Thursday, May 18, 2006

Canine Intelligence Testing

Testing Your Dog's **Brain Power**

The best way to measure intelligence is to assess your dog’s problem solving skills.

Furthermore, your dog’s level of persistence when trying to solve a problem should also be considered meritorious.

The following are three simple tests to help measure your dog’s smarts.

Problem solving:
Take a large towel or blanket and gently toss it over your dog’s head. If he frees himself from the covering in less than 15 seconds, give him 3 points. If it takes 15-30 seconds, 2 points. If it takes him longer than 30 seconds,give him 1 point.

Memory test:
Place a treat under one of three buckets that are lined up in a neat row. Make sure your dog sees which bucket the treat or toy is under. Turn the dog away for 10 seconds then let the dog go.

If she goes straight to the bucket with the treat under it, give her three points.
If it takes two tries to find the treat, then 2 points.
If she checks the wrong two first before finding the right one,
give her one point.

Problem solving:
Place a treat in a square of aluminum foil and fold it twice to seal it.
If your dog uses his paws to open the foil, give him 3 points.
If he uses his mouth and paws to open the foil, give him 2 points.
If he can’t get the foil open and starts playing with it, give him 1 point. This test, again, measures problem solving. If your dog scores 6 points or higher, then you have a canine Einstein on your hands; 4-5 points then he or she is average; 3 points or less, well…whoever said that intelligence was a prerequisite for love?

Memory/Adaptive Intelligence Test:

When your dog is nowhere in sight, rearrange the furniture. If your dog goes directly to his favorite spot on the couch where he likes to sit and watch his favorite shows, give him 3 points. If he investigates the room and finds his favorite spot within 30 seconds, give him 2 points. If he settles for a less comfortable place, out of laziness or sheer confusion, give him 1 point.

Adaptive Intelligence Test:

At a time of the day you don’t normally walk your dog, quietly pick up your keys and his leash when you know he’s watching. If he starts wagging his tail and gets excited, 3 points. If you have to walk to the door before he knows what’s going on, 2 points. If he sits there with a dumbfounded look, give him 1 point.

Bonus: If your dog lets YOU know it’s time to go to the bathroom by bringing you his own leash (without being formally trained to do so) or has mastered the toilet, don’t worry…your dog’s a genius!


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