22:51 GMT +319 October 2019
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    ‘No! Bad!': Netizens Howl Over Study Saying Dogs Aren't ‘Exceptional'

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    A new study recently reported on by Scientific American magazine has dog-lovers ‒ and pooches ‒ worldwide throwing out a snarl or two for suggesting that man's best friend is not exceptional.

    The study, which was originally published by the journal Learning and Behavior in late September, concluded that when comparing the brain power of dogs to other animals, such as wolves, bears, dolphins and hyenas, canines simply weren't extraordinary.

    The research focused on sensory cognition, physical cognition, spatial cognition, social cognition and self-awareness. Netizens, however, are focusing on its absolute ignorance of the self-evident awesomeness of dogs.

    Researchers from the University of Exeter and Canterbury Christ Church University came to their conclusions after reviewing more than 300 papers regarding the intelligence of dogs. They also determined that scientists involved in doggy studies tended to display bias and side more with the dogs when comparing their intelligence to other animals.

    "During our work, it seemed to us that many studies in dog cognition research set out to ‘prove' how clever dogs are," Stephen Lea, professor at the University of Exeter and lead study author, said in a statement.

    "They are often compared to chimpanzees, and whenever dogs ‘win,' this gets added to their reputation as something exceptional. Yet in each and every case, we found other valid comparison species that do at least as well as dogs do in those tasks."

    Fellow author Britta Osthaus, of Canterbury Christ Church University, added that when considering domestic animals, social hunters and carnivorans, "dog cognition does not look exceptional."

    "We are doing dogs no favor by expecting too much of them. Dogs are dogs, and we need to take their needs and true abilities into account when considering how we treat them," she said.

    And while the researchers may (possibly) have a point, the internet isn't here for it. In fact, within moments of Scientific American publishing its own remarks on the matter, netizens came through by the dozens to stand up for their four-legged companions.

    ​Many even suggested the research was conducted by enemy felines.

    ​While dolphins may be smarter than dogs, dogs still win on the cuddling front, according to a study published earlier this month that indicated adult women sleep better next to a dog than they do with a human partner or a cat.

    In that study, researchers also found that women who live with a dog tend to get to bed earlier, sleep more comfortably and securely and get their days started earlier.


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