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Smarter than your dog? Try Doggie IQ test

November 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
If you're like most dog owners, you probably think your dog is the smartest pooch in the land. Well now there's a way for you to find out for sure: It's the Doggie IQ test. Some people dance with their dogs, some do yoga, but it doesn't matter which dog owner you meet -- that person inevitably has the smartest dog.

"He's a smart little guy. He outsmarts me all the time," said Cam Currier, owner of "Rusty."

But can you really tell how intelligent your four-legged sidekick is? Stacy Stubblefield of PoochIQ.com says a $49 bag of tricks can do just that.

"You do 15 exercises with your dog using the booklet and the toys and you get your dog's IQ," said Stubblefield.

Some of the tests look like standard dog toys. Another looks like an igloo. There are three plastic cups, but mix all this together with dog treats and you have the makings of a doggie SAT.

Oh sure, your dog may get past some of these challenges, but he may have a hard time thumbing through the test booklet. Though Stubblefield says it's all right if you help your dog with some of the bigger words.

We wanted to test the test, so we went to a Pasadena dog park. That's where we found Rusty, our first participant.

"I would say he is considerably smarter than I am," said Currier about Rusty.

Inside one of the fuzzy toys are four squeaky balls.

"The goal is for the dog to get all the balls out, all four," said Stubblefield.

With a little encouragement and a quick toss, Rusty digs out ... no balls. Is Rusty still smarter than his owner?

"Not so much, no," said Currier.

So we tried "Mel," the English yellow Labrador.

"Mel's a little bit on the lazy side," said Connie Mack, owner of Mel and "Rebound."

It's pretty clear Mel didn't study. He too snagged no balls.

"I'd like to bump up that IQ a little bit," said Mack.

OK, new test. Here's "Menlo," here's the treat. Put it under the blue cup, move the cups around and all Menlo has to do is find the treat. His strategy: Knock all the cups over, nudge the treat over the edge, and flail about wildly and blindly.

"We'll give him a 'B+'," said David Tannenbaum, Menlo's owner.

All right, apparently we're scoring on a curve, but let's see how Menlo does with the igloo test.

"If they can't get it with their nose, what they're supposed to do is try to use their paw," said Stubblefield.

Which Menlo did.

"That would be a 10. That's a perfect score," said Stubblefield.

"He moved up to an 'A-' so he's good to go," said Tannenbaum.

"Don't you have a bumper sticker on your van or something that says ... what?"

" 'My dog went to Harvard,' " said Tannenbaum.

But when it comes to man's best friend, you may not want an Ivy Leaguer.

"It's actually kind of better if you have a dog that maybe doesn't score so high cause they won't challenge you so much on a day to day basis," said Stubblefield.

So there you have it. Consider yourself lucky if your canine is more like a K-5, K-6.


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