Dogs as smart as two to three year olds

Animal Welfare Specialist
Cathy has worked in the animal welfare field for more than 25 years. As a Director of Public Relations for local and national animal welfare agencies, Cathy developed and managed public relations programs, wrote press materials, and prepared staff to handle media interviews on animal issues.
800px-Gwen_the_Border_Collie
The Border Collie is ranked as the smartest dog among breeds because of its ability to understand language and human signals in working environments. (Source: Wikipedia)

When it comes to intelligence, the latest researchs shows dogs are apparently as smart as two to three year old kids. They can comprehend about 165 words, learn signals, and can even count up to about 5, according to Stanley Coren, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and author of ” How Dogs Think.” Coren was sharing this new research at a recent American Psychological Association meeting.

“One of the most recent breakthroughs is that people began to use tests which were originally designed for young humans — for pre-linguistic or limited-linguistic humans — to see whether dogs had certain capacities.,” says Coren. “And that allows you then to do a whole bunch of things, not only to determine whether a dog has a certain thinking skill but to place him in terms of where would you be in terms of human beings, as well as in terms of other animals.” 

And who’s the smartest dog of them all? Here’s a list of the top ten smartest breeds and why they are such smart pooches.

1. Border Collies
2. Poodles
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retreivers
5. Doberman Pinschers
6. Shetland Sheepdog
7. Labrador Retrievers
8. Papillion
9. Rottweiler
10. Australian Cattle Dog

These top of the pack breeds may be as smart as a 2-1/2 year old, according to Coren, because they have been trained to be so. Indeed, training has been shown to make a dog smarter.

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