Just how intelligent are dogs ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Thomas Vaclavek
Scientists have determined that dogs are no more intelligent than several dozen other animal species.
In a new study, researchers from the University of Exeter and Canterbury Christ Church University have called in to question the notion that dogs are more intelligent than most other animals.
Instead, they argue, there has been an "over interpretation" of canine intelligence in previous studies.
"During our work it seemed to us that many studies in dog cognition research set out to 'prove' how clever dogs are," said Professor Stephen Lea. "They are often compared to chimpanzees and whenever dogs 'win', this gets added to their reputation as something exceptional."
"Yet in each and every case we found other valid comparison species that do at least as well as dogs do in those tasks."
By comparing the sensory cognition and self-awareness of dogs to those of other animals, the researchers determined that dogs aren't particularly special when it comes to animal intelligence.
Other species, such as sheep, chimpanzees, pigeons, donkeys and raccoons were able to perform certain tasks just as well as any dog and in some cases did even better.
"We are doing dogs no favor by expecting too much of them," said Dr Britta Osthaus.
"Dogs are dogs, and we need to take their needs and true abilities into account when considering how we treat them."
Source: Phys.org | Comments (36)