Fido Not As Smart As We Think

Fido Not As Smart As We Think

Fido not as smart as we think, a bold assertion to be sure.

In fact,  dogs are not smarter than a lot of other animals.

Let the debate begin.

Dogs always have been considered to be smarter than a lot of other animals.

Past research indicates dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures.

They also can count up to five.

And can perform simple mathematical calculations.

And that led researchers to conclude that dogs were much more intelligent than given credit for.

“The average dog is about as bright linguistically as a human two-year-old,” says Stanley Coren.

He is a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia.

He became best known for his knowledge and books about the intelligence, mental abilities and history of dogs.

“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, which is about the same as a two and a half-year old.”

Fido Not As Smart As We Think

But now that new research says that dogs no longer are considered the brightest in the animal kingdom.

Enter Britta Osthaus and Stephen Lea.

They are both lecturer’s in psychology at Christ Church University in the U.K.

They both studied 300 existing studies on animal cognition in order to compare dogs to other animals.

“Dogs are special, but they’re not exceptional,” says Osthaus.

“They’re smart, but they’re not stand-out smart.”

For example horses show a lot of human qualities and expressions.

And crows are also really smart. 

So why do dogs have this reputation to be really smart?

Osthaus believes a few factors are at play.

Dogs have been studied more for their intelligence than other animals.

And because dogs and their owners have a close relationship there is a confirmation bias in the studies.

Her conclusion.

“Dogs are special, but they’re not exceptional.

“They’re smart, but they’re not stand-out smart.”


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