Is Your Dog Smarter Than You?
According to this article — Does Your Dog Know What You’re Thinking? — dogs excel in a specific type of intelligence. They can read a person’s facial expressions and body language, and based on these readings they can anticipate what the person wants them to do.
I actually saw a newspaper article at least fifteen years ago saying this exact same thing, so this isn’t anything new. In that earlier article, dogs outperformed pigs and monkeys — both considered generally smarter than dogs — when it came to anticipating what a person was going to do.
That previous article went a lot further. The upshot was: what a dog owner perceives as loyalty and blind devotion is actually just plain shrewdness. Your obedient devoted dog is actually more like a shrewd, observant employee who knows exactly what the boss wants to hear.
Nothing like shattering the sacred beliefs of millions of people. No wonder that article was never expanded on and the whole subject stayed hush-hush for years.
That article’s theory was that dogs are pack animals. In the wild, they’re instinctively attuned to the leader of the pack, a thousand percent. Their survival depends on it.. For domesticated dogs, the leader of the pack is a human.
Cats on the other hand are solitary in the wild. (Lions are the only exception that I know of.) That’s why house cats — according to all the stereotypes anyway — are completely aloof and detached and couldn’t care less about their owner or anybody else. Or as a San Francisco columnist once described the feline mindset: “I hate you feed me.”
Cat owners — or more accurately, people who are owned by their cat(s) — know otherwise, of course.
Labels: dog intelligence