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Pups vs. Toddlers: A Training Stalemate

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August 03, 2009

Pups vs. Toddlers: A Training Stalemate

By David DiBenedetto

OK, so you’re probably not going to teach your dog to say “Daddy,” but recently there’s some been interesting news from the scientific community about a pooch’s capacity to learn.

According to a study in the journal Animal Cognition, (note: Please don’t read this periodical while driving heavy machinery), dogs can understand human pointing gestures at the same level of a 2-year-old child. Best of all, a dog’s learning curve is extremely short, if not non-existent.

The study involved all manner of pointing gestures, including finger, elbow, and leg. The dogs were required to find food while the children went looking for toys. It should be noted that primates fail the pointing test miserably, marking another fine reason to get a dog and not a chimp.

What’s this mean for a bunch of guys and gals working on hand casts, baseball sessions, and blind retrieves? Well, you’ve been right all along: Our dogs have a surprising amount of intelligence and when trained properly can be not only partners in the field but assets, too.

While kids quickly outpace dogs as they reach 3 years of age, the study indirectly proves one other thing that a frequent commenter on this blog, 2Poppa, likes to point out: Raising a good dog is pretty darn good practice for raising a kid…or vice versa.

Comments (9)

Top Rated
All Comments
from ggmack wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

that is pretty cool. i always thought puppies could learn at a level higher than we give them credit for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Humans do like 95 percentage of our brain development before the age of 3 and if we r at the level of dogs on average by age 2 then the last leg gives us nuclear bombs, advanced human engineering etc etc.. shouldnt take much tinkering with genetics to make dogs rival us in intelligence then.. but for now only humans can do that as we know for now.. so better leave them alone i say, or we would have a responsibility for theire survival.. also means dont tinker with foodcrops genetics cos we could innadvertenly create an intelligent tomato or something that could rival our own level of intelligence.. Maybe even there was intelligent life form before us that left the planet before an extinction event.. what we do know is that we r not the first intelligent civilised society among humans, but we might be the last cos of our compiled ammount of influence of our enviroment..
just prattling, but hey, think about it:XD

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I agree: anyone thinking about having kids should get a dog first. The responsibilities (and destruction of all things upholstered) are stunningly similar.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

to add on to 2poppa's remark be careful if you were to have kids and a pup don't tell one or the other to go sit down and the other to have your wife change it's diaper because it's whining to much.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gspnewby wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

This makes sense to me. Just watching my pup develop my wife and I have often commented on the parallels, although we dont have kids so we dont really know the full effect.Hopefully our kids dont bite like the pup.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

pinopolis-
Well said! That's my kind of thinkin'!

After reminiscing and thinking back,I realized that we always had a dog or two as the kids were growing up. Watching my two year olds playing with our pup,was always amusing and entertaining,to say the least.

At one point, I thought my pup, was out distancing the 2-year olds in intelligence. The pup had a way of lookin' at my eyes,and lookin' for my reaction, that the kids were failing to do,even though the toddlers always had my attention.

I was/am a Mr. Mom so,I was on a fast learning curve myself. The pup, as usual, always displayed an un-conditional love, that taught me to express it at times when it was especially difficult to do so ... raising rug rats and pups.

The study in Animal Cognition, is certainly in depth and interesting and has had my attention in the learning process of their (animals) perception.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I believe it is very true, you want to know if you are ready for a kid, get a dog. See how you can deal with that and you enjoy having one. Most people will be suprised with the results. Becuase unlike kids, where they grow up and become a little more independent each year, dogs still need you to take them on walks and play with them and feed them and such. Its like being stuck with an infant. It trully is a great test.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I have had two field spanials and two other springers(one liver white one black white trained all) while my kids were young and have lived through all trails with both.My children have grown daughter college age went to be a cop.Now its time for their child years and to visit dad and his UK Springer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadian wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

capture your moment in history with the enduring leagacy of art. chad lavin studio. www.lavinstudio.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ggmack wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

that is pretty cool. i always thought puppies could learn at a level higher than we give them credit for.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Humans do like 95 percentage of our brain development before the age of 3 and if we r at the level of dogs on average by age 2 then the last leg gives us nuclear bombs, advanced human engineering etc etc.. shouldnt take much tinkering with genetics to make dogs rival us in intelligence then.. but for now only humans can do that as we know for now.. so better leave them alone i say, or we would have a responsibility for theire survival.. also means dont tinker with foodcrops genetics cos we could innadvertenly create an intelligent tomato or something that could rival our own level of intelligence.. Maybe even there was intelligent life form before us that left the planet before an extinction event.. what we do know is that we r not the first intelligent civilised society among humans, but we might be the last cos of our compiled ammount of influence of our enviroment..
just prattling, but hey, think about it:XD

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pinopolis wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I agree: anyone thinking about having kids should get a dog first. The responsibilities (and destruction of all things upholstered) are stunningly similar.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

to add on to 2poppa's remark be careful if you were to have kids and a pup don't tell one or the other to go sit down and the other to have your wife change it's diaper because it's whining to much.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from gspnewby wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

This makes sense to me. Just watching my pup develop my wife and I have often commented on the parallels, although we dont have kids so we dont really know the full effect.Hopefully our kids dont bite like the pup.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

pinopolis-
Well said! That's my kind of thinkin'!

After reminiscing and thinking back,I realized that we always had a dog or two as the kids were growing up. Watching my two year olds playing with our pup,was always amusing and entertaining,to say the least.

At one point, I thought my pup, was out distancing the 2-year olds in intelligence. The pup had a way of lookin' at my eyes,and lookin' for my reaction, that the kids were failing to do,even though the toddlers always had my attention.

I was/am a Mr. Mom so,I was on a fast learning curve myself. The pup, as usual, always displayed an un-conditional love, that taught me to express it at times when it was especially difficult to do so ... raising rug rats and pups.

The study in Animal Cognition, is certainly in depth and interesting and has had my attention in the learning process of their (animals) perception.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I believe it is very true, you want to know if you are ready for a kid, get a dog. See how you can deal with that and you enjoy having one. Most people will be suprised with the results. Becuase unlike kids, where they grow up and become a little more independent each year, dogs still need you to take them on walks and play with them and feed them and such. Its like being stuck with an infant. It trully is a great test.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kelmitch wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

I have had two field spanials and two other springers(one liver white one black white trained all) while my kids were young and have lived through all trails with both.My children have grown daughter college age went to be a cop.Now its time for their child years and to visit dad and his UK Springer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadian wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

capture your moment in history with the enduring leagacy of art. chad lavin studio. www.lavinstudio.com

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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