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 Bouvs Listen & Understand
They Spell & learn languages, too
by: Roddy Conrad

 

Excerpted from a Bouvier Mail List
Date: 22 March 1998

 

We were utterly amazed to read today's digest to find some of the folks who live with Bouviers had not already learned that these extremely intelligent dogs understand every word we say!

Certainly we noticed this right away. We could not discuss anything related to our dogs if they were within hearing distance unless we wanted the dogs to know about our conversation - if we discussed some possible activity the dogs like, they always get extremely excited. If we mention going for a walk, the dogs jump up excitedly and start jumping up and down where the leashes are kept. If we mention a treat of any kind, the dogs go to where the treats are kept and start begging for them by both body language and, in the case of our talking Bouvier Woody, by voice. If we discuss some possible medication we may want to use on them, both go run immediately go their crates in the basement, and have to be "dragged out" if we want to do anything with them. If we mention shampoo or bath, one of them makes himself very scarce, and hard to catch, since he hates baths, the other one goes to the bathroom and jumps in the bathtub since she loves a good bath.

We also learned very early we can not get around this behavior by spelling words, since if we spell the word only once, they immediately know the spelling of the word and respond the same way. We also both speak a couple of foreign languages, and tried getting around the Bouvier's understanding by communicating in those languages, only to learn that now the Bouviers are also fluent in those languages, too. Even our parrot picked them up immediately!

Since we take our guys practically everywhere with us, we are frequently asked if they are intelligent dogs. We answer, truthfully, that we believe our dogs are somewhat more intelligent than the average human, and that humans rules instead of Bouviers only by accidents of history. Certainly our guys can use thier paws almost as well as we use our hands, so the old opposing thumbs and fingers do not explain why we are the ruling class instead of these more intelligent creatures.

We just came back today from an off road Landrover rally, where we go through some wild West Virginia mountain roads and streams in a Landrover owner caravan and, of course, our two Bouvs were with us for the trip. They were as usual the hit of any meal or culture stop of this group, and one family asked us what kind of dogs are these, and we replied "Bouviers". They were shocked since they also own a Bouvier which was given to them, and had no idea the Bouvs could be so breathtaking in their inherent beauty with a little grooming each week.

I would [also] choose to mention another subject of much discussion at out Landrover rally: our wheel cover. Lonnie Giroud Craig, our well known Bouvier breeder, [accurately] painted our two Bouvs on the wheel cover, and it is quite a sight itself in terms of gorgeous, practical Bouvier art. So if any of you are interested in the same, contact Lonnie, her Bouvier art is certainly without equal.

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Webmaster Note: You can see more Lonnie Giroux Art on the Bouvsite by clicking the blue underlined words.
 

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