1. WritingInTheDark

    WritingInTheDark Active Member

    Dec 20, 2020
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    How an intelligent dog's friends treat him when he isn't intelligent?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by WritingInTheDark, Dec 1, 2022.

    I have a character named Baskerville, an intelligent shapeshifter who can alternate between a humanoid and fully-canine variation of a big black dog. He is verbal in both forms and just as smart as any human, and in fact usually on the sharper end of the spectrum.

    The problem is that, instead of completely going to sleep, only the human part of his brain does. He spends about 8 hours a day, usually starting at dawn, with the intelligence and personality of a literal dog. He generally shifts back to his fully-canine form before this happens whenever possible. It's still him, it's not an alternate personality, and he remembers what he does. He's just a lot dumber and a lot more instinctual for those 8 hours.

    He has friends, more human friends, who don't have this problem. And I'm trying to get in the headspace of how friends who are used to hanging around him would treat him while he's in dog-brain mode. Assuming that Baskerville's perfectly used to doing dumb, dog-like things while he's in dog-brain mode and it's not a question of them acting as his handlers and keeping him from serially humiliating himself, I'm just struggling to wrap my head around how you'd act around a dog that used to be your intelligent friend and equal, and will be again in a few hours, every day.
  2. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Mar 6, 2016
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    It looks like you've got your work cut out for you! But if I were this friend, I'd understand that there are somethings that are very important to dogs, such as food and belly rubs, and try to work that into my behavior toward my pal. I'd give him treats. I'd throw a ball and let him retrieve it.
  3. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Happy Wonderer

    Jun 9, 2022
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    My guess is that they would treat him like a child. They say dogs have the intelligence of a child, but with the full range of emotions.
  4. jalila

    jalila New Member

    Dec 3, 2022
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    If Baskerville's friends are aware of his condition and know that he will return to his intelligent state, they may treat him with patience and understanding. They may try to keep him safe and prevent him from getting into any trouble, but still allow him to act like a dog and enjoy himself. They may also try to engage with him in activities that he enjoys as a dog, such as playing fetch or going for walks.

    However, if Baskerville's friends are not aware of his condition and believe that he is simply an intelligent dog, they may treat him like any other pet. They may give him treats, praise him for good behavior, and scold him for bad behavior. They may also play with him and take him on walks, but may not engage with him in the same way they would when he is in his intelligent state.

    Overall, how Baskerville's friends treat him while he is in dog-brain mode will depend on their understanding of his condition and their willingness to adapt to his temporary change in intelligence.

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