From time to time you may have wondered just how smart your rabbit dogs actually are. The Beagle breed by nature is pretty intelligent, but there are always exceptional specimens at the top of the spectrum. On the other hand, there are also dogs who maybe aren't as bright as their counterparts. In order to find out where your particular dogs fall, you can conduct a few simple IQ tests that will give you some idea as to just how bright your rabbit dogs are.
Most canine IQ tests can be done with household items, food or treats, items you use regularly in connection with your dogs, and a stop watch. When you conduct a canine IQ test, you are basically looking for them to solve problems and do so quickly as well as to recognize things outside of a normal routine. If you wish to conduct some basic IQ tests, here are some easy ones to get you started.
1. Take a light blanket or towel and use it to cover your dog's head. His or her response will indicate a level of intelligence. Since you are looking for problem solving skills, what you want to see is a dog that gets out from under the towel quickly without any assistance from you. This means no whistling or calling names but instead simply covering the dog with a light blanket or towel and waiting. If you're going to conduct multiple tests, award points to get a grand total as follows based on the time it takes your dog to get free:
15 second or less: 4 points
16 to 30 seconds: 3 points
31 to 60 seconds: 2 points
1 minute or more: 1 point
If your dog sits/lays there hopelessly until you remove the towel: 0 points
2. In order to see if your dog is smart enough to pick up on subtle cues, casually pick up his or her leash at a time that you would not ordinarily go for a walk. Don't say anything, but go through the walk time motions and wait to see if your dog responds. After noting your dog's behavior, award points as follows:
Immediate approach: 4 points
Excited behavior: 3 points
If you have to escalate your behavior to opening the door for a response: 2 points
Watching quizzically: 1 point
No reaction: 0 points
3. We all want to know how well our dogs respond to the human language. Dogs are capable of learning many commands as well as their names. Sometimes we call them in a particular tone, so this test is to find out if your dog can recognize his or her name without a sing-song type of tone associate with it - in other words our 'doggie voice.' Leave the room and say or call your dog's name in the voice you use in everyday conversation and award points as follows:
Comes immediately: 4 points
Shows some sign of acknowledgment but does not necessarily come: 2 points
No reaction: 0 points
Photo: Science Blogs
4. The next test can be done with a treat or a toy depending on your preference. Grab a treat or toy that appeals to your dog and show it to them. Then take that item and place it underneath a cup as your dog watches. Assess points as follows:
If the cup is knocked over to get the item underneath in less than 15 seconds: 4 points
If it takes 16 to 30 seconds: 3 points
If it takes more than a minute: 2 points
If your dog grasps where the item is but can't figure out how to get it: 1 point
If your dog doesn't try at all: 0 points
5. This last test is to see how dogs recognize and understand human body language. In order to do this test, all you have to do is smile at your dog. Start with a straight face while your dog is looking at you, then give him or her a smile. Award points as follows:
Happy approach with wagging tail: 4 points
Slow approach without wagging tail: 3 points
Dog stirs but does not approach: 2 points
Dog departs from your vicinity: 1 point
No reaction: 0 points
At the conclusion of your testing efforts, all of which should be done over the course of several days as opposed to at one time, tally up your points. If you do all five tests, a maximum of 20 points can be achieved. Dogs that score all or mostly 4's are canine geniuses. Dogs that score mostly 3's are very smart. Dogs that score 2's fall in the average range. Dogs that score 1's are below average. If your dog scored all 0's, he or she is not necessarily the brightest dog in the pack but that doesn't mean we love them any less.
Results aside, IQ testing is just another fun activity you can do with your rabbit dogs. In addition to entertaining the both of you, any time spent together fosters bonding. Plus a little mental stimulus never hurt anyone, human or dog.
Have you ever tried IQ testing your rabbit dogs? How did they do? Let us know in the comments.