The canine IQ test could shed some light on human dementia

By Kelli Bender
Updated February 09, 2016 08:56 PM
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Old and new dogs it’s time to test those tricks.

According to CNN, British scientists are working on the first IQ test for dogs. The researchers developed the test by putting a group of 68 working border collies through a series of puzzling obstacles to assess intelligence.

The results of these trial runs appear to show that dogs have measurable IQs, much like humans do.

Some of the obstacles include seeing if dogs could determine the bigger portion between two plates of food and finding treats stuck behind different see-through barriers. Working border collies were used because they are trained for farm work and are not accustomed to games or treats.

The results showed that there was a noticeable difference in the times dogs finished the course, with canines who completed the test fastest often being more accurate as well. There was no noticeable difference between the results of female and male dogs.

Along with unlocking a better understanding of the canine mind, researchers think this dog IQ test could help humans as well.

“As our research suggests, dog intelligence is structured similarly to ours; studying a species that doesn’t smoke, drink, use recreational drugs and does not have large differences in education and income, may help us understand this link between intelligence and health better,” Dr. Rosalind Arden, a research associate at London School of Economics and Political Science, told CNN.

The test’s scientists also hope their work will help them learn more about dementia in humans.

“Dogs are one of the few animals that reproduce many of the key features of dementia,” Arden said. “So understanding their cognitive abilities could be valuable in helping us to understand the causes of this disorder in humans and possibly test treatments for it.”