Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Yeah, this is actually what I do on weekends

So I stumbled upon this dog IQ test over the weekend and thought it would be fun to try out. I know. I need more hobbies.

Now I love both my pups equally, but clearly they weren’t exactly created equal. Selina is the ruler of my little roost. She's my little evil genius and can literally bend any person or creature to her whim. Remy, on the other hand… well, Remy’s Remy. He runs into walls, falls off couches and is deathly afraid of the kitties.

As you can imagine, I had expectations of how it would go.  

The test had six parts:
1.     Place a treat under a cup while they watch, and time how long it takes them to retrieve it.
2.     Put a blanket over them completely and time how long it takes them to find their way out.
3.     Place a treat under a dishtowel while they watch and see how long it takes them to retrieve it.
4.     Tell them to sit, then move about two meters away from them and just smile at them – do they come?
5.     Place a treat under a low surface that they can reach under, but can’t fit under (I used the couch) while they watch and time how long it takes them to retrieve it.
6.     Tell them to sit, walk two meters away and then call out “Refrigerator” (unless that’s your dog’s name… in which case you’re an idiot). Try a few other words, then call his/her name.

After wrangling up my husband to be my unhappy assistant and retrieving a block of cheese for treats, I was ready to begin.

Test 1: The treat under a cup. Colossal failure on both parts. I kept trying to help them by pointing at the cups, but Selina sat down and stared at me, expectantly waiting for her treat while Remy chewed on her ear. Off to a super start.

Test 2: The pups under a blanket. All four of our critters sleep in the bed with us, under the covers, so this was a no-brainer. Remy, excited by the game, immediately shot out from under the blanket. Selina, apparently bored with the game, laid down for a nap. Ok, Remy: 5, Selina: 0.

Test 3: The treat under the towel. Selina took a few minutes, then flipped up the towel with her nose and retrieved her treat. Remy walked around it once, then chewed on Selina’s ear. Score tied.

Test 4: Smile at them to come. The initial problem with this test is the “have them sit and stay” part. My pups only sit for a treat. There was clearly a flaw in my training with Selina because I brilliantly taught her to sit for a treat, but she’s too much of a brat for that to cross over. She knows when I have a treat and when I don’t and she sees no use in sitting when I don’t. Remy has no training. He just does whatever his big sister does… which is acting like a brat. Anyway, for this test I had my lovely assistant Mat hold them while I walked across the living room and flashed a smile. Remy ran to me as fast as he could, tail wagging, tongue hanging out. Selina bolted in the opposite direction, leapt up on the coffee table and snatched the block of cheese I left sitting there. Damn it. So, Remy: 10, Selina: 5

Test 5: Treat under the couch. I grabbed two actual dog treats, as my cheese was now gone, and placed them under the couch. Remy dove for them, wildly flailing his front paws under the couch until he had one and pulled it out. Selina jumped up and laid on the couch. I’m guessing she was full from the cheese. Remy: 15, Selina: 5

Test 6: Call for “refrigerator.” I got the pups all settled down with me on the couch and then had Mat call out from the next room. Remy bolted for him. Selina lifted her ears, looked at me, and laid back down. With Remy in the next room I called out, “Movies!” In he ran, so excited to be playing this back and forth game. Then I had Mat yell for them individually by name.

“Remy!” In he ran.

“Selina!” In he ran again. That’s my boy.

Selina sat up, ears perked, and looked to me.  She clearly recognized her name, but again, her belly was already filled with cheese and she doesn’t budge without motivation.

Final score: Remy: 17, Selina: 5

Hmmmm… maybe my Remy is a little genius after all?

Maybe not.

(Don’t worry, kitty IQs to come soon)

Dr. Em


  1. FYI: Selina has no power over me...the only member of your household that gets me to bend to her will is Chloe. That crazy girl just gets me.

    Now, a few questions for you....

    The sit and stay test: Isn't the point for them to sit and stay until you call them? How is running back and forth to smiles and random words smart? Even the Squatter Cats know better. You should just appreciate your babies for who they are.

    Why is Remy continually chewing on Selina's ear?

    Princess WeeWee

  2. This is the test i used http://www.abc.net.au/animals/dog_test/default.htm. In hindsight, I should have been wary based on the whole Canada thing... I mean, seriously. When are those guys not backwards? BUT he's American and seriously renowned in dog intelligence. And based on his rules, no. the dog gets full points for coming to you when you smile and partial points for responding in any way to being called... even if you're calling him a refrigerator (seriously, click on 'test 6').

    Remy is constantly chewing on Selina's ear and/or leg because he's slow. Really, really slow. You see my issues with the test.

    Dr. Em

  3. I was reading this and then it hit me. BAM! I walked over to the sofa and looked underneath and there it was. That hunk of cheese that went missing.


    "Here, Fridgy. Fridgy. Fridgy. Here boy.