I’ve always been curious about the incredible things dogs can do with their brains. From learning new tricks to recognising their humans, dogs are capable of some amazing feats of intelligence. But one question that has always intrigued me is, can dogs count?
First things first, what is counting? Counting is the ability to recognize and understand numbers and their values, and use this knowledge to solve simple mathematical problems. Humans have been counting for thousands of years, but can dogs do the same?
Well, it turns out that dogs do have some level of numerical understanding. Research has shown that dogs can differentiate between different quantities of objects, up to a certain point. For example, a dog may be able to differentiate between one treat and two treats, but they may not be able to distinguish between two treats and three treats.
Can dogs count?
Dogs don’t count in the same way that humans do. While we may use language to count, dogs rely on other cues such as visual or auditory stimuli. This means that while they may be able to recognize a certain number of objects, they don’t have the ability to count or understand abstract concepts like addition or subtraction.
But just because dogs can’t count in the same way that humans do, doesn’t mean they aren’t incredibly intelligent creatures. Dogs are able to learn and understand a wide range of commands and behaviours, and are capable of problem-solving and adapting to new situations. They also have incredible memory and can remember specific events or objects for long periods of time.
Dogs and arithmetics
Can dogs do simple arithmetic? A study by Robert Young of the Pontifical Catholic University in Brazil and Rebecca West of the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom suggests they might be able to. By measuring the amount of time dogs spend looking at things, researchers showed dogs a single large treat, put a screen in front of it, and then added or removed a treat behind the screen. If the dog understands addition, it should expect to see two treats when the screen is raised. Dogs also appeared surprised when an extra treat was added, suggesting they can do simple addition and subtraction.
“Approximate number system” is the ability to estimate the number of objects quickly. Studies show that dogs, bees, fish, monkeys, and even infants possess this talent. They can estimate the number of fruits on a tree or sheep in a flock without counting one by one
“Our work not only shows that dogs use a similar part of their brain to process numbers of objects as humans do — it shows that they don’t need to be trained to do it.”Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University
And as another week hits the halfway mark, look up and smile, for beyond those spreadsheets there are simple joys waiting to be discovered. And if it is the numbers that keep you occupied, how about telling this dog how many puppies you see in the image below?
” If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.”Phil Pastoret
And if you solved this puzzle, here’s another one for you: Which came first: the chicken or the egg?
Dogs may not be able to do math equations, but they are still pretty smart pups. Dogs can’t count on their toes, but they can still understand mathematics to some extent. They can recognize patterns and quantities. Researchers have conducted various tests to assess the extent of dogs’ math abilities.