I’m annoyed at my own blog. I just had time to read the entire dog intelligence list I gave a link to in, ‘Fascinating Research’, and the only Coonhound listed is the Black and Tan, unless I missed the others somehow. There’s no Redtick, no Bluetick, no Redbone, and no Treeing Walker Coonhound. What is up with that, Mr. Coren? I doubt very much that they’re all the same. Although, to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at the placement of the one type of Coonhound he did rank. I honestly thought, after the opening section, which issues a kind of apology to the Hounds for judging only obedience intelligence and not creative intelligence, that Coonhounds would be in the last category.
Because my Burberry does have a very different kind of intelligence. It took less than an hour for me to notice it. I often try to explain it to people, and I’ve never had the right word. Sometimes the person I’m talking to, trying to help me pinpoint it, will say, ‘I know what you mean–they’re stubborn’. And I’m proud to say that not once have I agreed with that. 🙂
Because Burberry is not stubborn. I have not known what to call her special kind of smarts until now, when I read the article.
Now I know that Burberry is creative. I love that. I love her.
I value the written word very highly, and I tend to trust something more once I see it in black and white. And although I knew that Burberry was different from any dog I’d ever had, I feel comforted and validated to see the reason in print.
Really, this is a big discovery for me, and I’m still rolling it around in my brain. Burberry is my first hunting dog. I now understand that hunting dogs have a different kind of intelligence. Until tonight, I had no better explanation than the cliché which everyone comes out with when you tell them you’re having a tough time with your hunting dog: ‘Well, they have to follow their noses’.
I knew it wasn’t that. I don’t mean that hunting dogs don’t like to follow their noses; they do. But that’s a prosaic definition of something which is really almost magical–a whole different kind of intelligence.
I’m understanding more and more each minute. Her creative intelligence is why I feel part of a team with Burberry. Who’s ‘alpha’ is just a silly question, in the context of a dog like her. She and I are a team, and both of us are strong, smart, and independent. So it’s a very different working relationship. She’s not looking to me to tell her how to do things. She assumes, and rightly, that she already knows how to do what she wants to do. She takes her intelligence for granted–how can she do anything else?–and asks to be allowed to fulfill her own drives and meet her own goals. She’s not stubborn. She’s inspired–driven, even–and capable.
I have a much better idea of why Beloved F wants to have a Coonhound in her life now. She must be attracted to this type of canine intelligence, and I am very impressed by that. She met Burberry the very first day I brought her home, and she recognized instantly that Burb was not only intelligent, but specially intelligent.
I no longer wonder why Walker Hounds are not on that list. The reason is obvious to me now. Clearly, they’re off the charts. 🙂