Everyone thinks their child/dog/fish/personal servant is the smartest of their kind. They get bumper stickers bragging about it. They pressure said creature all the time. On first dates, they will talk your ear off about their oh-so-smart little pumpkin. Personally I find it a little creepy whenever someone refers to their personal servant as “pumpkin.” Demeaning, you know?
That said, you should know, my dog is a GENIUS.
I know that you are thinking I am just like everyone else. I see what I want to see. But, I have scientific undeniable proof. I gave him this test (http://www.abc.net.au/animals/dog_test/default.htm). His results?
Before the test, I’ll admit. I had my doubts. For one thing, it was impossible to teach him tricks.
I didn’t know this at first. How could I? When he was a tiny ball of fluff, I got it into my head that good dogs know how to sit and they know how to lay. So I spent time with him, one hand holding a bit of cheese aloft, the other pushing his rump down ever so gently.
He seemed to learn pretty fast too, only a couple days of work and he could do it like a champ. He was officially a GOOD DOG. Never mind that he jumps all over anyone who walks through my door. Never mind that he issues this strange, high-pitched monkey-like noise anytime I spent more the 20 minutes not paying attention to him. Never mind that he has destroyed the weather stripping in my new house already because I locked him outside while the cable guy was working.
He is a GOOD DOG.
After a while though, I started to notice there was something strange about his trick doing. Mainly, when I picked up a treat he sat. Then if I didn’t give it to him immediately he would lay down. He didn’t actually wait for a command. He just knew one of these two things was sure to get him a treat. He didn’t much care which it was.
Eventually he took to adopting a position halfway between sitting and laying. Perhaps he figured by cutting the difference, he was doubling his chances.
But now I have proof! He passed the IQ test with flying colors.
He can’t tell the difference between the commands not because he is stupid, but because he doesn’t need to.
Eventually, I always give him the treat. I’m very well trained.
*** Note: I have taught him a couple other tricks after the IQ test. And now he cycles through sit, lay, crawl, and shake until I feed him.