An Alpine Dog
[July 21, 1888.]
I do not think that it was superior intelligence in the Alpine dog over
other intelligent dogs which induced him to wait to eat the biscuit till
he had seen the giver eat some of it. We have a very sagacious little
Highland terrier, and he in the same manner often refuses a new kind of
biscuit or cake until he has seen me bite off a small piece and eat it,
and then he will do the same. I have also found our boarhound
distrusting food occasionally, and declining to take it from his bowl
until I have given him some with my hand. Then he seems to feel that it
is all right, and comes down from his bench and eats it. This perhaps is
not exactly the same, but it is still a phase of a dog's distrust of
unaccustomed food, and his reasoning power respecting it. This wonderful
reasoning power any one accustomed to dogs soon discovers.
J. B. G.