“Dumb dog” not an accurate phrase

By Susan Aiello • Published: February 1st, 2012
Category: Animal Airwaves

The phrase “dumb dog” may be an oxymoron. Research shows that canine intelligence is at about the level of a human 2-year-old. Dogs can learn more than a hundred words, count to four and grasp basic arithmetic.

One highly trained Border collie named Chaser knows more than a thousand nouns and can link them with verbs to recognize short sentences. This uncanny canine was the center of attention at a recent meeting of the American Psychology Association.

When asked to find one specific toy out of more than a thousand, Chaser always complied and knew the difference between nosing and pawing the toy. Through the process of elimination, Chaser was even able to fetch a new toy it had never seen.

When you combine this intellect with a keen understanding of human moods and body language, it’s no wonder that dogs can enrich our lives in so many ways.