Dog Twitter Says You Shouldn’t Believe Articles Saying ‘Your Dog Thinks You’re Special’

Dog Twitter unites to roast this New York Times article that says science thinks your dog isn’t special.

Earlier in the week, an article tweeted by the New York Times had dog lovers hilariously asking the news giant to issue a retraction, saying all dogs are exceptional dogs.

Citing a study published in the research journal Learning and Behavior that declared “dogs are no more exceptional than other animals when it comes to canniness and intelligence,” dog Twitter came with adorable pictures of their pooches, and begged the research to differ.

The published study was spearheaded by Stephen Lea, emeritus professor in the psychology department at the University of Exeter in Britain, who cheekily added he was “more of a cat person” anyway.
He said the idea of the study came to him while he was the editor of Animal Cognition, a journal seeking to explain cognition in the context of evolution among humans and other animals.

“I was getting a number of papers showing how remarkable the things were that dogs could do,” said Lea, but research on other animals ‘barely trickled in,’ despite evidence existing that chimpanzees, cats, and horses had similar intelligence.

“Almost everything a dog claimed to do, other animals could do to. It made me quite wary that dogs were special.”
Dog lovers in the comments came full force, of course, including popular account We Rate Dogs (@dog_rates):

So funny!

But anyway, if you’re still interested in the study’s obvious attack against dogs, Lea and his team studied dog cognition against three groups: carnivores, social hunters, and domestic animals; and found that they were on par with dogs’ capabilities in different areas like pack bonding, being able to listen for commands, and other skills.

While there are some standout exceptions, like that sheepdog who knows a thousand commands, Lea and his team say dogs are still pretty meh in the bigger picture.


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