Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Smartest dog in the world...?

Tonight on BBC2 at 9pm: Horizon. The Secret Life of the Dog.

A seven-year-old dog in Austria called Betsy has amazed scientists by being able to recognise more than 340 words.
Betsy's skills were recorded as part of the BBC's science programme Horizon.
It examined the increase in scientific investigations into canines, their unique relationships with people, and how they are helping to identify the causes of some human diseases.

Click here for a clip that shows some of Betsy's impressive vocab.

Wonder if they'd talked to the lady who has taught her dogs to speak? Must say that impressed me. I'm sure lots of dogs recognise very many words. I suspect Border Collies have a different sort of intelligence than say Beardies. Borders are usually good at doing what they're told while Beardies tend to improvise.

There must be a difference between training and intelligence. I love dogs that problem solve. I think it's real intelligence when a dog trains its owner for example! I've had Beardies that can open gates, even opening a bolted door! And one that realised the only way to get my lovely old mum's attention during Coronation Street was to stand inbetween her and the TV screen and pretend to squat!

Who has been your most intelligent dog and why?


Claire M said...

The Horizon programe was brilliant - and if I hadn't read about it here I would have missed it! However, I can't be alone in being horrified at the conditions in which the silver foxes were kept: small wire mesh boxes suspended above the ground and with very little protection from the elements. Scientists from all over the world visit this experiment into domestication of the foxes - which has been ongoing for 50 years - and none of those interviewed appeared to bat an eyelid at what they have seen! The results of the experiment are fascinating, but worth the torment of hundreds and hundreds of foxes? I don't think so!

Beverley Cuddy said...

Well said, it troubled me too.