(ORDO NEWS) — In the new study, more than a thousand dogs from 13 different breeds participated in a battery of tests designed to measure their intelligence.
People “by default” consider dogs to be smart animals. However, to test their abilities and infer intelligence, the Finnish scientists used a set of tests that have proven successful in studies on other animal species.
The tests included tasks assessing a wide variety of intelligences, from the ability to perceive human gestures to spatial imagination.
Some of the tasks also involved memory and the ability to mimic given behavior. One task involved the dog asking its owner for help with a difficult task.
The study, which took six years, involved over a thousand dogs of 13 different breeds that have proven themselves to be the smartest companions of a person (for example, German shepherds).
The researchers limited the number of breeds studied in order to be able to test as many dogs of the same breed as possible (at least 40) for better reliability of the results.
The authors tried to take an approximately equal number of males and females about three years old in order to exclude the influence of sex and age.
The dogs went through a series of tests, earning a certain number of points “in favor” of their breed.
Then the scientists calculated the scores and averaged them “by breed”, which made it possible to identify the winner.
Although the dogs of all selected breeds performed well, the Belgian Malinois proved to be the best.
These dogs, outwardly resembling a German Shepherd, but with a more graceful physique, have been involved in the police service for many years and show themselves excellently.
In second place were border collies , in third – hovawarts . But German Shepherds were not among the top three winners.
It is worth noting that the results of the study are by no means absolute, as in principle any attempt to “rank” animals based on the results of a limited series of tests.
Just as IQ test results are not a reliable measure of human intelligence, any other test gives us only a rough idea of the mental abilities of animals.
Contact us: [email protected]