They're intelligent, but not exceptionally so.
Dogs are not quite as smart as the hype would suggest, researchers have found.
A new study suggests that they're smart but not "super smart," The New York Times reports.
Stephen Lea, emeritus professor at the University of Exeter, said he saw lot of studies "showing how remarkable the things were that dogs could do" when he was editor of the scientific journal Animal Cognition. The problem was, despite not being studied as frequently, other animals such as cats and horses had been known to display similar capabilities.
"It made me quite wary that dogs were special," he told the Times.
And the new study bears that suspicion out. Authors of the study, published in the journal Learning & Behavior, arrived at their findings by reviewing existing research. Compared with dolphins, horses, and several other species, dogs were fairly unexceptional. The researchers looked at areas such as tool usage and ability to carry out complex tasks.
Dogs sometimes seem smart than other animals, though, because they're affectional and eager to be trained, the Times notes.
Read more at The New York Times