New Research Suggests Dogs Have Measurable IQs

Diana Faria
by Diana Faria
IQ tests measure a human’s general intelligence by asking a series of questions, and your final score indicates your level of intelligence. Now, a study has just revealed that dogs can also have their IQs tested.

We’ve all fallen for the classic ‘What’s your IQ score?!’ quiz found all over the web. Whether it’s a little square on the bottom of your monitor when you’re browsing the internet or a big, blaring rectangle in the middle of your screen because one of your Facebook friends took a test, you can’t miss it. Testing our intelligence is seeing how we prop up against our fellow humans and also, in a way, giving ourselves a subtle proud nod should we receive an impressively high score.

Now wouldn’t it be cool if we could do the same for our dogs? While I’m not suggesting we dog-shame based on intelligence level by any means (you may not be smart, Fido, but damn you run fast!), knowing that one dog responds better to commands then another dog is something to consider, especially because intelligence – at least in humans- is so closely tied to health and longevity.

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New research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of Edinburgh suggests that, like humans, dogs also have measurable IQs. Researchers assessed the intelligence of 68 border collies at Kinloch Sheepdogs in Wales and conducted a series of tests that lasted no longer than an hour for each dog. Dr. Rosalind Arden, a Research Associate at LSE, explained that these lovely pooches were more than willing to participate in these tests and even seemed to enjoy it, which was a win-win in their books.

The tests included: navigation, which was tested by seeing how long it would take the dog to get food that was behind different types of barriers; assessing if they could tell the difference between quantities of food; and their ability to follow a human when they pointed to an object. The study revealed that dogs that did well on one test tended to do better at the other tests and dogs that completed the tasks quickly tended to do them more accurately.

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Dr. Arden said that, not unlike people, problem solving abilities varied from dog to dog, despite the fact that they were all border collies. Humans who are brighter tend to be healthier and live longer. If, as the research suggests, doggie intelligence is structured similarly to humans’, studying dogs may help them understand the link between higher intelligence and health.

But that’s not all! Dr. Arden explains that dogs are one of the very few animals that reproduce many of the key features of dementia. Understanding their cognitive abilities can, in turn, help understand the causes of dementia in humans and possibly test treatments for it. Seriously – dog is man’s best friend!

Dr. Mark Adams, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, says they are aiming to create a dog IQ test that is reliable, valid, and can be administered quickly. When such a test is created, it can rapidly improve understanding of the connection between dog intelligence, health and even lifespan.

[Source: Science Daily]

Diana Faria
Diana Faria

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