Dog-lovers, you're going to need to sit down for this. According to a new scientific study on canines published by the journal 'Learning and Behaviour', our beloved pals are not the geniuses that we think they are.

Scientific American broke the news in an article, which makes the conclusion that "There is no current case for canine exceptionalism." What the study is trying to put across to people is that our dogs are not the smartest species around, with many other mammals coming out on top. For instance, they say "According to the domestication hypothesis, dogs have been bred to be especially sensitive to human cues such as hand signals.

"As Lea and Osthaus note, dogs can indeed use human cues. However, contrary to the domestication hypothesis, they are far from unique in this ability. For example, the reigning champions of the ability to follow human hand signals are the bottlenose dolphin and the grey seal."

As dog-owners and dog-lovers, we also seem to put our canine pets on a sort of doggie-pedestal. In a similar way that humans view themselves as above-average in such areas as intelligence, we also do this to our pets. In a separate study which was published, "researchers had 137 pet owners rate both their own pet and the average pet on a range of traits, including intelligence. The results revealed that the people rated their pets as above average on desirable traits and below average on undesirable traits."

Whatever the outcome of the studies, dog-lovers are nevertheless up in arms.

See, this is clearly the work of a genius.


Even The Dictionary got involved in the debate.

Was it the cats all along?

See science, they ARE geniuses.

The article is rather quite an interesting read, if you're so inclined - you can read it here.