Dogs And Humans: They Have Measurable IQs, Too

First Posted: Feb 08, 2016 11:43 PM EST

Humans love to talk to their dogs and sometimes brag about how smart they are, too.

Now, British scientists have discovered a new IQ test for dogs that involves a series of obstacle tests in order to assess their intelligence. The results seem to suggest that just like humans, dogs also have measurable IQs, according to CNN

"In humans, there is a small but measurable tendency for people who are brighter to be healthier and live longer," Dr. Rosalind Arden, a research associate at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) who helped carry out the study in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, said in a news release. "So if, as our research suggests, dog intelligence is structured similarly to ours, studying a species that doesn't smoke, drink, use recreational drugs and does not have large differences in education and income, may help us understand this link between intelligence and health better."

During the study, researchers looked at how close to 70 border collies performed in a series of obstacles that measured intelligence. The tests included timing how long it took dogs to get food from behind different see-through barriers and repeatedly giving the animals plates of food to see if they could determine which was a bigger portion.

Dogs that completed the tests faster were also more likely to complete them accurately, researchers found.

The dogs in the study were border collies that were more accustomed to farmyard settings--unlike pets that are used to games and food treats. 

Lastly, researchers did not note a difference between genders regarding test scores. 

"This is only a first step, but we are aiming to create a dog IQ test that is reliable, valid and can be administered quickly. Such a test could rapidly improve our understanding of the connection between dog intelligence, health, even lifespan, and be the foundation of 'dognitive epidemiology," Dr Mark Adams, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, said in a news release"Dogs are excellent for this kind of work because they are willing to participate and seem to enjoy taking part."

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