Recent research shows that dogs are at least as clever as a 2-year-old human child—but dear Rex won’t yell “No!” at everything, like a kid in the throes of the “terrible twos.”
Dogs can learn, on average, between 250 and 165 words, depending on which study you read. They have basic math skills (and can even call us out when we add incorrectly), and they’re skilled problem-solvers. Perhaps they are more like 20-year-olds.
Come to think of it, this might explain why Lassie always had to save Timmy from falling down wells.
If you really want to get inside another animal’s head, allow me to direct you to New Orleans, where a virtual-reality exhibit allows humans to experience what it must be like to have the heightened senses of sight and hearing that other species enjoy naturally.
The exhibit allows visitors to see in ultraviolet light, as birds do, and hear the ultra-low frequencies that whales and other animals communicate in every day.
It looks as if Mark Twain was on the right track when he said, “It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because [he or she] is dumb to his dull perceptions.”
Written by Jeff Mackey