Animals As Intelligent Beings

Tuning into your pet’s needs – BlogPaws

My cat turned me on to a new blog for pet owners called BlogPaws. There is some mention of a conference for bloggers, writers and pet supply companies. The first emphasis brought to my attention was the SEO aspect of writing a blog.

kittehboi.com is a fun blog, and though we make sure to mention others’ blogs, etc. for google juice, I don’t want it to end up looking like a Peruvian circus, full of multicolored flashing and dancing adverts.

The first requirement for SEO is to have content that brings readers back. I’m trying to wrap my brain around it, to come up with an idea that goes further than “funny pictures of cats.”

I have a personal interest in evolutionary psychology and neuropsychology, so my personal focus is on animals as intelligent, rational beings. Cats and dogs have the IQ of young children, but much more impulse control.

“C’mon, admit it – we all do it. Some of us talk to them as if they can actually understand us (I’m one of those).”

Did you catch that? The writer said “as if they can actually understand us.” Apparently this person has some doubts.

Eagle is EXTINCT. So what?

Eagle is EXTINCT. So what?


Dogs (and probably cats) have a Broca’s brain or Wernicke’s area, meaning they are capable of understanding speech. In practice cats have a vocabulary of around 20-30 words while dogs may be able to understand 100 or more. Animal behaviorists will tell you it’s “training.” 40 years ago human psychologists were behaviorists too, and explained all human behavior as learned responses to stimuli. How different *are* training and learning?

One Response to Animals As Intelligent Beings

  1. I had the fascinating experience of acquiring an entirely un-trained but very teachable dog around the same time a young friend of mine, aged three and a half, began really mastering English. It was absolutely amazing to watch them built vocabulary at the same rate for several months (in a lot of cases, the kid was learning to issue commands as the dog was learning to follow them), and then plateaued together.

    Of course, the kid’s plateau was a mere breather before the next big language spurt. The dog learned 150 or 200 words during that time, and has more or less hit capacity. She’s picked up a few new words in the intervening three years, but it seems to be at the expense of ones she hasn’t used.

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