Better looking, too, but that’s not the subject of this University of Vienna scientific research:
Smarter than Apes?
For serious scientists, Lassie and her friends were deemed little more than dumbed-down ancestors of the wolf, degenerated into panting morons by millennia of breeding. But a younger generation of researchers has set out to restore the reputations of our beloved pets. “Dogs can do things that we long believed only humans had mastered,” says Juliane Kaminski of the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology in the eastern German city of Leipzig.
It is precisely their proximity to people — which disqualified our four-legged friends as a model for so long — that now makes them interesting to animal researchers. “When it comes to understanding human behavior, no mammal comes even close to the dog,” says Kaminski. Her Leipzig research team has demonstrated that dogs are far better than the supposedly clever apes at interpreting human gestures.
Read the rest at the above link. There seems to be much more cognitive process to what we have usually considered rote stimulus-response behavior (“tricks”). Smarter than cats, as the researchers suppose? I doubt it. From my own experience, there is a fairly wide range of intelligence in both species (sort of like, say, humans). The average cat may be a bit shrewder than the average dog, but the smart dogs are the equal of the smart cats, and far more cooperative.