You might be as sick as a dog, but dumb as one, as well?
In what will be unfortunate news for every lover of Fido and Spot, a new study in the journal Learning & Behavior, reveals dogs aren’t smarter than wolves or pigs — or even pigeons!
The study compared canine cognition to other carnivores, social hunters and domestic animals. Researchers used existing data on the behavior of many different animals, including cats, dolphins and chimpanzees to determine if man’s best friend possessed any special skills that weren’t discerned in other species.
Alas, researchers could not find anything notably significant that makes dogs stand out.
“We cover sensory cognition, physical cognition, spatial cognition, social cognition and self-awareness,” the researchers wrote. “Although the comparisons are incomplete … we conclude that dog cognition is influenced by the membership of all three groups into account, dog cognition does not look exceptional.”
While canines might not be great at interacting and understanding objects, they do seem to be slightly above average in taking cues from humans.
But even that praise is tepid.
“When a broad-enough set of comparison species is considered, there is no current case for canine exceptionalism.”