Study Finds Mix-Breeds Smarter than Pure-breeds
UNITED KINGDOM – A study performed by researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland found that mixed-breed dogs are smarter than their pure-bred cousins.
Scientists say mutts' spatial awareness and problem solving skills surpass that of pure breeds. They studied 30 dogs of pure and mixed breeds.
On a scale from 1-30, 30 being the smart end, crossbreeds averaged 20, while purebreds averaged 18. In the end, seven of the top 10 dogs were mix-bred.
Among the tests, one studied how the dogs reacted when given a bone covered in foil. If they figured out the treat was inside, points were awarded.
And like so many lab mice, the pups had to make their way through a maze.
According to The Daily Mail, a collie-spaniel mix named Jet aced the tests, scoring a 30.
Researcher Dr. David Smith said it'd be wise for police units to consider mixed-breeds for their K-9 units. German shepherds, the most common breed of police dog, are known for their intelligence. But Smith says a German shepherd-Rottweiler-mix would be just as smart.
A disadvantage of bred dogs is their genetic affinity to health issues. Inbreeding leads to common problems; German shepherds, for example, are known for having hip problems. Many K-9 officers have to retire early because of such issues.
But for other animal services, like seeing-eye-dogs, intelligence is a must. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association says 45 percent of the dogs it trains are mixes. Of those, 80 percent complete their training. Of the breeds they train, only 65 percent become service dogs.
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