Most of us know how smart our dogs are; now there is further proof! A group of researchers in France recently proved that dogs have an innate ability to discriminate between dogs, humans and other species. In this study, nine dogs were shown 144 pairs of pictures and needed to pick out their species. The number of dog breeds is huge; over 400 pure breeds of dogs exist. These dogs were able to pick out dogs even among the vast variation of breeds. They grouped dogs into a different category than humans and other animals.

From this study, the authors concluded that, "The fact that dogs are able to recognize their own species visually, and that they have great olfactory discriminative capacities, insures that social behavior and mating between different breeds is still potentially possible. Although humans have stretched the Canis familiaris species to its morphological limits, its biological entity has been preserved."

Other studies have shown that dogs are the only other species that can learn what words mean, and act on them, much like a child. Although many other animals have demonstrated superior intelligence, dogs differ in that they realize that words are attached to objects and meanings.

Dogs are also able to learn skills in much the same way as humans. Studies also indicate that dogs won’t misbehave when their owner is around, but if their owner leaves, turns their back or even closes their eyes the dog will misbehave. Does this sound familiar? Your dog is perfectly behaved when you’re around but you leave the house and you come back to chewed up shoes and furniture? Sometimes our dogs really know what they’re doing. Luckily these studies also prove that they are very trainable!

What was the hardest skill for you to teach your dog? Do these studies sound familiar to you?