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Do you know how smart your dog is?
No really… have you actually “tested” your pet in order to obtain some kind of measure of your dog’s intelligence?
I didn’t think so. (Until I found this new & modern dog IQ test, I hadn’t either.)
From the Test Your Pet website:
In particular, we’re looking at animal cognition – the way they think. You’ll discover whether your pet is right- or left-handed, how good it is at solving problems, and much more … The tests are quick and easy to do. Most of them take less than 5 minutes. Each test has clear instructions that walk you through the procedure and tell you how to judge your pet’s performance.
5-Minute Tests To See How Smart Your Dog Is
- Paw Preference Test (Here’s another Paw Preference Test for dogs.)
Summary: Left-handedness in humans is often associated with creativity and a natural musical ability. If your dog appears to be left-handed, maybe your dog has hidden talents as well.
Right-handedness in humans is often associated with language ability and a logical mind. There is some evidence that right-handed animals can be better at remembering and using words, so if your dog appears to be right-handed, maybe your dog understands more of your conversation than you had thought!
- Flip The Tin Test
Summary: If your dog understands what psychologists call “object permanence”, it realizes that objects continue to exist even after they have disappeared from view. To understand this, it must believe in a world beyond its perception.
- Drop The Treat Test
Summary: This test determines the degree to which your dog understands the way that horizontal objects relate to each other. Pets that move about more in 3 dimensions should do better at this than those that move only on the ground.
- Round The Bend Test
Summary: To do this successfully, your dog must have a good understanding of its physical world, and be prepared to walk away from a treat in order to get at it.
- Command Of Language Test
Summary: When a dog learns a new command, it is associating the sound or body signals that you create with one of its own actions. Your dog’s learning and memory has probably got a lot to do with your own training habits as an owner. Your dog’s learning and memory has a lot to do with your own training habits as an owner. Your dog may be able to learn more commands with the right encouragement.
- Pull The String Test
Summary: A dog carrying out the physical action of pulling the string is pretty impressive because pulling a string may be an entirely novel thing for your dog to do.
- Hide And Seek Test
Summary: A dog uses 2 types of memory to perform this task: spatial memory to remember the layout of the space, and episodic memory to remember the action of you placing the treat in the hiding place.
Scores & Results From The Survey
Dogs knew an average of 13 commands.
Our two dogs (Lab-mixes), scored as follows: Tenor = 20, Destin = 28.
Other Labrador Retrievers scored an average of 23.3.
In general, dogs scored higher than all other pets on most tests.
In terms of dogs’ paw preferences: 45.94% right-handed; 32.93% left-handed; 21.13% difficult to tell
Female dogs were generally rated as better behaved than male dogs.
Many of our pets were reported as being clearly right-handed. For scientist Tim Guilford, this is really interesting, as until recently a bias towards right-handedness was thought to be unique to humans, and related to different functions for different sides of the human brain. That other animals may share this division opens up new possibilities for research into brain function. — BBC “Test Your Pet”
See how all dogs scored in all tests, by breed.
Other Fun Ways To Test Dog Intelligence
There’s another dog intelligence test that has been profiled wildly in the news. It’s called Dognition.
It’s a series of dog intelligence assessment tests created by K-9 researcher, Brian Hare, who is Director of the Canine Cognition Center at Duke University.
Dognition consists of 10 games that test dogs on 5 personality characteristics:
To be clear, Dognition is not a dog IQ test. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s not about your dog being smart or dumb. It’s just about trying to better understand them as an individual. It’s about determining which 1 of the 9 personality profiles best describes your dog.
Here’s how Dognition works. You can also get a good idea of how it works by watching these 2 videos:
And finally, these 3 books are filled with unique dog intelligence tests (interactive games & activities) that will give you a good idea of how smart your dog is:
More About Dog Intelligence
- Study Claims Mixed Breed Dogs More Clever Than Pedigrees
- Can Your Dog Spell Words? I Think Mine Can
- Top 12 Smartest Dog Breeds
I like to help Dog Parents find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about "outside the box" Dog Tips and Dog Hacks that most wouldn't think of. I’m a lifelong dog owner — currently have 2 mixed breed Golden Aussies that we found abandoned on the side of the road as puppies. I've always trained my own dogs and help friends train theirs, as well. Professionally, I worked at a vet and have several friends who are veterinarians — whom I consult with regularly. (And just because I love animals so much, I also worked at a Zoo for awhile!) I've been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). My daily motivation is to help first-time dog owners be better prepared from the first day your new puppy enters your home. I like to help dog owners understand what's 'normal' and what you can expect in terms of living with and training your dog — how to get through the ups & downs of potty training, chewing, teaching commands, getting your dog to listen, and everything else that takes place during that hectic first year! When I'm not training, walking, grooming, or making homemade treats for my dogs, you will find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I've written over 500 articles for dog owners on this site!