So just how smart is your pooch? Care to find out? Starting Monday I will be administering a test a day (for a total of six) to see how Pablo measures up in the IQ department. Why not test your dog at the same time?
I’m going with a standard IQ test devised by Stanley Coren, a psychology professor who is an expert on canine intelligence. It tests a dog’s adaptive intelligence—its problem-solving abilities, its language comprehension, and its understanding of social cues.
Here are some guidelines to follow when administering the test:
1. Test your own dog, one that’s lived with you for three months or more.
2. The dog should be over a year old.
3. Make the tests as free of stress as possible; keep them like a game between you and your dog.
4. Stay calm and neutral. Don’t shout.
5. Don’t do a test over and over until your dog achieves a higher score. That’s cheating. Do the test once—or at most twice.
6. The tests can be given in any order. Try to give each test separately instead of all at once. This is because most use food as a reward, and your dog may not be as motivated to perform its best when stuffed full of treats.
Somehow I don’t think this last guideline will be a problem for most pugs. It certainly won’t be for Pablo. See you Monday for test number one. Bring a stopwatch—and your dog.