Saturday, 8 August 2009

Clever doggie!

This fresh out: dogs are quite a bit more intelligent than we thought. Not a surprise for those of us with border collies, but still...

A leading expert in dogs has determined, apparently, that dogs are, in many ways, similar to 2-2.5yr old human children. This means a vocabulary of up to 150 words, the ability to be deceptive, and basic arithmetic skills.
(This actually describes quite a few more adult people I've come across, too)

But I digress... These skills are, of course, on a sliding scale - border collies at the top (as seeing dogs), and labs somewhere down the bottom (with obeying dogs). All of which makes a lot of sense: after all, 'herd those sheep this way' requires a bit more of the proverbial than 'sit, Ubu, sit'. As it were.

His report was presented at the APA's 117th Annual Convention - marvellous.

And, perhaps, a strong message to those who think that abusing animals because they're 'just animals' is ok...


Shashi said...

You've mentioned the most intelligent of the dogs, but you've neglected to mention that hounds, some of the best hunting breeds, are usually considered to fall in the least intelligent or "dumb ass" category.

I think this has to do with the fact that they were bred to be self-sufficient/independent trackers, following scents instead of orders. In this regard they are actually quite amazing animals.
Mostly when i walk in the forest Coltrane - my basset - will find the path back to the car when I've gotten lost. This is without any sort of training or experience.

He also manages to find dirty undergarments at the bottom of huge piles of laundry. Quite extraordinary really.

But what they may lack in smarts they make up for with good looks. They really are just a pretty face.

That being said, however, my basset hound is still smarter and more well behaved than most of the 2 year olds I've met. (And cleaner too. Except for the underpants thing.)

aimee said...

Apologise to Coltrane for my omission :)