I’ve always said dogs are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. How many times have you heard someone refer to a dog as a dumb animal? Unfortunately, too many! I agree, they are creatures of habit but they do things that I think takes some gray matter to do so.
Let’s take my family dog, a 3.5 year old Corgi. She literally has a toy box full of about 20 toys. She will sit and dig through the whole box until she finds one specific toy she is looking for. You can grab some of her other perceived favorites and give it to her as she digs, but “oh no” when she has a specific toy in mind, no other toy will settle. You can even lay them all out, step on them, hide them, etc, but if it’s not the one special one, the barking begins. A sign of intelligence? I’ll let you decide.
Then you have the more advanced and trained guide dogs that work with the blind and K-9 dogs that work with police. They go through rigorous training and learn verbal commands, signs, and associative actions. Again, a sign of intelligence? I’ll let you decide.
Then last week a study came out with some credible evidence that dogs can smell cancer. Researchers in Germany took 4 dogs and had them smell breath samples to determine which ones have lung cancer. Out of the 100 samples that were positive for lung cancer, 71 were picked out by the dogs. A sign of intelligence? I’ll let you decide.
Man’s best friend continues to surprise us and show us amazing things every day. Whether it’s our own dog or specially trained ones, they seem to know us better than we know them. As time goes on, I am confident the understanding of these great animals will be more so than today, but in the meantime, it would be hard to convince me otherwise that our household companions do not have the capacity to think. But who am I? – I’ll let you decide.