your training sessions with an open mind just as you would with a child, allowing the dog’s natural abilities to surface. Also, you might want to be open to the fact that there are times when your dog will be training you, teaching you how he or she likes to do things.
Working dogs get bored easily when they are not challenged with tasks to perform. You will be able to tell when your dog is bored by the negative behaviors that surface:
If you have a working dog, it is best to find ways to challenge your dog by giving the dog a job or jobs around your home. The jobs you choose will be heavily influenced by the dog’s breed and the special talents that breed has been bred to have.
If you do not yet have a dog and you are in the market for a dog companion, you might want to know what talents various breeds possess. The following are said to be some of the most talented breeds in the world:
The Berger Picard, a rare French breed, is also known as the Picardy Shepherd. The Berger Picard is a muscular, medium-sized dog with a somewhat rumpled appearance, erect ears, that has a great sense of humor and loves to smile. They generally come in two colors, fawn and brindle in varied shades.
With a lively, intelligent intellect, sensitivity and assertiveness, they are also quite mellow, albeit with a stubborn streak. They are usually trained as guard dogs or defense dogs, but also excel at herding, tracking and search and rescue. They are very protective, do not bark excessively, and are quite good with children. As very picky eaters, they are sometimes difficult to feed.
Also called the Entlebucher Cattle Dog, the Entlebusher Sennenhund, this is a medium-sized dog originally bred in the Swiss Alps, whose ancestors were brought to Switzerland by the Romans as far back as the first century B.C. This is a good natured dog who is loving with his family but suspicious of strangers. This dog has a symmetrical coat of black, tan and white.
This dog was trained for herding and guarding, but also makes a lively companion. As With all working dogs, socialization early in life is very important to allow them to develop their full talents.
There three varieties of the large Dutch Shepherd Dogs, long-haired, short-haired, and wire-haired. Perhaps one of the most competent of the shepherd dogs, they excel at guarding, herding, agility, catch, field training, obedience competitions and companionship. They are generally happy dogs who are very enthusiastic workers. They have also been described as friendly, playful, sober, loyal, very energetic, affectionate, and cunning in their intelligence.
They are often used as police and military dogs due to their ability to be trained, their intelligence, and their alertness. They also function as guide dogs for the blind. This dog adheres to pack rules, so its handlers must prove themselves higher than the dog in the pack order.
Whether hunting, tracking, spotting, or retrieving, the Wirehaired Vizsla has naturally endowed talents. With an excellent nose that can retain a scent even when swimming, these dogs are lively yet gentle, affectionate and sensitive yet fearless.
The Wirehaired Vizsla is a pointer known for its prowess in the hunt. It is an intelligent powerhouse of a dog yet friendly, loyal, protective and outgoing. Legend has it that today’s Wirehaired Vizsla is a combination of a German Wirehaired Pointer, a Bloodhound and an Irish Setter.
With a thick, curly, waterproof wooly coat, the Italian-bred Lagotto Romagnolo’s name means lake dog from Romagna. Traditionally bred as a water retriever and a gun dog, the Lagotto Romagnolo is also used to hunt for truffles. Affectionate and highly energetic, they are god problem solvers and delight in training. They love to please their people. When their needs for training and attention are not met, they will make their own fun.
They excel in canine competitions like agility, nose work, dock diving, agility and obedience due to their intelligence. Naturally drawn to water, they are great swimmers.
A big, gentle sweetheart, the Leonberger (or Leo as they are affectionately known) is a very large German breed with a short life span of 6 to 8 years. This majestic creature is a mixture of the Newfoundland dog and the long-haired Saint Bernard. He was allegedly bred to be on the seal of the crest of the city of Leonberger in Germany.
The Leonberger has a double, tan, water-resistant coat and a black mask and was bred to be a search and rescue dog, especially in water. This gentle giant’s huge size belies his agility, coordination, strength and elegance. When properly socialized as puppies, the Leonbergers display an insensitivity to noise, submissiveness with their families, friendliness with children, and (although protective) courtesy to strangers. They are playful, intelligent, loyal, and even play well with other dogs.
While the dog you have or the dog you choose may not be one of these slightly exotic breeds, you can be assured that he or she has innate talents that will surprise you. Dogs, like people, come in all levels of intelligence despite their breed status, but every dog is special in its own way. If your dog has been bred for years to do a job, he or she may end up quite bored with inactivity and no job. You will be able to tell when your dog is bored when your dog takes matters into his or her own paws and creates its own job. Avert dog boredom by giving your dog a job that is in line with its talents and abilities.
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