Canine Abilities Come Close to Those of Human Babies

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We all know that dogs exceed most animals in intelligence, but how far can their abilities reach? Humans are interested enough in that to conduct research, and some of us may get a surprise at the facts that come to light.

Little Girls and Dog


A recent study delivered at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association draws comparison between the developmental abilities of the canines and those of 2-year-old human babies.

When put to the task of solving spatial problems – discovering hidden treats – dogs behave like toddlers. Their ability to read and understand simple language also resembles 2-year-old children.

As a rule you can rely on a dog understanding up to 165 different signals – words and gestures. Reports state that for a properly trained and intelligent animal this figure can go up to 250 words.

Basic math skills seem to come within canine understanding as well. It was found that dogs can count up to five.

Lead researcher Stanley Coren has much to say about dogs’ social behavior. “The social life of dogs is much more complex, much more like human teenagers at that stage, interested in who is moving up in the pack and who is sleeping with who and that sort of thing.”

Dogs’ emotional life is also stands comparison to 2-year-olds. Such feelings as happiness, fear, anger or disgust we share with our best friends in the animal world, although more complex emotions, for example, guilt, go beyond them.

Dogs’ eye movements during sleep lead to a conclusion that they may experience dreams.

The study points out that breed is a good indicator of smartness, border collies, German shepherds and poodles being clearly more endowed with intelligence as compared to other breeds.

Stanley Coren also sees a strong proof of dogs coming close to humans in their ability to manifest “stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity”.

Source of the image: flickr.com/photos/14919441@N04.