Is Your Dog Smarter than a Toddler?

More on PawNation: Coren, dog-intelligence, intelligence, language, psychology
Is your dog smarter than a toddler picture

How smart is your dog? Photo: TheGiantVermin/Flickr

Dogs are cuddly, playful, loyal -- and smart. But you totally already knew that. Now science tells us just how smart they really are.

The average dog has mental abilities akin to those of a two-year-old child, according to Stanley Coren, a dog expert and professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia. Coren presented an overview of dog-intelligence studies at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting this week.

In tests of language development, Coren said, the average dog can learn 165 words, including signals and gestures. That's comparable to the performance of a two-year-old toddler. The brainiest breeds can do even better, with some smarty-pants mastering a whopping 250 words (we're guessing half of these are synonyms for dinner).

Dogs are also impressive when it comes to crunching numbers. Pups can count to four or five -- a skill on par with a three- or four-year old child, reports

Other studies have found that dogs have good spatial problem-solving skills, and can show basic emotions such as happiness, disgust and anger. One emotion man's best friend doesn't suffer from? Guilt. What may seem like a guilty look is actually a dog's fear, according to Coren.

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