Every species, I guess, has its geniuses and morons, or at least those who are so perceived.
When it comes to dogs, for example, Afghan hounds have been called the dumb blondes of the dog world, while border collies are often referred to as the genius of the species.
With humans, in what is an equally unfair characterization, TV and radio personalities are often portrayed as something less than razor sharp. (I’m not sure if that is true, but it does seem that the dumber they are, the louder they are — and the more they interrupt.)
This video, from ABC’s Good Morning America, shows a border collie named Zelda balancing things on her head as the humans on the program, some of them wearing funny hats, seem to compete to see who can be loudest and most annoying.
When Zelda’s owner tries to explain how Zelda came to possess the talent, the host of the show loudly interrupts: “Now we should point out border collies are one of the smartest dogs there are, I mean they’re like real smart.”
At the end of the bit, the camera cuts to a member of the crew, showing he can balance things on his head, too.
Watching this, online, made me reconsider my rankings of the intelligence of the three smartest species here on earth.
I still think dogs are at the top, but I’m unsure of the order in which to rank the other two – humans and computers, earth’s newest species.
But then I read the computer-created transcript of the video, which we’ll only quote in part:
“We have a very special live — we have Zelda. That dog. — commences our — an extra…
“Added I organ committee is all right let’s say you — yes sickened at companies like name. Set — – we Michigan do with the tenth spot didn’t she loves playing with a tennis ball — her favorite thing today — So we — – with a few other thing we should point out that Border — is part of the one of the smartest dogs is very nice seeing real — things — very fast…
“Well we have posted a picture of her balancing my dinner plates you can do that we’ll try now in the — Valentine’s tiny things had a glass of chocolate — yeah…
“We want to hear from you what should Zelda try to balance — and can really the united choices football — – banana frisbee or I’m actually getting other. Okay we’ll take right and we’ll take righted work out things with.”
At the end of the transcript, there’s a disclaimer saying it has been automatically generated and may not be 100 percent accurate.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, balance, balancing, border collie, computers, dog, dogs, good morning america, head, hosts, intelligence, media, news, personalities, pets, television, things, transcription, transcripts, tricks, video, zelda
Seeing some doggie dance moves it finds inappropriate, the Kennel Club in the UK is cracking down, outlawing some “extreme” and “unnatural” steps it says could injure dogs.
Effective next year, certain moves, though they haven’t been outlined yet, will be banned when it comes to dancing dogs – a pursuit that has become increasingly popular since Pudsey (above) appeared on and won “Britain’s Got Talent.”
“Heelwork to music,” as it’s called has been regulated by the Kennel Club since 2002. There are about 90 affiliated clubs that offer dog dancing events.
The Telegraph reports that the rule changes are in response to the rising number of people and dogs taking part in the activity after 16-year-old Ashleigh Butler and her dog wowed the judges on “Britain’s Got Talent.” There has been a 20 per cent increase in the activity since then, and the club is worried that, amid stiffer competition, too much might be demanded of performing dogs.
The Kennel Club has taken steps to ban moves that could injure dogs, as well as treatment it considers ”degrading” to the dogs, such as putting them in fancy costumes for performances. (Fancy costumes can still be worn by their human dance partners, though).
While no list of accepted and banned moves has been released yet, those that reportedly concern the Kennel Club include the “wheelbarrow,” where the dog’s hind legs are held by the owner as it walks; the “footstand,” where the dog stands on the raised feet of the handler while the human lies on the ground; walking on front paws; walking on hind legs for more than 10 seconds; and “shoulder jumps,” in which a dog leaps from the owner’s shoulders.
“We know that the more people we get into the sport, the more they are going to have to look to other types of moves in order to make an impact,” said Caroline Kisko, the club’s secretary. “We are trying to pre-empt that. The priority is the dog’s safety.”
Most dog shows feature two categories — “heelwork”, which is more structured, and “freestyle,” which involves more innovative tricks. The dances are scored on content, accuracy and musical interpretation.
The new regulations will formally take effect next year, when judges will disqualify any pair whose routine is deemed extreme, unnatural or degrading. Until then, the Kennel Club has asked competitors to observe them “in spirit … with immediate effect.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 24th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, ashleigh, ashleigh butler, britain's got talent, costumes, dancing, dancing dogs, dangerous, degrading, demeaning, dog, dogs, extreme, heelwork, injuries, kennel club, moves, performances, pets, pudsey, rules, tricks, uk, unnatural
Here’s an ad we doubt would have flown during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In fact, it never saw the light of day anywhere (except online), having been banned from appearing during the 2006 Super Bowl.
In the ad, for Bud Light, an upscale dog owner, sweater draped over his shoulders, is showing off his purebred border collie. Then he asks the mutt owner he is talking to, “What can your dog do?”
To see the painful answer, watch the video.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2006, ad, advertisement, animals, banned, beer, border collie, bud light, commercial, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, mutts, pedigree, pets, purebreds, super bowl, tricks, westminster dog show, woof in advertising
Something to make your Monday a little less, well … Monday.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, clicker training, dog, dog tricks, jack russell, jesse, pets, terrier, training, tricks, useful pet tricks, video
It’s time for DogFest, the Baltimore Humane Society’s annual day-long celebration of dogs.
It’s this Saturday, Oct. 15 (with a rain date of Oct. 22) at the Baltimore Humane Society, 1601 Nicodemus Road in Reisterstown.
Gates open at 9 a.m., and activities continue until 6 p.m., with a full schedule of games, contests and events, and plenty of vendors, prizes, experts, food and adoptable pets
The entrance fee is $10, and parking is free.
As usual, the Humane Society requests no retractable leashes.
Keep reading for the full schedule. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptions, agility, animals, baltimore, baltimore humane society, big, canine, canine agility, contests, costumes, dancing dogs, dog, dogfest, dogs, events, experts, fundraiser, games, kissing dogs, lookalikes, mutts, pets, shelter, singing dogs, small, tricks, vendors
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.
Is Norberto Fernandez exploiting his dog? Maybe. Is he abusing her? No — at least that’s the opinion of an ASPCA investigator who looked into the treatment of Coffee, a pit bull who poses for donations outside New York stadiums during baseball games.
Animal welfare officials have examined the dog often seen panhandling outside Mets and Yankees games and say she bears “no signs of abuse or neglect,” NBC News reported.
The dog, typically dressed in baseball jerseys and often seen wearing a Groucho Marx disguise, or with a pipe in her mouth, was examined Wednesday by the ASPCA.
“It was determined that she bore no signs of abuse or neglect,” the ASPCA said in a statement. “The ASPCA will continue to monitor this situation and be prepared to take action, in the event that any New York State animal cruelty laws are being violated.”
The owner, Norberto Fernandez, of Queens, spoke told NBC New York on Tuesday that he is a professional dog trainer who rescued Coffee from the streets and taught it to pose and hold a pipe in its mouth. He said they make about $75 with each appearance.
“All I do is train dogs and people are starting to hate on me — they’re surprised of all the tricks my dog can do,” Fernandez said.
Some animal lovers have claimed Coffee works without water or rest, and that her behavior is controlled through use of a shock collar — all allegations Fernandez denied. An ASPCA veterinarian found no evidence of a shock collar on Wednesday.
Concerns about the dog’s situation prompted the creation of a Facebook page, “Stop Abusing Coffee.”
Judging from the comments there, not everybody is satisfied with the ASPCA’s investigation, in which Coffee was visited at her home, rather than during one of her appearances at the ballparks.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal welfare, apsca, ballpark, baseball, campaign, coffee, complaints, concerns, costumes, disguises, dog, dogs, facebook, investigation, mets, new york, norberto fernandez, panhandling, performing, pipe, pit bull, stadiums citi field, stop abusing coffee, tricks, yankee stadium, yankees
How could you not be smitten with a man with the mug of a pug, the work ethic of a sled dog; the insatiable curiosity of a boxer; and the droopy demeanor of a basset hound?
If you were to mix Yogi Bear with Rocky Balboa, then southern fry them, you’d have David Perlmutt, in whose house Ace and I spent the last three days. He’s one of those guys who underwhelms you (to borrow a friend’s description) on first impression. (I, too, am a member of that club.) He’s very low key, quite soft spoken, and doesn’t feel the need to publicly exhibit vast amounts of enthusiasm, which is not to say he doesn’t have it. It’s in there, percolating. But being perky is not his thing. He’s not exactly Mr. Bubbly.
In that way, and a few others, we are peas in a pod. We both graduated, the same year, from the University of North Carolina’s journalism school – though we don’t think we knew each other back then. We both worked at the Charlotte Observer, though in my case just for a year. He’s been there nearly 30.
We’re both divorced (though in my case twice) and we both have only children headed off to college this month.
And we’re both plum dog crazy.
(And no, I’m not proposing. He has already turned me down.)
But he did invite Ace and me to be guests in his lovely home among towering trees in a quiet Charlotte neighborhood that’s filled with dogs. His two, Caki and Clancy, were at the home of his ex (with whom he shares custody of the canines) so I didn’t get a chance to meet them.
She performed it flawlessly three times in a row, because that’s how many tries it took for me to get a decent photo. (Perhaps I should train Ace to take pictures and let him handle the photography from now on.)
Winnie, who’s three-years-old, is assisted in the task by a rubber band, wrapped around the door knob (one of those regular round door knobs), which allows her front paws to get some traction, and twist the knob. Then she pushes the door open, walks inside, turns around, closes it with a flick of her front paws and beams proudly.
“She picked it up in no time,” said Ellen Archer, who, with the aid of treats, taught Winnie the trick.
My visit to Charlotte — on top of checking out The Dog Bar, spending some time with cousin Laura, reconnecting with Perlmutt and re-meeting his now-grown and multi-talented daughter, Ainslie (today’s guest columnist) — also gave me a chance to look up another old friend, Ray Owens.
He’s one of my ex-college roommates who, despite being in near constant prank mode — then and now — somehow managed to become a successful attorney. As it turns out, he has lost neither his hair, his sense of humor, nor his detailed memories of college days, including the time, driving home from a Deep Purple/Uriah Heap/Black Sabbath concert in Fayetteville, we hit a furious rainstorm. My yellow Firebird — though, I would argue still, a totally hot car — had broken windshield wipers, so we resolved the matter by tying shoestrings to each wiper and, from inside the car, pulling the wipers back and forth manually the whole way home.
Not a bad trick, either. I think we rewarded ourselves from the sack of treats we carried with us for the trip — Fritos and bean dip, as I recall.
You might imagine that we’ve grown up since then — that we’ve all become respectable and responsible adults as we pass through middle age and beyond; that we’ ve realized that life is serious business and, once your hair is gone or going grey, it’s time to close the door on Black Sabbath, childish pranks, dopey behavior, running in circles and needless frivolity.
But if we’ve learned anything from or dogs, it’s this: Naaaah.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, adulthood, animals, books, charlotte, charlotte observer, children, close, david perlmutt, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, door, frivolity, jokes, journalism, newspapers, north carolina, ohmidog!, open, pets, pranks, ray owens, reporters, reunion, roommates, the dog bar, travel, traveling with dogs, tricks, uniersity of north carolina
Some dogs have a habit of chasing cars, but a border collie in Prince Edward Island has figured out a slightly safer way to work off his energy.
Two-year-old Tucker spends hours lying by the roadside in Emyvale, waiting for cars to come by. When one does, he gets up and spins about madly in a circle.
His owner, Clifford Green, said it was just something the dog started doing on his own -- and only for certain vehicles.
"He's not that stuck on the red [ones] and he don't like big trucks," Green told CBC News in Canada.
Tucker was featured on the Today Show yesterday, prompting some chuckles among the staff. But as some of our readers point out in the comments section below, Tucker’s behavior may be no laughing matter — and even a sign of an illness.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, border collie, canada, cars, chasing, chasing cars, circles, clifford green, dog, dogs, emyvale, energy, news, ohmidog!, pets, prince edward island, spinner, spinning, spins, tricks, tucker, twirl, twirling, video
You’ll have to forgive us for being a few days late in bringing you this groundbreaking moment — when Bo met Oprah. Despite our vigilance, this one somehow slipped between the cracks. So, without further ado, here it is: Bo and Oprah high five.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: bo, bo obama, buddy, dog, first dog, first family, high five, michelle obama, obama, oprah, oprah winfrey, president, tricks, video, white house, winfrey
Halloween may be more than a week away, but the time to start costuming your pooch for BARCStoberfest is now.
BARCStoberfest takes place this Saturday, Oct. 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Baltimore’s Patterson Park.
The costume contest, a perennial favorite, starts at 1:30 pm. Dogs can compete in any of several categories: Best Halloween Theme, Best Hon/Best Boh, Matching Dog & Human and Most Original.
A Best in Show winner will be selected (by audience applause) from the four category winners. There’s a $15 entry fee for each category, and prizes in the contest are donated by Dogma.
Other contests at BARCStoberfest include most unique pet trick or talent, best tail wagger, best singer or howler, best kisser, fastest treat eater and smallest and largest dog. There’s a $5 entry fee for those competitions.
The 5th annual BARCStoberfest is a festival for animal lovers that helps raise funds for BARCS, which takes in 12.000 animals a year. If it’s rained out Saturday, it will be held Sunday.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, baltimore animal rescue and care, barcs, barcstoberfest, boh, categories, contest, costume, eater, events, festival, fundraiser, fundraising, halloween, hon, matching dog and human, schedule, shelter, singer, smallest larges, talent, tricks