Can Dogs Think Like People?


Ask a few philosophers from the past what they think about dogs having human characteristics, and you’d hear words like “machine,” “robot,” or “dumb animal.” Thankfully, times have changed, and now we wonder what dogs are actually capable of thinking. Scientists have been studying the cognitive abilities of dogs and have discovered that their minds are similar to ours. The fact that dogs can develop a form of Alzheimer’s suggests that they have thinking minds. For example, a Border Collie named Chaser can learn 1200 words, showing that dogs are thinkers. What do you believe?

Signs Your Dog is a Thinker

Dogs are incredibly intelligent, and only those who doubt them think otherwise. Any dog owner will tell you that there is a lot going on in their fluffy heads. They may not be able to talk, but they can understand us, offering comfort when we are down or trying to cheer us up with a ball. This shows that they have the ability to reason and respond to situations.

If you ask your Doberman to sing like Beyonce, they will try to understand as you dance around the living room with a fake microphone. They might even try to mimic you, jumping up and down, bobbing their head, and barking. Dogs are amazing creatures that have been with us for centuries, learning how we think, feel, and love. They can feel fear, pain, and even jealousy when we bring a new dog home. They are also incredibly supportive for people who may be struggling emotionally. Dogs make choices in their everyday lives.

Our dogs can understand commands, recognize familiar faces, and sense when someone is not trustworthy. They may growl if they sense danger or be playful if they sense friendliness. Dogs have a similar thinking process to humans, but they rely on their sense of smell more than we do. Their noses can detect things like hidden cats or drugs at the airport.

Dogs are thinking souls and, like humans, they excel at certain things. Just like how you might be a creative artist and your Papillon might be an agility champ, dogs have their own unique skills. They can even help with tasks like solving problems or evaluating situations using their senses.

Body Language

Some signs that your dog is thinking include growling, barking, jumping up, wagging their tail, head bobbing, play bowing, recognizing a past owner, bringing you a toy, imitating you, and picking up on emotions.

The History of Dogs Thinking

Dogs evolved from wolves, who were clearly thinkers when they became companions to humans. Their hunting grounds were under threat, and their survival was at stake. Wolves appear to be thinkers, as seen in a study involving dogs, wolves, and shelter dogs. The wolves were able to figure out how to open a box containing treats, while the dogs looked to humans for help. Dogs inherited their brain power from wolves, but living closely with humans has made them more reliant on us. Over time, some of their thinking skills have diminished.

The Science Behind Dogs Thinking

In the past, scientists believed that dogs were not capable of thinking. However, a new understanding has emerged, with anthropologists suggesting that animal intelligence is not inferior to human intelligence, just different. This idea has sparked numerous studies into how dogs think. With around 50% of families in the US owning a dog, there is a strong interest in understanding their cognitive abilities. Research facilities dedicated to studying dogs have emerged worldwide, which is beneficial for the welfare of dogs.

Training Thinking Dogs

Traditionally, dog training techniques were based on a pack leader mentality. However, new-age trainers like Victoria Stilwell advocate for a “No Force” approach, emphasizing positive reinforcement. Dogs, like humans, have varying degrees of intelligence, and training should be tailored to their individual preferences and motivations. Understanding a dog’s cognition is key to helping them learn and keeping them safe.


It is not a question of whether dogs can think, but rather how much they really know. Dogs are intelligent creatures with their own unique abilities. They have the capacity to reason, understand commands, and even imitate humans. Dogs have come a long way from being considered unthinking machines to being recognized as thinking souls.

“Unlocking the Canine Mind: Dogs Are Thinkers, Not Just Machines”

Tips & Things to Know

1️⃣ Dogs are intelligent creatures: Contrary to past beliefs, dogs are capable of thinking and reasoning. They have cognitive skills similar to humans and can learn a wide range of commands and words, as demonstrated by some highly intelligent dogs.

2️⃣ Dogs communicate through body language: Dogs may not be able to talk, but they can communicate their thoughts and emotions through their body language. Growling, barking, wagging tail, head bobbing, and play bowing are all signs that your dog is trying to convey something to you.

3️⃣ Dogs have evolved their thinking abilities: Dogs have inherited their brain power from wolves, who were also thinkers. However, living in close proximity to humans has made dogs more reliant on us for information and has influenced their thinking skills. Dogs have the ability to recognize past owners, imitate humans, and pick up on emotions.

Frequently Asked Questions, Answered ✅

1. What evidence suggests that dogs have thinking minds?
– The fact that dogs can get a kind of Alzheimer’s suggests woofers have thinking minds. Dogs can learn 1200 words and show problem-solving skills.

2. What are some signs that indicate your dog is a thinker?
– Signs that indicate your dog is a thinker include recognizing familiar faces, understanding commands, sensing danger, and making choices in their everyday routine.

3. How did dogs’ thinking skills evolve from wolves?
– Dogs inherited their brain power from wolves, but living in close quarters with humans made them more reliant on humans for information. Over time, some of their thinking skills dwindled.

4. What does the science say about dogs’ thinking abilities?
– Scientists now believe that dogs have thinking minds and their intellect is not inferior to humans, just different. Dogs respond to positive reinforcement and can be trained based on their individual preferences.

5. How can understanding your dog’s cognition help them learn and stay safe?
– Understanding your dog’s cognition is key to helping them learn cues that will advance their intelligence and keep them safe. It allows for recognizing their unique skills and abilities and tailoring training methods accordingly.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our team.

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