Dog smarts

Image of Dr. Brian Hare from Dognition website. Image of Dr. Brian Hare from Dognition website.

I just found out there is a website, Dognition, dedicated to helping you discover just how smart your furry friend is. The site claims that dogs are actually smarter than we think and that even the apparently dumbest dog is intelligent in one way or another. (There is hope for my dog after all!) The scientist behind the website is Dr. Brian Hare, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University.  


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Nice post Dr. Dolittle! It's quite fascinating how other animals may the the mental capacity that we humans do. If only we could somehow communicate with them in a meaningful way that can portray their intelligence. I came across this article when I was searching for more examples of intelligent species here on earth. This one is about dolphins. What's amazing about dolphins is that they neural structure is hardly remotely similar to us humans, yet they display similar forms of cognition. This quote from the article really sums it up well:

"These mammals recognize themselves in the mirror and have a sense of social identity. They not only know who they are, but they also have a sense of who, where and what their groups are. They interact and comprehend the health and feelings of other dolphins so fast it as if they are online with each other..."

Here is the link to the article:…

It is always an interesting thought of what kind of cognition an animal has and what may be going on in their minds that we are completely unaware of. I also happened upon an article relating to the intelligence and cognitive features of dogs. It appears some research suggest that dogs have the ability to understand the human perspective and realize it when said perspective changes. For an example from the article itself, if you forbid your dog from eating a particular food and afterwards you turn off the light, so that you cannot see, the dog is four times as likely to steal the food as it realizes you are now incapable of seeing it. This is all fascinating information on what mental prowess are fellow beings on this Earth might share and we are completely oblivious too. Ultimately it just makes you think of everything our pets and beyond may be up to that we are missing.

Here's a link to the article:

Of course, animals are mammals just like humans and have many similar qualities. Even though we cannot somehow portray their intelligence in a say by talking personally with these animals, we can still understand that they are rather intelligent creatures out there. I have often heard about dolphins, other than primates, being the closest to humans intelligence wise. I find it rather amazing how animals can use their own type of intelligence in the wild and with others of their families to do the tasks they do. Some of these tasks humans could not even dream about being able to complete and that baffles me.

By Caitlin Thomas (not verified) on 12 Feb 2013 #permalink

I think that we associate with all animals that they have a small brain and are therefore dumb. However, this is not the case because even the smallest dog brain contains things that are not simple in the least. From birth they are able to survive with natural instincts much like a human. They can also learn tricks when prompted and even memorize certain habits that their owners carry on.

By Caleb Lynch (not verified) on 12 Feb 2013 #permalink

I think that this blog post is very interesting and I agree with it. I think that it's cool that they have developed a website so you can figure out just how smart your dog might be. I have heard before that dogs can learn around 300 words or something along those lines, which is pretty amazing considering they can't talk and they learn by listening and seeing. I have a 10 year old boston terrier who is extremely smart. He picks up on words easily, such as the word "pizza", and when he hears it he immediately gets excited and sits by the door to wait for the delivery man. He can also pick up on behavior, such as putting on coats means that we are going to leave soon and he immediately goes to his spot on the couch. He even picks up on emotions and knows when I am upset or angry. I am always amazed at how much he has learned and how much he has picked up on over the years. Also, the dog shows where the they do obstacle courses and tricks always amaze me, and i've always wondered how it's possible to train a dog to do those things. Anybody who says dogs aren't very smart has never been around a dog before, because in reality they are actually intelligent!

By Carly Lewis (not verified) on 06 Jun 2013 #permalink