Measuring Canine Intelligence
It’s only natural for us to look for signs of intelligence in our dogs. Heck, even doggies that aren’t that bright occasionally display shards of brilliance in their everyday behavior, whether it’s darting out of the path of a falling pot or smiling at the faraway music of the ice-cream truck.
It’s only natural for us to look for things in our pets that we look for in our children or in each other: a keen mind, a sense of humor, loyalty and compassion. But let’s face it; the attribute we tend to brag about most is our dog’s level of intelligence.
There is no one type of canine intelligence. According to Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs, there are three major types of dog intelligence that can be measured by canine IQ tests:
This pertains to learning and problem solving ability, relating to the knowledge and skills a dog can acquire during its time here on earth. It also relates to how long it takes for your dog to learn new relationships.
For example, if your dog recognizes guests after just one or two visits, this speaks to its adaptive intelligence. You can also look at how well your dog understands the laws of cause and effect strictly by observation. For instance, if your dog learns to use the remote control to watch his favorite program on Animal Planet, then his adaptive intelligence is off the charts!
This deals with behaviors and skills programmed into the animal’s genetic code. For example, Sheep dogs and Border Collies are exquisite herding dogs. This is an innate quality that these breeds possess and has little to do with training, though some refinement of skills is necessary.
This has to do with how well an animal can follow commands. This type of intelligence is largely dependant on the breed of the animal. Two perfect examples are the dogs used for guiding the blind and for K9 police work.
In addition, there is also environmental learning, language comprehension, social learning and task learning. There’s also short-term memory and long-term memory. Our point? There’s nothing clear-cut about intelligence. However, scientists are still trying to find ways to quantify the intelligence of man’s best friends.
Testing Your Dog’s **Brain Power**
Interested in some easy, ways to gauge your doggie’s brainpower? The best way to measure intelligence is to assess your dog’s problem solving skills. Furthermore, your dog’s level of persistence when trying to solve a problem should also
be considered meritorious. The following are three simple tests to help measure your dog’s smarts.
Take a large towel or blanket and gently toss it over your dog’s head. If he frees himself from the covering in less than 15 seconds, give him 3 points. If it takes 15-30 seconds, 2 points. If it takes him longer than 30 seconds,
give him 1 point.
Place a treat under one of three buckets that are lined up in a neat row. Make sure your dog sees which bucket the treat or toy is under. Turn the dog away for 10 seconds then let the dog go. If she goes straight to the bucket with the treat under it, give her three points. If it takes two tries to find the treat, then 2 points. If she checks the wrong two first before finding the right one, give her one point.
Place a treat in a square of aluminum foil and fold it twice to seal it. If your dog uses his paws to open the foil, give him 3 points. If he uses his mouth and paws to open the foil, give him 2 points. If he can’t get the foil open and starts playing with it, give him 1 point. This test, again, measures problem solving.
If your dog scores 6 points or higher, then you have a canine Einstein on your hands; 4-5 points then he or she is average; 3 points or less, well…whoever said that intelligence was a prerequisite for love?
Two More ##Fun Tests##
Here are two more fun tests. See? There are plenty of fun ways to get those brains churning! After you get the gist of ours, you can probably think up some of your own ingenious tests!
When your dog is nowhere in sight, rearrange the furniture. If your dog goes directly to his favorite spot on the couch where he likes to sit and watch his favorite shows, give him 3 points. If he investigates the room and finds his favorite spot within 30 seconds, give him 2 points. If he settles for a less comfortable place, out of laziness or sheer confusion, give him 1 point.
At a time of the day you don’t normally walk your dog, quietly pick up your keys and his leash when you know he’s watching. If he starts wagging his tail and gets excited, 3 points. If you have to walk to the door before he knows what’s going on, 2 points. If he sits there with a dumbfounded look, give him 1 point.
*Bonus: If your dog lets YOU know it’s time to go to the bathroom by bringing you his own leash (without being formally trained to do so) or has mastered the toilet, don’t worry…your dog’s a genius!
Article provided by Life’s Abundance
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