What is your dog's IQ?
Researchers in Scotland are attempting to come up with an easy, fast and reliable canine IQ test. This comes after an initial study showed that much like in humans, intelligence in dogs varies considerably. Similarly to human IQ tests, the canine IQ test used spatial patterns and problem solving to determine an underlying intelligence.
To administer the test as fairly as possible the researchers recruited 68 border collies raised on farms in Scotland. They also tested to make sure the dogs had a similar upbringing. They then set about constructing a series of detour and choice-based tests. To ensure a fair ranking, all the testers wore the same outfit and presented a similar demeanor to all the dogs.
In the first test they essentially set a treat behind clear obstruction and created 4 different sets of ‘detours’ that would get in the way of the dog and their treat. These included a short detour, a long detour, a V-shaped obstruction and a maze.
For the second test they used human cues, like pointing, to see how well dogs could understand this line of communication. And for the third test they examined a dog’s understanding of quantity. Essentially giving dogs two different sized portions of food, letting them choose between them, and noting the amount of times a dog noticed they took a smaller quantity and attempted to switch bowls.
Shetland Sheep Dog performing agility training image via Shutterstock.