Niamh hogs the blog all the time but I did something very interesting yesterday so it is my turn! She always makes fun of me and says rude things about my intelligence. Well I am very smart and now I have scientific proof! I was invited to participate is a research study at the Duke Canine Cognition Center. Niamh was in a study last fall and we both went to Duke when Barbara gave a talk there in January but this was my first time as an experimental subject.
The students at Duke really like dogs and everyone was very nice to me, petted me and let me sniff everything. The experiment was to see how dogs follow signals and get information. One of the students hid a treat under one of two cups. Then another student pointed to one of the cups and I had to find the treat. Sometimes the students would try to trick me by pointing to the wrong cup. Very shocking. But I soon figured out that if she was facing me, she was pointing to the cup with the treat and if she was facing away from me, she was giving me false information. The students thought I did very well, praised me a lot and of course I got to eat the treats.
Then they tried a new study with homemade biscuits. Emily showed me treats and sometimes she pretended to eat it and sometimes she put it near her ear! Then she would put the treats on the ground and see which one I went to.
You can see that I enjoyed the treat eating part of the experiment.
Emily and Katie were very nice to me. I was happy to help them advance the knowledge of how dogs solve problems and of course I would come back any time to eat some more of their treats. I did steal two treats off the table but they did not seem to mind.
While we were walking around the Duke campus we came across these statues.
I was a bit intimidated by the big camel.
But I went right up to the man to sniff him.
Niamh thinks that she is so smart, but I am too!