POWS FOR THOUGHT; Dogs Can Read Your Say Mind, Scientists

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), June 11, 2011 | Go to article overview

POWS FOR THOUGHT; Dogs Can Read Your Say Mind, Scientists


Byline: Craig McQueen

ANEW study in the US has discovered that dogs are smarter than we previously thought, as they're experts at watching our behaviour.

The findings revealed that canines who spend a lot of time with humans become adept at picking up physical and verbal cues, so they often know what we are going to do before we do it.

But there are plenty of other stories which point to dogs being smarter than we give them credit for. Here's a look at some of them.

. ? When canine experts in Canada took development tests usually used for children and tried them on dogs, they found the dogs were as smart as an average two-year-old.

Professor Stanley Coren, from the University of British Columbia, said: "Dogs can tell that one plus one should equal two.

. ? For as long as dogs have been man's best friend, we've wondered why they're so good at reading our minds and knowing what mood we are in.

According to Harvard University anthropologist Brian Hare, the answer lies in the fact dogs have been domesticated by humans, giving them skills that supposedly smarter animals such as chimpanzees P don't possess.

He said: "If you hide food and give them a social cue, they should understand that 'he's looking at where the food is hidden, he wants me to find it.'". The city of Moscow has a huge problem with stray dogs but a Russian researcher found they've been very successful in adapting to their conditions. thOught Andrei Poyarkov found that not only had the animals lost the spotted coats, wagging tails and friendliness that separated them from wolves, they had also evolved new social structures and skills, such as navigating the city's underground network. ? Two scientists in Brazil succeeded in teaching a dog how to use a computer keyboard.

They taught mongrel Sofia to communicate a range of requests, from food and water to going for a walk and being petted.

Whenever she pressed a button, the computer played a voice recording relating to the request she made, while a camera recorded her behaviour.

It was found Sofia's behaviour matched up to the buttons she pressed 87 per cent of the time. ? For years there has been anecdotal evidence of dogs being able to detect various types of cancer in their owners before there are any other symptoms. Now there's a growing body of evidence to show that this is true.

The most recent study in Japan found that a labrador asked to identify breath and stool samples from a bowel cancer patient had a success rate of 69 out of 73.

It has already been suggested that dogs can use their noses to detect skin, bladder, lung, ovarian and breast cancers.

. ? We are all used to seeing dogs helping people who are blind or deaf but our four-legged friends can help people with all manner of different conditions. …

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POWS FOR THOUGHT; Dogs Can Read Your Say Mind, Scientists
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