We’ve always looked at Daisy Duke as being a special dog. Sometimes that’s a good characterization, other times not so much.
We’ve also always thought of her as being smart.
Then an online list popped up and it was no group of distinction. The bloodhound was rated as the fifth “dumbest” dog of all breeds by some website we had never heard of.
Now, as anyone who has had a bloodhound can tell you, they do not belong on this list. In fact they might be considered geniuses for what they can coax a human to do or put up with. They know how to push our buttons. They take their antics right to the brink — and then back off just in time to look cute.
Bloodhounds can be mischievous, aloof and destructive. But they are also smart.
Part of the website’s reasoning: “Bloodhounds are hard to train because they are so distracted by all the glorious scents just waiting to be investigated. They also have a ton of energy, are stubborn and independent, and are absolutely relentless when on a scent trail. Combined together, the bloodhound’s unique skills can sometimes make these dogs challenging to live with.”
Stubborn? Independent? Are those really traits that should be used to come up with this conclusion? They all add up to quite a challenge, but certainly nothing like the breed is being characterized.
I know Daisy Duke often wonders about the mental capacity of the humans in her house. Not too long ago, I chased her around our entire second floor trying to get something out of her mouth. It’s usually a sock and she usually gives it up after an animated chase. This time she stopped in her tracks. I figured it was because she knew I meant business. But as it turned out, she cooperated because she was innocent.
When I caught her, I reach into her mouth to find nothing but a tongue — wet and slobbery. With a simple guilty look, she had turned me into a misguided accuser. She reluctantly accepted my apologies.
Does anybody think Daisy Duke isn’t the smart one when I jump out of bed each day before 5 a.m.? She begins each day — very early — with a low-level howl. As long as I get up and immediately on put my shoes on to take her out, there’s no further trouble. But if I take my time, the howl becomes more and more distinct.
She knows how to play the game.
A little more than four years ago, Daisy Duke spent a couple of months in dog training. She actually did pretty well in class, when I managed to find the time to work with her on her homework. When we were ultimately asked not to return until we worked a little bit more at home, it was not her fault.
I had flunked out of dog training. She got a passing grade. Daisy Duke can still follow the basic commands she learned in school. She can sit, stay and get down on command. She knows how to soften us up to get extra treats and she can still ring a bell when it’s time to go out.
We have certainly had some dogs with very questionable intelligence in the past, but this is not one of them. Bloodhounds all over should be offended about being lumped in with all those other breeds. At least they’re considered smarter than the pekingese, beagle, mastiff and basset hound, which was at the top of the list.
Another list we read made Daisy Duke feel a little bit better.
In a list of the top names for female dogs, Daisy was ranked third most popular, trailing only Luna and Bella. Her cousin Luna the Great Dane now has the distinction of having the most popular name.
And, according to the first list, Luna must be much smarter than Daisy Duke.
Joe Avento is Sports Editor of the Johnson City Press. His award-winning column about the antics of his bloodhound Daisy Duke is published the first Friday of every month. Contact him at email@example.com.