Saturday, January 2, 2010

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

Nikki, our German Shepherd, is not really an old dog, more like middle aged. We don't have a doggy door, so when she wants to go outside, she scratches at the door, gently but hard enough so that we can hear it. If that doesn't work, she will come over to one of us and bark, softly.

Mrs. Critter hung some bells on the door nob for Christmas. Nikki has learned that ringing the bells with her nose is a more effective way to get the door opened than scratching at it. The bells are a little louder and we react to the novelty of her ringing them quicker.

"The disposition of noble dogs is to be gentle with people they know and the opposite with those they don't know...How, then, can the dog be anything other than a lover of learning since it defines what's its own and what's alien."
-- Plato


  1. Jerry thats so sweet! Smart and beautiful dog!

  2. Fantastic! One of our German shepherds (Big Dog, whom I write about often) has taken to letting his signal that he's gotta go to be to walk over in front of the hubby and do the humpty dance. It's hilarious.

  3. Very cool! Will you be leaving the bells on sans holiday? ;)

  4. Probably not the Christmas bells, but we may hang some others.

  5. Beautiful dog!! and that doesn't surprise me that she figured it out, german shepherds are smart cookies!! very sweet, i love it.

  6. I love this post. (BTW, I found you through Jack's blog.)

    My German shepherd, Franz, goes to the back door and faces it with his nose pointed to the knob -- if I'm in the same room.

    If I'm in a different room or just didn't notice, he comes and finds me and noses me gently.

    But when he REALLY wants to play outside with me, he noses the slippers on my feet about four times, energetically. He knows I put my sneakers on to go out. That cracks me up.

  7. German Shepherds are very good at getting our attention in a gentle way and interpreting our actions.