We’ve been hearing a lot of people referring to Dognition as an “IQ test for dogs” (here’s looking at you, Conan!). Calling Dognition an IQ test conjures up some pretty funny images. Dogs squinting over Scantrons with No. 2 pencils, solving word problems and math equations. If we were giving dogs a traditional IQ test, the scores probably wouldn’t be very high.
This is because we think about intelligence differently these days. When we look at the intelligence of animals, we start with how well they’ve been able to survive as a species. By that measure, dogs are the second most successful mammal on Earth, right behind humans. They’ve learned how to get another species (us) to take care of their every need, to feed them, play with them, and let them sleep in our beds. At the same time, they’ve become more effective and cheaper than technology in a whole range of jobs, from sniffing out drugs and bombs to helping people cope with debilitating diseases.
Instead of telling you whether or not your dog is “smart,” we want to help you discover how and why your dog is so successful. As a species, dogs are geniuses because of several key abilities mimicking those of human infants. But what’s your dog’s particular genius? Continue reading