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Animal intelligence.


By Raquel


Just thought I would share this with you since so many GoY members love animals (I love dogs, don’t mind cats and like rabbits, but have none because of my work schedule – the last thing I would want to do to a poor doggie would be to leave it alone all day!).

National Geographic had an issue about animal intelligence, called “Inside Animal Minds” and the cover was the cutest border collie so I bought it, I’ve always thought animals are intelligent and can make decisions and feel emotions, especially dogs, and the article comfirmed this…the border collie could recognize a vocabulary of 340 words, she’s been tested by scientists and has been found to be able to link together photos with the objects they represent. She does this faster than a great ape that was also tested.

I knew that bottlenose dolphins and African Gray parrots are also highly intelligent, but others were a surprise..the giant pacific octopus for example, and scrub jays, marmosets and bonobos…

I’m sure the spy squirrels would also qualify! =)

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Raquel ~
Thanks for this blog.
Interesting to read which animals have a surprising amount of intelligence.
Totally understandable that with your workload, it would be a no- no right now for you to keep pets, and in particular, a dog.

I expect you know that Border Collies are part of the Pastoral Group ( in USA - Herding Group).

Pastoral Group includes those such as Rough Collies, Smooth Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Corgis, Briards, Australian Cattle Dogs, German Shepherd Dogs, and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs
( in USA they are called Great Pyrenees )

Most of the breeds in this group were bred to be using their minds from dawn to dusk, herding sheep, etc, obeying a shepherd's commands and also having the ability to think independently if the situation requires.

My Sheltie "Conker" ( on my photos with his lawn mower and vacuum cleaner ! ) likes to be thinking and doing all day. It is probably even more important for him to use his mind than exercise his body, though obviously both are vital.

From the above research it's easy to understand why a bored Border Collie or other Pastoral breed, shut alone all day in a small apartment, would become very stressed indeed.

PS. Take a look at Grenville's latest blog....
...a very intelligent Parrot cross by the looks of things.
But the brains are in the teeth, and those have falled out. Lol

15 Nov, 2008


I was talking to my grandson about how many words Henry could understand. There were so many, I wish I'd written them down. One day, I will do it just to see. Labs are counted as a very intelligent breed - they wouldn't be able to train them as Guide dogs otherwise, would they? He definitely thinks - he solves problems like 'I've got this huge stick, how how do I get it through that stile?' And I watch - and he does it!

15 Nov, 2008


Thanks Raquel my squirrel spies need all the support they can get.....

15 Nov, 2008


What's wrong with your squirrel's pies ?
Did they sink in the oven ?

15 Nov, 2008


I have always known that dogs are smarter than most people would believe, just like Henry, my Bella can understand a lot of words and she learns quickly. The one thing that still surprises even me is that she knows when you call and order Pizza, and that the delivery person will soon be arriving. Bella LOVES pizza!!!

15 Nov, 2008


Clever Bella !
Has the pizza arrived yet ?

Looks like Bella has her own personal phone directory with all the best Pizza numbers .

She sounds so very smart that maybe when you leave her home alone, she orders her favourite pizza with extra cheese, and opens the door to the delivery person. Lol.

15 Nov, 2008


Well...... the delivery person does seem to know her, and know her fav is with pepperoni, ham, sausage and cheese, so.... I wouldn't put it past her!!

15 Nov, 2008



15 Nov, 2008


Sorry folks but the Crow can outwit the lot of us.
Have you seen the film where a crow was given meat in a tall glass and a straight piece of wire? She took the wire and bent it into a hook then retrieved the meat, she was not taught this behaviour. There have been other sightings of crows taking small crustations from the beach and flying inland to car parks where they drop the shell from a great height to break it on the concrete surface.

16 Nov, 2008


Not so much "stone the crows" , as the "crows stoning us".
Very interesting Ams. Respect for the crows. :o)

16 Nov, 2008


Very smart Ams always fascinates me that they have learned not to cross white lines on motorway hard shoulders.Not phased by huge trucks roaring past so long as they stay on other side of line.

Like the sound of a bonobo Raquel what are they ?

16 Nov, 2008


They say cats are not as clever as dogs, but my smokey knows lots of things i say to him, and he works to a routine, he wonts his breakfast & tea more or less the same time every day, also if i'm not sat down in the evening when it starts to go dark, he wont leave me alone as he likes to sit on my knee in the evening, if i'm not sat down , he comes mowing round me none stop, then walk to my chair where i usually sit if i dont follow him he's back round me till in the end i sit down, plus when he does sit on my knee, if i move him to get up he gets really cheesed off.

16 Nov, 2008


Smokey sounds like a really clever cat.
Clarice ~ you're right.
There are lots of very intelligent cats. :o)

16 Nov, 2008


The Crow's are landing on my apple tree and catching hold of the string holding the fat balls and lifting the string over the end of the branch and flying off with their prize ! No more Alfred Hitchcock for me ...

17 Nov, 2008


Those Welsh crows are VERY clever. :o)

17 Nov, 2008


Must be the sea air here in Fishguard !

17 Nov, 2008


Thanks everyone for your comments, I agree that animals are intelligent, some more than others, of course...Spritz, labs are indeed very smart, though some people think they're not because they are so friendly... which is just silly! Terratoonie, I knew about the border collies and once I was watching Animal Planet and saw a show on dogs...and they were spotlighting the border collie...I couldn't believe it that they know to herd the sheep and come back with the sheep and take care of them..amazing! How do they KNOW what to do?

I HATE it when people keep big dogs - especially highly intelligent ones - inside all day because they really can't take it, they need, like you said, to be mentally and physically active...

Clarice, I think cats are very smart, they're just not as expressive as dogs (well, I don't know for sure, having never had one but that's my impression) but to wander about and come back home they can't be dumb...

I didn't know about the crows, Ams. I have to admit I've never liked them too much but will have to respect them more now...

I love squirrels Bonkers, too bad so many people see them just as rodents with bushy tails - sigh..

You know Wohlibuli at the risk of sounding - 'out there' as if I were the Pet Psychic - sometimes I wonder if animals could possibly use some form of telepathy to know as in your case, that the pizza's coming...or could they just associate the sounds of the word pizza with the pizza? I want a pizza! lol

19 Nov, 2008


Bonkersbon, a bonobo is a type of primate, a member of the great ape family I believe.

19 Nov, 2008


Oh, I think she knows the word Pizza along with many other words associated with food, like fish, biscuit, goody, cookie, muffin,donut and cake. She has quite a sweet tooth! But no chocolate allowed!!!

19 Nov, 2008


good, chocolate isn't any good for them! Or for me, ahem, but I just love

21 Nov, 2008


Yea, I know that dogs can not eat chocolate, so I try not to fix it too often, but I'm like you I love it!
She begs for it and is mightily indignant when we won't give her any, but she has learned what "all gone" means also, so she just walks away and pouts! lol

21 Nov, 2008


Oh poor Bella! But it's best for her after all.

24 Nov, 2008

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