There has been a long standing debate on just how intelligent dogs are, and newer research studies are beginning to reveal some interesting answers. Can they understand financial distress?
First of all, some breeds of dogs are simply smarter than others. The top ten brightest dog breeds are:
- Border Collie
- German Shepard
- Golden Retriever
- Doberman pinscher
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
- Australian Cattle Dog
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CANINE INTELLIGENCE
The dogs on the above list were able to understand new commands in fewer than five repetitions and obeyed a first command 95% of the time or better.
This type of canine intelligence is called “Working/Obedience Intelligence”, and focuses on “school learning”. But that is only one type of dog intelligence.
The second type is “Instinctive Intelligence”, and refers to what a dog is bred to do best. This category deals with the behaviors and skills hard-wired into your dog’s genetic code, and has little to do with actual training. For instance, herding dogs will herd, hound dogs will hunt, and retrievers will retrieve. You get the picture.
The third type of doggie smarts is called “Adaptive Intelligence”. This type of intelligence refers to how well the dog learns to solve problems from its environment, and how long it takes for them to learn a new relationship. For instance, if your dog recognizes people after just one meeting, they would score high for this type of intelligence. Another indication of “Adaptive Intelligence” would be how well your dog comprehends cause and effect by observation.
But researchers have discovered even more interesting facts about our furry friends.
DOGS VS.HUMANS…SMARTER THAN THE AVERAGE TWO YEAR OLD
For one thing, the average dog is considered to be about as smart as the average 2-year-old human. There are studies showing dogs can count up to five and can compute simple arithmetic like 1+1=2. Most dogs can learn 165 words, and really smart dogs (the top 20%) can learn as many as 250 words. When instructed to retrieve a specific object the dog knows the name of, and that object is not present in a pile of toys, the dog will return without a toy, looking a bit anxious at not pleasing the dog owner. (Since dogs are pack animals, they usually want to please their owner.) This experiment shows the dog can reason as well as understand language concepts.
Researchers feel dogs learn the meaning of words and symbolic concepts by listening to and watching people.
Put a treat inside an object that can be opened by a dog, and watch to see how long it takes the dog to figure out how to get to the treat. This shows the problem solving abilities of the dog.
One very unusual, but intriguing study was conducted by the dogs using touch screen computers. This revealed that dogs can differentiate between photos of dogs as opposed to photos of landscapes. No one knows for sure if they know the photo is actually that of a dog (interesting question since there is no “doggie scent” for them to go by), but it does show an understanding of symbolic concepts. That demonstrates a high degree of intelligence.
If you think your dog is smarter than it acts, you are most likely correct as some research has found that dogs will “play dumb”. This corresponds to my overall theorem – based on having lived with dogs for over 50 years (including a Border Collie and two Retrievers) – this writer is confident that dogs have been outsmarting us humans since day one.
DOGS MAY BE A LITTLE COSTLY…BUT LOVE HAS NO PRICE TAG
As far as these four-legged heart stoppers are concerned, our job is to feed, house, and otherwise care for them. No matter the cost. Which why it is important to account for the variety of expenses “entailed” – food, vitamins, vet bills, medications, etc. – in your household budget.
SettleiTsoft® provides free financial management tools that will help you organize and track your income and expenditures; so you can always be sure to include man’s best friend. Do we mind the expense? Nah, not true dog lovers. Believe me… they will stay with you regardless of your financial distress. As my Dad said many years ago after I had to put down my first Retriever: “The thing about dogs is…they get in your bones”.