Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
21 - 26 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Well, I accidentally borked this story up a bit by sticking the Dire Wolf bit deep inside an unrelated thread during one of my rabbit whole quests to solve a dog quandary of my own. You can find the Dire Wolf encounter towards the bottom of my post here if you're curious. Didn't even realize I'd left this bit off here and placed it there until I came here to post a Carlos update today!

The good news for me? I can be lazy and use that other thread as an excuse to procrastinate a bit longer on my next Carlos update? :D I'm tired tonight!

to be continued:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Been a while since I posted and I got to thinking today that I don't want to come off as a Xolo fanboy on here; today's post shall be all about the downsides of a Xolo. I had this thought today after several hours of sewing up modifications to some of Carlos's outfits that either don't fit anymore or have some "not built correctly for male dogs to pee" issues (as well as a new hat from scratch). Sewing is a super power when your dog is a Xolo, by the way. :D

If I ask myself what I prize most in a dog (or in a human for that matter) the answer always comes down to an internal debate between intelligence and empathy. One without the other is either a horror (I without E) or a sad story (E without I). But what IS intelligence and what IS empathy?

Intelligence? The level of intelligence of a dog or any creature is not like the reading on a gas gauge. Intelligence is simply not that simple and gauging it requires far more than a single value gauge. Stanley Coren broke dog intelligence down into four gauges in his famous book "The Intelligence of Dogs": Instinctive, adaptive, working and obedience. Ironically enough, for a lot of well known breeds you can find their intelligence rank (without reading the book) given in this book with a simple google search; except that rank you'll find will be based only on the "obedience intelligence" rank. Border Collies are number one, in case you're interested. Not surprising. You can also find some studies done on wolves versus dogs and likely you have heard that no dog can compare to a wolf when it comes to "adaptive" intelligence (Adaptive: basically the intelligence to figure stuff out all by him/her self without human aid) and that conversely no Wolf can compare to a dog when it comes to listening to what a human has to say or needs ("Working and Obedience Intelligence"). Somewhere here in this mix you can maybe pinpoint the complicated intelligence of Carlos who pegs out neither at the top nor the bottom of any gauge. The phrase "Jack of all trades but master of none" comes to mind.

There are moments with Carlos that I can imagine how wonderful it would be to instead have a Border Collie buddy who would hang on my every word as if it were Gods word rather than give me the middle finger for being a perceived traitor to his cause until I up the anti with my tone. Moments I can imagine how wonderful it would be to instead have a Blood Hound buddy who could smell whatever from 100 yds away rather than look at me for help finding "the thing" because he knows that I know where "the thing" is and his nose is not THAT good dude! And of course moments where I just wished he couldn't reason for himself at all, cuz if he thinks he can get away with it why not do it?

On a 10 scale, I'd give Carlos:
Instinctive: 8/10
Adaptive: 9/10
Working: 5/10
Obedience: 7/10

Is he as instinctively/adaptively smart as a wolf? No. But he's not that far off. Is he as working/obedience smart as a Collie? No, he will pay very close attention to you and your commands as long as his adaptive/instinctive smarts don't override it, but they WILL override it if you don't have 100% of his confidence. I look at it this way; he doesn't want to please you like a lab or a Collie, but he IS willing to consider you a credible commander if you prove yourself credible, but do not let him down. I have a relative with a lab/pit/doberman mix that is, to be honest, a breath of fresh air to run around with. That dog views me as his Knight in Shining armor no matter what I do. Carlos? I have to do it right or I'm judged accordingly. You can maybe see why I hated the last wild boar encounter with Carlos. In his mind, I blew that one. The lab/pit/dob in that situation would have though I hung the sun in the sky. But I don't want to be unfairly negative. Carlos can learn a new command in under 10 tries if you do it right. The problem lies in obeying that command first time going forward... he WILL give you the middle finger if you give a command and he sees it as you just messing about sans any reward. He does not obey blindly and has no need to please that will override what he sees as common sense. Even something as simple as "sit" will become a point of contention if it becomes obvious you're doing it continuously without cause. I have to maintain a MUCH higher level of trust with him. I DO NOT give him commands without either a reward or a need for very long without rebellion on his part. He has no desire to be my minion. He wants to be and feel like my partner; which leads me to empathy.

I'll just say you'll likely NEVER find a more empathetic dog than Carlos. Ever. But this isn't always as good as it sounds:

To be continued:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Been a while since I posted, but I'm back with some photos and a cat update (More PROGRESS!). I figured photos belong in the photos area, so I put them there if you're interested. I think I followed all the rules for posting pics anyway?

Scarlett (the kitty) has come a LONG way. There's some specific standards and practices the little evil feline has incorporated into the bedtime routine, but suffice it to say Carlos and Scarlett both sleep in the bed with us at the same time.

Routine - Standards and practices (authored by Scarlett)
1 - All cat food is to be placed on top of the kitty tower by the bed at precisely 9PM. Deviations from this routine will incur punishment in the form of an all night kitty scream.
2 - The bowl in which my food is placed should weigh at least 3 pounds with a frictional bottom. Deviation from this standard will result in food scattered across the bedroom carpet and an immediate protein and calorie overdose administered to Carlos. Oh, and all night kitty scream.
3 - Carlos is required to be under a blanket with eyes closed and asleep by 9:15PM. Deviation from this standard will result in kitty screams until such time Carlos complies.
4 - I will eat my food in the following manner.
Step 1 - Climb halfway up the tower, pause to hiss at Carlos.
Step 2 - Ascend to the top and eat half my food with as much satisfied ecstasy on my face as can be dramatically portray to induce Dog envy.
Step 3 - Descend to the halfway point of the tower, pause to hiss at Carlos.
Step 4 - Prance slowly across the bedroom floor with a dramatic sway in the tail.
Step 5 - Repeat steps 1 - 3
Step 6 - Wait for dog to seem asleep.
Step 7 - Curl up in bed.
Step 8 - Occasionally walk over the sleeping dog, if dog awakens act as if the dog tried to eat me and complain. If it does not, curl back up and try again later.

RFLOL - They now exist all over the house together as long as a 3-4 foot distance is maintained. The dog just wonders why we need to put up with such sass, but keeps that 3-4 foot wide birth of Queen Scarlett anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I'll just say you'll likely NEVER find a more empathetic dog than Carlos. Ever. But this isn't always as good as it sounds:

To be continued:
I almost forgot to continue!

Empathy. Let me start with where his empathy begins and ends. It begins within what he perceives to be his family circle and ends immediately outside of that. You'll see the phrase "Aloof with strangers" on a lot of dog breed personality descriptions. That is Carlos. He's not aggressive to strangers by any means (unless you look as if you're going to harm his family anyway), but he really could care less that strangers exist outside of their potential as aggressors or food givers. I can't tell you how many people's feelings he's hurt over the years. His typical stranger greeting requires me to insist that he greets the person, and only then will he reluctantly give them maybe 3-5 seconds of body wag and touch time before walking away as if the stranger doesn't exist. You can see the hurt in their faces when he does this (why doesn't he like me!). Occasionally, if I have treats on me and the person seems especially dissed by Carlos, I'll give the stranger a treat to give him. But you have to be careful with that. I did this walking a long beach one day off leash; big mistake. He continually tracked this persons location for the rest of the day as a potential food source! I had to up the tone with him, which I hate doing.

However, this wasn't always the case. The first month or two I had him he was the friendliest dog in the world to anyone and everyone. I theorize that he was in "find human to bond with" mode during these first few months. Once he felt he had succeeded in finding that bond with my family, strangers no longer held any allure whatsoever.

Within his perceived family it's a different story. Everyone (and especially me) have to be on their absolute best behavior at all times in the presence of Carlos. Get angry (even at something as simple as frustration at not being able to find your phone) and you will find Carlos whimpering with moon eyes and a tucked tail. Watch a sad movie? You'll find Carlos in your lap with his head pushing up into your shoulders with an endearing hug and whimper. Get exciting news over the phone? You'll find Carlos bouncing around body wagging. He's just an emotional well spring within his family. The downside? If you are not an emotionally quiet and controlled family, I suspect a Carlos type dog will be an absolute emotional wreck. We've always been a very laid back calm non-dramatic family, but since having Carlos we're even more so. His little soul piercing eyes tend to shut down any emotional sparks long before they ignite. :hug:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Update on dog and cat relations in the form of a video taken this morning. This pretty much defines the current state of relations. A long ways from the initial prey drive ridden Carlos of day one, but still not perfect.
 
21 - 26 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top