All dogs are smart, in their own unique way. One dog may fly through an agility course after a single run through, another may plod their way around, sniffing flowers along the way. Is there a way to accurately determine a dog’s mental aptitude? Here are some fun games to determine whether a dog is a brainiac or simply lovable.
The problem? A treat is hidden. The dog watches as a treat is placed under a cup. Ideally the solution is for the dog to tip the cup over and get the treat. If a dog accomplishes this in under five seconds, she scores high, if she takes up to ten seconds to figure it out, then she’s average. Basically the longer she takes the lower the score. Some dogs aren’t interested in treats. This is when a person should use a favorite toy or ball and hide it under a towel.
Does the dog understand hand gestures? The test; show the dog a tasty treat. Remove the dog from the room, hide the treat in an obvious place and bring the dog back into the room. Show her empty hands and gesture for her to look around the room. How long does is take the dog to find the treat on her own? The longer it takes the lower her score.
How good is the dog’s short term and long term memory? To test the short term memory, have the dog watch as a dog cookie or a Milkbone treat is set on the edge of a circle (like a rope ring or hula hoop). Interact with the dog for thirty seconds in the room and then release her, timing how long it takes to go to the treat. Does she head right for the cookie? Does she find it by accident while sniffing around?
Try again, place the cookie on a different edge of the ring. Take the dog out of the room, play and interact for five minutes and bring her back into the room. Does she remember the cookie and go straight to it? Or does it take her a moment to remember?
Test #4—Problem Solving
Problem? There is a tasty treat just out of reach! The owner sits on one side of a barrier, the dog on the other side. There should be enough space in the barrier to show the dog a treat, but not for the dog to reach the treat. How long does it take for the dog to come around to the owner’s side and eat the treat?
These are just a few of the IQ tests that offer a fun way to interact with dogs. They are also great for mental stimulation which keeps dogs healthy and active. Whether a dog is determined to be a genius or slightly less so, most dogs enjoy playing with their humans no matter the person’s IQ.
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