Study suggests dogs are ‘not exceptional’ and owners absolutely aren’t having it
‘No-one asked you, science.’
It’s a brave person who says something negative about a dog owner’s cherished pet – even if they have the science to back it up.
That’s what the Scientific American discovered when the popular magazine published an article about a study suggesting dogs’ level of intelligence is not exceptional compared with other carnivores and domestic animals.
The research, originally published in the journal Learning And Behavior, led SA to describe puppers as “cognitively quite ordinary” and follow up with a tweet boldly claiming: “Your dog may not be a genius, after all.”
If there’s one thing Twitter isn’t short of it’s dog lovers, and they reacted with the level of calm and reasoned introspection for which internet debate is famous.
shut up https://t.co/EkJ3DtWYPE— Steph Haberman (@StephLauren) November 27, 2018
delete your account https://t.co/DCFEFYguJM— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 27, 2018
no one asked you, science https://t.co/giISqf9eL1— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 27, 2018
Led by the internet’s leading dog appreciation account WeRateDogs, the campaign of mild perturbation was overwhelming.
take it back https://t.co/aTFWVS2Wm0— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) November 27, 2018
Expect a scathing rebuttal from my dog by tomorrow. https://t.co/quRISOOo1M— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) November 28, 2018
Some smelled a rat, or possibly a cat.
Nice try. But you're obviously twelve cats on top of each other wearing a trench coat. We're not falling for it.— Paul Figueiredo (@adderbox76) November 27, 2018
Others provided strong, some would say irrefutable, evidence to counter the study.
As several have noted: only one species has trained another to supply its food, housing, health care, transportation, breeding, exercise, family and affection needs, be its Gigantor The Space Age Robot and PICK UP ITS POOP.— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 27, 2018
Dogs are not just geniuses they are THE geniuses. https://t.co/SQB1unvVVF
Some clung to the wriggle room of rhetoric.
The word "may" is used to express possibility.— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) November 27, 2018
E.g. Scientific American says a dog may not be a genius, which means the possibility exists that a dog may still be a genius. https://t.co/EJPPnDDAbX https://t.co/yxr7oFpPMx
But for a few dog owners, the study appeared to prove something they already knew.
There's a lot of outrage in the replies to this tweet. But not from me. My dog is so dumb, if brains were dynamite, he wouldn't have enough to blow his nose.— Ryan Sloane (@RyanFSloane) November 27, 2018
But he's cute, so I keep him around... https://t.co/3cgEdKlvEd