Dogs and Toddlers Show Similarities in Social Intelligence

The furry tail-wagging member of your family may be a lot smarter than you thought...or maybe you already know.

A study from the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona found dogs and 2-year-old children show similar patterns in social intelligence. Researchers say those similarities were not observed in chimpanzees. Chimps performed well on tests that focused on their physical environment and spatial reasoning, but did not do well in cooperative communication skills tests, for example the ability to follow a pointing finger. Dogs and toddlers, on the other hand, did well on those tests and outperformed chimps.

Researchers say their theory is dogs and humans developed these skills as part of a similar evolutionary process.