We often wonder: How can my dog tell it’s time for a walk without anyone saying a word? Or, how do they know when a family member is about to arrive? Some even claim their dog can sense if they’re not feeling well and sticks by their side constantly. These behaviors surprise us and make us think that dogs are highly intelligent, or at least that they have a sixth sense.
To gauge a dog’s intelligence, we need to distinguish between behaviors that indicate intelligence and those that result from innate instincts. Here’s how to determine if your dog is intelligent.
A Dog’s Intelligence
Los perros tienen diferentes capacidades mentales como el aprendizaje, la inteligencia comunicativa y la resolución de problemas. El encargado de sustentar estas capacidades es el instinto que posee el animal.
El aprendizaje del perro se basa en la experiencia. A base de la repetición de un resultado consigue aprender de esa experiencia.
La inteligencia comunicativa se manifiesta en la obediencia, es la capacidad del can de entender nuestras órdenes.
En cuanto a la resolución de problemas, existen razas con más habilidad que otras en este aspecto. Va muy ligada al aprendizaje. A partir de una experiencia, podrá llegar a crear una nueva conducta más favorable para afrontar esa misma situación.
In summary: learning from experience, the ability to understand commands and problem solving are attitudes that show that a dog is intelligent. In addition, you can increase your dog’s intelligence through games, experiences and different tricks, such as “increase your dog’s intelligence“.
A Dog’s Instincts
A dog’s instincts are innate behaviors they are programmed with from birth. These behaviors are not learned; dogs are born with these instincts. Here are some of the main canine instincts that you’re likely familiar with if you have a dog:
- Eating grass: Dogs often eat grass, generally when they have some gastrointestinal discomfort. No one has taught them to do this; it’s instinctive.
- Marking territory: Dogs, from puppies, will mark their territory with urine.
- Mating: Dogs have an instinctual need to mate.
- Tracking: Through tracking, dogs can extract a wealth of information due to their keen sense of smell. They can even mentally recreate a map of an area and memorize it.
- Interpreting body language: Dogs instinctively communicate with other dogs through body language, in addition to using smell and sounds. They also recognize and respect hierarchies within a pack. In their interactions with humans, they can decipher some meanings from our body language, and we can do the same with them. So, if your dog knows when you’re not feeling well or if you’re in a low mood, they’ve likely read your body language and recognized your different tone of voice, hence understanding that something is wrong and acting accordingly.
- Caution: Dogs instinctively know when to be cautious and when something might be dangerous.
Sometimes, we consider intelligence in dogs as some skills they perform instinctively and innately, while others are learned behaviors based on experience, which is a sign of intelligence.