Too Smart for His Own Good


I am the very lucky owner of this wonderful ball of fur –>

His name is Maverick, and he lives up to his name every single day. Also, in case you didn’t notice, he’s a Patriots fan and was very happy when his team won on Sunday. Maverick is very intelligent and yet sometimes the most simple doggy tasks elude him. For instance, he can figure out how to dismantle a squeaker in less than 24 hours but it took him a few months to figure out how to properly wag his tail. So here are a few of the troublesome things he’s done and a couple brainstorms I have for other owners with dogs too smart for their own good (and ours)!

Trashing the Trash Can:

Maverick can figure out trash can lids. He realizes that there is a space where a lid meets a can and if he tilts his pointy nose a certain way and pops both front corners, he is then able to stick his nose through the revolving lid and toss it off completely with his head. This ended in quite a few stinky days and very tired pet parents coming home from work to clean the house. Personally, I recommend investing in an expensive, hearty trash can with a lid that has a pop latch at the top. The potential problem with just a foot pedal is the knowledge that, eventually, your dog will accidentally step on it and from then on the trash can is a free for all. We, for example, have put one on our wedding registry (nice trash cans really are expensive). For now, we’ve found that a single piece of duct tape on the swinging lid acts as an excellent latch while we are at work. No more spillage! Thanks duct tape!


Dismantling Floors- Linoleum Version:

Like many dogs, Maverick suffers from separation anxiety. He has improved with some separation exercises that our vet recommended (check out a couple here), but he still participates in bad behaviors like scratching at the door (please do not judge me by my door frame). Recently he has started to dig at the floor, more specifically, our rented linoleum floor that is not of the hearty pet-friendly variety. Despite the fact that we try and keep his nails trimmed, he has managed to bring up a tiny piece and then decided, “Hey! This is actually challenging and fun!” To protect the floor itself, get a grip mat and place it by the door. It’s not nearly as interesting and it will hold secure, thus physically protecting the floor. Part of why Maverick finds the floor fun is the challenge, so we’ve figured out it’s also his way of telling us he needs new mental stimulation. AKA he broke his old toy, untied his rope, and now needs something else to keep him occupied during the day. We’re investing in one of the hearty Kong puzzle toys. It’s multiple puzzles depending on which treat you plug in. Hours (hopefully) of fun!

Helping Mommy Paint:

When we were moving, I had to repaint almost the entire apartment. Now, when I had painted the apartment originally we didn’t have any pets. While re-painting I was battling the wiles of a crafty cat and silly pup. Maverick refused to remain in the gated bedroom and very much insisted on helping.


Unfortunately, his help left blotches of uneven paint. Honestly, for this one, I just gave up and danced around painting. I was covered in paint, he was slightly painted, and we had a good time.

Crates Cannot Hold Me:

In our particular complex, maintenance conducts periodic inspections of facilities, for instance ensuring our water heater is up to snuff. Unfortunately, the inspections normally take place in the middle of the work week at some point during work hours. This means Missy and Maverick need to go in their respective crates. Once, Maverick managed to unhinge his crate door and escape. His nickname should really be Houdini. As a result, he was afraid that he got out, distressed that he could hear people move around, and pooped all over. A lot. Twas fun. The main solution for this? Fun crate time. Once a week he spends an hour to a couple hours just chilling in his crate with a toy and when he’s all done he gets his favorite treat- a dentastix. It’s worked excellently to curb his desire to escape because he knows his favorite thing ever is coming his way.

Pissing Contests (Maverick v Missy):

Maverick and Missy both feel the need to mark new spaces, which is very unfortunate. And when one of them starts marking, the other one will follow. What I didn’t expect was for my cat to be the instigator. Normally, Missy is the laid back one but she decided to start an all-out war that ended in the burial of a few couch pillows, which made me very sad. Solution? Cleaning with anti-marking spray and giving Missy a non-carpeted, easy-to-clean space of her own. She has a mini room that was at some point a large walk in hall closet all to herself. There’s a linoleum floor that she doesn’t care to mark, a few toys, and her food bowl. If she does, for whatever reason, mark outside the space I scrub like hell with anti-marking spray and use my carpet cleaner. Stop it at the start and do not pass Go.

What tricky things have your furry friends done? 


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