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Does your Cairn "Notice" things?


Hagar
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This question is mainly for those of us who walk regularly in a residential area. Renny always notices when something new shows up along our walking route. Big things like a new car in a driveway usually don't get a second look, but most smaller things get his attention.

A house several blocks down the street puts out a LOT of holiday decorations. A few days ago the yard was suddenly full of Halloween decorations. When he spotted them, Renny simply stopped and looked at them for quite a while until he was ready to continue our walk. Now that he has checked them out, he walks right past without stopping.

There are a lot of trees in my area, and a lot of people put leaves in large orange bags that look like big Jack-o-lanterns. Whenever new ones show up they get checked out too.

He did the same thing last year when Christmas decorations started going up. One of my favorites is when a For sale or political sign first appears in a yard along the way. If they are close to the sidewalk and within reach, he will walk up to them and give them a sniff test and look them over. In only one case did he pee on a political sign ( Just hapened to be for a candidate I didn't like anyway). Once he has checked things out, they barely rate a glance on future walks.

I'm just curious if this is a "Renny quirk", or do others notice and check out new or different things?

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It's not a Renny Quirk. Often times walking him is a chore because Bandit wants to stop and sniff everything within leash range...over and over and over. But I've learned to let him have his ten seconds of exploratory bliss and then he's more then willing to continue his walk. Toughest part is people. He's so friendly he wants to go and personally greet everyone who may be out, even if he's known them for a while.

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yes, my dog notices everything, and his first instinct when noticing something new is to run away, hide, flatten himself on the ground, and look on with worry. only after a systematic study will be resume a confident-looking demeanor.

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Mett & Bratt both do this... but it involves some growling and barking at times.....

Tracy, Brattwrust & Mettwurst a.k.a The Gremlins
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Kirby will growl at "new" things under her breath until we're past, and the next time we walk by it's an "old" thing.

Do any other Cairns do this-she will lay down and wait for dogs or people when she spys them down the block, and will wait in a down until they're close. I like that she does it, especially with kids, but she'll lay down when they're a good block away-which is way too far-is there any good way to work on her timing? We call it her Ghandi move, because she will not budge. We did not train this behavior, she's done it since day 1.

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yeah, my dog does that. i sort of suspect it originates in hunting behavior -i've seen lions doing it in nature films, and i think wolves and jackals do it. it may also be defensive (my dog is a bit of a coward), trying to lay and be invisible. i think a mature cairn probably combines the initial hunting behavior with some socialized this-looks-polite follow-through.

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Henry notices everything new - not just on walks. As I mentioned in a different thread, he happened to notice a ceiling fan for the first time the other day (after 4 months in this house) and let me know all about it. I thought there was a bug on the ceiling, but no. Just the fan. I can also count on him to bark at any hair he has shed that has collected into a ball/tumbleweed. Or a stray leaf that might've come in. Or the tag on his bed. He definitely lets us know when he has discovered something new or out of place.

As for yard decorations - we had a neighbor in our prior neighbor who had decorations for every holiday. There was always something in her yard. Henry would become nervous around her yard every single time she changed the decorations. He also notices signs, extra leaves, etc.

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Bailey will crouch down on the ground and not budge, then when the approaching dog gets closer he will spring forward. Does anyone's dog do this? Often the approaching people think that he is afraid, but this is not the case. He is simply waiting for the right time to spring. He doesn't attack, he is wagging his tail. It is sort of strange.

Gayle and Bailey

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Sparky notices everything. At times, we have to rearrange our world to compensate for his anxiety (he is not yet 1). As we never leave shoes or bags on the floor, if we place them even a slightly different spot, he barks and growls. A new car, a new tree, if I wear my hair different, I tried walking out the door without tucking my shirt in, and Sparky just would not have it. I felt like a scorned child, tucked my shirt in, Sparky gave me an approving nod and life went on. Scruffy had similar behavior, but it was more fear related and quickly went away as her confidence grew. I think Sparky was separated from his mother too early and this led to fear and anxiety.

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Will notices everything and anything - it's crazy to me. A different car parked in front of the house, a piece of trash in the yard, a ball in someone's yard 2 miles away that wasn't there before, the lawn mower left out, people in their yard that typically aren't there, a new plant, on and on. He also hates if if I rearrange anything in the house - he likes everything in it's place. My last Cairn was the same but not quite to the extreme Will is, I am guessing it is a common Cairn trait. My shep/husky mix - Gracie "rainbow bridge" never noticed anything like that - so I was particularly amazed by it initially (actually still am).

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Ella behaves exactly the same way. The Halloween decorations are up now and the whole family was interested in seeing what she would do as we walked by howling ghosts and blinking pumpkins. She does the I'm-going-to-stretch-out-as-far-as-I-can-without-getting-too-close thing. Very Cute! Then she growls and prances sideways until she's out of range.

Yesterday, I had bought something at the store and left the shopping bag on the floor in the living room. She came through the doorway and almost had a coronary because...heaven forbid!...it was something NEW! EEEEK!

She cracks us up!

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There are some really neat responses on this topic. It is definitely not a Renny quirk.

Wendy1, your mention of the bag on the living room floor reminded me of something couple of days ago. We were on one of our walks and it was a rather windy day. All of a sudden out of nowhere, a Walmart plastic bag, came out of nowhere, propelled by the wind. It came past suddenly and close, and actually startled both of us. Renny gave it a good growl as it went past, and we continued on our way.

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Trash day is a big day for Skipper, forget the routine walk, it's going from trash can to trash bag for at least a mile. Because it is just once a week, Skipper seems just as surprised each time. The smells must be fantastic for a Carin, uhg

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Wow, DH says it's a good thing Packy isn't on fashion patrol like Sparky; he'd be barking all the time!

Packy notices when the tractor is parked in a different place, when the neighbor's have a different car in their driveway, when a tree is down, and he hates white plastic bags laying on the ground. He's really big on no littering... But he doesn't always bark his head off. It's more like he investigates and then moves on.

Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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sheila and Misty

yep Misty doesnt miss thing either the first week out of the kitchen she spent her whole time inspecting things. After she knew the groundwork she started stretching up each wall and staring at the wall decorations-I must say she is the first dog I ever had that did that-but then again the others werent cairns.

And yes she becomes quite concerned if something new is added,taken away,from valuables to garbage -and will moan and carry on if something new is spied outside, untill I go see what shes looking at and I can reassure her its ok not for us. I believe fully that cairns are superior observers! good topic!

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Kramer notices everything new during his walk. Now with Halloween decorations he notices them on our walks, he looks and then figures, ok, lets go. Now at night when the Halloween stuff is lighted up he stands there in fright with his little scared/howling tone ,its so cute. He is scared of the light up ones. I tell him its ok he then starts walking again, but keeps looking back to make sure whatever is lighted up isn't chasing after us. Too funny. I love these cairns to death! The joy they bring us.

Rhonda,Kramer & Angel Missy "Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog". "It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are" Missy Rainbow Bridge Memorial
/>http://www.indulgedfurries.com/petdiabetes/memorium/missy2.htm

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Keegan seem to notice everything, garden hoses out of place....oh my....he must think it's some big giant snake. Today he noticed a couple of new halloween scarecrows around the neighborhood, he was not happy! He doesn't care for when kids leave bikes laying on the sidewalk either. Kai-lee's big problem is skateboards!

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Marti "watches TV." We have finally got her out of the habit of "charging" at the TV.

She also notices anything different in the house or yard. She can see reflections in the windows

at night.

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I didn't know Cairns were so observant before I got Dusty. But it sure comes in handy doing search work. His observation and warning kept me from stepping on a couple of snakes. I was very grateful for those warnings!

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my little cairn looks like she has attention deficit disorder when we take a walk in unfamiliar places. all eyes, ears and nose. i have to really work with her on this because she tends to walk with her head swung looking behind her.

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Scout and Finch do the same thing. I usually take them on different walks, walking on different streets. We live about a quarter of a mile from my sister in laws house and Scout walks up their sidewalk as we pass. She knows which house is theirs and wants to go play with Buck (a very large Golden)!

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