I have a beautiful miniature schnauzer that will give you guys a run for your money when it comes to being smart! She understands several languages including English, Southern American English, German, Spanish, ASL, BSL, RSL, and DDSL.
It always amazes me when we play ball she can calculate quadric functions and parabolic intercepts in an instant. Slopes and intercepts are not a problem for her to solve. She predicts the direction and distance the ball will fly before I sling it. And she will be there waiting for it before it lands. Her judgment is made from the slightest motion of my body. I'll often laugh and tell my wife which direction I'm going to throw the ball and moving my body no more than 2 degrees my dog may go running 90 degrees predicting exactly where the ball is going.
Okay, this is amazing to me, but when I hold her in my arms and walk through the house she becomes squeamish if we travel through a tight spot, say 2 inches to spare on either side where I have bookshelves in a hallway. My question to you is how can she be such a fantastic judge at a distance, and get scared she is going to be hurt by object at a much closer range? I would expect her to be calm in my arms, but she seems to have some fight-or-flight about her when coming into close proximity to fixed objects. Does it have to do with eye-sight, or does she sense a difference in pressure in confined spaces?