Dog cognition research is expanding, but few studies have examined people s perceptions of specific cognitive abilities in dogs. The aim of this study was to explore owner perceptions of dog cognitive abilities across different cognitive domains and to determine whether these were associated with the dog-owner relationship. We developed an online questionnaire and analyzed the results from 565 dog owners. Dog owners generally indicated the belief that dogs are socially intelligent and possess the capacity to learn social and general cognitive skills. One quarter of dog owners agreed or strongly agreed that dogs were smarter than most people, and 45.7 indicated the belief that a dog s mental ability is equal to 3-5year old human children. Perceived emotional owner-dog closeness correlated with all cognition ratings. A better understanding of dog cognitive abilities may help owners interpret dog behavior more appropriately, which may lead to a reduction in the number of dogs relinquished to shelters because of behavioral problems.
|Pages (from-to)||418 - 424|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|