Where’s Walker?

Burberry, Walker Hound Girl

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. 

intelligences different but equal, and mutually appreciated

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.

Whatever it is, I'm on it.

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’. 

and a soft, adorable nose it is

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. 

Burb, the reason for the deep happiness I've found in dogland

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.  🙂

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2 Responses to Where’s Walker?

  1. Anja says:

    Awwww, I love the way you ended this!!

    I’d want to repeat everything I said about your last blog….
    Although, as a Border Collie owner, I am of course somewhat flattered that MY DOG is # 1 on that list, I am also aware that whatever kind of intelligence she has, it is a double-edged sword.
    What REALLY makes a Border Collie, is their drive. Panda’s drive almost got her killed, running into a tree because she was so focused on the ball…as she doesn’t have sheep, her obsession has become the ball.
    I have mentioned to you before, that I have a serious soft-spot for hounds.
    What hounds and BC’s have in common is their drive. They are driven to do different tasks, but they are nevertheless reliable and predictable.
    If the people in their lives can truly understand them, they bond on an entirely different level from the average pet-owner.
    When you said that you and Burb are a “team”, I knew exactly what you meant. Panda and I are a team, too. We are teams, because we are not driven by our egos. Ego’s only get into the way of “drive”.

    Amazing animals they are, aren’t they?? We’re so blessed!

    • cellopets says:

      Because of Burberry’s friend in that one photo, I’ve grown to love Border Collies very much, and have the highest respect for their intelligence. They’re quite amazing dogs, and your Panda is proof. I can tell you’re a team, the way we are. Maybe someday we’ll all meet! Your story about Panda chasing the ball scared me. I’ve heard of a little dog who went blind through that exact thing (except that it was a table leg instead of a tree). So, yes, there can be such a thing as too much drive, or too narrow a focus. Take care of yourself, Panda! Burberry, if allowed to, would hunt in the woods behind my house until, literally, she dropped. That’s too much drive, since I don’t hunt raccoons. 🙂 I can’t wait until it’s time for tracking classes–we’ll at least try them.

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