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Dogs and 2-Year-Olds on Same Mental Plane
Date:8/10/2009

alent of transistors and gears. The truth of the matter is somewhere in between."

More and more, scientists are realizing that dogs can think and solve problems in ways previously thought to belong only to humans and higher primates.

Indeed, one recent study also found that dogs were like 24-month-old children, at least when it comes to figuring out where humans have hidden a treat.

Like 2-year-olds, dogs can experience fear, anger, happiness and disgust (perhaps at a human's sub-par math skills), but not guilt. Humans don't feel guilt until about age 4, Coren said.

That doesn't mean they can't make humans feel guilty. That desolate look when a dog's human leaves the house is probably legitimate. "Dogs are pack animals," Coren explained.

Dogs apparently can ponder the meaning of "dog," in a way. According to Coren, they do have a consciousness of self, though not as complex as that of humans.

They also recognize differences among beings and are cognizant of others' variable viewpoints and talents.

And they dream, as demonstrated through movements they make while they're asleep.

Dogs can figure out how to get to the couch before you do and how to operate a latch or other simple mechanism.

They can also deceive other dogs.

Not to mention people.

Coren has both a beagle (ranked seventh from the bottom in obedience intelligence) and a cat. The cat is fed on the counter so the beagle can't interfere with feline meal-time.

One time, though, the beagle started scrabbling around, digging at the kitchen floor. "I was quite confused," Coren recalls. "He looked around and continued again, then he looked up at me. I finally got down on my hands and knees and he immediately jumped onto my back and onto the counter. He decided his psychologist father could be used as a ladder."

"This presentation asks and answers some very deep questions about if, and
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