12 December 2007

The results are in-he may not be a dog!

So I got a call today from the dog dna testers. Remember them? An agility lady I know works in the DNA of dog field and she tested him to see if he is indeed, a shrunken border collie. Because everyone thought, wow-the first teensy tiny mini collie-let's find out. I was happy to oblige and get him a free DNA test.

What they called about, was that, um, he doesn't have ANY DNA that matches any of their 38 breeds of dog that they have genomes for. Which includes border collies, chihuahuas, shelties, and 35 more. If he even had ANY DNA of any of these dogs, something would come up. But he has NONE. They retested him multiple times. And retested him again. He stumped the DNA people.

Leslie told me from the beginning, sometimes they'll come up as something weird, St. Bernard/Poodle, there's that gene somewhere way back in the ancestory and that's all they can pull. Even though, clearly your dog is not a St. Bernard or a Poodle. They don't have many terriers in there, and he shows many signs to have a bunch of terrier in there. Right now, he is outside digging holes where there used to be plants to stick his head in and bark at underground gophers. But Gustavo came up, None of the Above. I still need to find out from Leslie, um, is this sort of weird or does it happen all the time in the world of dog DNA?

Like, is he even a dog? The other dogs, you can look at and say, Oh, Timmy, he is a pomeranian. Sort of. We KNOW Ruby is a damn terrier. Otterpop looks like a chihiuahua and a cattle dog and acts like a terrorist cattle dog. People like to do that with their mutts. But everyone that looks at Gustavo says, after scratching their heads, hmmm. I've given up. He's just a damn small dog. I am pretty sure he is indeed, a dog.

DNA or not, I've been scratching my own little apple head trying to unlock his learning key. He's different from any dog I've ever worked with. Which isn't super many, so there's probably lots of other dogs out there somewhere like him. Sometimes he's a little smarty pants, front of the class. Sometimes, we think he is a teensy bit retarded. Sometimes he wants to learn and go fast, sometimes he likes a leaf. He's more unpredictable than anyone else I've trained. He seems to forget things randomly, after he seemd to have gotten them. He changes rules up. All of a sudden one day with him, there is no Sit. His lightbulb doesn't flash on so lickety split like most dogs I've trained. It does go on, but I just have to work a little bit harder with him. Very NOT border collie.

In fact today when we practiced, I went on the maybe he is a little retarded theory and let's make it soooo clear. Clicker everything. Pretend I am training a chicken. Remove emotion when teaching new skills. Bring it back in for fast running and tugging. Use the flawless mechanics. It worked good today, but being unpredictable, maybe it won't tomorow. Like he could be sort of agility savant? Rainman? He's not anti-social, exactly the opposite. He just learns kinda slower than any of my other dogs. One cerveza short of seis. But solamente uno. Lots and lots and lots of repeating the question please. Do it again and again and you get it. I think he is the one that's going to make me actually have to be on heckuva dog trainer. You can't just throw the frisbee with this one. Thanks Gustavo!


team small dog said...

I'm testing this. Stupid blogger is broken again, so posts might be sort of not on time and hopefully the comments are working.

Anonymous said...

I have what you'd call a mini-border collie. I seem to see the same behaviors in him. Super smart somedays and other times aloof to the world. here are some pictures and his fb page. He is a rescue so little is know about his past. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mister-Java-Bean

Jakki / Kristin said...
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Jakki said...
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Anonymous said...

this is an old post so apologies but I have just come across your picture. I have a dog who looks EXACTLY the same. I got him as a rescue dog last year. He has all the traits of my other rescue dog who is a border collie but he has short legs. The markings are exactly the same. Not sure how to post a pic

Kim Fleisher said...

Maybe part coyote? We have a nearly identical dog and we met someone who said the same, and he says his was a half coyote. We live in the SW, and they're called coy( like koi) -dogs