How bright is your dog?

Could your dog be cleverer than your two-year-old?

golden retriever puppy and little girl

Learning fast: A retriever puppy and its young owner

You may have thought that a dog has little on its mind other than eating and walkies.

However, it turns out they are also capable of pondering a spot of basic maths or the meaning of certain words.

In fact, some dogs are as bright as a child, say scientists. They can understand up to 250 words and gestures, count up to five and perform simple arithmetic, putting them on a par with a two-year-old.

But it seems not all dogs are equal. Border collies, whose cunning has long been appreciated by shepherds, are at the top of the class. The dunces include bassett hounds and the British bulldog.

Stanley Coren, a Canadian canine expert, reviewed studies into how dogs think, including several in which tests designed to gauge the development of toddlers were adapted to the dog world.

Professor Coren, of the University of British Columbia, said: ‘The average dog is about as bright linguistically as a human two year-old. This means they can understand about 165 words, signs and signals.

But it seems not all dogs are equal. Border collies, whose cunning has long been appreciated by shepherds, are at the top of the class. The dunces include bassett hounds and the British bulldog.

Stanley Coren, a Canadian canine expert, reviewed studies into how dogs think, including several in which tests designed to gauge the development of toddlers were adapted to the dog world.

Professor Coren, of the University of British Columbia, said: ‘The average dog is about as bright linguistically as a human two year-old. This means they can understand about 165 words, signs and signals.

‘Those in the top 20 per cent were able to understand as many as 250 words and signals, about the same as a twoanda half-year-old.’

The professor’s review also revealed that dogs can count up to four or five and notice errors in simple arithmetic –suggesting they can do sums.

o test this, dogs were made to watch as first one treat, then another, was lowered behind a screen. The screen was then lifted, bringing the treats back into the dogs’ line of sight.

When the researchers had sneakily removed or added a treat, the creatures looked for longer, suggesting they knew something was wrong.

Border collie
Afghan Hound

Border collies are the most intelligent dogs, while Afghan Hounds come bottom of the class, according to the research

Professor Coren said: ‘Dogs can tell that one plus one should equal two and not one or three.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1205348/Could-dog-cleverer-year-old.html#ixzz5CNa8WES5
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1205348/Could-dog-cleverer-year-old.html#ixzz5CNZro8sY
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