Next time some parents carries on about how smarter their toddler is, throw the little boy a ball and tell him to roll over. A recent student has shown that dogs are actually as smart or smarter than most 2 1/2 year old toddlers. I was told about the study after my speech at the American Psychological Association in Toronto this week.
The study was conducted by tanley Coren, a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.
The average dog can understand about 165 words, including signs, signals and gestures. They can also count to about 5 — try that on your typical AKC toddler, even with Mozart in the womb and flash cards since birth.
It appears, however, that some breeds are smarter than others. In the book “The Intelligence of Dogs,” a poll of dog-obedience judges put border collies, poodles, retrievers, German shepherds and Doberman pinschers on top. The slow-sledding dogs at the bottom of the list were borzoi, chow chow, bulldog, and basenji. The breed at the end of this intellectual dog sled team was the Afghan hound.
However, while studies have shown that apes are smarter than toddler, prior studies showing dogs are as smart have been clouded by controversy after the dogs were accused of cheating. Dr. Emma Collier-Baker insisted “Dogs were a surprising exception, repeatedly passing the task in several studies in the 1990s. However, our study – involving 35 dogs of various breeds – showed they were using other simple cues to find the object and not ‘thinking’ or using logic after all.” Others have suspected that Collier-Baker is a shill or scratching post for the cat industry.
Consider Maggie the Amazing Counting Dog:
Then there is this incredible canine:
The final proof:
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