Check out this article from Science Daily. Scientists have proven that dogs can put photos into categories like humans do. By using a touch screen, they have determined that dogs can visually categorize pictures and transfer their knowledge to new situations. The dogs were first shown a landscape picture and a dog picture. When they selected the dog picture they were rewarded with food (Springer 2007).
Next they were shown new pictures and each time they reliably selected the dog. In the third test they were shown a dog in a landscape and a landscape and they still selected the dog picture.
Animals are such amazing creatures and they are capable of much more than we know about, which I’m sure is the same for humans too! I had once read that a cat has the ability of a two year old child. That they can predict angles that something may move, etc. It really is true!
There was a test done by a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in which a cat and a dog were taught that food was only available under a box with a light on top of it. After allowing time to pass they tested them again to see if they could recall which box had the food in it. The dog remembered no more than 5 minutes, but the cat remembered 16 hours later (The Intelligent Cat)!
So next time you call your dog or cat dumb, remember they are really smarter than you think!
Springer (2007, November 29). Dogs Can Classify Complex Photos In Categories Like Humans Do. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071128105543.htm
The Intelligent Cat. Cats International. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from http://www.catsinternational.org/articles/training/the_intelligent_cat.html