Wednesday, August 27, 2008

K-9 I.Q. ...

I'm not sure exactly how they're measuring the intelligence of various dog breeds, but this list seems to have a science. The Border Collie takes the top slot and the Afghan Hound, looking good at the other end, probably won't win any chess tournaments. Not listed: mutts, whose mixed blood is well-known to yield fortified smarts.

(photo by Elliott Erwitt)


Blogger kissyface said...

In defense of the Labrador Retriever, who still managed a respectable 94, I wonder what measure stubbornness and willfulness are given in this scale. There is no question that Border Collies are the most clever dogs, in the sense of their tractability. This seems a wholly human serving trait, which as far as survival skills go, is totally legitimate. Make yourself indispensable and pleasing to your master, and you will prosper.

On the other hand, something should be said for the intelligence of not solely being of use to others. I've known Huskies that were undeniably crafty, but completely insubordinate. And to be fair to Border Collies, lacking proper training and exercise, they will run you and not the other way around.

You are right, they should do some sort of general testing of a large group of mutts, just to see where they fall on average.

I'd also like to know which breed, once lost or abandoned, most often finds its way back to its human companions. The stories of long distance treks (by cats, too), just slay me.

And what about a lovingness quotient, which must also be a form of intelligence. I know of a male Lab who mothered a litter of kittens, grooming them and carrying one of them about in his mouth each day.

That is terminal cuteness.

3:04 PM  

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