Most dog owners think their dogs are smart, but how smart is your dog actually? According to Duke University, dog-smarts do not really depend on dog breeds.
“Dogs have different types of intelligence. It isn’t like a cup of water where they have more or less of it. It isn’t really about whether your dog is Einstein. It really is about whether your dog is a dog that relies on you or he is an independent problem solver. Does he rely on memory or have a lot of empathy,” said Dr. Brian Hare,an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University.
The professor is also the creator of Dognition, which is the brainchild of real research being done with pets and their owners at Duke.
The researchers used games to see how dogs solved problems and the dogs who participated in tests sure loved it. Now, the researchers want to share Dognition with “citizen scientists” all over the world.
“Through Dognition you’re going to learn about your dog and how your dog thinks relative to other dogs, so you get something. But when you contribute your data to the system, that data goes to a huge data set of thousands of dogs where we now can learn about all dogs,” Hare told WBTV.
Dognition involves 20 online games that will test your dog.It takes a couple of hours to complete. There are also technological safeguards to make sure you don’t “cheat” by assuming you know what your dog’s response will be.
Results vary for each dog. The experts say that by using Dognition, you will learn how to better interact with your dog and understand how he or she makes decisions.
Even Dr. Hare, who thought he knew a lot about his dog, learned that he scored lower on the memory tests than expected. That’s when things started making sense.
“So when I say sit stay and he walks off I have a very different response now. It’s not like ‘oh we need a lot of elbow grease and have to get in there and practice’, it’s more like poor guy, he probably just forgot,” Hare said.
This test costs $19 for the first dog. You’ll need to allot some time to compete all the tests.But you can complete some of the exercises and then carry on with the others later.
See more of the sample tests here.