Opinion - for Illustration Friday - in Corel Painter
Have you noticed that opinions seem to bloom whenever they are given a chance? I remember, when a teenager, that a classmate said she hadn't realised she had so many opinions until she went to a dinner party and was asked what she thought about this and that.
Today I realised I had some strong opinions about Miniature Schnauzers - we met one that was a couple of years old and its owner told me very forcefully that:
- Miniature Schnauzers all bark
- Their recall, when called, is bad
- That they are terriers
One book did warn that many of them bark as a hobby - however not all the owners I've met so far have had barky dogs and Teasel is the quietest, least barking puppy in the puppy class we go to - she can bark and will give the odd bark but not repetitively - and her mother didn't bark at us as far as I can remember - so although I do know it could be a problem its not necessarily so. (Any hints on what to do if she starts to get barky would be appreciated!)
On the recall... Teasel's is currently good (most of the time and especially when there is sausage in the offing) and certainly very good compared to the older ones. I assume that this is something we'll have to keep on working on. However I have noticed that none of the other owners take treats of any sort out to reward their dogs for returning - its as though they assume that just because the dog knows that its meant to come back it will and this is despite also knowing that their dog isn't that good at coming to them when they call... we currently take the tastiest treats with us when we are going to the park and I think that is something I'll continue for as long as necessary... it may well be that she'll always needs some sort of an incentive.
Miniature Schnauzers are Schnauzers, not terriers. In this country they are in the same kennel club category as the bigger Schnauzers (utility dogs), in the US the American Kennel Club has them in the terrier category but they were not actually breed from terriers so have no more genes in common with them that with other types of dogs.
What they do have in common is that they were breed to hunt rats and other small creatures. This means that they like to shake things and can be very persistent. But they don't have the same argumentative nature that so many terriers have though here too there are, of course, exceptions in both directions. As a child we had two West Highland Terriers - the first was as sweet as pie, the next an absolute monster!