Comparing the intelligence of female and male dogsFeatured science projectScience project video

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Complexity level:
8
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
It will take a day to set up the science project, and a day to conduct it
Material availability:
Dogs requireds. Permission should be sought from owners before the dogs are used in the science fair project.
Safety concerns:

Take extra precaution when dealing with animals you are not familiar with, to avoid getting bitten. Although they are extremely intelligent, German Shepherds can be temperamental and unpredictable if not handled properly. Make sure that the trainer or owner handles the dog at all times.

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to compare the intelligence levels of female and male dogs. The science project experiment was done using 3 different types of tests on dogs.

Hypothesis

Female dogs are more intelligent than male dogs.

Background

Dogs and intelligence

The intelligence level of a dog is subjective. As a species, dogs have certain strengths that other animals do not have. These strengths vary according to the breed, personality and gender of dogs. A particular dog may not be good at learning a certain task because it may not have a flair for that task. However, if a dog has a natural acumen for a particular task, it will pick it up quickly.

Certain breeds of dogs, such as the Labrador, are well known for being skilled at hunting. Similarly, German Shepherd's are known to be good security dogs. Every breed has its own area of specialty.

Gender also plays a part in a dog’s behavior and temperament. Female dogs calm down more easily than male dogs. Also, they show less aggression should they sense that they face no immediate threat. Female dogs are more territorial and obedient. Male dogs, on the other hand, tend to roam around and are more easily distracted.

Scientific Terms

Breed, gender, German Shepherd

Materials

The materials required for this science fair project are as follows:
- 3 male German  Shepherd's
- 3 female German  Shepherd's
- 6 towels
- 6 empty boxes
- a dog trainer or the dog owners
- a box of dog biscuits
- a stopwatch

Procedure

1. For this science fair project, the independent variables are the gender of the dogs and the type of test done on the dogs. The dependent variable is the length of time the dogs take to complete the tasks they are given. This is  measured using a stopwatch. The constants (control variables) are  the breed of the dogs and the dog biscuit rewards given.

2. The dogs are accompanied by either a trainer or their owners at all times whilst the tests are being performed. Be extremely careful with German Shepherds as they can be very aggressive if provoked or agitated. And their bite can be lethal. They should be leashed and handled firmly at all times.

3. The following tests are performed on the dogs.

a. Test 1- The dog is shown the dog biscuit and allowed to smell it. The dog biscuit is then  placed under the empty box, with the dog watching. The length of time the dog takes to retrieve the biscuit is measured using the stopwatch.

b. Test 2- The dog’s face is covered with a towel. It is made to sniff out this towel, before the towel is placed over its face. The length of time the dog takes to remove the towel from its face is measured using the stopwatch.

c. Test 3- The dog is  shown the dog biscuit and allowed to smell it. The dog biscuit is  then placed beneath the towel, with the dog watching. The length of time the dog takes to retrieve the biscuit is  measured using the stopwatch.

4. Follow the scoring scheme below:

b. If the dog takes less than 20 seconds, award it 4 points.

c. If the dog takes less than 40 seconds, award it 3 points.

d. If the dog takes less than 60 seconds, award it 2 points.

e. If the dog takes more than 60 seconds, award it 1 point.

5. Each dog's score is recorded in the table below. The total score is  tabulated and recorded.

Observation

The females performed the tasks in a shorter time span than the males, as evidenced by the higher scores.

Test performed

Performance of male dogs

Performance of female dogs

Male 1

Male 2

Male 3

Total

Female 1

Female 2

Female 3

Total

Biscuit and box

3

3

2

8

3

4

3

10

Towel and face

2

3

2

7

3

3

3

9

Biscuit and towel

3

3

3

9

3

3

4

10


Use the chart below to illustrate your results.

 Dog intelligence science fair project

Conclusion

The hypothesis holds true:  female dogs are more intelligent than male dogs.

Dogs are often called "man’s best friend". They are very intelligent and help us to perform many tasks. Dogs have helped us hunt for hundreds of years. Farm dogs help farmers round up sheep or cattle. Security dogs help guards to perform their duties. Equipped with aa sharp sense of smell, dogs  help to sniff out drugs and contraband items. They are often used at customs checkpoints, to fight the battle against smugglers as well as terrorists. Dogs are also trained as guides for the blind.

Also consider

For more reliable results, we should use a larger sample of dogs.

Also consider using other breeds of dogs for this  science project

Modify the experiment by making the dogs perform other tasks.

References

How intelligent is your dog? - http://free-dog-tips.com/how-intelligent-is-your-dog/

Male vs female guard dogs –the gender factor- http://www.indiakennels.com/security-training/gender.php

Dog IQ test - http://www.abc.net.au/animals/dog_test/default.htm

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