Reference Blog Entries

Dogs - How Smart Are They?

Laura's picture

Publicity photo for the tv show "Lassie"  showing the actor who played Timmy and the dog who played LassieDo you remember the tv show “Lassie” (1954 – 1973)?  Every week the charismatic collie would discover one of her human companions in a life-or-death struggle and she was the only one who could get help. But, no worries – this wonder dog would always save the day.  She would race back to the family farmhouse, then she would bark and bark until one of the humans realized that there was trouble and they should follow her. The suspense of each episode rested mainly on the fact that Lassie couldn’t speak. She was incredibly smart. She could understand humans, but she could not speak.

Little did we know when we were cheering Lassie on that these same issues would become the subject of research. In fact, researchers in Hungary announced last week that domestic dogs understand much more than we thought they did. We have long known that pet dogs have many words that they recognize (such as “squirrel”, “treat”, or “go”) but it is also true that they understand concepts in somewhat the same way humans do.  Previous research has shown that chimpanzees, gorillas, and dolphins may understand human speech beyond vocabulary, too.  

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    Enjoy Autumn Outside

    Megan's picture

    Women jogging at sunsetThe weather is finally cooling down enough that going outside almost sounds bearable. If you want to try a new sport, take up running, or just enjoy a leisurely walk in the park, we have some resources that can help keep you informed and (hopefully!) uninjured. If you aren’t sure what kind of risks there might be for concussions in a variety of contact sports, how to check the fit of running shoes, or whether or not you should stretch, learn more with these resources. As always, be sure to check with a doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.