Belgian Malinois, also known as Belgian Shephard, was declared to be the most intelligent dog by the scientists from the University of Helsinki in Finland. More than 1,000 dogs from 13 different breeds competed against each other in 10 tasks and were assessed by experts who created the smartDOG battery of tests, the Telegraph reported.
The study was published in the Nature Scientific Reports. The experts analysed exploratory behavior, impulsivity, social cognition, spatial problem-solving, logical reasoning, and short-term memory.
This breed tops in cognitive tasks
Saara Junttila, study author and PhD researchers in canine cognition at the University of Helsinki told The Telegraph that most breeds had their own strengths and weaknesses. Citing an example, Ms Junttila said, “For example, the Labrador Retriever was very good at reading human gestures, but not so good at spatial problem-solving ability. Some breeds, such as the Shetland Sheepdog, scored quite evenly in almost all tests, i.e., they had neither very high nor very low scores for any test.”
The test revealed that the Belgian Shepherd Malinois stood out in many of the cognitive tasks, having very good results in a majority of the tests, study author Dr Katriina Tiira, the owner and chief executive of smartDOG shared.
Ms Tiira added, “Border Collies also performed well in many of the tests.” Talking to Newsweek, Ms Tiira said, “We expected that breeds would differ from each other in most traits, and they did. This was well visible for testers doing the smartDOG testing in practice-breeds had typical cognitive profiles in the test.”
Excelling in V-detour task
In the logical reasoning round, the dogs were shown two food bowls and the dogs saw that one bowl was empty. The experts wanted to analyse if the dogs could infer the food was in the other bowl, which was covered up. The data revealed that there was no difference between the dog breeds for the task.
Not just that, human gesture reading ability was also measured. And the experts also investigated how independent a dog was. The Belgian Shephard Malinois topped the list for both the human gesture and V-detour task. It was the fifth most independent breed.
Border collies lived up to their reputation, coming second with 26 points, while the Hovawart got the bronze medal with 25 points, one point ahead of the Spanish Water Dog, The Telegraph report revealed. Whereas, Golden Retreiver and Labrador topped the list for gesture test.
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Source: The Telegraph