We have been working with Ziva (if I can call it that) to get her to not only dig for gophers, but actually catch one and bring it to us. We've tried to encourage her when she's digging those gigantic holes around the homestead. I patiently await the day she doesn't dig the long, open trenches, but waits for the gopher to stick its head up and grabs it.
I don't believe she has any clue what we're doing, though. I guess, if I were a dog, I couldn't figure out what my owners were saying... or implying, either.
Today, we thought we may have hit pay-dirt. Steve was able to kill a gopher with his BB gun. Instead of throwing it onto the "banquet table" for the ravens, he left it in the hole. Then, we stood at a window to see what Ziva would do.
She went to the hole and started her digging. Then, sniffing. Then, digging. She had actually thrown the gopher away with some of the dirt without even seeing it. Then, it looked like she smelled it. She went over to the dirt and picked up the gopher. Now, here, if she'd figured out what we were trying to do, she was to bring it to us for a treat. Instead, she headed off. Steve ran after her and got it away from her (we don't want her eating them as they can have diseases). She was immediately brought inside and given a treat.
Now, did she figure it out? Only time will tell.