10 August 2009

Dogs and 2-Year-Olds on Same Mental Plane

According to accumulating research, the beloved family dog is really a toddler with a snout and tail.

"Dogs basically have the developmental abilities equivalent to a human 2-year-old," said dog expert Stanley Coren, who was scheduled to present recent canine research developments at the American Psychological Association annual meeting this week in Toronto.

The average dog can learn 165 words, although "super dog" Rico, a border collie, could understand 200 spoken words. Experts think some dogs can learn up to 250 words.

Dogs can count up to four or five and can correct you if you can't add one plus one.

One dog apparently learned to "read." Coren recounted the case of the canine who was able to "deliver" mail addressed to two girls, one with a short name and one with a long name. Although the owner thought the dog was actually reading, it turns out the canine was gauging the length of the name, not the individual characters, enabling him to deliver the mail to the right person.

To read this rest of the article, head on over to AJC.com