Ok, for my next Carlos post I'll cover the "extremely alert" Xolo trait as he does or does not embody it.
He embodies the crap out of it. Carlos misses NOTHING. It's hard to put into words without eliciting the whole "well all dogs are alert" thing. I've had many dogs, and yes, they were all alert. But not even remotely like this. Carlos knows every sound and activity in the house down to the most finite detail. Carlos knows where and what everybody in the house is doing at all times. Change the tire on your car? Carlos knows every step you did to accomplish the task because he watched every single step as if it were the most serious business on the planet. Carlos rarely barks, but he's alert to everything. When he does bark, something extremely unusual has been seen or heard.. and nothing unusual gets past his attention. The usual, whether it be the trash pickup in the morning or the ice trey dumping, is memorized and very seriously cataloged in his brain as "the usual". If Carlos barks, you better pay attention.
It's a bit disconcerting sometimes.. the level of attention he pays to everything. And it's not just casual for him; the ultra serious eyes he has as he watches everything everyone in your household does, or every movement or sound... all day... everyday. It's kind of creepy really. Kind of like an owl in a tree observing its surroundings.
This has positives and negatives:
Positives: You couldn't have a better watch dog than this. Very few false alarms and NEVER a missed alarm. This is by far one of my favorite things about Carlos, as I'm an avid outdoorsmen, hiker, explorer. He really is like having super senses built in when I'm out and about, and it's nice at home too. Combine this with his incredible stamina (I dare you to try and out-hike a healthy Xolol) and he's just a stellar fit for me. Snakes, bears, wild boar, hunters, hikers, other dogs, coyotes... I know they're there long before i would know they're there, because Carlos. Slight detour here, Carlos is a snake expert. So am I (so this was a huge bonus for me). As a snake guy, I used a very aggressive wild red bellied water snake to "test" him initially. A snake that's super aggressive, will stand its ground and is a pretty quick striker (but would be a minor flesh wound if he struck home). Suffice it to say, Carlos has a natural instinct for handling a snake. I won't let him kill a snake, mind you. Cuz I like snakes. But when confronted by one he's lightning fast, keeps a distance, circles, watches the head for an opening.. will only lung if the head of the snake is distracted. I don't know 100% that he'd do a proper shake on a snake, but based on his toy, mole and mice behavior he probably would. I like snakes too much to find out, I don't let him get that far. He's also very aware of the visibility of his surroundings. When we're walking through tall grass, there's no rushing him. Caution. I just let him lead just in front of me and he naturally slows down and looks for snakes. When he finds one he immediately backs off and gets low and fast. Perfect dog for me. So far he's pointed out at least a dozen rough green, rat, king and water snakes (nonvenomous snakes); Four cottonmouths one timber rattler and two copperheads. Worth his weight in gold, and I feel he's completely safe when he finds them. Ambush predator ambush Carlos? I think not.
Negatives: Yeah, you will get away with NOTHING if he's in the room. He will know exactly what you've done, where you've put everything, how often you check... everything. He knows more about what you've done and where things are than you do. The good news is that once you've truly bonded and established yourself as his leader, it doesn't matter. I can put a box of McDonalds french fries on the counter today and he won't touch it, even if I'm not home to watch. This is NOT the case if you are not yet fully bonded and respected. Took about a month for me to get there with Carlos. The real negative is that when novel happens (something not normal) it's very difficult to turn him off. There's an easy cure, as you've read in my previous posts. Make the novel no longer novel.