Top Ad 728x90

Can we talk about intelligence in dogs?

The intelligence of an individual must be measured by taking into account data specific to his condition. The dog has its own form of intelligence, which we prefer to call cognition. This can take many forms. This is why the dog constantly amazes his master. Whether it is a small breed or a large breed, it is capable of showing the extent of its abilities at any time. Let's take a look at each of his dispositions, linguistic, emotional, spatial, corporal and even logical-mathematical.

How to define intelligence in animals?

Intelligence in dogs or any other animal can be defined by the speed at which they find - to adapt or to survive - a solution to a problem. Numerous experiments have made it possible to measure the intelligent behavior of various animals, but not their intelligence, this last notion being abstract and not measurable.

After his observations, and according to the results obtained, it was thus possible to determine if an animal, a race or a species is "rather intelligent". Today, a more appropriate term is used to designate animal intelligence. It is called cognition. This term seems to be more accurate in that it expresses the notion of intuition, instinct or experience that can explain the mental capacities of animals.

An animal may be able to adapt to certain situations as well as to a particular environment, alone or in a group depending on its species, thanks to a form of learning linked to a social organization. Throughout its life, any animal learns through a succession of experiences.

Some examples are striking, as is the case of bees and ants whose flawless organization we know. Some birds know how to retrieve food they have hidden before it spoils. This leads us to believe that they not only have a memory of the place but that they also have a certain notion of time. Rats, cetaceans, chimpanzees have different behaviors from each other but that can lead us to believe that they are endowed with an ability to reason. Can we talk about intelligence? In any case, these are proven cognitive abilities.

The different forms of intelligence in dogs

The dog can learn various things by habituation or by conditioning. He understands words, some quite phenomenal specimens know between 100 and 200 of them. He easily receives the information that we want to transmit to him. It memorizes them and has the ability to use them when it is confronted with a problem which it can then solve thanks to information that it has kept in memory. It finds a solution according to the circumstance in order to adapt to a situation.

The linguistic intelligence of the dog refers to the animal's ability to understand :
  • Nuanced sounds,
  • Words, whether they are pronounced in isolation or inserted in a sentence,
  • intonations.
By communicating with his dog and doing everything possible to help him understand as many words and expressions as possible, and to recognize even more sounds and tones, the owner can train his dog's linguistic intelligence on a daily basis.

Emotional intelligence and social intelligence: the former is not developed in dogs as far as the analysis and understanding of their own emotions is concerned, nor even their control, far from it. However, the social intelligence of the dog is measurable. They are very receptive to the emotions felt towards them by their owners, by other humans around them, by other dogs and even by animals that do not belong to their species. We also know that dogs can detect certain expressions on a person's face. These are essentially facial micro-expressions betraying the emotions and mood of a child, a woman or a man.

Spatial intelligence: the dog knows how to find its way in a space that it can mentally represent. He can easily get from one point to another in this space even if he does not always use the same route.

Body intelligence: the dog is fully aware of his body and has all the physical qualities to use it. Agility courses are a good solution to develop the body-kinesthetic intelligence of a dog.

Dogs also possess a form of logical-mathematical intelligence. To illustrate this, the best example is that of a bitch who watches her litter of puppies and is always looking for the offspring that has strayed a bit from the others. She seems to know at all times how many pups she has and knows exactly if one is missing. Every day, in other circumstances, the dog proves that it has a form of logical-mathematical intelligence. Playing can help to develop this ability.