Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How to Measure Your Dog's Smarts

By Elizabeth Wasserman, Studio One Networks

Most dogs behave in ways that may seem downright dumb. Drinking water from the toilet bowl. Eating grass. Sniffing the waste of other canines.

But there are reasons for these behaviors: Dogs prefer cold water over stagnant water that's been sitting in a dish, grass is natural roughage and may induce vomiting if they have a stomachache, and urine and poop are the newspapers of the dog world, communicating who did what where and when.

Dogs may actually be far more intelligent than we think. Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and a best-selling author of books on dogs, including The Intelligence of Dogs (Free Press), thinks so. He says that dogs display intelligence in a variety of ways -- reading social cues, learning new tasks, understanding language, solving problems and more. He even argues that you can measure your dog's smarts.

The theory that canine intelligence can be tested still is controversial.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I'd echo the same thing for cats. We've "taught" our cat not to wake us up to be fed until the alarm goes off. Ah, for those few extra minutes to sleep.

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