Dogs are smart. But they ain’t special.
Scientists recently examined hundreds of studies on dog intelligence and compared them to research into the minds of other smart animals. The researchers found that dogs are among the smarter carnivores, social hunters and domestic animals — but that they don’t stand out from other smart animals in any of those categories. The scientists reported their results in a paper published online Sept. 24 in the journal Learning & Behavior. Though a significant body of research has examined dog cognition previously — much more so than for the brains of similar creatures — they found little to justify the sheer volume of work that’s been devoted to the topic, they said.
“During our work, it seemed to us that many studies in dog cognition research set out to ‘prove’ how clever dogs are,” Stephen Lea, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and lead author of the study, said in a statement. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dogs]