Are Dogs One Of The 10 Smartest Animals?

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Of course they are otherwise why would I write this article on a blog about dogs?

While surfing the internet today I came across the MSN article The 10 Smartest Animals and just like any other list (Top 10 lists are supposed to be one of the most popular article titles on the internet) it caught my attention. I thought to myself “I wonder which animal is the smartest” and was confident that dogs would be on the list. Would the dog be number 1 on the list the “Top Dog” so to speak?

Unforturnately, or fortunately the list seems to be in random order with no ranking just displaying the top 10 animals And of course dogs did make the list as did we…the humans. The article was much longer than I thought it would be, but to your benefit I decided to show you the quick and dirty list here on the Puppy In Training site:

The Top 10 Smartest Animals

In no particular order:

  • Humans – Thats right! We made the list. “We have the ability to learn, reason and solve problems.”
  • Chimpanzees – “Our genome is 98% identical…chimps performed better than humans on a number memory test.” Chimps can be pretty intelligent when they’re not trying to rip off your arms.
  • Dolphins – Dolphins use “…distinct whistles and clicks that may serve as dolphin names, perhaps used in a type of language.” Hmmm…I heard they can take down a great white (maybe just an urban legend). I always thought Flipper was pretty smart.
  • Elephants – Can you imagine the size of their brain? ” A crowning achievement…was when female Asian elephant named Happy recognized herself in the mirror” Oh yeah, and they never forget.
  • Cephalopods – Huh?!? Octopi, Squid, and Cuttlefish…”have a seemingly irrepressible curiosity, a disdain for boredom, an ability to learn and the capacity to use tools.” Who would have thunk (is that even a word) it?
  • Crows – “They fashion tools from twigs, feathers and other bits of debris to snare food from hard-to-reach places.” I saw about 20 crows chasing a fairly large hawk the other day. They must be territorial too.
  • Dog – YAY! Our favorite over here at Puppy In Training. I’m so biased…I’m going to include the entire excerpt about dogs from the article. The image below is from the University of Vienna.

Man’s best friend

Dog Watching TV - picture is from the University of ViennaAre dogs intelligent or just really good at basic obedience? They can learn to sit, lie down and fetch, for example, but can they read their owner’s intentions? Research suggests they can at least find food in response to non-verbal cues, a type of understanding that scientists think may be akin to the human ability to understand someone else’s point of view. The dog in the experiment pictured here accurately discriminated between photos of dogs and photos of landscapes – an indication the dog was able to form the concept of “dog.”

  • Cats – My mothers favorite. “…some cat owners have trained their pets to sit down, roll over and jump through hoops. Cats learn the tricks by observation and imitation, egged on with positive reinforcement.” Come on mom…get discplined and teach your cats some tricks!
  • Pigs – I thought this was very interesting about pigs: “Here’s the dirt on pigs: They are perhaps the smartest, cleanest domestic animals known – more so than cats and dogs, according to some experts. But pigs don’t have sweat glands, so they roll around in the mud to stay cool.”

That’s the list. I hope you enjoyed it. The full article is on MSN’s website.

What do you think? Do you have any experience with these animals? I’d be interested to hear what you have to say.

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  1. I just have to say that I disagree with DOGS being smarter than CATS. Cats from the beginning of time have a proven record of being smarter. We have had both cats and dogs in our family and when you do , can see the difference. I like dogs but it brings me great joy to have the love of a cat……………..because it has to be earned !!!!!!

  2. I thought that was very interesting that pigs are the “…smartest, cleanest domestic animals known…” Maybe I’ll have to get a pig as my next pet.

    Another one of my friends was just telling me that possums make good pets and like cats will only go to the bathroom in specific places. I’m not sure if that’s true or if it’s legal to have a possum as a pet, but I thought it was very interesting.

  3. it’s cool that they included humans on the list because we really are not all that different. hey, pigs are supposed to be as smart as three year olds, and my cat talks to me all the time and tells me how she’s feeling.

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