Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dogs that look up

I just recently became aware that there was a controversy (minor to be sure) about whether or not dogs can look up. Silly. Of course they can look up. Who asked that question anyway? Obviously someone who doesn't know beans about dogs.

But there is a kernel of interest in the question. It may have originated in the observation that dogs seldom look up, and some may never do it at all. I have always felt that looking up was a sign of intelligence in a dog. It's also a matter of expectation: A squirrel dog relies on his nose but he also uses his eyes to scan limbs. The picture above is Jack watching some blackbirds fly over him. Murphy, my gone-but-not-forgotten Rottie, used to watch contrails.

Of course, he was the contemplative sort and would have snorted in derision if any of the clueless had asked him "Do you dogs ever look up?"


SHARON said...

My yellow lab was about 6 months old when the geese flew over the house. Her head went straight up and watched them. Made me SO proud.

Hecate said...

Maybe because sighthounds are so visually-oriented, my Greyhounds and Deerhound look up all the time. One Greyhound I had years ago regularly caught birds right out of the air.

I have a new tiny dog who will probably not exceed six pounds at maturity and he looks up all the time, too. Of course, pretty much everything is above his head.

Anonymous said...

Mitzi, being on the smallish side (she's a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix), also has no problem looking up. All I have to do is say "Squirrel?" when we're walking past a tree, and she'll stop and look up into the branches. :)