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silverfly's avatar

Is a dog's intelligence really measured by how fast it can get out from under a blanket?

Asked by silverfly (4045points) June 3rd, 2010

I’ve been told that you can measure how smart a dog is by how quickly it can get out from under a blanket.

The slower it gets out – the dumber it is.
The faster it gets out – the smarter it is.

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21 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

ummm..that is a good one! Here is a test that was interesting!

Take a large towel or blanket and gently throw it over your dog’s head. If he frees himself from the towel 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. This test measures disposition and problem solving.
Place a treat (or his favorite toy) under one of three buckets that are lined up in a row. Show your dog which bucket the treat is under. Turn the dog away for 10 seconds. Then let the dog go.
If he goes straight to the right bucket (the one with the treat under it), give him 3 points. If it takes two tries to find the treat, 2 points. If he checks the wrong two first before finding the treat, give him 1 point. This test measures memory.
Place a treat in a square of aluminum foil and fold it twice to close it. If the dog uses his paws to get the foil open, 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 just starts playing with it, give him 1 point. This test measures problem solving.
If your dogs scores 6 points or higher he is sharp as a tack. If he scores 4–5 points, he is average (and cute!). If he scores 3 points or less, well…. let’s just remember that he is your best friend!

dpworkin's avatar

Intelligence is a far more broadly-based metric than that, and canine intelligence requires parameters that may be ill understood.

If you but a leash on a squirrel and wrap the leash around the pole, the squirrel will immediately back up and unwind it. If you do the same thing to a dog it will sit there and look uncomfortable. Which animal is smarter?

Tobotron's avatar

In the Spanish army you need an IQ of at least 80 to get in, and apparently in the IQ world of dogs 80 is that of a German Shepard…how stupid must you feel to loose out to a German Shepard lol…

syz's avatar

That is one experiment that was used as a parameter of dog intelligence. It’s hardly accepted as the test of a dog’s intelligence.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@BoBo1946 Wouldn’t the second test (the one with the bucket) be as much a test of smell as it is of intelligence?

BoBo1946's avatar

@Dr_Dredd very true…:))))

Your_Majesty's avatar

There are also another way to test a dog’s intelligence. The size and mass of the brain method. And the obedience method(used widely by trainer). But to make your measurement easier there are already a classification of dog breeds that determine one breed’s intelligence from another so you can make a rough measurement about your dog’s intelligence(This however,won’t works for non-pure breed. And the result might differ from one individual to another within the same breed). The blanket method too,won’t always give you an accurate result,Imagine if your dog isn’t in its prime condition,suffer from some issue(physically/psychologically),disoriented,etc. Overall,there’s no way to 100%ly measure your dog’s intelligence,only maybe,human’s perception.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@BoBo1946 Then again, my previous dog wasn’t too bright AND had a lousy sense of smell. I loved her, though. :-)

janbb's avatar

If you put a towel on Prince the gormless cocker’s head, he would walk around in the dark, not cursing a thing. (Boy, do I miss him.)

tedd's avatar

There’s a dog IQ test somewhere online, I gave it to my dog. It has stuff like, show them a treat, then put it under a cup and see how long it takes the dog to tip the cup to get the treat. Or like calling for them in an affectionate happy manner, but saying “fridge” instead of their name. I think one of them was a towel over their head or something.

wyrenyth's avatar

Just like with people, however, you can have a dog that has a great amount of intelligence and not a large amount of “common” sense, as well as vice versa. A dog that may be a master of escape may look puzzled when you hide a treat behind your back. A dog that follows the treat may lay on the floor and give up when a blanket is placed over his head. There’s no one absolute test for the intelligence of your dog. And even the dumbest dog will figure something out with repetition – once they get the blanket off of their head, they’ll get faster every time it’s put over their head until they learn to avoid the blanket all together.

rebbel's avatar

A dog may score higher then 6 on BoBo1946’s test and thus be sharp as a tack, but when it is chasing it’s tail it still looks a bit dumb.

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Merriment's avatar

I don’t think that’s true.

I have a very, very clever Border Collie that doesn’t want to get out from under a blanket fast because she LIKES being under there. She hears us laughing and she puts on a full show of walking through the house, swinging her head.

One test I have heard of and tired is to take a treat, show it to the dog and then place in under the edge of the sofa far enough back that they can’t get it with their nose. Then watch their “problem solving skills”. The smarter dogs will lie on their sides and fish the item out with their paw. The dog I tested this way was the only of her litter that figured it out. But that’s not why I picked her….she picked me :)

Tobotron's avatar

My parents have two Labrador’s which are trained gun dogs, they work as a pack to sweep fields, you can tell them to do things by beeping different combinations on a whistle and hell sometimes they even make a good cuppa ;)

But they would never fish out anything because there too lazy, dog’s pretty much do what they like when they like, its pretty hard to test their intelligence unless there in the mood for it being tested, eg when foods involved haha…

netgrrl's avatar

I’d hate to see that be a test on intelligence. I’ve met dogs that owners said were “dumber than a box of treats” and taught them a simple sit within minutes.

Radar can easily unwind himself from around a tree. (Although he sometimes has trouble telling left from right.)

I think all dogs are smarter than we give them credit for. One of the best things we do when we teach our dogs obedience, even tricks, is that we teach them to problem-solve. Once they learn that, they often apply it to other things.

There is a saying: if you think a dog can’t count, put 3 treats in your pocket & give him 2 of them.

jazmina88's avatar

My border collie is smarter than me…....

BoBo1946's avatar

@jazmina88 my Spunky (my avatar) was part border collie..very smart!

DrBill's avatar

Every dog I have had would spend time under the covers to sleep, and to play. I have played “cover monster” whit all of them and they love it. If I move the covers, they would come running and dive under in hopes of starting a game.

The hidden treat is only a test of how well their nose works.

zophu's avatar

Ever play under a blanket as a kid? Were you always worried about getting out as fast as you could? You shouldn’t judge a dog’s intelligence on an individual level without observing more of their behavior than just that.

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