Many of my friends identify my car by the bumper sticker that reads, “My golden retriever is smarter than your honor student.” While this may not be true in our conventional sense of the term ‘smart’ (can your dog do calculus?), dogs are certainly intelligent and can often outsmart humans (does your dog wait for you to look away before stealing your food?). This concept of multiple intelligences has come up several times in our seminar when debating the validity of IQ tests and the existence of a true measure of intelligence. I was definitely intrigued when I came across an article that applied this multiple intelligence theory to dogs!
The article consisted of an interview with Brian Hare, a professor at Duke University and author of The Genius of Dogs. In addition to discussing the multiple intelligences of dogs, Hare also talks about his large-scale research project: Dognition. Dognition is a website that allows dog owners to learn more about their dog’s way of thinking through a variety of activities. While the dog owners gain insight into the life of their household pet, Hare gains an extensive database of information to investigate dog cognition, both in comparison to humans and among different dog breeds. I’m curious to see what pet owners find and what Hare can learn from such a widespread sample. There is a fee for using Dognition, but maybe I can convince my parents to try the website with my dog!
Scientific American article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=brilliance-of-dog-mind