Dogs are amazing and special creatures that have been living as our domesticated companions for the last 32,000 years. To live with us for so long and to adapt to all the changing conditions we know that they must be smart. However, do we really know what is going on inside their cute furry heads?
Genetically dogs are much different from us however psychologically we are more closely related then we once may have thought. For example, a dog can “catch” our yawns, they are the only non-primate animal to look us in the eyes without misinterpreting what it means, and they have formed a bond with us that is similar to parents and children.
Research has shown that when judging the intelligence of animals, the first thing to look at is how successful they have been at surviving and reproducing in as many places as possible. If you look at it this way dogs may be the most successful mammal on the planet other than us humans. Dogs can be found all over the world, in our cities, in our homes, and on our couches, all cuddled up next to us. While human activity has caused a lot of animal populations to decline, dogs have thrived.
Similarity to Children
It has been said that dogs have the intelligence of a 2 and a half-year-old child. This theory is because researchers have found that dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations which would be similar to a child of that age.
The Most Intelligent
Border Collies are known to be the most intelligent of all the dog breeds and there is a number of reasons why this is true. Breeds that tend to be more intelligent were created more recently and were bred and trained specially to be this way.
Relationship to Wolves
It is believed that centuries of selective breeding and living alongside humans has helped to hone the intelligence of dogs. Wild wolves do not perform as well as domestic dogs when being tested. When a human points, the wolf will look at the finger, while a domestic dog will look at where the finger is pointing. Wolves also see eye contact as a threat something very different than dogs.
These cute fluffy animals are way smarter than we give them credit for. How many words does your dog know? Let us know in the comments below!
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