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Smart Dog?

 
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Jonathan



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 208
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:31 pm    Post subject: Smart Dog? Reply with quote

OK, admittedly I am not a dog person, but this sounds like a fairly smart dog to me...

TIME magazine, June 21, 2004; page 21, wrote:
200 Number of objects identified by Rico, a border collie whose IQ is comparable to that of a 3-year-old child, according to a report in Science
70% Rico's accuracy rate in identifying an object that was not in his 200-word vocabulary
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squirrel



Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 155
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile he sounds pretty smart... but does the ability to identify objects make one smart?
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Jonathan



Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 208
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a dog? I'd say so. But then again, I think that dogs aren't the brightest animals in the first place! Still, a 200 word vocabulary, and 70% ability to figure out items outside that vocabulary, does not strike me as a stupid animal.
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Genesius Redux



Joined: 28 Jun 2004
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animal intelligence is different from human intelligence, that's all. Dogs can't do particle physics or write poetry. But even the most sophisticated machines don't detect scents like dogs can. Of course dogs can learn words and distinguish between objects--but IME destructive human-canine relationships occur when people assume that dogs are smarter or more human than they are and ascribe motivations to them that are simply not there!

Example--in most sheep guarding dogs (as opposed to sheep herding dogs), fundamental stages on a predatory behavioral chain have been bred out. The dogs do not stalk, do not bite and kill. But they will dissect and eat what is already dead. So there are some farmers who get very disturbed when they see their sheep guarding dogs dissect and eat an already dead sheep--when they seem so tame around them otherwise. What has happened to these dogs to make them predatory on these sheep they've been around peacefully all their lives?

The answer is that nothing has happened. The sheep died naturally, and the dogs followed their natural instincts of dissect and eat. Whereas when the sheep were walking around, the dogs no longer have their stalk and bite-kill impulses to follow.

Communication between species is all about understanding the specifics of the intelligence you're dealing with!

Cheers,

Genesius
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