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Aster's avatar

Have you witnessed your pet making decisions and what were they?

Asked by Aster (19292points) December 13th, 2010

Animals can’t “reason” but they do make decisions. How do I know? I throw 2 toys equally far and in the same direction and my dog decides which one to grab and, often, return to me for another throw. So that’s a decision. What example or examples can you give where your pet made a decision?

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16 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Animals can’t reason? Personally, the only animal I’ve ever seen have problems with reason is a number of hairless apes with pretensions.

BoBo1946's avatar

I had a dog named Putter. She was a minature dachshund. We were eating a steak at the dining room table. When we finished, we set the steak on a tray next to the table. All of a sudden, Putter ran to the door and started barking. I went to the door and let her outside. She ran down the hill and me and my ex., went down to see what was going on. Looked around and Putter was gone. Went back in the house, and she was sitting at the table eating that steak. So, we took it away from her. Again, she ran to the door, i opened it…and this time, we watched her. She ran down the hill and out of the corner of our eyes, she sneaked back up the hill and ran in the house. We went inside and she was eating that steak again.

Anyone is free to call that what they may….

ldr259's avatar

I often see my dogs stand on the edge of the couch and calculate their timing and ability to reach over to the end table for the dish. One is to slow in her decision and gets caught, the other calculates faster and often gets the prize.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t know why you say that animals can’t reason. They can and they do.

My dog was outside off leash. I called him. He stood there looking at me and then looking in the other direction. The he gave one last look at me and took off running away. He was clearly deciding whether to face the consequences of taking off.

Aster's avatar

I think by reason I meant they can’t analyze. But come to think of it they do practice analysis at times. They know when someone is really mean and tend to keep their distance, right? Or growl at them.

chyna's avatar

Mine grabs her squeeky toy everytime I get on the phone. I know she reasons this to herself: Mom’s on the phone ignoring me, if I squeek this toy, she will give me some kind of attention.

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john65pennington's avatar

Mikey, my border collie, is probably one of the smartist animals on the planet. he makes his own decision each day. if he is hungry, he brings us his bowl and places it in our lap. if he needs to go to the bathroom, Mikey brings us his leash and places it in our hand. these are intelligent choices.

But, here is a decision, made by Mikey, that will blow your mind. not once, but on three different occasions, we have left Mikey in the house, while we went shopping. this was in the summer of 2010. as we opened the door, we could hear water running in one of our bathrooms. Mikey did not greet us at the door, as usual. as we investigated the running water noise, we discovered Mikey laying in the bathtub with the cold shower water soaking him to the bone. Mikey had turned on the water faucet by himself and just “cooling it” in the shower spray. we were amazed. we could see Mikeys teeth prints on the faucet handles. we did not scold Mikey, but rather praised him for being an intelligent dog.

The water bill for that month tripled.

Aster's avatar


YoBob's avatar

I have known many animals throughout my life and disagree with your assertion that animals can’t reason. In fact, I have personally watched working animals, dogs in particular, not only exhibit non-trivial problems solving skills, but communicate and work as a team towards a common goal.

OpryLeigh's avatar

The funniest “decisions” to watch are those when I am out walking my girls and they are running free off the lead. I call them to either put them back on the lead or just to keep them little closer to me and they stop their tracks, look at me, look at the wide open space in front of them, look at me again….this goes on for a while and I swear they are debating whether to actually do what they know is correct and come me or just keep running! They usually come back!!!

YARNLADY's avatar

Mine analyzes the the merits of stealing crackers out of the toddler’s hands versus the prospect of getting locked out on the patio. He looks at the patio door, looks at me, snatches the cracker and runs for the door.

downtide's avatar

My dog decides where she wants to go on her walk, and tries to pull me in that direction (it’s not always the same place). One time, because I refused to go her way, she suddenly started to fake a limp, to make me stop. I walked a bit further my way, she limped. I went her way, and suddenly she was fine again.

jazmina88's avatar

My new dog, Maynard…...I see he wheels turnin and then off he runs. When he’s asleep and I stir, he decides if he will follow me or trust to go out of the room on my own.

I say no twice and he never does that action again.

Your_Majesty's avatar

When my dog and cats decided to ‘seduce’ me with their cuteness. Seriously,they were only asking for the snack I was chewing on.

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