Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Intelligence Contest Based Dog Show

Dogs solve puzzles to win rather than sitting, rolling over and prancing around like idiots
  [vote for,

In this dog show, the dogs would be given an obstacle course that's intellectual, not physical. They'd be timed as they tried to figure out each doggie dilemma posed to them and the smartest would win. Not the biggest, prettiest, most obedient, just the most intelligent who would be named "Smartest In Show" and take home the grand prize.

I didn't find a lot about dog IQ tests on line, but one I found was to put a towel on the dogs head to see how long it took to figure out how to take it off, which I think is the standard aptitude test you need to pass to get a government job here in California.

The tricky part would be that each contest would have to be different so the dogs couldn't be trained for each test before hand.

Now the cool part of this is, champion genius pooches could be bred with other champion genius pooches to get progressively smarter dogs. This would be a lot more interesting than breeding little monsters that look like teddy bears or aliens like we're doing now.

It's not completely impossible that after a few hundred generations we might have a breed that could speak a few dozen words of English and carry on a limited conversation.

doctorremulac3, Apr 12 2014

Uplift http://en.wikipedia...iki/Uplift_Universe
[theircompetitor, Apr 12 2014]

(?) First they learned to ride bikes... https://www.youtube...watch?v=8QU4XdEaWR0
...then they went after the cats. [doctorremulac3, Apr 12 2014]

Guilty dog video https://www.youtube...watch?v=B8ISzf2pryI
On the off chance that anybody hasn't already seen this [doctorremulac3, Apr 12 2014]

Dogs can already drive cars https://www.youtube...watch?v=BWAK0J8Uhzk
[AusCan531, Apr 12 2014]

I.Q. towel design http://www.zazzle.c...-185150671558642423
[doctorremulac3, Apr 14 2014]

Resolving the towel on the head paradox: Head movement only seems to cause corresponding towel movement in the same direction http://www.youtube....watch?v=hoYKLUc8lDA
This pup will be most likely be taking the short bus to school. [doctorremulac3, Apr 14 2014]

the Puppy Bowl makes use of some dog intelligence http://www.vetstree...e-your-fantasy-team
[xandram, Apr 17 2014]


       Do you want warewolves? Because this is how you get warewolves.
Voice, Apr 12 2014

       Interesting. Dogs have pretty plastic DNA, and there's a wide range of intelligence there already.
FlyingToaster, Apr 12 2014

       I bet you were one of those folks who wanted to get rid of the swimsuit competition for the Miss Universe Pageant too. As to the idea, well they have agility contests for dogs, which makes them use their brains and bodies, so I guess your idea would make sense too. So a sorta +
blissmiss, Apr 12 2014

       In some ways ravens and crows are more intelligent, adept tool users than dogs. The recently shown PBS footage of ravens putting pebbles into a vessel so the water rises and they can reach a floating worm goes way beyond anything I've seen a dog do.   

       Some dog breeds are clearly very intelligent, and some individual dogs are extremely intelligent, as has been documented -- but it is strange, is it not, that this hasn't happened yet, given we've been running this experiment for some time, i.e. trying to get more intelligent dogs?   

       Almost any mammalian species could be a candidate for Uplift. But, since they have to be toilet trained, I think we're more likely going to skip that step and build mechanical best friends.
theircompetitor, Apr 12 2014

       ^ That is something to be wary of alright. You wouldn't get dogs which could speak English because throat anatomy is unrelated to intelligence. You could certainly breed dogs which understand many hundreds of words though. Bun.
AusCan531, Apr 12 2014

       I'm not sure if we are trying to get smarter dogs at this point. I think the dog's niche among the family of man is pretty well served by dogs in their present form. They're our happy dumb little friends.   

       Maybe we're afraid of having intelligent dogs around mocking us and rolling their eyes at our antics like that talking dog from Family Guy. Who's to say smarter dogs won't start engaging in nefarious activity with their new intellects? Robbing liquor stores might just be the beginning. What if they embark on some kind of "final solution" regarding the cats? You need to consider these things.   

       Don't get me started on crows. They're too smart as it is. I think dogs are inherently good, crows are just mean. That being said, crows are an underutilized security asset. They can recognize human faces, are very smart as you've said, and if you could make it worth their while, could be used as aerial patrolling guard birds. They're good communicators. I know for a fact that they "sound the alarm" when I've left the lid off of my garbage can. When I hear them out there cawing it up at the wee hours of the morning I know I'll be picking up lots of strewn garbage today. How you'd train a crow to patrol for intruders is up to debate, but I think it could be done.   

       As far as how dogspeak would sound, I'm thinking the voice actor who did Scooby Doo pretty much had it down. Little or no lip dexterity would lead to indistinct, vowel based speech. Scooby Doo being pronounced "Ooby Roo" for instance. "What was that again Fido?" would probably become a commonly heard phrase.
doctorremulac3, Apr 12 2014

       //sheepdog trials   

       If only they'd had OJ Simpson's lawyer...
not_morrison_rm, Apr 12 2014


       My Dad and I came up with this idea one night a couple of years ago. We had all these events worked out, challenges and puzzles that would test different aspects of doggy intelligence. We were both extremely drunk and promptly forgot all of the wonderful details, or perhaps they were only wonderful because we were drunk.
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       //perhaps they were only wonderful because we were drunk.//   

       LOL. No, I think it passes the hangover test.   

       The only downside to dog IQ tests is they do have the distinct feeling of teasing the poor beast. I feel kind of bad just hiding the tennis ball behind my back when they get that "Where did it go?" look on their face, maybe with their lip hung up on a dry tooth to add to the goofiness of the look on their face.   

       Wonder if you could train them to drive? Unlike cats, they're quite comfortable with cars. Can you imagine a cat hanging it's head happily out the window driving down the freeway? Cats cannot distinguish between a car and a blender, they try to get out of each with equal fervor, believe me, I've done enough tests to know. (Putting cats in cars, not blenders) Trying to drive with a cat clamped onto your face with it's claws is not pleasant.   

       We know a dog can ride a bike. (See obligatory bike riding dog link) Before we give them something weighing a half ton that goes 80 miles per hour we might want to do a little more research though.
doctorremulac3, Apr 12 2014

       It wouldn't be teasing as long as they get the reward at the end. Intelligent dogs love to play complicated games, but an important part is the cookie at the end because it compounds the fun.
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       //        Maybe we're afraid of having intelligent dogs around mocking us and rolling their eyes //   

       They already do that.   

       Also, I know an American Bulldog who can steer a pickup truck if it's put into gear for him. He drives around in circles, and when he gets bored he does an S-turn and drives in circles going the other way, and when he's bored with that he stops the truck by plowing into a pile of gravel put there for that purpose. I've ridden in the truck with him. It's fun.
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       We had a dog who lied, once. (I heard on TV that this is a measure of intelligence - because it's behavior based on thinking about what you're thinking).   

       This is how he lied:   

       I was closing the gate, a cat walked onto the neighbour's driveway, and Rascal tore off across the street to attack. (I suppose his first lie would've been pretending he didn't hear my shouting.)   

       Trouble was this cat was used to respectful dogs, so he stood his ground, arched his back and frizzed it up, and raised a threatening paw full of claws. Seeing as Rascal was a German Shepherd (and one of the old-fashioned big ones, too) I expected that would be the end of the cat.   

       I was wrong. All the time, I'd been misreading the situation, it turns out. Rascal wasn't after the cat after all; he just had a sudden impulse to go and sniff the interesting something on the lawn directly behind the cat. He flew past the cat to the urgently fascinating bit of lawn, sniffed it, while the cat continued to yowl and stand its ground, and, that done, he came straight back past the cat.   

       Either that, or he lied to me and the cat.
skoomphemph, Apr 12 2014

       //Also, I know an American Bulldog who can steer a pickup truck if it's put into gear for him.//   

       Wanna make a little money (and by little I mean very little) post a video of that and watch it go viral. I'd send out links to it.   

       //Either that, or he lied to me and the cat//   

       I think dogs certainly do understand the concept of being caught and wanting to cover it up. I'm sure everybody has seen the video of the guilty dog but I'll post it again.
doctorremulac3, Apr 12 2014

       I think they did post it on yoo toob but for some reason nobody liked it, like people thought it was fake or something. This was several years ago, so my memories of the event are focused on riding shotgun with a 150 lb dog at the wheel, not whether or not it was a viral sensation (also I couldn't give a shit less about viral videos). I'm going to my parents' house tonight (they have better internet service) so I'll try to find a link to it.   

       I do know that the dog has retired from racing and is now employed full-time as a sofaweight.
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       Dogs do have guile and are fully capable of deception (or in the case of the stupid ones, laughable attempts at deception). It is indeed a measure of intelligence because both guilt and guile require a certain degree of self- awareness, which is also required for things like abstract problem solving (wherein the 'self' becomes a fixed point of perspective).
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       Animals are "people" (to the extent that much of what's best in being human is animal, anyway). It's plain, for anyone not trying to avoid seeing, to see. Trouble is if one's pressed for examples it's not always easy to think of one.   

       I think the downgrading of our shared qualities is sometimes down to a kind of blindness, but can also be motivated by the need to eg. produce decerebrated cats as models of the reflex nerve system by day, and then go and sleep at night without first engaging in unconvincing utilitarian philosophical internal discourses about the virtue of it all.   

       I'm not sure that intelligence in puzzle-solving is a good focus, getting back on topic. Computers can do puzzle solving, and they lack all that's best in intelligence. However, I can't think of nice, testable alternatives.   

       Dogs are all pretty much geniuses when it comes to figuring out how to make you smile when you're feeling down, for instance. That's surely a much more valuable form of intelligence than the one that tells you how to distinguish which arbitrary pattern is the odd one out , etc.
skoomphemph, Apr 12 2014

       //        Computers can do puzzle solving, //   

       No, computers can be programmed to solve puzzles. A dog can solve puzzles all by itself.
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       But once the computer has the program it has a tiny little bit of life? After the sparks have crackled, your Igor is an utterly simple little being, but all you are doing is feeding in the inputs, and supplying electronic fodder.   

       It is Igor who spits out the evaluations, and sometimes spitefully undermines your nefarious plans, not you.
skoomphemph, Apr 12 2014

       //        But once the computer has the program it has a tiny little bit of life? //   

       No, once the computer has the puzzle-solving program it has the means to solve puzzles. You are familiar with the function of computers, Shirley?
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       Aye. Just experimenting with stretching the definition of "life" a bit. After all viruses are a borderline case. They have a program and little else, and yet they're in the very thick of life.
skoomphemph, Apr 12 2014

       I concur, and when I am shown spontanteous evolution of digital life, I'll believe it.
Alterother, Apr 12 2014

       In NZ, the RSPCA has already taught dogs to drive cars - including pushing the starter button and placing it in gear. Fascinating video on the [Link]
AusCan531, Apr 12 2014

       Wow! Dogs can drive cars.   

       Dog car races. It's time.
doctorremulac3, Apr 13 2014

       Yep. The Iditaroad.   

       [+] Easily fund it by also sending B-list celebrities in the same course to see how they line up in the leaderboard.
sophocles, Apr 14 2014

       Sur! My uncharacteristically stupid pit bull could take Lief Garret off the line if the cars had stickshifts.
Alterother, Apr 14 2014

       I would have bunned this idea earlier, but some joker threw a towel on my head and it took me the better part of the morning figuring out how to get it off.
swimswim, Apr 14 2014

       I think all I.Q. tests should start with throwing a towel over the person's head, clicking a stopwatch and saying "GO!".   

       No matter what it is, entry exam to Harvard, MD certification. If somebody is nominated for the Nobel prize you would need to give their towel-thrown-over-the-head removal time. Of course the questions would get progressively harder after that.   

       The towel's design would be modeled after The Riddler's costume with question marks all over it. (see link)
doctorremulac3, Apr 14 2014

       I met a pet crow once who's owner said he would bring her money - ones and fives mostly, but occasionally a twenty.
normzone, Apr 14 2014


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