Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Laika's a Betsy!

So, we got Laika a DNA test... yes, we are that geeky. We got it here, and after some hullabaloo involving a false poodle identification, we found out that Laika is a Border Collie! A Level 1 (more than 75%) Border Collie and Level 4 (10-19%) Weimaranar, to be precise... Anyway, that was very exciting because I'm a big fan of the breed after reading about Betsy in National Geographic:
...a border collie named Rico appeared on a German TV game show in 2001. Rico knew the names of some 200 toys and acquired the names of new ones with ease. ...To find more examples, the scientists read all the letters from hundreds of people claiming that their dogs had Rico's talent. In fact, only two—both border collies—had comparable skills. One of them—the researchers call her Betsy—has a vocabulary of more than 300 words. Name: "Betsy"
Species: Border Collie
Home: Vienna, Austria
Smarts: Retains an ever growing vocabulary that rivals a toddlers.
How much thought goes on behind those eyes? A lot, in this case. Six-year-old "Betsy" can put names to objects faster than a great ape, and her vocabulary is at 340 words and counting. Her smarts showed up early: At ten weeks she would sit on command and was soon picking up on names of items and rushing to retrieve them—ball, rope, paper, box, keys, and dozens more. She now knows at least 15 people by name, and in scientific tests she's proved skilled at linking photographs with the objects they represent. Says her owner, "She's a dog in a human [pack]. We're learning her language, and she's learning ours."
Read the whole article here. It's not just about dogs, and the whole thing is fascinating.

We had thought Laika was an Australian Shepard (that's what they suggested at the SPCA) mixed with some sort of racing breed, since she's so slim and fast. Fast like she gives the Whippet at the dog park a run for his $. The surgeon that set her broken leg thought so too... Plus, she's less that 35 pounds, so we figured something small, but I suppose it's always a crapshoot when you try to guess. Anyway, we didn't really care what she was, we were just curious... we'd love her if she was a poodle, too.
Laika Dot 1


DaMama said...

Dear BabyGirl:

Border Collie!!! They are some smart pups, fer sure. Didn't need any 'ol DNA test to know that our Laika is super-special, but it DOES put the icing on the cake!!

Congratulations to all! Puddy will be sooooooo happy for his girlfriend, maybe he can come express his overwhelming joy with a PlayDate next Tuesday? I'll bring the Greenies!

...Puddy is gonna go brag to all his FurFace buddies about how CLASSY his lady is...

Let's do a collage or shadowbox with Betsy and Laika - something you can put on the wall...

In the meantime, hugs and kisses headed your way. Give our Border Collie girl an especially big one for me.


Preita said...

Well you have one stunningly pretty pup! Now we all know what happens when you mix a border collie with a Weimaranar.

I wish I could say that I had smart dogs. But having english bulldogs growing up they were, incredibly happy, but maybe ignorance really does breed happiness? :D

nillakitty said...

Oh Prieta... I LOVE bulldogs! I wish I could get Laika a bulldog of her very own- I think they would get along famously.