Dog IQ Measurements – My Dog is Smarter than Your Dog?

I read an article about a study that some scientists recently completed with a Border Collie named Chaser. Down at Wofford College in South Carolina they found that Chaser could remember the names of over 1000 toys. Good ol’ Chaser also understood verb-noun combinations (nose the monkey, pick up the carrot etc.). She operates at the level of a small child. Show off.

I have always suspected that dogs were holding back. So I determined to fathom the brilliance of my furry children. The other night, I was sitting on the couch eating from a bag of trail mix. Bettina had posted herself on the couch next to me and was frequently reaching out and putting her paw on my arm to remind me that she was there and she would like a peanut or a cashew, please and thank you. Blue, having lost out on pole position was standing near my feet, nose quivering and slightly drooling as he watched me eat the trail mix.

Bettina greyhound in her favorite spot on the couch
I’m not too proud to say that when I eat, I sometimes miss my mouth. What ends up in my lap, if left unnoticed by me, generally falls to the floor or on the couch when I stand up. Bettina and Blue are smart enough to know this routine. My first dog IQ experiment already a success! And I didn’t even know I was doing science but I’m not going to quibble over immaterial details.

They also know that occasionally, I will take pity on puppy dog eyes and dole out a little of what I am eating. Thus it behooves them to be at my side whenever I am sitting anywhere eating. If I am completely unreceptive to the idea of sharing, they know that I will wave frantically at them and say, “No, this is mumma’s” over and over again until they finally believe. Depending on their level of determination and the perceived value level of what I am eating at the time, they may, or may not take my warning under advisement.

Blue greyhound gets a treatSo, with this sturdy foundation to my scientific endeavors, I set out to prove convincingly that my dogs are brilliant. While distracting Blue and Bettina from the trail mix, I took a peanut that had fallen into my lap earlier and placed it on my knee. No one noticed it. So with each hound in turn, I say, "look" and then exaggerate a stare at my knee where the peanut is. No one looked where I was looking. They stared at my face or at the bag of trail mix. So I physically took Blue and Bettina’s noses and moved them to near my knee while saying, "Look". Result, no one found the peanut. Each time I released the nose it went back to quivering and snuffling towards the bag of trail mix. Next I try pointing at the peanut and saying "look." They look at my finger for a split second and return to looking at my face and then the bag of trail mix, my face, and then the bag of trail mix, my face and then…well you get the idea.

Finally, I had to pick up the peanut and put it in their direct line of sight, say look, let them get a good sniff and then have them watch me as I placed the peanut back on my knee. After a small melee over which one would claim the peanut, it was apparent that this final portion of my experiment had, at least, been a success.

Yeah, dogs are smarter than we thought....


  1. Ha ha ha! I could easily see this happening at my house, too!

  2. wow, over a 1000! And I was so proud my dog could remember 2 toys. Hi - I am yr newest follower! I have a pariah greyhound...:) Just kidding. Wawa's a stray I adopted and nobody could make out what he is.

  3. Greetings From Southern California

    I added myself to follow your blog.

    I invite you to visit and follow TOGB.

    Have a Nice Day :-)


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