Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Attention Dog Lovers

Ever feel like you have the world's smartest dog at home? Ever wonder if dog's were this smart back when we were cave dweller's and Mammoth hunter's?

According to some recent research, dog's are becoming smarter simply by associating with us humans. That's right, just by hanging with the bipeds.

Now don't go home and tell your significant other's that HektikLyfe said you need to let your dog sleep on the bed from now on so they can get smarter. Thats not the way it works. Aside from the fact that your dog would never wake up from all your nighttime sleepfarts, it would take generations for it to make a difference.

Ever hear of natural selection? It doesn't work exactly like that but if you understand that you will get the general idea.

I go to the puppy store and see a box of puppies. There is one deformed, mentally retarded run walking into the wall and there is another sitting playfully looking at me. Which do I pick?

My neighbor has a great dog who knows many verbal commands and he tells me he has some puppies. My other neighbor has a dumb animal that likes to bite children. I think about this one for a while but eventually pick the smart one. For those that need clarification I mean the one that DOESN'T bite brats.

Call it unnatural selection. After years and years of people selectively choosing and breeding the smarter dogs, their intelligence appears to have grown beyond what was previously known.
...these pets now appear to have a limited "theory of mind", the capacity that enables us to understand the desires, motivations and intentions of others... (New Scientist)
According to Marc Bekoff, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, because dogs can play rough but rarely escalate to serious fighting shows that dogs abide by certain rules and expect others to do the same. In other words, Marc believes that dogs know right from wrong and they are not just responding to training.

Now get this little interesting nugget I never knew; Péter Pongrácz from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest says, "Barking is rare among feral dogs, suggesting that it evolved during domestication to allow dogs to communicate with us..."

They were trying to learn how to TALK! XO
Akiko Takaoka from Kyoto University, Japan, played dogs recordings of unfamiliar voices with each voice followed by a photo of a human face on a screen. If the gender of the face did not match that of the voice, the dogs stared longer, a sign that the image did not match their expectations and yet more evidence that they have been honed to communicate with people.

Meanwhile, Dr Juliane Kaminski at the University of Cambridge has examined how dogs can use human gestures such as pointing and gazing to find hidden food or toys and concludes that dogs do understand that we are trying to tell them something. "Domestication seems to have shaped dogs in a way which enables them to use these gestures from as early as six weeks," she tells New Scientist.

Dudes. One day they will rebel and Earth will become Planet of the Dogs! Damn you! Damn you all to hell! Damn dirty dogs!

Full Article


Iris said...

How very interesting!!!!!!!!!!!

I know I talk to our dog too much,as if he were a person. But, I really love it when he understands what I am trying to say to him and reacts the way I want him to.

Same goes for me. I understand what he is trying to communicate to me when he needs something from me but can't speak to request it.

This blog makes me wanna go home and hug our dog :)

Dawnie said...

it didnt hit me just how smart my dog is until one day I was sitting drinking a glass of water and reading a magazine. she got up came to the glass of water and gently began nudging it with her muzzle. She did it like 4 or 5 times and would look at me. it then occured to me she was thirsty..i looked over at her water bowl and it was empty. I was floored at how she could communicate with me like that. she rules my house, i cant get enough of her!

ryanmortinson said...

i laughed quite a bit on this one... and that picture is disturbing... and I loved the old planet of the apes movie series... and lassie was like my favorite show when I was a kid and I thought she was the smartest "person" ever.

and now that reminds me of "flipper" the really smart dolphin. did dolphins get smart from hanging out with pirates? or are they evidence that the lost city of atlantis exists?

Sarah said...

Wow...that is quite the picture.

HektikLyfe said...

>Iris: I pet our dog very kindly after returning from Jury Duty. He loves being outside he was having lots of fun.

>Dawnie: My wife loved this story. Our dog comes to wherever we are and licks his lips all dry like with an intent gaze. We say "Water?" and he goes waggo crazy.

>Ryan: I'm curious was to why Mammals are some of the smartest creatures. What about all our hairiness makes us so intelligent? Are there theories that dolphins come from Atlantis? I haven't heard those but would be interested to read some of them.

>Sarah: Yeah. I was looking for a dog in a suit but found that one to be a bit more captivating.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I swear my dog knows English. He is so dang smart. You would think a 4 1/2 lb Yorkie would be dumber than a bag of hammer's but our is actually intelligent.

HektikLyfe said...

Yorkie's are great puppies. I had a two Lhasa Apso's as a kid and they were great, kind and loyal but were very nervous animals.

Yorkie's are so damn expensive though. We thought about giving one to my grandmother some time ago but someone already gave her a mixed breed Chihuahua.

HektikLyfe said...

I had received numerous comments on this one years ago. I don't know what happened to them. Perhaps the new format wiped them. Sadness.