What's Your Dog's I.Q?

  • By Kathy McRoberts
  • 02 Mar, 2014

Original article by Laura Drucker,  Tails Magazine


We all like to think our puppy’s the smartest, but did you know that you can actually test your dog’s I.Q.?

Like any I.Q. test, the one for dogs is not entirely conclusive—some dogs excel in certain areas and stumble a bit in others. Nor does a high I.Q. mean your puppy is off to MENSA, or that you should feel any differently towards him if he tests low. I.Q. testing for dogs is simply one of many ways to learn more about your pup and his abilities.

The best time to test your dog’s I.Q. is around the 1-year-old mark. By this time, cognitive development should be complete. Remember that as far as analysis of the results goes, it’s more telling to compare within your dog’s own breed—different breeds have different strengths and weaknesses that should be accounted for.

Also keep in mind that factors other than intelligence—such as confidence, previous experience, stubbornness, and activity level—can play in to how your puppy does. Under-stimulated puppies will not perform as well.

So, ready to try it out?

In The Intelligence of Dogs, professor of psychology (albeit human) Stanley Coren lays out an multi-part test (the number in the parentheses is the amount of points awarded):

1. Problem Solving

Place a treat under an empty soup can.

Scoring:
(5) Dog gets treat in 0-5 seconds
(4) Dog gets treat in 6-15 seconds
(3) Dog gets treat in 16-30 seconds
(2) Dog gets treat in 31-60 seconds
(1) Dog tries to get treat and fails
(0) Dog shows no interest

2. Problem Solving

Quickly throw a large towel over your dog’s head and shoulders.

Scoring:
(5) Dog gets free in 0-15 seconds
(4) Dog gets free in 16-30 seconds
(3) Dog gets free in 31-60 seconds
(2) Dog gets free in 1-2 minutes
(1) Dog doesn’t get free within 2 minutes

3. Problem Solving

Place a treat under a small towel.

Scoring:
(5) Dog gets treat in 0-15 seconds
(4) Dog gets treat in 16-30 seconds
(3) Dog gets treat in 31-60 seconds
(2) Dog gets treat in 1-2 minutes
(1) Dog tries to get treat and fails
(0) Dog shows no interest

4. Short-Term Memory

Let your dog see you place a treat in the corner of the room, then turn him loose.

Scoring:
(5) Dog goes straight to the treat
(4) Dog searches systematically and finds the treat
(3) Dog searches randomly but finds treat in under 45 seconds
(2) Dog searches but fails to find treat
(1) Dog shows no interest

5. Long-Term Memory

Let your dog see you place a treat in the corner of the room (a different corner than the one you used in test 4), remove him from the room for 5 minutes, play with him, return, and then turn him loose.

Scoring:
(5) Dog goes straight to treat
(4) Dog goes to the corner from test 4, then the correct corner
(3) Dog searches systematically and finds treat
(2) Dog searches randomly but finds treat in under 45 second
(1) Dog searches but fails to find treat
(0) Dog shows no interest

6. Problem Solving and Manipulation

Place treat under a low platform, make sure your dog can still reach the treat with his mouth.

Scoring:
(5) Dog gets treat in under 1 minute
(4) Dog gets treat in 1-3 minutes
(3) Dog uses paws and muzzle but fails to get treat
(2) Dog uses muzzle only a few times and gives up
(1) Dog doesn’t try to get treat

7. Problem Solving

Show your dog a treat through a slit in a large cardboard barricade (he should not be able to get the treat through the slit). Encourage him to get the treat.

Scoring:
(5) Dog goes around barrier in 0-15 seconds
(4) Dog goes around barrier in 16-30 seconds
(3) Dog goes around barrier in 31-60 seconds
[Stop encouraging him after 1 minute]
(2) Dog goes around barrier in 1-2 minutes
(1) Dog tries to reach through slit and gives up
(0) Dog shows no interest

At the end, total how many points your dog got. Coren suggests interpreting the results as follows:

30-35: Genius
26-29: Highly Intelligent
22-25: Above Average Intelligence
16-21: Average Intelligence
12-15: Slightly Below Average Intelligence
8-11: Borderline
0-7: Deficient

No matter where your dog ends up scoring, don’t take the test too seriously! I.Q. tests—human or canine—are naturally flawed for their inability to encapsulate all the unique characteristics of the test-taker. If you decide to try it out, just have fun with it; I’m sure your dog will enjoy the extra treats!

Cincinnati Dog Knowledge Center

By Pets in Need 08 Jan, 2018

Education is the first step  in pet poison prevention

Pet owners should take the time to educate themselves on the various, sometimes unexpected, pet poisons in their environments. The  Pet Poison Helpline  provides an extensive list of poisonous items for pet owners to be aware of, but here are a few of the most common items seen by veterinarians:

By Pets in Need 11 Dec, 2017

Outdoor Animals:

Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by  clicking here

A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.

By Pets in Need 27 Nov, 2017

Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.

Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.

In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The   ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack   that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.

By Pets in Need 14 Nov, 2017
First, let’s learn a bit of information about pet diabetes. Just like in humans, there are 2 types or diabetes in pets, which veterinarians typically refer to as insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. One is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas that allows glucose (or sugars) to move from the blood stream into cells to create energy. With non-insulin dependent diabetes, the body is making enough insulin, but it can’t utilize the insulin efficiently. This can be caused by high body fat content, chronic cortisone administration, and/or certain hormones such as progesterone (produced during a pet’s heat period).
By Pets in Need 30 Oct, 2017

Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.

If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information.  Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.

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