Pet Psychology and Animal Intelligence

It’s often mentioned that animals are intelligent, although one thing that’s never been established is just how clever animals are.

Recently there’s been talk of a computer that will attempt to translate dolphin noises into language. Just think what could end up happening if this technology is successful – there could be applications for speaking to monkeys and apes, and domestic animals like cats and dogs. I’m pretty sure cats woudn’t want to talk to human much except to ask what time dinner is served. But dogs could be an interesting one, since dogs are naturally communcative and love company – they’re also highly intelligent animals. Could be that an old dog teached humanity a trick or two not long from now.

Pet psychology is of course relatively new – and some of the way pets behave would be mystifying but for animal studies. Take for instance studies into the behaviour of dogs in the wild and the hierarchical pack structure – general things about pack behaviour can have an effect on dogs in a domestic situation, such as the way dogs relate to the animals or people closest to them. There are many stories of dogs apparently misbehaving, who in fact were behaving appropriately according to what they believed their place in the hierarchy to be. Once this was corrected, so the stories go, the dog’s behaviour went back to normal.

Have you communicated with dolphins? Made a naughty dog good again? Or just believe that animals are cleverer than we think? If you have any stories to tell about animal intelligence and pet psychology, please let us know.

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