As most of you are well aware, I have three of the brattiest dogs on earth. This is why I refer to them collectively has “The Brats.” I have a male Doberman whom I affectionately refer to as Big Head or Retardo the Magnificent, I have a female Doberman who has no clear nickname, just Butthead Number 2, or whatever I’m yelling at her in anger (usually a combination of “Stop being a Jerk/A**hole/Dumbass/Snot Face/Horrible dog) and then I have my Min Pin, who I refer to here as The Little One.
Coming in at 4.5 pounds, she’s a runt of a dog, let alone a Min Pin whose breed standard says she should be double that weight. I have an affinity for adopting runts who I believe no one will love but me. In this case, I was dead on. And because of her size and adorableness I’m often asked by people if I would recommend Min Pins in general as dogs people should own. No. Absolutely not. NEVER EVER EVER EVER own a Min Pin. And I’ll tell you why…
My dog is smarter than me. I’m not saying she learns tricks quickly or has a large vocabulary of commands. I’m telling you that her mental capacity is greater than mine. I would be ashamed of this fact, but when I start to explain to people why, they usually reply with, “Holy crap balls! “ And then follow that with, “Dear Lord I hope I never own a dog that smart.”
I will give you just one example of a time when I felt like the stupidest animal in the house:
Before we had our other two dogs, our life was fairly quiet. The Little One is a royal pain in the ass and I cried for months while trying to train her. Literally crying. I cried because she is the devil. But I did learn valuable lessons about how to out stubborn a dog/demon and I now feel absolutely no guilt in running a stern household with the other two.
But one thing she never did was bark. Considering her breed is usually extremely vocal, I considered myself very lucky that she hardly barked at all. In fact, I think she was two years old before she even barked while playing. So it wasn’t an issue we ever really had to face.
Then, all of the sudden, one day, she decided to start barking. Not all the time and not at random. No, she decided that at 7am it was time to be awake and that included myself and my husband. So, everyday at 7am she barked her head off and until we got out of bed. We thought we could ignore her and she would stop, but she is stubborn and also the spawn of Satan, so she would bark endlessly for hours until we had no choice but to get out of bed, which only proved to her that her barking worked.
We decided to buy a bark collar. We went to the store and purchased a lovely bark collar that is set off by the vibration of the animals vocal cords and squirts a burst of citronella in their face which makes them smell amazing, but dogs aren’t supposed to like very much. The size of the collar compared to her was kind of hilarious, but they don’t make bark collars for 4.5 pound dogs. So we got one that was sized for a Westie.
We went home and put it on her and watched her get upset when she made a noise and it squirted. Then we took it off, satisfied that it would work. She was only going to wear it at night since she only barked first thing in the morning. We were both brilliant and proud of ourselves… Until 7am the following morning.
Come the magic hour, she barked, then alittle “hiss” came from the collar and she was very upset by that, but quiet. And that, after all, was the point. My husband and I smiled at each other at having won. She barked again, it hissed again, it was quiet again. Hurray! So we went back to sleep.
I woke up 30 minutes later to a very strange sound. I woke up my husband to see if he could hear it too. It sounded like the collar was going off and there were strange sounds leading up to each “hiss.” I strained my ears until I realized that she was sitting down stairs and “woofing” at different volumes. Woof! Hiss. Woof. No Hiss. Up and down in pitch and volume over and over. Then, she finally stopped. And then she began to bark. She had figured out what volume and pitch she could bark WITHOUT setting off the collar and laid downstairs for an hour barking at that level, until my husband and I got out of bed.
She can also open her crate and get out of the baby gates to get up stairs, but those are tales for another day. I think admitting my dog is smarter than I am is enough for one post.