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Pet industry professionals debate if dogs or cats are smarter

Posted on: May 24th, 2010 by

A dog and cat sit side-by-side.Steve Dale doesn’t know if dogs are smarter than cats—or vice versa.

“There is no answer to that question,” the pet columnist told SouthCoastToday.com.

Dale told the news provider that a public poll conducted a few years ago revealed that 40 percent of people believe cats and dogs possess equal intelligence… although there’s still no sure-fire way to measure it.

“How do you measure intelligence,” Dale asked the news source, adding that it’s difficult to weigh the intelligence of dogs and cats, mostly because it’s almost impossible to find a test that can be given to both species since their brains work differently.

Pet Owner Colleen Brown believes that while dogs may be easier to train, cats are likely the smarter of the two.

“Dogs are easier to train because they have been bred and developed to respond to humans,” Brown told the news source.

“Generally, I think cats are better problem solvers because they have had to work to get their food and continue to exist,” she told the news provider. “They were not fed readily by their humans, as dogs are, so they have to think about where their next meal will come from…”

Christopher Dion, a sergeant who trains military dogs for the Air Force said he believes dogs have more brain power than a typical housecat.

“As long as dogs have been domesticated, they have served man in every possible way,” Dion told the news provider. “Their intelligence is often their best asset, but it often takes the most patient and consistent handler to bring out the best in them.”

Dion told the news source that a dog’s ability is often in the hands of its trainer.

“In the end, the capability of the dog is only limited by the skill and patience of the trainer and the personality and hidden talents of the dog,” he told the news provider.

“Just as not every thoroughbred horse is a Secretariat, not every dog is a Lassie or a Rin Tin Tin.”

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