Researchers in Melbourne have recently performed some experiments that showed the unbelievable intelligence that dingoes posses. In the experiments, one dingo was filmed moving a table to use as a step-ladder to reach food. Another dingo opened a gate latch with his nose to reach a female partner.
The Australian native dogs, dingos are regarded as the smartest animals in Australia, being even more intelligent than domestic dogs.
The accomplishments of the two dogs, which were untrained, were recorded at the Dingo Discovery Sanctuary and Research Center near Melbourne, Australia. In one of the videos, the dingo was filmed moving a kennel to use as a look-out. In another video, several dingoes were kept in a small enclosure with an envelope containing food that was strategically placed out of their reach. When the dingoes were left alone, they made several attempts to reach the food until one dog, named Sterling, dragged a table to use as a step-ladder.
In a paper published in the journal Behavioral Processes, a team of three researchers said that the dingos’ feats were evidence of “intelligent” and “high-order” animal behavior.
The paper was written by Robert Appleby, Carla Litchfield, and Bradley Smith and said that “if indeed these examples can be considered cases of tool-use, they may represent the first documented evidence of such behavior in a canid, particularly as this behavior occurred spontaneously”.
“After several unsuccessful attempts at jumping for the envelope, Sterling ‘solved’ the task by first moving and then jumping up onto a trestle table. Importantly, Sterling was never purposely trained or encouraged to exhibit this (or similar) behavior”, says the paper.
In the gate-opening exercise, a dingo named Teddy pushed up a latch with his nose after being separated from this partner, Ayjay. “Sanctuary staff maintain that Teddy only opens the gate when Ayjay is removed from the same enclosure as Teddy”.
Behavioral ecologist Daryl Jones from the Griffith University said that these accomplishments were a “remarkable” example of tool use and involved “manipulating a completely external object to the animal to do something that requires foresight”.
“Dingoes are unbelievably intelligent, capable animals”, said Jones to The Australian newspaper.