Like people, dogs have measurable IQs

Dog undertakes IQ test.

If you're curious about whether some of your patients are smarter than others, you may be able to test that in the future, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the United Kingdom looked at whether dog intelligence is structured in a similar way as in humans. In fact, it is. The researchers found that dogs that did well on one test tended be better at the other tests. Furthermore, dogs that did tests faster were likely to do them more accurately.

The study was published in the journal Intelligence on Feb. 3.

The researchers created a proto-type dog IQ test which they used to assess the intelligence of 68 working border collies.

Tests included navigation, tested by timing how long it took the dogs to get food that was behind different types of barriers; assessing whether they could tell the difference between quantities of food; and their ability to follow a human pointing gesture to an object.

“This is only a first step, but we are aiming to create a dog IQ test that is reliable, valid, and can be administered quickly,” said Mark James Adams, PhD, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and one of the study authors. 

“Such a test could rapidly improve our understanding of the connection between dog intelligence, health, even lifespan, and be the foundation of ‘dognitive epidemiology.’”

Photo credit: © 2015 Rosalind Arden, PhD, Kinloch Sheepdogs

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