Stories proving dogs are smarter than you think they are

By Deinah Storm

Dogs are among the smartest creatures to walk this earth. In fact, many of them have intelligent moments so amazing that it would leave you with your mouth hanging wide open. Just take a look at the five stories below and see for yourself.

SABRI: Behind Enemy Lines

Trained to detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices), Sarbi was among the canines deployed by the Australian special forces during the U.S. War in Afghanistan. She later went missing on September 2, 2008, during the initial stages of the Battle of Khaz Oruzgan when Taliban insurgents ambushed the convoy she was with. But against all odds, she managed to survive, and she was later found by an American soldier in November 2009 while accompanying a local. Soon after, she returned to Australia with her handler and spent the remainder of her life as an active member of society. She died of a brain tumor on March 27, 2015, and her remains are on display at the Australian War Memorial.

BAEKGU: Homeward Bound

Trained to detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices), Sarbi was among the canines deployed by the Australian special forces during the U.S. War in Afghanistan. She later went missing on September 2, 2008, during the initial stages of the Battle of Khaz Oruzgan when Taliban insurgents ambushed the convoy she was with. But against all odds, she managed to survive, and she was later found by an American soldier in November 2009 while accompanying a local. Soon after, she returned to Australia with her handler and spent the remainder of her life as an active member of society. She died of a brain tumor on March 27, 2015, and her remains are on display at the Australian War Memorial.

POMPEY: Foiling an Assassination

William the Silent went down in history for being the leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs during the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648). In these campaigns, he was accompanied by his dog Pompey. While in Hermigny, France, an assassin discreetly went in his tent. He would have done away with William, too, if it wasn’t for the meddling dog who was with his owner that night. Pompey sensed the man entering the prince’s tent and promptly made enough ruckus to alert his master of the intruder’s presence. Not much is known of Pompey afterward, but when a monument of William was later erected at the Church of St. Ursula in Delft, a likeness of Pompey was carved at its feet.

CHASER: The Psychologist’s Dog

Chaser is the pet Border Collie of Dr. John W. Pilley, a psychologist and professor at Wofford College. Not content with the routine and boring canine training, Pilley decided to train his animal buddy to learn new words by using “inferential reasoning by exclusion.” This enabled Chaser to hold the record for having the largest tested memory of any non-human animal, being able to identify and retrieve more than 1,000 toys by name, as well as recognizing various common nouns such as trees, balls, and houses. She can also understand sentences with multiple grammar elements and adopt new behaviors via imitation. Since Pilley’s death last June 17, 2018, Chaser has been living with his late master’s relatives.

CHESTER: The Conservation Canine (CK9)

Energetic and hyper-focused dogs not only make excellent police dogs, but they also make up the University of Washington’s Conservation Canines program. Established in 1997, the Conservation Canines (CK9) program uses police dog detection techniques for conservation science. Since the program was founded, 17 CK9 dogs have been trained to track down the scat of threatened and endangered wildlife species. Among this mighty pack is Chester, a Seattle Humane alum and active CK9 for 10 years! While overly-energetic dogs don’t show well to adopters in the shelter environment, they have the vital energy level and focus necessary to train as a CK9. The University of Washington’s CK9’s have traveled the world to investigate habitats and species in California, Nepal, Vietnam, the Midwest, Turkey, Canada, Africa and beyond.

Share a Story

If these stories don’t convince you that dogs have mind-blowing intelligence, then maybe you have a remarkable dog story of your own to tell. If that’s the case, then feel free to share it with us!

Author’s Bio:

Deinah Storm is a pet lover from the US who’s had cats and dogs all her life. When she’s not walking the dogs with her family, she spends time writing informational and interesting blogs about pets to share with pet lover communities.

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