Smart dogs for the job

Don’t let the slob­ber fool you, your dog could be a ge­nius 別被牠的傻樣愚弄了,你的狗狗可能是天才

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

When her mus­cles locked and left her un­able to move or speak, Wal­lis Broz­man was glad she had a ge­nius for a ser­vice dog. Broz­man, who has a move­ment dis­or­der called dys­to­nia, had taken her Labrador-golden re­triever mix, Caspin, out­side for a potty break with­out at­tach­ing the pulling har­ness he wears to guide her. Sud­denly, she couldn't move. "I couldn't talk or yell. I had no phone to text a mes­sage. I thought I would be stranded un­til some­one found us," said Broz­man, who lives on her own in Santa Rosa, Cal­i­for­nia, with a wheel­chair and her dog, Caspin, who un­der­stands English and sign lan­guage. Caspin put his neck un­der her hand un­til she got a fin­ger looped on his col­lar. "Then, very slowly, he started to pull me for­ward. He pushed the door open. Then, he stayed by me un­til I could func­tion enough to get into bed," she said.

Caspin ranks as a Protodog, a spon­ta­neous pooch that bonds eas­ily and can solve prob­lems on its own or with peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to dog in­tel­li­gence mea­sures cre­ated by sci­en­tists and train­ers. The Dog­ni­tion As­sess­ment uses 20 games to de­ter­mine a dog's level of em­pa­thy, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, cun­ning, mem­ory and rea­son­ing. Peo­ple be­liev­ing they have a smarty-pants for a pet can see if their dog fits the bill on TV chan­nel Nat Geo Wild's three-part TV se­ries "Is Your Dog a Ge­nius?"

"Peo­ple will learn about and come to a new un­der­stand­ing of their best friends," said host Brian Hare, who helped de­velop the as­sess­ment as an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of evo­lu­tion­ary an­thro­pol­ogy and mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science at Duke Uni­ver­sity in North Carolina.

It costs US$ 19 to get the list of games to play with your dog. Af­ter you record the re­sults, Duke puts to­gether your pet's pro­file. A dog will be dubbed an Ace, Charmer, So­cialite, Ex­pert, Re­nais­sance Dog, Protodog, Ein­stein, Mav­er­ick or Stargazer. For ex­am­ple, "Aces" are prob­lem- solvers, so­cially elite, bond well and are good at al­most ev­ery­thing. They also try to get away with bad be­hav­ior and then rely on a sweet face or some nuz­zling to get them­selves out of a pickle. "Ein­steins" are the braini­acs. They can solve new prob­lems by look­ing at the facts in front of them, a key at­tribute of a ge­nius. How­ever, like bril­liant peo­ple, Ein­stein dogs can be so­cially awk­ward.

The games show dog brain­power isn't mea­sured like man's — with an IQ test. "We don't deal in num­bers," Hare said. "I n the an­i­mal world, we rec­og­nize there are lots of kinds of in­tel­li­gence, and they vary widely. You can be a ge­nius in one area but not in an­other." In one of the games, you put down two over­turned pa­per cups, al­low­ing the dog to watch as you put a treat un­der one. You point to the empty cup and see where your pet goes. Both show a kind of ge­nius: If Fido goes to the empty cup, he's good at fol­low­ing or­ders and bond­ing. If he goes to the other, he's able to rely on his own de­vices — and gets the treat. Broz­man and her dog will be guests on the show, and she says there's no ques­tion that her 8-year-old Caspin is smart in many ways. His prob­lem-solv­ing skills make him ex­tremely valu­able to Broz­man.

的朋友,並對牠們有全新的認識。」

這套用來評估狗狗的遊戲要價十九美元。當你將結果記

錄下來後,杜克大學會整理出狗狗的個別資料,並替牠冠以

王牌犬、迷人犬、社交犬、和諧犬、文藝復興犬、忠誠犬、

愛因斯坦犬、獨立犬或幻想犬等名稱。舉例來說,「王牌

犬」是解決問題的狗狗,牠們是社會精英、親近人類,且幾

乎善於一切事物。牠們若是不乖,還會擺出可愛的表情、或

者用鼻子撒嬌來使自己免於受罰。「愛因斯坦犬」則是動腦

高手,牠們可以透過觀察眼前事實來解決新發生的問題,這

是天才的關鍵特性。然而,這種狗狗就像聰明的人類一樣,

社交方面就比較笨拙。

這些遊戲顯示,狗狗的智力評量方式並不像人類採用智

商測試。海爾說:「我們不會替狗狗的智商打分數。我們發

現動物世界中有許多種智慧,且個別之間有很大的差異。你

可以在某一個領域是天才,但在另外一個領域卻不是。」在

其中一項遊戲,你放置兩個杯口向下的紙杯,並讓你的狗狗

看著你將零食放入其中一個杯子內。接著你指著沒放零食的

杯子,看看你的狗狗會朝哪一個走去。兩種可能都會顯示出

一種天才特性,如果這隻「小黃」走向空杯,那表示牠擅長

聽從指令,且重視關係。如果牠走向另一個,就代表牠能夠

依靠自己的想法去尋找零食。布洛斯曼和她的愛犬將會上這

個節目擔任嘉賓,她說,八歲的卡斯平毫無疑問會在許多地

方表現出聰明的一面。由於牠具有解決問題的技能,布洛斯

曼因此最為珍惜牠。

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.