I hear people sometimes talk about encouraging their herding breeds to problem-solve for mental exercise, or food toys, etc, but I've never had the chance to watch Nina problem-solve on a bigger scale, or in a way that was eerily human in just how quickly she solved her dilemma.
Two nights ago I was getting help with twisting my hair since one shoulder as tendonitis, and it was getting pretty late, around midnight. Nina was restless to get upstairs to bed, and kept going up and down my bedroom stairs, whining and moaning for me to follow her. She accidentally closed it the next time she made her rounds, and getting positively fed up, just huffed about it, slid out the draft guard with her paw, used it to pull the door open, slid it back under the door, got up on the first step, and then pulled the door as shut as she could behind her and went up the stairs.
I don't know, maybe dogs do stuff like this a lot or something, but she's no Border Collie so I was pretty impressed that she didn't even seem to think about it, just decided, "I mean, I GUESS you're not coming to bed. Letting myself in, ma, bai."
Do your dogs problem solve things themselves?