Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't mind us, we're mindless

I've got Dexter in training to be a mindless idiot with no training on him whatsoever.

Say whuuut?

That's right ... according to one of the stupidest discussions on a breed board I've ever read to date, if you play fetch with your dog, you're just an mindless idiot imposing your mindlessness and idiocy on your poor dog.

Poor dogs.

Stop smiling Piper! After 7 years of fetch, you are far too stupid to be happy.

Sorry Tweed, sATCh and 5 times Nationals Qualifier, your enormous repertoire of commands is a sham and all I can do now is hope to fix the damage that 9 years of fetch has done to you. You'll have to stop looking so eager - I too am a mindless moron, and I'm probably too diminished to throw this ball for you by now.

*insert eyeroll here*

I dunno about you guys, but I think that's a big load of hooey. I played fetch with my dogs just yesterday, and checked the ground over carefully afterward. Saw no signs of brains left in the grass, so I'm going to have to assume they didn't become dumber from the experience. I might be dumber for having read the discussion though.

I like playing fetch with my dogs. And 3/4 of them like it right back at me. All the eye-rolling I did might have impeded my reading comprehension, I admit, but what I walked away from it with was the idea that border collies are too smart to play fetch, but stupid not to play fetch, and therefore, people who play fetch should turn in their border collie ownership cards and stick to goldfish.

Uh oh. Scratch that.

Mr. Woo, of course, doesn't play much fetch. But Mr. Woo also sticks his head in thorn bushes, gets thorns in his ears, cries and bleeds and then repeats the experience the next day. And the next. Etc.

He *might* be kind of stupid.

Yay! What?

Dexter has a message for the fetch haters.

I do lots of things with my dogs. The other evening, I sat down on the floor and taught Dexter to run across the room and stand on a box. He knows sit, down, stay, come, gimme five, target, spin, get out, off, up, load up in the car, stay for paw wiping, tug, and my personal favourite "hugs and kisses" (when he puts his 'arms' around my neck and I lift him up for both those things). He's 4 months old and he knows tons of stuff! My dogs get to for walks, swimming, hiking up mountains, to agility classes, to flyball tournaments, to friends and relatives' houses ... and yes, they also get to play fetch. It seems ridiculous to me to belittle someone for playing a game with their dogs as part of a well rounded life of a variety of activity.

Less theorizing. More fetch. Kthnx.

Yay! More fetch!

On one of our daily constitutionals, I took this shot kinda off the cuff randomly and then laughed and laughed. It's like Wootie orchestrated it to not-so-subtly point out out how pathetic other tails in this world are, comparatively. Like, these sparse porcupine-tails are making him gag as he sees them fluttering around pathetically in front of him.

And it goes without saying, of course, he's got no respect for the excuse-for-a-tail, the Naked Snake, sported by his youngest brother.

In other news, "Little Man," now known as Journey, is healing up like a champ.

If Tweed doesn't take him out first ...


And lastly, the people who share my property recently moved in with their border collie, Kila. Piper Does Not Like Kila, who is one of those border collies who stalks other dogs who are trying to play, cuts off their escape routes and grabs fur as they run by (given the choice between a dog who is enraptured with a hockey ball, and one who is allowed to obsess over other dogs, I'll take the former any day!).

Do. Not. Want.

^^ imperious princess.


Lacey said...

No fetch? What's up with that? But then, some people still do leash corrections. Oh well.

riosmom said...

Another argument for fetch - it makes Dexter's ears stand up!

Is Little Man/Journey (great name)with you again or were you just taking literary license with the photo of him and Tweed? Surely, if he has had surgery he isn't playing yet. But I hope he is soon!

The Border Collies said...

Of course I was taking literary license - Tweed does not deign to "play" with puppies. Also, the snow (and Journey) are long gone by this point :)

Katrin said...

No fetch?! I think my flat coats might DIE without fetch! The all mighty cuz and tennis ball and the adored Chuck It! make the world go round didn't you know?! That's in addition, to agility, swimming, carting, obedience, service work, rally, etc. But no fetch?! They have been bred for generations to fetch. Crazy notion.

K said...

That's almost as stupid as "tugging will make your dog aggressive".

The thing I despise most about the dog world, is some of the incredibly judgmental people in it, who think *their* way is the only way for each and every dog, and their way was proclaimed from on high.

And FYI, I do leash corrections :)

[Delurking here - great blog!]

Donna said...

Well, *I* find fetch kind of mindless, now that I've taught Justice how to be polite about it. But SHE loves it, and so I do it until she gets bored.

It hasn't happened yet. I'm still tossing...

Alex93andme said...

I read and hear alot of stupid remarks but that one about playing fetch beats them all so far! I guess I have made 3 year old Holly into a mindless wonder and I am totally braindead also..we love to play fetch!!

Paula said...

Yeah, me and my poor dogs are mindless idiots, too, thankyouverymuch. *insert eye rolling here* Fun little discussion over there.

Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose if ALL you ever did with you dog was fetch, over and over and over and over and never, ever did anything else or gave him any other stimulation, well, he'd probably be an obsessive idiot. But, isn't that true with any repetitive activity? The same thing happens if you leave him in the backyard to chase shadows or fencefight with the neighbor dog or whatever. Variety is the spice of life.

Ruedi said...

I am with Dexter: Less theorizing. More fetch.
If you asked the dogs, they'd say they love it. So it can't be that wrong, now can it? People who say this activity or that activity is bad for the dog don't give the dogs enough credit to perfectly discern between all kinds of activities. These dogs are born with BRAINS which cannot be said of some people... oops ;-))

Paige said...

trade in your dogs for a cat. duh.

And I was equally flabbergasted by the sheer lunacy of the convo and Soda says "I AREN'T DUMB BECUS OV FETCH".

Well, maybe not because of the fetch...

MaryP said...

I know, right?! Who knew that I was doing so much damage to my dogs' mental and physical health by taking them to the park or the beach to play a lazy person's mindless game of fetch?! I guess it would be much better for me to simply let them lope around my almost non-existent yard, or play with each other for 30 minutes a day, and then expect them to settle down and be obedient little lumps of nothing for the rest of the evening. At least then they wouldn't be disgracing or dishonoring their breed.

BTW, those pictures of Piper and Tweed in the field row between the red shrubs(?) are stunning. What are those red shrubs?

Pippin, the Gentle Pup said...

Thanks to this post, I went and read that thread. Boy, I'm with you on the wasted time--what a weird set of posts. Wish I'd just spent more time looking at your pics.

Natalie said...

My dog does not play fetch. Unfortunately she is Very Not Smart. I'm not certain she understands the concept.

People don't seem to understand that one rule doesn't and never will fit every dog - even in one breed. Fetch may very well conflict with other training for *some* dogs. But it seems a great many of them are quite capable of playing fetch and doing a great many other things. *shrug*

Benny and Lily said...

What great pictures of you guys playing...go get it
Benny & Lily

The Border Collies said...

BTW, those pictures of Piper and Tweed in the field row between the red shrubs(?) are stunning. What are those red shrubs?

I have absolutely no idea. There's a whole farm of them behind my property, and we walk through them often, as it's a nice spongy place to play FETCH (duhn duhn dhun). Maybe I'll have a clue when they start flowering in the Spring?

Karen said...

I'm pretty positive those would be blueberry bushes. Mmmm, roll on summer! The dogs will learn to pick those just like they do the blackberries. Great post as usual:)

nickelsmum said...

My eyes are rolling so hard they might fly out of the sockets and make a big nasty mess.

b13 said...

I forced my eyes pen for this :) excellent read and beautiful photos. That path is great and those pups are adorable!

suzanne said...

Miss Piper needs to take Kila right out with a serious display of Mad Teeth (TM). In some of her photos it has looked as though Piper's canines have been filed so one could think that she might not be shy about letting Kila know just exactly who is in charge.

Angus said...

Life without 'fetch' games ? We must all be airheads around here . Mark you Wilf and Digby often forget to 'fetch' the ball back so maybe there's something in it.

Anonymous said...

I was going to post something...but...well...I forgot what it was because I am completely mindless and stoooopid.

There was something else I needed to do...must go find something...what was it?....oh yeah...the ball.

troop the dog said...

BOL! Maybe it's good you are dumbing them down with endless games of fetch otherwise they might just be in charge of you.....oh, wait.... :op

Caerus said...

Yeah, that thread was pretty ridiculous. Yet more proof that there are a lot of snobs in the dog world. At least it wasn't another discussion about how a certain breed of dog should not be owned by anyone who doesn't have livestock for them to work. /eyeroll

Ugh, my newish rescue boy is like Kila. He is ball-obsessed, but he is also obsessed with taking down any other dog that runs with him. It is so freaking rude, drives me crazy. Well, we are slowly trying to learn that it is a no-no, but this is a new problem for me. First we have to deal with his resource guarding anyway. :/

Corey said...

I hadn't read that thread, but because of your blog I decided to do just that. Man, there's 10 minutes of my life I'll never have back. :)

I was going to type out a snarky reply to the self-righteous "fetch is mindless" soapboxers but then I stopped and decided that their opinions do not matter to me in the slightest...and my "mindless" girl with the string of titles behind her name tends to agree. :)

nickelsmum said...

I'm not on this board, but I'm guessing that (a) this stricture applies only to Border Collies, and (b) titles don't matter -- your Border Collie is only validated if he or she works 300 sheep 12 hours a day on a mountainside in Scotland or Wales. That lets most of us out... us... us... abusers, that's what we are!

Debra Kay said...

Ok, I'll preach to the choir.

What is wrong with spending mindless time with your dog? I nap with mine, reading is pretty mindless for them, since they are snoozing while I read. they follow me around while I putter in the yard, and I'm pretty sure they view gardening and mowing as mindless and stupid on my part.

When I'm not around (like in the house watching to see what it is they do when I'm not looking) they indulge in many mindless activities themselves-like splashing in the water tank (Molly) or Moon's favorites-herding the little dogs water bowl or his new "thing", pulling all the broken ice out of the tank and stacking it neatly so that Molly can hop in and splash.

Strangely enough, when I go out with leash and clicker and stuff, they are all eager and ready to do task type stuff, and they remember what we've learned from days past....go figure.

littledevils said...

I combine obedience work with a good game of fetch. Cha's favorite activity is to play fetch. So I make him work and do tricks and what not. And instead of a treat, I throw the ball. He is not very food motivated but he sure is ball/frisbee motivated.

Ruth Hansell said...

YaKnow, I read and commented in the thread, but what I forgot to say is this:
I have some very fond memories of loooong summer evenings, play fetch w/my dogs and a couple other dogs at our local park. My guys got to socialize w/dogs and people, I got to visit w/dogs and other people, and we all loved it.

Much like the other posters here, no one's brains fell out of their heads. Shonie, even though she would skulk behind her tree and watch the action until it was her turn and she could have the whoooole field to herself, is still very, very, very bright.

Buzz is gone, and Sam and Shonie are almost 15 and about 14 respectively. Shonie doesn't get to chase the ball at all because of her arthritis, and Sam is limited to about 10 minutes every other day, because, well, she's old.

No regrets at all about those days. Not a one.

And add me to the admirers of the pics of the very fetching Fetching Lane! Gorgeous.

bananajoe said...

I tried pretty hard to play fetch with my rottie, but she said she was too smart for fetch lol. I'd throw it, and she'd chase it down, but then she took it to her spot and laid down and chewed on it. She understood that I wanted her to bring it back so I could throw it again, but she didn't want to, she wanted to chew on it. If you tried to go get it from her so you could throw it, she'd growl and you had to either trick her or play tug-a-war to get it. Finally I just gave up. lol

cruznk9 said...

Sorry, but for silly discussion threads I can trump yours. One man wrote how he and his wife line up their dogs on a daily basis. Then both humans walk down the line and hump each dog. Apparently that informs each dog who is boss. ;-)

Catherine said...

crunzK9... that was a visual I didn't need. Where's the brain bleach?

Lovely photos as always. And fetch is mindless? uh huh. okay. I'm reasonably certain I'm living on earth... where are they from?

nickelsmum said...

Leandra. You're kidding. Please tell me that was some bizarre Australian joke.

cruznk9 said...

That's a genuine report folks, and it came from America. Be very afraid of your neighbours. :-)

cruznk9 said...

Oh, and in the same weird discussion thread, another American said she masturbates her dog daily. Apparently he just comes up to her whenever he needs it and she obliges. This was supposed to be a serious discussion group for dog health issues, not some extreme sex group. There were some disbelieving emails sent back and forth privately but strangely enough there was no response to these people on list.

Anonymous said...

The shot with the tails looks like wings. If you step back from it and don't consider it's Tweed and Piper, together they look like wings from a single (larger) bird, maybe one of your eagles up yon!

Yep, maybe I'm a bit fanciful, but since I first saw the photo out of the corner of my eye (one eye was on Charlie across the room), that's how it appeared to me :).

Always a fan,
Moss (and Charles)

Ninso said...

I knew just what you were referring to as soon as I read the title of this post and THANK YOU for that, from one fetch player to another!! I read the discussion too (parts of it) and the whole time was thinking, wow, this is what the boards have devolved to?

Skrabble Productions said...

" name is Deanna ...


I am a mindless fetch player and so are my dogs".

I would be TOAST if word got out to my dogs that they were mindless autobots incapable of thinking because of their fetch games.