Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

IMG_0429I don't know how common this is with dogs but my dog, an Entlebucher mountaint dog, has a fairly complex moral system when it comes to food.  Namely, she seems to have an internal rule set on what it is okay for her to take food.

Here's an example of my dog's morality in action.  If my wife brings me a plate of cheese and crackers, she can set it right in front of me and the dog.  I could get up, leave the room and come back without fear that she would take it.  However, if I begin eating it and then leave the room, there is a point where if I were to leave the room that the plate would be picked clean when I returned.

Similarly, we have a walk in pantry filled with food (including her dog food).  Bread, crackers, cookies, etc. are all within easy reach of her.  We keep the loafs of bread on a shelf that is eye level.  We never keep the pantry door closed and she won't take any food from there. However, if I take the same bread, open it up and eat a slice and then put it on the table, the dog will eat the entire loaf right off the table if I walk away.  However, put the same loaf back in the pantry and it is safe.

Over the years, I've tried to experiment to learn how her seeming morality system works.  She won't ever steal food in front of someone unless it falls to the floor. Then it's fair game. If I'm lying around on the couch with a bowl of chips on the floor in front of her, I'm safe. If I get up and leave to go to the bathroom the bowl is safe also.  But if I have eaten a sufficient amount of it and leave, the bowl gets chowed down if I leave for just a few moments.

Those of you with dogs, have you encountered this sort of thing?


Comments
on Aug 30, 2017

With dogs, food is money.  Things start to make a lot more sense if you look at it that way. 

With the partial eating thing, that's because you're the alpha dog.  The alpha dog gets first pickings.  Whatever he doesn't want, the runt of the litter can have.  You partially ate the bread and walked away.  The runt (him) gets to have what's left.  But if you don't eat it, then it's money, and you are saving the money.  

on Aug 30, 2017

tetleytea

With dogs, food is money.  Things start to make a lot more sense if you look at it that way. 

With the partial eating thing, that's because you're the alpha dog.  The alpha dog gets first pickings.  Whatever he doesn't want, the runt of the litter can have.  You partially ate the bread and walked away.  The runt (him) gets to have what's left.  But if you don't eat it, then it's money, and you are saving the money.  

I get that.

But I've had a lot of dogs and haven't ever had one that seems to have developed such a complicated system.  

Another example, food in trash = fair game.  But again, you can leave the pantry door open with food easily accessible and go out for the day without fear.

I'm curious to learn what other people have seen with their own dogs.

on Aug 30, 2017

I don't have dogs but I have cats.  To cats it's all fair game unless I'm there to defend it.

Our kittens (bless the little rascals) were climbing all over my wife as she sat down to eat a chicken salad wrap sandwich.  She finally broke down laughing and calling me for help.  I started laughing too.  The kittens were mewing and chomping on chicken salad.

The adult cats won't do that but, boy those kittens have to go to their room now when we eat.

 

on Aug 30, 2017

We had two small dogs, 10 pounds, and bacon on the kitchen counter.   I don't know how our younger dog did it, but when we got home, the bacon was gone.   We think the dogs worked together; one climbed on the other's shoulder.

on Aug 30, 2017

I have had 14 dogs over my life time. All the same Bread. Beagle's. Don't think I had two that acted or did the same things. This is as far as what they learned and were taught. 

Your dog.

Entlebuchers are incredibly intelligent and focused on their owner. My thoughts are somewhere along the way you did certain things and the dog paid attention. Most people can't understand or fail to believe that many of the things dogs learn are just from seeing. It's not always about a verbal command. Can be a special look or hand commend. I would think that there are other things that take place that may surprise you but not much thought is given to them.

There could be a time or two that you said no to something and didn't remember doing it. Some dogs only need to be told "no" once and they associate it to something. Other dogs, well forget about it as they don't ever seem to hear the word "No" LOL. 

Not sure there is an exact answer or reason to your question or thought of why. But from all my dog experience I have to return to you or someone in the house making some type of suggestions to certain things.

Please note I have helped many friends with their dog problems from chewing things all the time to eating anything they could break into and especially having them take a walk with you in a good manner. People fail to remember they are taking the Dog for a walk but the Dog ends up taking them for a walk. Check it out and bet you see more dogs taking the owner for a walk than the other way around.

If your dog has learned and done this as far as you know or remember all by itself count your blessings. You are one lucky family.  

on Aug 31, 2017

What can be less entertaining is when humans engage in this alpha-male silliness.   With dogs, the runt will eat out of the trash but not out of the pantry.   Okay....   With humans, it's the United States vs. North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia.  Planes flying "dangerously close".   Shooting duds over Japan.  Warning shots at Iranian destroyers.

Same silliness, but with nuclear weapons.

on Sep 11, 2017

So... I'll be the first to say that I'm not a dog-ologist (I think is the term for someone specializing in canines) but I'll throw in my $0.02

Dogs are something like 98% wolf.  The vast majority of the remaining 2% difference is a UI to interact with humans. 

Of the 98% that are ~wild/wolf, canine society is hierarchical with the lower status animals yielding to the whims of their superiors.  But pack dynamics are give-and-take with different things being important to different members.  Here in MN we have lots of wolves up north - we even did when I was a little kid (although maybe there were less than 'lots' but the point being that they've either been on the mend since before I was born or were never quite trapped to extinction).  MN also has a very comprehensive ongoing wolf study on Isle Royale - which is actually a part of Frog's state (Michigan), as such there are sort of, these wolf interpretive centers here and there.  Once when my family was visiting one they were feeding the three wolves that they had there.  So they brought in the road-killed deer and the /lowest/ cast wolf started going to town on it and was sort of taking '1st dibs' on the food.  The two higher caste wolves were just hanging out waiting for the first wolf to get done eating.  One of the patrons watching asked the DNR person or whoever why the higher-caste wolves were eating last.  The response was that food wasn't a limited resource, so the pack leaders just didn't really care, but the den for instance was - and the wolf getting first dibs on the food just so happened to be the wolf that had to sleep outside every night. 

In the case of your dog, for example.  I would posit that it's much less about a complex moral code, rather than a much more straightforward decision tree where you're the pack leader.  Food is the limited resource, so if it's untouched - you get first dibs.  If you throw it on the floor, or can't finish what's in your bowl - then it's fine for it to be kicked down the ladder for the lower status pack members to have a bite.  Similarly, if you decide to take a nap in the same place your dog happens to be taking a nap, she will invariably find somewhere else to sleep - but if it's your kid or another dog where the hierarchy is less clear maybe not so much.  Food in your pantry is probably considered to be food you haven't had your go at yet, so it's not her turn, maybe if you started eating a lot of meals in there and just hanging out there generally she'd get a different idea. 

Of the 2% non-wolf parts of dogs, which is mostly a UI behind the base wolf back-end code, and the need to navigate a world led by human pack-leaders, a lot of the decision making probably boils down to being delineated by a combination of what makes you (the human pack leader) happy, and what she needs to do to survive and prosper.  Relationships are tricky, and so are pack societies, so there are missteps here and there naturally.  But by and large most actions are aimed at having your approval ("being helpful" - barking at strangers, etc), avoiding your disapproval (peeing inside, etc), and getting along with other members of the pack (no eating your kids or neighbors, etc).  The specifics may sometimes manifest in odd and aberrant behaviors that seem complicated, but it's because you're complicated.  If you started getting wildly bent out of shape about the left-over chips, I'm pretty sure she'd stop.  But the fact that you think it's amusing/cute enough to write about, is exactly the reason that it's ok for her to do because hey! - dogs gotta eat too..

Just my impression..

on Sep 15, 2017

I am sick to death of the mentality humans are unique to having thoughts or feelings beyond "Kill. Eat. Sleep. Repeat."

I worked at an "alternative" boarding kennel (one without any concrete floors ... all the rooms for the dogs had wood floors, all had furniture and soft rubber mats and rugs, and there were 20+ acres of grassy fields and forested trails) a lady ran out of her own private ranch.  She had three of her own dogs: a big Leonberger mix boy, a big, fluffy Newfoundland and an all-black German Shepherd.  All 3 of the dogs were rescues.

The male Leonberger and the female Newfoundland were a bit of a thing ... but no, it wasn't all just humps.  I quickly earn a reputation among dogs as being quite generous with pets and scritches, and dogs I visit even just briefly will remember me and come up to me for attention.  There was something a bit more complicated, though, with the Leonberger -- he loved my scritches, of course, but he would frequently tug at my sleeve and pull me over to the Newfoundlands because he wanted me to give /her/ attention.

That really can't get explained by any of that "animals are stupid beasts whom only act on selfish instinct" nonsense.  The Leonberger loved the Newfoundland, and wanted her to feel good, even by giving her something -- me and my pettings and scritchings -- to her.

I've seen lots of documented cases of similar acts of love and other complex thoughts and emotions, even between members of different species, even in the wild.

on Sep 15, 2017

Dogs are something like 98% wolf. 

True, but humans are 98% ape.  For real.

on Sep 15, 2017

tetleytea


Dogs are something like 98% wolf. 



True, but humans are 98% ape.  For real.



Dogs are MUCH closer to wolves, genetically, than humans to ape.  Dogs descended from wolves (some time tens of thousands of years ago, some wolves did not fear humans and would join us in our camps, we took care of them and the ones that were friendly with us we started breeding, eventually leading to the dogs we know ... Neil DeGrasse Tyson did an episode of his Cosmos series on this to explain how evolution works), but humans did NOT descend from apes (that's a common misnomer from the anti-science crowd).  Apes and humans descended from a mutually common ancestor.

Dogs and wolves are genetically compatible; that is, a dog and wolf can procreate.  A human and an ape cannot, our chromosones are no longer compatible.

on Sep 15, 2017

Chibiabos

I am sick to death of the mentality humans are unique to having thoughts or feelings beyond "Kill. Eat. Sleep. Repeat."

 

Good post.  This was not the main thrust of my argument (if this comment was directed toward my post), I'm sorry if it was construed that way.  It was more along the lines of dogs live in complex human societies, and have lineages from complex animal 'societies'. 

FWIW, I don't really think that there's really that much more to people than animals "kill, eat, sleep, repeat" if you want to phrase it that way.  Some layers of complexity sure, but the day to day really isn't that much more than this.  In addition, if you look at what ultimately drives people (ie what people are willing to break the law to do), it pretty much is just that - predation, domination and reproductive success.. 

 

tetleytea


Dogs are something like 98% wolf. 



True, but humans are 98% ape.  For real.

By the numbers, one could argue that humans are more like 99.9999999999% ape because one chimps (for example) are much more complex than we generally have historically given them credit for, and for two, we're all just losers when one thinks about it..

 

 

on Sep 15, 2017

tid242


Quoting Chibiabos,

I am sick to death of the mentality humans are unique to having thoughts or feelings beyond "Kill. Eat. Sleep. Repeat."



 

Good post.  This was not the main thrust of my argument (if this comment was directed toward my post), I'm sorry if it was construed that way.  It was more along the lines of dogs live in complex human societies, and have lineages from complex animal 'societies'. 

FWIW, I don't really think that there's really that much more to people than animals "kill, eat, sleep, repeat" if you want to phrase it that way.  Some layers of complexity sure, but the day to day really isn't that much more than this.  In addition, if you look at what ultimately drives people (ie what people are willing to break the law to do), it pretty much is just that - predation, domination and reproductive success.. 

 

No, it wasn't directed to anyone in particular here, just a way often-too-common mentality I find in people.  Every time I've entered into a discussion about the depth of thought and emotion other members of the animal kingdom possess, that complex thoughts and emotions are not unique to our species, I invariably encounter one or more individuals asserting "its all just instinct, you're anthropomorphizing."

on Oct 16, 2017

It seems that your little Darling is using a safety survival technique where the submissive dog

will not eat until the alpha dog has tasted indicating the food is safe. You are the Alpha dog.

Did you ever see the movie "A Christmas Story" about the guy who won the Lamp with the

Plastic Leg Base, and how the "Bupkus" dogs stole the Turkey at Christmas???

I had a beautiful solid black Poodle named "Stella" we were outside on Thanksgiving

and she show up with a complete Roasted Turkey in her mouth and we never found

out where she got or where it came from. No doubt she took from one of our neighbors

who probably left it unattended outdoors. I felt so bad but dogs will be dogs. > jbuck406@verizon.net   

on Oct 16, 2017

Our brain has a cerebral cortex that is only found in elephants. Almost all mammals have hair all over their body. I only found a bald rat. While nurturing is found in mammals. Educating is actually found in birds. Our insides are more pig like. Our hands are actually like marsupals, not primates. When you look at it we dont look like we came from an animal, but we are meshed together from different animals, like we are created, or from reused code.

on Oct 16, 2017

By the numbers, one could argue that humans are more like 99.9999999999% ape because one chimps (for example) are much more complex than we generally have historically given them credit for, and for two, we're all just losers when one thinks about it..

That's not by the numbers, though.  That's subjective.   98% is the degree of genetic similarities between humans and apes.  And incidentally, you know what animal shares the most genes in common with apes?   Not chimps.  Humans.   Not only are apes our closest genetic relatives--but we are theirs.

My point was not about evolution, though; it was about dogs and wolves.  I wouldn't read too much into the genetic similarity, because we know there are BIG differences between humans and apes.   Even at 98%.

Meta
Views
» 9216
Comments
» 15
Sponsored Links