Scholars learn new ways to measure canine cognition
By Justyne Yuen-Lee
All this studying and a dog gets a Yale degree before me.
Students studying for their undergraduate degrees, here’s some hope or discouragement depending on your mood: an 11 year old Havanese dog named Giorgio has his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD from Yale.
Whaaaaat? Yup, his owner Pam Giordano a real estate broker has a bumper sticker that reads “My dog made it to the Ivy League.” AND it was volunteer based! I want to volunteer for school so I don’t have to pay.
At the three year old Canine Cognition Center, Giordano brought her two dogs Giorgio and Guiliana to measure their intelligence. Unlike her brother, Guiliana mostly goes for the treats. Yale figured out that dogs are the ideal study subject to measure intelligence since they’re in abundance and their owners want to know how smart they are.
Smartness in pets matter. Pet stores offer toys that are meant to optimize your dog’s intelligence. If you search online, there are games and videos to show ways to measure how smart your dog is. In the end, it comes down to the humanization of pets. And everyone wants to think that the way their raising them is good and stimulating, but really smart dogs are assholes. They get too smart and can become restless
But, now scholars are able to study dogs easily because owners are willing to drive them to know how their pet will do. And to fund these studies, owners are willing to pay a fee to answer a questionnaire and get a response to see how smart their dog is.
Dr. Brian Hare of Duke University leads the Canine Cognition Center and believes that although stereotypes, there is no hard evidence that any breed is superior to another. However, in 1999, Stanley Coren who is now a psychologist at University of British Columbia, produced a list of breeds ranked on intelligence. These rankings were based on his survey of 200 professional dog-obedience judges.
What breeds were the top three?
Border collie, poodle, and German shepherd.
The end of list – bulldog, Basenji, and Afghan hound. (Dr. Hare said that scientists do not consider this to be definitive proof!)
Do you have an itch to know if your dog can get a degree?
Maybe it’s just cuter if your dog just LOOKS the part!