“How Dogs Think” Research Breakthrough

by Mary Haight on August 9, 2009

Border Collie Puppy
Image by annia316 via Flickr

Using tests designed for young children, dogs have shown they are as smart as two-year-olds. Canine expert, author, and Professor Emeritus Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia ranks the smartest of the smart. Coren collected data from more than 200 US and Canadian dog obedience judges showing that Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, in that order, are as smart as a two-and-a-half-year-old. And they are even better at math than three and four year olds. And in socializing skills, they leap well ahead.

To explain, Coren offered: “The social life of dogs is much more complex, much more like human teenagers at that stage, interested in who is moving up in the pack and who is sleeping with who and that sort of thing,” This new research strategy seems to be paying off very well. Tests designed for young children as applied to dogs offer baselines for comparison. “And that allows you then to do a whole bunch of things, not only to determine whether a dog has a certain thinking skill but to place him in terms of where would you be in terms of human beings, as well as in terms of other animals,” says Coren.

The American Psychological Association’s annual meeting in Toronto will have Coren present an overview of various studies on how smart dogs are. Coren said “We all want insight into how our furry companions think, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors Lassie or Rover demonstrate,” Coren said. “Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought.”

Read more… I remembered seeing a dog that could count on Oprah, and found  the same dog on an Animal Planet video and thought I’d toss it in just for fun

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Previous post:

Next post: