Too Polite to Be Smart?

here I am putting a yellow washcloth over a little square treatI came across this Dog IQ test over at The Thundering Herd's blog. You put a treat under a washcloth, and purportedly, the quicker your dog removes the washcloth and eats the treat, the smarter the dog.

I tried this test with Cabana by putting a Wellness puppy treat under this washcloth.

But in the video clip, Cabana won't remove the washcloth. She knows the treat is under it, but I think Cabana is too polite to mouth or move the cloth. She doesn't consider it "hers" and so it's off-limits. (Cabana is extremely good about not monkeying with objects that don't belong to her, although she isn't above sniffing them--hey, she's a dog after all.)

(Ha ha, it's trash day today. You can hear the noisy trash trucks outside.)

the treat hidden under a couple javascript:void(0)of chewed up stuffy toysSo I tried the test again, this time with Cabana's toys. I used a couple of them, hoping it would make the test a bit more even with the washcloth in coverage.

In the resulting video, she gets the treat. But I'm not so sure this means Cabana has a high IQ--it seems too easy with the toys.

But it was fun to experiment anyway! I'd love to hear how your dogs respond to the test!! (GDB puppy raisers could maybe try the test by putting a washcloth over a piece of kibble in the dog's food bowl, since GDB pups aren't allowed to eat things off the floor.)

Kari in WeHo  – (January 26, 2010 at 9:50 AM)  

i would say she is just too well trained to make something that isn't hers!

Becky  – (January 26, 2010 at 12:14 PM)  

Funny - It reminds me of our neighbor who did her science project with our dogs (Pantera and Missy then) on their ability to detect which container the treat was in -- Missy scored high and Pantera was too polite and trained to participate.

The Thundering Herd  – (January 26, 2010 at 5:16 PM)  

Chuckling - no one ever accused a Siberian of politeness.

OSU 98  – (January 26, 2010 at 6:49 PM)  

I totally agree with Kari. That is just a good job by her mom of teaching her not to touch something that isn't hers. Clearly she is intelligent enough to know what is not hers and what is. What a good girl.

JackDaddy  – (January 26, 2010 at 10:10 PM)  

Really, I'm more impressed that she wouldn't touch something that isn't hers.

Jack, on the other hand, has eaten 3 bathmats.

We've learned not to hide anything!

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta  – (January 27, 2010 at 4:27 AM)  

Well, looks like I agree with everyone. She's too polite! And kudos on the manners! :D

Alphini's Puppy Raiser  – (January 27, 2010 at 8:00 AM)  

I congratulate Cabana on her manners. Looks like she's figured out exactly where the treat is, and that the best way to get it is to ask you! :-) Smart AND polite!

Couldn't resist trying it on Alfie...not surprisingly, he's more smart than polite (got it off with a quick flick of the paw)! Ah well, I've still got time to work on him!

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (January 27, 2010 at 9:06 AM)  

Hooray, Alphini's Raiser! I'm so glad someone else tried the test. I think Alfie's quick flick of the cloth DOES show he's smart.

I appreciate the compliments for Cabana's good manners, but I really can't take much credit. We did very little purposely (if anything)to make her be polite. Sometimes, she's TOO polite, though, because she won't even reach for her own toys if they're on top of something, like on top of her crate or the coffee table.

Jackdaddy, maybe we should revise the test to be conducted with a treat under a bathmat, rather than a washcloth. Jack's score would be through the roof!

Hi! I'm Sierra-Dog!  – (January 30, 2010 at 12:01 AM)  

Hi Cabana! Nice to meet you! I am so happy to see your blog. I was sent over by Samantha as we both received rewards! Congrats! And one really great thing- my sis Dexie is a career change dog for GDB! Can you believe it? Such a small world. My blog is brand new- so I haven't even told the blog world about Dexie yet, but stay tuned and you'll get to see her story. Wouldn't that be funny if your peeps and my peeps were all at the same "Fun Day?" Dexie came from San Rafel and her momma was "Stevie". Where did you come from? Oh my goodness, I'm just so excited I'm wagging my whole body!!!

Loads of Licks,

Mandy and Cancun  – (January 31, 2010 at 11:20 AM)  

I tried this with both my boys. Hero aced it and Cancun had a few shots at it because of Hero's interference the first time. I even tried hiding his kibble under a toy.

He watched me put the kibble down and put the toy over it - he pounced at the toy excitedly and ran off with it and Hero ate the kibble.

It's official, he gets by on his looks.

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