Remus Working at his Other Job
I had mentioned before that one of our livestock guardian herding dogs Remus had observed his sister Katya doing her chores of cleaning up and he then started doing the same thing around the construction site to get paid for janitorial work. Smart dog.
Later Remus took it to a new level. He had a piece of pink foam insulation which he carefully broke into three pieces with his paw and made a neat pile. He then brought me the pieces one at a time to get three times the reward. He’s done that many times since, dividing large items into smaller items to get more reward. He understands economics and how to adjust pricing. Inflation has set in.
More recently he has developed a new strategy. He won’t give me the trash he has picked up until I show him the money. If I try to take the trash he moves away and turns his head to say no. He then taps his paw in the meat/treat sign. He wants to be paid first. He doesn’t trust me to make good!
I think what happened was that at some point he didn’t get a reward for the trash. Maybe I was trying to do scalloping or maybe it was just an accident. That didn’t set well with him so he now insists on getting paid on delivery. I’m on COD terms.
Perhaps Mr. Bernanke needs to consult with Remus for some ideas on the economy. They could do lunch on the mountain while he watches over his flocks. Hmm… Friday at two looks good…
Outdoors: 62°F/55°F Rain
Tiny Cottage: 69°F/66°F
Daily Spark: Never strive to be normal.
Well, Mr. Bernanke does need to consult with a superior mind . . .
That’s hilarious and impressive at the same time!
Should you worry that the seniority structure will break down and you will end up with an unruly dog?
The hierarchy changes from time to time over the years. Our pack has been together for over 20 years and dogs lives are short. Big guardians tend to have particularly short lives. At some point the lead dog retires and a new one assumes the role. Some are natural leaders, others fall into the job out of necessity. Naturals hold the alpha position far longer and the others tend to willingly give it up when a new natural comes along and is big enough. They tend to sort things out – I rarely have to step in.
Interestingly, canids have a strong division along sexual boundaries. There is a female hierarchy and a male hierarchy. The made of the lead male is the lead female. Their subs don’t breed. The pack cares for new pups as a group. Dogs are communists within the family structure just like us.
Too funny! Your dogs are so amazing and intelligent! I wish you wouldn’t wait for Mr. Bernanke to come to you; just take Remus to DC!
Hmm… Mr. Remus Goes to Washington [1, 2]
Remus is so lanky! All your dogs are in such great shape. I need to put my baby on a diet. it must be all the exercise they get working on the farm chasing pigs!
Remus is only about nine months old now so he’s still very much in his puppy adolescence. He’s gotten long bones but not filled out in the muscle department yet. Already he is taller than all of the other dogs by several inches at the shoulder but also much lighter than the big dogs. In about two years more he’ll reach maximum size and probably put on 30 to 40 lbs of muscle. I anticipate he’ll be fairly big. I need to weight him to see how he compares with Hagrid the half giant at the same age.
Truly amazing dog. He deserves the respect you give him. Love that you understand each other so well.
What a beautiful dog! What breed is he? Such an unusual coloration for a dog!
Our dogs are a mix of a little bit of Black Labrador, a little bit of German Shepherd and a lot of “Other”. Remus has a nearly identical looking twin sister Romula.
I am not a keeper of dogs (or cats — I concentrate on grandchildren at this time in my life : ) but your post just elicits my interest and attention. It amazes me — the intellect of (some) dogs. I wish my neighbors would put their little yappers of a dog to work. The neighbor dogs could earn money and wouldn’t have to build their self esteem by yapping their heads off.