A dog’s cognitive abilities allows the animal to process all types of information, plus learn tricks and commands from their owners. Cognition in dogs is important at any age and individuals who have an older dog should familiarize themselves with the signs of cognitive ability loss. As this occurs, individuals can help sharpen their dog’s mind with a few simple tips. Read the frequently asked questions below to learn more information about the cognitive abilities of dogs.
What are the different kinds of cognitive abilities in dogs?
Dogs have various cognitive abilities including reasoning, memory and communication skills. Many dog owners teach their canine companions to perform tricks and obey commands. Numerous studies have been done to test the memories and communication skills of dogs. Some of these studies were done to test their memory by having the dogs identify objects only through hearing the name of the object. It’s also been proven that dogs can respond to hand gestures. Dogs are also adept at displaying empathy for humans and it’s been confirmed through research that dogs can tell the difference between various human emotions.
How does a dog’s cognitive abilities decrease with age?
As dogs grow into their senior years they often have a decline in their cognitive abilities. Dog owners may notice a change in their dog’s behavior as the animal ages. These changes may include an increase in sleep, irritability, confusion and having accidents inside the house.
What can dog owners do to keep their dog’s cognitive abilities sharp?
Individuals can help to promote healthy cognition in their dogs at any age by making exercise a part of their daily routine. Exercise not only keeps a dog physically healthy, but it also stimulates their brain, which is important for cognitive health. Dog owners can play scent games by hiding food so their dog will have to find it by using their sense of smell. This not only sharpens a canine’s mind, but it’s also a fun game for the dog to play.
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