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My dog is smarter than your Honor Student

Better looking, too, but that's not the subject of this University of Vienna scientific research:


Smarter than Apes?

For serious scientists, Lassie and her friends were deemed little more than dumbed-down ancestors of the wolf, degenerated into panting morons by millennia of breeding. But a younger generation of researchers has set out to restore the reputations of our beloved pets. "Dogs can do things that we long believed only humans had mastered," says Juliane Kaminski of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in the eastern German city of Leipzig.

It is precisely their proximity to people -- which disqualified our four-legged friends as a model for so long -- that now makes them interesting to animal researchers. "When it comes to understanding human behavior, no mammal comes even close to the dog," says Kaminski. Her Leipzig research team has demonstrated that dogs are far better than the supposedly clever apes at interpreting human gestures.


Read the rest at the above link. There seems to be much more cognitive process to what we have usually considered rote stimulus-response behavior ("tricks"). Smarter than cats, as the researchers suppose? I doubt it. From my own experience, there is a fairly wide range of intelligence in both species (sort of like, say, humans). The average cat may be a bit shrewder than the average dog, but the smart dogs are the equal of the smart cats, and far more cooperative.


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Comments (5)

So, how long will it be bef... (Below threshold)
marc:

So, how long will it be before someone tracks down PETA's funding of University of Vienna research?

My husband and I have alway... (Below threshold)

My husband and I have always been amazed at how our dog seemed to understand gestures and phrases even the first time we used them. The very first time I ever said to her as a puppy, "Back up," she backed up a couple feet. When she went to the wrong door to be let in, the very first time I said to her, "Go around," and waved my hand, she promptly walked around the screened enclosure to the other door without a second thought. She just seemed to "know" things.

She sits on the couch like a person and watches TV with us too. The first time she did it was funny as hell. She backed up and sat on the couch next to me, then looked at my legs, then at her own front legs, then back at mine. I think she was just trying to make sure she was doing it right.

"The average cat may be a b... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

"The average cat may be a bit shrewder than the average dog, but the smart dogs are the equal of the smart cats, and far more cooperative."

A dog thinks about his master: "He feeds me, plays with me, attends to my needs; He must be a god!"

Now the cat: "They feed me, pet me, attend to my needs; I must be a god!"

And TOMMY KIRK turned into ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

And TOMMY KIRK turned into LADY THE COCKER SPANEAL what a surprise

Theres more intellegence in... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Theres more intellegence in a loon(bird)then in any graduate from U.C. BERKLEY




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