New Dog IQ Test Could Provide Clues To Dementia

Man’s best friend could help unlock clues when it comes to human intelligence and even give us a better understanding of dementia, researchers believe. A new study says that we might be able to measure canine intelligence with an IQ test similar to the ones for humans.

Researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh say they’ve developed a doggy IQ test that can help measure a dog’s ability to problem solve and complete certain tasks. The study included 68 working border collies who — unlike household pets — work on farms and aren’t used to things like tricks and treats.

“Just as people vary in their problem-solving abilities, so do dogs, even within one breed,” lead researcher Rosalind Arden, of the London School of Economics, said in a release.

Similar to many human intelligence tests, the dogs were given a handful of tests, administered in just around an hour, to measure things like navigation and decision-making. For example, they were timed on how fast it took them to get food that was behind a barrier and also on their ability to pick the larger quantity out of two plates of food.

What they found was that dogs who completed the tests faster were usually more accurate. And those who performed well on the food barrier test also scored higher when it came to the next food choice test.

Researchers say the test could provide helpful clues on human intelligence.

“This is significant because in humans there is a small but measurable tendency for people who are brighter to be healthier and live longer,” Arden said. “So if, as our research suggests, dog intelligence is structured similarly to ours, studying a species that doesn’t smoke, drink, use recreational drugs and does not —> Read More