This is the amazing, true story of how my dogs got smarter by hanging out at the farm.
In the early farm days I worried about Momo and Barkley going nuts over all the wide open spaces and running off never be seen again. I was very worried. It took me over a year before I let them go 100% leash-free at the farm. We are now midway through Year 4. Momo and Barkley have learned and incredible amount since those early days.
They watch our cues. I’m no longer worried about them running off. When Tonji and I are resting and relaxing, they also rest and relax. When they hear the golf cart beeping, they come running and hop into the golf cart, all excited to go for a drive. The only time they go running around and exploring is when we’re out on our walk! And even then they know that they’re supposed to check in with me and not go too far away.
They have good decision making skills. Last year I started spending a lot of time on hagonoy removal. Hours at a time! At first Momo and Barkley would hang out with me and even try pulling out some weeds themselves. Later on just figured out that they could just go back to the cottage and wait for me there. Smart dogs! That’s the best decision they could have made!
They can answer questions. I was removing hagonoy some distance from the house when Momo and Barkley ran to me, greeted me, then ran away again. When I got back to the cottage, I asked Tonji if he had asked the dogs where I was. He did! I told him that they answered him, but he just didn’t see the answer because he didn’t follow them!
And most amazing of all, Barkley can answer questions using props! Last week Tonji and I were both out on the grounds doing chores. I was doing my usual hagonoy removal. When Tonji got back to the cottage, he saw Barkley at the veranda. He asked, “Where’s Mom?”. Just like before, Barkley ran off. And once more, Tonji didn’t follow him. But this time when Barkley returned he was carrying a big hagonoy branch! WOH! Lassie, is that you???
Yes, hanging out at a farm can make your dogs smarter! These dogs love being at the farm and they’ve realized that it’s the well-behaved, easy-going, and fun companions that get brought to the farm each and every time!