Thursday, July 31, 2008

Canine intelligence?

I've always given canines far more credit for intelligence than science has alluded to, but this story might just be a little too much...

Math??? I just dunno...


Mutt does math

XI'AN (China)
Apr 27, 2007

A 3-year-old dog in Xi'an, Northwest Shaanxi Province, reportedly knows how to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers up to 10. The small, white pug known as "Wawa"
( - meaning "baby"), can correctly answer questions such as "How many is 2+2 equal to?" and "How many is 3 x 3 equal to?"

The pooch responds by barking the appropriate number of times and sitting when finished.

To test the claims, a reporter from the Sanquin Daily visited the home of Mr. and Mrs. Pang where Wawa lives. "How many is 9 divided by 3 equal to?" asked the reporter. Wawa barked 3 times and squatted on the floor. 1

Skeptics, believing that Mr. Pang was covertly signaling the answers to Wawa, decided to test the dog without Mr. Pang present. Wawa still responded with perfect accuracy. 2

Mr. Pang says he began tutoring Wawa in math two years ago after noticing that the pooch showed a natural sensitivity to numbers. He began with hand gestures, showing one finger and saying, "Wawa, this is one," and training the dog to bark once. After a few weeks, Wawa graduated to 2, 3, 4 and so on. Within 6 months, the precocious pup had mastered 1-10 and began learning arithmetic operations.

What's next for Wawa? Geometry, maybe. Everyone knows dogs love to sink their teeth into pi.

Mr. Pang has taught his pooch "Wawa" to count numbers up to 10 and perform elementary math calculations. The 3-year-old pug mix learned very quickly, mastering the basics after only 6 months of training, says Mr. Pang.
(Photo: Xi'an Daily)


Thousands of years ago, Canis lupus (wolves) developed basic arithmetic skills in order to keep track of the members within the pack. Today, Canis lupus familiaris (dogs) still have that ancestral skill. 3


You decide.............

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