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Canine Intelligence by Anna and Laura

You love your pet and naturally you think your dog is the smartest around. But we are using science to figure out which dog is really top dog. We set up some tests to answer the question: Which dog is better at solving problems?

What did we do?
Meet Fischer and Lucy. Both like to run, bark, wag their tail and slobber all over your face. We set up four tests for Fischer and Lucy. We timed each test. Test one: Get out from under a blanket. Test two: Find a treat under a cup. Test three: Find a treat under a blanket. Test four: Find a treat under a shelf.

What did we find out?
We were both right. Fischer was better suited for some tests and Lucy was better suited for other tests. But overall, Fischer had the lowest time. We want to try again, with some new tests for their dogs.
Problem Lucy Fischer
Blanket over dog 10 sec 5 sec
Cup over treat 4 sec 6 sec
Blanket over treat 70 sec 11 sec
Board over treat 8 sec 43 sec
Total Time 92 sec 65 sec

What can you do?
  • Try making up some other problem-solving tests. Maybe your dog can find a treat up on a shelf? Or try testing your dog at different times of the day. Does your dog perform better in the morning or in the afternoon?
  • Can you test the problem-solving skills of your cat? What obstacles would you face if you conducted this test on a cat? Can you think of tests that might work?
  • Use this dog investigation as a science fair project idea for your elementary or middle school science fair! Then tell us about it!
more resources
More on Behaviors and Adaptation

Go to the DFTV Boards, and tell us about your science investigation.
whiz quiz
What is the largest litter ever born to a dog?

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