How clever is your pet?

Image of a cat and dog together
Rex had completed his degree in treat studies with honours
"Cats are a little more difficult to test, not because they lack the smarts but due to their indifference and general nonchalance towards doing things they're asked to"
  • | by Abbie Laughton-Coles

Could your pooch be a fluffy Einstein? Do you suspect that your tabby may be thinking about something deeper than where to take its afternoon nap?

Well there's a way to determine just how clever your furry companion is.

We've all dreamed about what it would be like if our pets could actually talk and tell us what they're thinking. Granted it would more than likely just be 'Food! Food! Food!', but wouldn't it be awesome?

Now that may still be a long way off but there are ways and means to see what your pet is packing in its noggin, and it could even be the reason behind some bad behaviour.

Pet IQ tests can help you gauge the intelligence of your furry friend, but don't be put off if they're not immediately top of the class – regular practice in brain training can help boost their score.

So here's the tests you can do right now to put your pet to the test…

For dogs....

Throwing in the towel

One of the more popular (and hilarious) ways to test your dog's IQ is to pop a towel over its head.

This isn't just for your amusement, it can help test your dog's problem solving skills.

If they're able to get the towel off within a couple of seconds, it's a good sign that their grey matter is working.

Alternatively if they decide to sit down and take a snooze with their new homemade towel hat, it could just mean they're not the sharpest tool in the box...

What a treat

There aren't many things that dogs won't do for a tasty titbit, so in this test all you need to do is show your pooch the treat and then cover it with a towel.

If they can clock that the treat is now under the towel and snuffle it out successfully, that's a point for team brainiac.

Raise a cup

This one is a very straightforward way to tell whether your dog can understand simple tasks.

All you need to do is turn a cup upside down and show your pooch that you're putting treats underneath it a few times.

Poindexters of the canine world should knock the cup over and devour the delicious snack underneath, as demonstrated by Archer, above.

One to remember

This one will test your pooch's memory.

Turn over your three cups and let them watch as you clearly put a treat under one.

If they go straight to the cup with the treat under it, they're a top dog.

You can help them out by pointing to the cup they want but if you really want to test them, point to an empty cup and see whether they still go for the chosen cup with the treat underneath.

For cats

Where'd it go?

Cats are a little more difficult to test.

That's not because they lack the smarts, but due to their indifference and general nonchalance towards doing things they're asked to.

One test that you can try is showing them a treat and then obscuring their view of it with a piece of paper.

If they're able to figure out that the treat is simply behind the paper and hasn't disappeared into some magical land, you can give that kitty a point because they're a problem solver.

So top points to the Animal House cats, Major Tom and Dudley, who have clearly got this test licked.

On their best behaviour

Clever dogs and cats that go unchallenged may turn to destructive behaviour to stave off the boredom.

So, if your kitty has a penchant for shredding the curtains or you no longer have any matching shoes thanks to a precocious puppy, it could be time to look at their activity schedule. Perhaps they need more time outside.

If they're a particularly energetic dog, you could think about taking them to agility classes or flyball, as allowing them to regularly get bored can make your pooch lethargic and unhappy.

Cats could benefit from more playtime with toys which make them expend a little more brainpower to retrieve a treat. For instance, food mazes.

You never know, one day your pet could challenge this talanted duo...

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