Dogs are less clever than most people believe. A new study proved that canines are just as smart as pigeons or sheep. Have we been wrong our entire lives?
We all grow up believing that dogs are among the most intelligent animals on Earth. At least I thought so (still do!). Dogs have a way of learning and remembering like very few animals in the entire world. Our opinions on this topic are of course biased and based on our past experiences. However, a recent study proved that dogs are not as clever as we believe.
Why are dogs not as clever as we imagined?
A team of researchers from the University of Exeter carried out a study to measure the extent of animal brain power. They conducted more than 300 tests on dogs to arrive at the final result. The method was fairly simple: the researchers compared dogs’ brain power to that of other domestic animals (birds, cats, mice, etc.) and known hunters (wolves, lions, bears, etc.).
The results were surprising. They discovered that dogs’ cognitive ability was the same as several species within both groups. A clear example was that dogs are unable to recognize themselves in a mirror. Does this mean that they are not clever? Other animals like the dolphin or the chimpanzee can actually do so.
Which other areas did the study measure?
This study also focused on self-awareness and sensory, physical, spatial and social abilities. The sum of these variables formulated many arguments, which proved dogs are not very clever.
According to Dr Britta Osthaus of the Canterbury Christ Church University, dogs are not exceptional or clever when compared to other domestic animals and social hunters. In his words, “We are doing dogs no favours by expecting too much of them. Dogs are dogs, and we need to take their needs and true abilities into account when considering how we treat them”.
If we take into considerations the findings of this study, pigs, goats, sheep, and donkeys have the same brain power as dogs. What do you think about this?
Read also: Life-saving Golden Retriever becomes local hero