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# Labrador shows amazing maths abililites

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posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:19 AM
Found this story on Reuters and really dont know what to make of it..

It is about a Labrador from Montana, which has become a local celebrity by amazing people with his maths skills.

Madsen, a retired AT&T executive, adopted the puppy a dozen years ago and began teaching him math basics when he showed signs of being intelligent. As a puppy, Beau invented games and crafted intricate strategies to avoid capture

Owner David Madsen says if he tells Beau there are six dogs at the park and three dogs leave, and then asks him how many are left, the dog replies: "Woof, woof, woof."

so its not just basic counting, this dog can add and subtract, he can do some division and has memorized square roots..

The owner claims to have taught the dog using biscuits, getting the dog to bark according to the number of treats.

"Dave will say, 'What's two and three?' Then the dog will go, 'Bark, bark ... bark, bark, bark,'" said Chris Ricciardi, chief of the Finley Point-Yellow Bay, Montana Fire Department.

"A group of us were standing there and Dave asked Beau, 'How many girls are here?' There were two and Beau barked twice," Bretz said. "Next, Dave asked, 'How many boys?' Beau barked five times even though there were only four guys.

"Then it dawned on us. Beau is a boy, and he was counting himself," he said, adding that he has booked Beau as guest speaker next spring for his company's annual customer appreciation barbecue.

so not only can perfrom incredible maths, he can understand english perfectly, knows the difference between male and female and knows the difference between different species.. ie human and dog..

to me this story sounds incredible and a little unbelievable, surely the dog would require some serious cognitive skills to perform tasks like this, and posses a high level of awarness of the world around him..

so what do you think? an elaborate trick or a jump in evolution for our canine friends?

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:25 AM

Originally posted by Misterlondon
It is about a Labrador from Montana, which has become a local celebrity by amazing people with his maths skills.

A video would be more instructive.
If the dog is like "Clever Hans" (a horse) then he's not actually doing any maths at all, just faking it and perhaps his owner isnt even aware.

However, the horse got the right answer only when the questioner knew what the answer was, and the horse could see the questioner. He observed that when von Osten knew the answers to the questions, Hans got 89 percent of the answers correct, but when von Osten did not know the answers to the questions, Hans only answered six percent of the questions correctly. Pfungst then proceeded to examine the behaviour of the questioner in detail, and showed that as the horse's taps approached the right answer, the questioner's posture and facial expression changed in ways that were consistent with an increase in tension, which was released when the horse made the final, correct tap. This provided a cue that the horse could use to tell it to stop tapping.

wiki

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:30 AM

as i said in the op.. i remain skeptical.

does anyone live in montana that has heard about this dog? would be interested to hear you take on it..

edit on 20/8/11 by Misterlondon because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:33 AM
Dogs have dog intelligence. It serves them well.
They aren't SUPPOSED to have people intelligence, but if a dog is raised closely with people and talked to, he WILL learn the language.

My dog can spell. He knows B-A-T-H really well. Now he's learning S-H-O-W-E-R.
When my dog wants in, HE KNOCKS on the door - he uses his tail but he uses a VERY human sounding knock.

I don't consider him DUMB. I consider him to be like a young child. Capable of learning. I call him son.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:38 AM

I don't know what to think of it. I am very skeptical as always but I suppose it's possible.

If it is true than he is more mathematically literate than many people in America.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:42 AM

i know dogs have a high level of intelligence for animals.. i had heard a figure that it is equivalent to a 2-3 year old human.

my friends dog enjoys watching tv (although it is claimed they cannot see 2d images) he even knows how to turn it on with the remote control..

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:47 AM
I don't think it's an elaborate trick. Or a 'jump in evolution' for that matter.
I think we underestimate many animals as far as awareness and cognitive capacity are concerned.
If anything I think dogs are more 'aware' than we are in some capacities.
Hell, my cats have conversations with eachother varying phonetic patters with alternating pitch tone and frequency.

Aside: Why the Fragile Earth forum?
edit on 20-8-2011 by StripedBandit because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 05:55 AM
i find it hard to believe.

the owner was giving him the amount of biscuits equal to the number of times he should bark. instead of doing math, i think the dog learned which questions required how many barks. if we're keeping it below double digits, there aren't that many functions to learn.

as for the last one, i find it surprising that the dog could tell the difference between males and females, THEN associate himself with the males.

if he's actually doing the math, then its pretty incredible.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 06:01 AM

Originally posted by StripedBandit
I don't think it's an elaborate trick. Or a 'jump in evolution' for that matter.
I think we underestimate many animals as far as awareness and cognitive capacity are concerned.
If anything I think dogs are more 'aware' than we are in some capacities.
Hell, my cats have conversations with eachother varying phonetic patters with alternating pitch tone and frequency.

Aside: Why the Fragile Earth forum?
edit on 20-8-2011 by StripedBandit because: (no reason given)

wasnt really sure what forum to put it in, i always generally put animal stories in fragile earth.. if it needs to be moved mods.. feel free.

i agree we underestimate animals, i have a large aquarium with many fish.. it is often said fish have a memory of a few seconds.. i personally do not believe this to be accurate, from watching the behavior of fish in my tank.

posted on Aug, 20 2011 @ 11:56 AM
My dog seems to know that we have 5 chickens.
Herding dogs probably do have some idea about math.
it might not be numerical math, but they can often put 1+1 together.

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