Monday, August 10, 2009
Did you know that the average canine has the mental abilities of a 2-year old child? It is true according to the latest canine IQ reported by Stanley Coren, a canine expert and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.
The discovery was based on a language development test, revealing average dogs can learn 165 words (similar to a 2-year-old child); including signals and gestures, and dogs in the top 20% in intelligence learn 250 words. WOW, now if mine could just learn a few such as, no counter surfing and please don’t drool on the laptop.
The smartest breeds in order are, Border collies, poodles, and German shepherds. It is thought that these breed are smarter in part because we have bred and trained them to be. The three listed above are on par with the average 2.5 year old child.
Now just when you that was fantastic, how about this; Coren found also that in terms of social smarts, our four-legged friends are even better than the average 3-4 year old.
"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," Coren told LiveScience. Huh, if they start gossiping about my love life they are going to learn a few more words!
Dogs also show some basic emotions such as happiness, anger and disgust just as human toddlers do. However the more complex emotions such as guilt are not in a dog’s character; what we humans once thought was guilt was found to be doggy fear Coren noted.
And while dogs know whether they're being treated fairly, they don't grasp the concept of equity. Coren recalls a study in which dogs get a treat for "giving a paw." When one dog gets a treat and the other doesn't, the unrewarded dog stops performing the trick and avoids making eye contact with the trainer. But if one dog, say, gets rewarded with a juicy steak while the other snags a measly piece of bread, on average the dogs don't care about the inequality of the treats, but I know mine do…LOL if I gave one a steak and one a bread stick there would be a grab-fest for the steak and the bread would be lying on the floor, but only until the steak was gone.
Just another reason to hold your head high when you announce you only have fur-children.
Enjoy your day and remember to challenge your pooch!