Skip to comments.Dogs Display Aspects Of Human Intelligence
Posted on 11/28/2007 7:54:46 PM PST by blam
Dogs display aspects of human intelligence
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 6:01pm GMT 28/11/2007
Dog lovers have long claimed that their pets are smarter than many of us realise.
New evidence to back that view comes from research published today which concludes that, like us, our canine friends are able to form abstract concepts.
Friederike Range and colleagues from the University of Vienna, Austria, show for the first time that dogs are able to learn how to classify complex colour photographs and place them into categories in the same way that humans do.
Training stimuli: Images of dogs and landscapes are used to test dogs' recognition of abstract concepts
"Dogs were for a long time considered to be just pets - so showing that they are able to also form abstract concepts maybe gives their cognitive abilities more credit," she said.
However, the abstract concept they were able to grasp in this pioneering experiment was rather familiar, that of "dog."
The team reports in the journal Animal Cognition a clever way to show that the dogs are not picking up subtle signals from their handlers: the dogs successfully demonstrate their learning through the use of computer touch-screens, eliminating potential human influences.
Four dogs were shown both landscape and dog photographs simultaneously and were rewarded with food if they selected the dog picture on the touch screen.
Then they were shown a new set of dog and landscape pictures. They continued to reliably select the dog photographs, demonstrating that they could transfer their knowledge gained in the training phase to a new circumstance, even though they had never seen those particular pictures before.
In a second test, the dogs were faced with a choice between a new dog pasted on a familiar landscape and a completely new landscape with no dog, In this case, they reliably selected the landscape with the dog.
"These results show that the dogs were able to form a concept, that is 'dog', although the experiment cannot tell us whether they recognized the dog pictures as actual dogs," said Dr Range.
"Using touch-screen computers with dogs opens up a whole world of possibilities on how to test the cognitive abilities of dogs."
The dogs that took part were a Border Collie (Maggie), one Border Collie mix (Lucy), one Australian Shepherd (Bertl), and one mongrel (Todor). Two dogs were male (Bertl, Todor), two were female (Maggie, Lucy).
In earlier work, the team showed striking similarities between humans and dogs in the way they imitate others, showing they do more than copy. They also interpet what they see.
The more I know about people, the more I appreciate my dog.
MY dog was mocking me
Nah, listening to your jokes.
This is difficult to accept when our dog eats poop.
Those dogs played them for suckers. Everyone knows dogs do anything for treats.
Wow, Gary Larson was right.
I've read that if your dog will eat poop...he's not being proprely fed.
Our three dogs understand everything we say. They just don’t always agree with it.
My new dog is from a shelter, a mixed breed (terrier and we think German Sheppard or maybe some kind of hound). We have had him since June and we think he is about a year old (give or take a month or two). He is sort of medium (around 55 lbs or so). Really a sweet, people person dog. He (w/o us wanting him too) has mastered our original kitchen trash can (it was cheap and plastic and had a tab you hit on the top and the lid popped up). He openned it w/his nose...So I got a new one, before Thanksgiving. An expensive metal one, called a Bullet. It has a foot pedal. Well, he’s learned to hit that w/his paw (after watching us I guess...we have only had it about two weeks). When he knows he’s ‘caught’ he turns head to the side and looks like he’s saying ‘who me?’
I hope the dog picked a flushed bowl. :^)
Yes, my dog mimics me all the time -— yesterday I caught him mounting a bitch in heat on my front lawn...at least I have the decency to invite them inside first.
Sounds like both of you (you and the dog) have had good luck in finding each other.
Just the other night, my dog showed abstract reasoning capabilities -- my son was training him to find things, and invariably the first place he went to look was to the last place he'd found stuff.
Dogs can count...Get out 3 treats and only give them 2..
Dogs are very good with inanimate representations...I figured out my lab pups were too big for me to walk tandem any more when they pulled me across a neighbors lawn to visit with the concrete Collie lawn ornament.
My big Lab swung wide and barked at the concrete lion in anothers lawn...
and she has never met a lion or a collie....
Love those pics, and those of your dogs. Wish we had a ‘dog pinger’ here on FR! Here’s one I posted a couple days ago:
“Dear God - From the Dog:”
LOL... I was gonna ping you..
Hi blam. I love your dogs.
I see these people have met my cattle dog, Peaches. You have to be careful with this one. She can figure out what you are doing.
My previous lab (rest her sweet soul) had conversations with my Husband.. He didn’t understand her vocalizations but she understood his.
She would go into the bedroom or the kitchen and get the item he mentioned. She would turn left, turn right..and other than being taught to shake and to heel she never had any training..
Love the pic.
Scene: Dog, Human, and a toilet.
Man says “do not drink out of that, I pee in it”.
Dog says : “Do not pee in there, I drink out of it”.
It is all a matter of perspective, I guess.
I looked. Glad you aren’t suspended. I was hoping for a picture of your dog.
There is a doggie pinger... she’s just been a little distracted lately.... I’ll ping your thread momentarily. :~)
Research is getting WAY too easy these days...
yorkie, you did not ping me. I f someone will teach me; I would do it.
He also hears and understands the school bus. I had to drive my two youngest a couple weeks ago (science project too cumbersome for the bus). Bax got frantic when he heard the bus but the boys were still in the house. It is really funny how they learn our routines and then tell us when we do something different.
Your four legged friends are beauties...what a nice photo of you all :)PaMom
Can we at least have ONE thread without pictures of democrats? Sheesh, some folks are absolutely obsessed.
We have to do a lot of spelling in our house because all of the five indoor dogs know way too many words and phrases. We pretty much talk to them just as we would any person. Frightening, really.
Name is BUDDY but he's dead, now, and they gave his cat friend away...
That's for sure...my dogs can even tell time. They know exactly when their dinner is due.
LOL...nah...I’m on good behavior here. I did that as a joke aloooooong time ago. I really will put a picture Baxter up...he has a very expressionful face.
IOW, I once had an Afghan Hound that was dumber than an inbred snail and I was barely able to teach him basic commands. I rarely observed evidence of much original thought or obvious associations in him. Now with my GS/Border Collie mix, she was not only easily trained, she early on demonstrated she could learn cause and effect connections independently of my training. I'm talking small stuff here like understanding that when I go to a certain room in the house and drag out luggage that I'm leaving for some time, to which she becomes quite agitated. And she has been known to stow away, or at least make an attempt, in my car. The Afghan was simply never was able to put 2 and 2 together. This was tragically revealed when he failed to learn that cars are much bigger and likely to cause great harm if not avoided.
Even a dumb as a rock dog is smarter.
This is a thread about dogs. Please stay on topic. (FReeper rule 18.2a)
I cannot use any sentences with OUT, WALK or GO or EAT. It makes them insane.. I worry about spelling...
5 small or 5 large?
“Using touch-screen computers with dogs opens up a whole world of possibilities on how to test the cognitive abilities of dogs.”....after about an hour of surfing however, the dogs eventually got bored, when link after link, advertising ‘sexy bitches’, all turned out to be merely pictures of humans.
I think that there are probably quite a few animals that are more intelligent than they are normally given credit for. Geez, even the squirrels in the back yard, know enough to come to the porch and scratch at the door so that my wife will go out and feed them nuts, seeds and corn. The cat even figured out how to open a closed door by fiddling with the latch until it opened. Most dogs are loyal and will display independent thinking if they or someone they care for is in perceived danger.
A recent study of bird songs indicated that the average bird can identify a threat such as a cat or dog and will even describe the threat in detail to other birds in the vicinity by describing the color, size and species of the threat, differentiating between two or more similar animals that are the threat. And all done with song.
One small ... three large ... one very large. Six furry children outside (all large). You could say we love dogs.
Have you ever owned an Afghan Hound? :)
Mine looked very much like this one. Gorgeous. So very dumb...
My Labs watch animal planet...when there are birds on it...
They are curious about the cats...
They ignore fish.
Solly watched the first 10 minutes of Bambi intensely and then got bored.
Curosity is killing me....where's that?
All dogs have the heart of a mastiff when it comes to people they love.
People that don’t love dogs (or some kind of pet) have an attachment disorder.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.