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How smart is your dog?

1 July 2016

An IQ test has recently been developed for dogs by scientists, who believe that it may lead to a breakthrough in our understanding of the link between intelligence and health.


How smart is your dog?


Studies show that dog intelligence and human intelligence work in the same way – so smart dogs who can perform one task well will most likely perform others well too – just like humans.

Recent studies have shown that brighter people tend to live longer. Scientists believe if they can prove the same is true for dogs, they can aid in the study of long-term health problems like dementia.

Studies were recently carried out by the London School of Economics in conjunction with Edinburgh University. Dr Rosalind Arden, a research associate at the London School of Economics, said the results could have “far reaching implications for understanding human health and disease and canine health and disease”. “We asked the question, if a dog is good at one test, does it tend to be better than average at the other test? And we found that yes that’s true”.

Sixty eight working Border Collies were put to the test with a series of cognitive tasks for them to carry out, such as finding a food reward that they could see but was behind a barrier, and choosing between two plates of food to see if they learnt to go for the bigger portion. Of the dogs that performed well in one of these tasks, the majority tended to be above average in the other tasks too.

Scientists have known for some time that brighter people tend to live longer. However, this can be tricky to investigate because of lifestyle choices – smoking, drinking, what we eat, if we exercise – which all have a major impact on our health.

Dogs provide a great insight because they (hopefully) don’t drink or smoke, eat a stable diet and exercise regularly.

How intelligent is your pet, do you play games with them? We would love to see your photos of you and your pet taking part in activities together. Please post them on our Facebook page.