Thursday, September 5, 2013

How smart is a dog?

I bet you'll all agree with me when I say dogs are fantastic. Whether they're trained to do tricks, spend their days herding cattle, work as service dogs, or nap on the sofa, dogs are amazing. The interesting question is, how smart is the average pooch, really? 

Stanley Coren at the University of British Columbia asked the same thing. According to the website livescience.com, a number of tests on dogs have given astonishing results.

Testing dogs on language revealed that the average pooch is on par with a 2-year-old child, able to learn around 165 words, including signals and gestures. Testing dogs on arithmetics gave even more interesting results; they trump a 3-4 year old. They also have good social and spatial skills.

Border Collies, Poodles, and German
Shepherds top Coren's list
of smart dogs.
The smartest dogs are, according to Coren, Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherds.

One Border Collie has been tested on 1022 words and understands grammar. In comparison, 1,000 words make up 75% of the Oxford English Corpus; a measurement of which words are really used in everyday situations.

Now is a good time to point out that the smartest dogs don't necessarily make easy pets. Someone clever enough to figure out everything you say will also be smart enough to make up plenty of mischief, get bored easily, and know exactly how much they can get away with. =)

~ Maria Sadowski ~

6 comments:

  1. We agree on Border Collies being smart. I used to compete in agility/obedience and they sure showed their intelligence. Golden Thanks for sharing. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. Hi Sugar and thank you for coming over! I've never competed, but I love watching agility. =D

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  2. Border Collies are smart, but we have always wondered if these smart dog lists are made up of breeds because they tend to be obedient. Some breeds like my sister are quite intelligent but they are independent and know a lot but don't feel like doing what they know all the time, so does that make them less smart? That is something we think about a lot when we hear the lists of smart breeds - does obedient = smart?

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    1. It's a good question, but I don't agree. I'm a big Border Collie lover, and in my opinion they're hard-headed, stubborn, and independent creatures, LOL! (I guess you have to be all those things to be able to protect a flock of sheep against wolves or whatever threats might appear.)

      If they get half a chance they'll do what they want to, and that's usually not what the human wants them to. XD

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  3. BOL!!! So true, the smarter the dog, the sneakier they are! Example: Pepper knows human food is off limits, but if my back is turned, and I am out of the room, well.......... No guarantee I will return to a full plate. LOL! However, if I am in the room, she will totally ignore it. She never begs. Just steals some if I am out of sight & hearing range. Did I mention that I suspect she is smarter than I am? (I actually did graduate college with a BS - LOL!)

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    1. Hahaha, sneaky little girl! LOL! Smart dogs are fun, but they keep you on your toes!

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