Dogs Know What They Don't Know

Dogs Appear to Have Metacognitive Abilities
Source:  Max Planck Institute


Research from the Max Planck Institute
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have performed some innovative research on dogs.  The scientists findings:  dogs know what they know and know what they don't know.  Dogs problem solve by actively seeking information.

Canine Cunning Brains
This new research strongly suggests that dogs have metacognitive abilities.  They're aware when they don't have enough information to solve a problem and actively search for what they need to know to get the desired results.  This is similar to how primates behave but it's the first time it has been documented in dogs.

DogStudies Lab
At the Institute's DogStudies Lab the scientists created a test in which the dogs had to find a reward - a toy or treat - behind one of two fences.  The scientists found that the dogs looked for significantly more information when they didn't know where the reward was hidden.

Comparative Psychology
This finding is a first.  The scientists specialize in comparative psychology.  They study animals to discover the evolution of various traits, such as problem solving, to learn what that may tell us about humans.