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By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A study confirmed what dog lovers have known for quite some time now…our best friends are much smarter than we think!

The accumulated research at the American Psychological Association has shown that the average dog has the same developmental abilities as a human toddler. They can recognize anywhere from approximately 165 to 250 words, as well as understand signs, symbols, and gestures and they can even count to five.

Dogs have recognized dropping a distinct number of treats, with the dog identifying the correct amount.

Different breeds and personalities vary but it’s believed that Border Collies top the list, followed by Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Shetland Sheepdogs and Labrador Retrievers.

It’s becoming more apparent to researchers and scientists alike, through various studies, that all dogs (no matter the breed) can think and solve problems in ways previously thought to belong only to humans and the higher primates.

According to Stanley Coren, of the University of British Columbia and author of numerous books on canines, including The Intelligence of Dogs, all canines have a consciousness of self, an awareness of the differences among beings and recognition of different viewpoints and talents. He recalls a case when a dog correctly differentiated between two names on a piece of mail by determining the length of the words on the paper.

They can experience fear, anger, happiness, sadness, grief, affection, love and even disgust but not guilt.

As a canine behavior specialist, I believe they can experience so much more. They truly are intelligent and quite remarkable beings. But as I said before, we dog lovers already knew that!

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