Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mongrels 'smarter than pedigree dogs'

Mongrels are cleverer than pedigree dogs, according to research. A study by Dr David Smith of Aberdeen University's department of animal sciences shows that crossbred dogs have better spatial awareness and problem-solving abilities than pedigrees, and are better suited for work as police dogs and as guides for the blind. The study involved putting 100 dogs through seven tests and giving each a mark out of 30. A collie-spaniel cross called Jet was the brightest dog, scoring maximum points, while seven out of the top 10 performing dogs were crossbreeds. Dr Smith said: "Being a purebred does not improve the intelligence. The risk of medical problems among crossbreeds is also significantly lower." Matthew Bottomley, the breeding manager of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said: "That's interesting because we are finding that, statistically, crossbreeds make better guide dogs."

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