We share the planet with 400 million dogs: toy dogs, working dogs, champion dogs and artistic dogs; dogs who know what to do in an emergency; and dogs who know their way around a couch. For over 12,000 years, they've been our essential survival aids and our constant companions. But how smart are dogs? Most dog owners would say they're geniuses and point to their pup as living proof. National Geographic joins scientists and dog trainers to explore the dog smarts in surprising new ways, unlocking the truth about man's best friend.And from the Ann Arbor News:
Barbara Smuts thought this dog owner must be a crackpot. The woman from Maryland kept insisting her dog was going into the backyard and arranging his many plush toys into geometric shapes of circles, parallel lines and triangles.
Come on, you must be helping him, responded Smuts, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan who studies canine social behavior.
And if you're not, the neighbors must be playing a trick on you, she said.
The woman steadfastly ruled out Smuts's reservations, and the professor eventually flew to Maryland to visit the woman and her dog, Donnie. Smuts now believes Donnie is, in fact, creating the displays.
Cable TV viewers will be able to make up their minds about Donnie on Sunday, (December 23) when he and Smuts will be featured on a National Geographic Channel documentary called "Dog Genius." The show airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST.