New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

September 02, 2010

Why big dogs are perceived to be smarter than small dogs

Bigger dogs aren’t necessarily smarter than little dogs, but rather they’re just perceived by people to be smarter, according to a study done by a New Zealand researcher published in the September issue of Behavioural Processes.
Dog intelligence may seem an odd topic for a professor who teaches ergonomics – the study of work and workers – at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, to tackle.

“Our research would suggest that medium- (slightly large-) sized dogs are perceived to be the most trainable or intelligent generally. This is because they probably are the easiest to actually train physically.

“Really small dogs are hard to train. . . Really big dogs on the other hand are really hard to physically handle. . . Hence medium dogs, the Goldilocks’ dog, are seen as being the most intelligent. This does not mean they actually are the most intelligent, they are just perceived to be.”

One of the reasons for that perception may be the spacing of the eyes in a dog’s head and the way they see and then follow human cues, said Helton.

In analyzing data from a previous study done at another lab, Helton and his colleagues found that larger dogs were better at reading and executing a human pointing cue. MORE>>


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