I couldn’t resist clicking on this headline from Prevention.com: Is Your Pet Smarter than a 5th Grader?
The article explains the various ways animals are smarter than they seem, especially dogs. At the bottom it has several tests you can administer:
“With your dog watching, put a treat under a can; then see how long it takes for her to retrieve it. Less than 15 seconds is very good.”
I used a coffee filter instead of cans — hey, he’s a little dog! Charlie took 45 seconds, but I was relieved that he at least did retrieve it.
“Set up three cans, and place a treat under one while your pet watches. Remove him from the room for a couple minutes and then let him back in. Does he run straight to the cans? Does he find the right one?”
I placed the treat in the filter on the far left (the one behind Charlie’s tail in the photo) and made him wait in our bedroom. Two minutes later, yes, he ran straight to the cans, but then he noticed I had the camera. He started posing:
What does this mean? The test says nothing about this happening!?! About 30 seconds later, he got bored with me and the camera and decided to sit, facing away from the potential treat — agh!
Curiously, once I got irritated and ignored him and started typing this blog post, I heard a ruffling sound. Found — and he went to the right one (although he did squash the first one).
Good boy, you’re not totally stupid — you’re just vain!
“How many commands, hand signals, and noises does your pet respond to? More than 200 means you have a superpet.”
We know for sure he knows “sit”, “gimme 5,” “down” (although this sometimes turns into a convoluted “sit”), “come here”, and he comes when I say “wanna treat?” and “wanna go for a walk?” He sometimes responds to “gimme kisses.” So 6.5 out of 200 isn’t bad, right?
OK, so I just checked — it’s been 5 minutes and what is Charlie up to now?
He left no stone unturned, so to speak. This has to be a good sign, right?