We know that dogs are animals capable of learning and memorizing certain things – like their name or certain orders – as well as solving little complicated mental puzzles. However, Would it be possible to stimulate the intelligence of dogs?
If possible. And now you may wonder: how is it done? Well, don’t worry, because we’ll tell you next.
How smart is a dog?
Thanks to various studies conducted with specimens of different races it has been proven that The average intelligence of a dog is similar to that of a two-year-old child.
The dogs can learn signs, gestures and an average of about 165 words. And it should be noted that, to to the smartest dogs they have been able to teach youta 250 words in total.
Types of canine intelligence
Intelligence can be measured in many ways, language, arithmetic, social intelligence … and in all of them dogs give very positive results.
Stanley Coren is a famous researcher known for classifying dog breeds by their IQ, in different tests that measure different types of canine intelligence. The list is headed by the Border Collie breed.
According to Coren, dogs have a very basic understanding of arithmetic and canCount to four or five.
In one of the arithmetic tests they show a dog a piece of food, then they show him a second piece. If the dog understands the concept of 1 + 1, when they let him go for his prize he will look for two pieces of food. Similarly, they have been tested with sums up to four or five.
Another type of intelligence is the resolution of spaces. Dogs are able to study their surroundings and locate their valuable items such as food, toys, the favorite place to sleep … and they also do it by finding the fastest route, solving obstacles along the way such as opening a door or finding a hole to move from one place to another.
But The most recognized ability of dogs is to recognize and understand human expressions and communicate accordingly.
All these cognitive abilities make the dog an intelligent and social animal.
How to stimulate the intelligence of a dog?
Stimulating the intelligence of dogs we managed to reduce stress levels, prevent boredom and improve the bond between tutor-pet. Some activities that can stimulate intelligence are:
- Intelligence games for dogs. The most typical consist of a kind of boards with shapes and notches to hide food, the shapes are arranged in a kind of puzzle that the dog has to solve to get his prize. There are also others in which the animal has to open a kind of lock, move parts sequentially, lift a lid, actuate a lever…. These toys stimulate the intelligence and memory of the animal.
- Toys to hide food. There are many types of toys to hide feed or treats: in the form of a UFO, ball, the Kong type … they are designed for the dog to use its mouth or legs to get food inside. In addition, it is a good way to feed dogs anxious with food as it will take longer to get it and they will eat more slowly.
- Hide and seek games. We can hide food at home or in the park without seeing us and give the order to “search” when everything is ready. With these games, the sense of smell and the capacity for self-control are enhanced, since the dog must be still and calm until he hears the “search” order.
- training. Through positive reinforcement we can train our dog in the basic orders and go further and try to perform obstacle courses and other activities that require the resolution of spaces.
Definitely, to stimulate the intelligence of dogs it is advisable to play with them and include them in interactive activities. As tutors, we must try to keep this in mind and not let too much time pass between one game session and another.
A dog that plays regularly with its guardian, can be much smarter than a dog that rarely plays with him.