Dog Intelligence Not Equal to Honor Students

November 28, 2011

Dogs, ZArchive (Old Blog)

© 2011 dogear6 llc

One of the more frustrating bumper stickers I see on cars says, “My Dog Is Smarter Than Your Honor Student”.  Having been an honor student, my child being an honor student, and owning dogs of my own, I find that statement to be offensive.

Have you ever seen the Jeff Foxworthy show, “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”  It’s a hoot, because to be honest, most of us are not smarter in school work than a fifth grader.  There are so many things they have to know.  Most of us knew some of that stuff at one point in time, but like any knowledge that doesn’t get used regularly, it’s been forgotten for a good many years.

Honor students spend a great deal of time learning things in order to be an honor student.  The advanced placement classes in high school are stressful and while I found the knowledge learned by my daughter to be of marginal value, she had to know it in order to get good grades to get into a good college.

The dogs don’t have that kind of book intelligence.  Nor do they have much street intelligence either.  No matter how often they see our neighbors out there, they run out barking at them.  If we free fed them, they’d eat until it was gone and they were sick.  They don’t know moderation.  We’ve taught them a lot, but there’s so much we’ll never be able to teach them.  It’s not in their DNA.

I find it denigrating that people think a dog can be smarter than a student – any student.  It diminishes our children and their accomplishments.  It treats as garbage the achievements of honor students, many of whom work hard for what they do.  The next time you see that bumper sticker, remember the difficulty it takes to succeed in school these days for our children and shake your head at the stupidity of some people out there.

I’ve included a picture of two of my boys.  As much as I love them, I’d never equate their intelligence to those of a human.

Word for tomorrow – AMATEUR.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.

It’s fun to see how others use the same word!  Other blogs that are doing the daily word challenge include KittyHere or There, Anywhere and our newest participant, A New Day Dawns.  Check them out and leave a comment.

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About dogear6

I am adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com or write me at dogear6 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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9 Comments on “Dog Intelligence Not Equal to Honor Students”

  1. pattisj Says:

    http://pattisjarrett.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/intelligence/

    You brought up some interesting dog behaviors that we don’t think of. I’ve often wondered why our neighbor’s dog hasn’t gotten used to the fact that we’ve lived here as long as he’s been around.
    Congrats to both you and your daughter on your achievements.

    • dogear6 Says:

      Thanks Patti. The dogs can be so frustrating. We’re here four years already and they will not give up on barking at everyone who goes by. It is some sort of a dog behavior that we can’t seem to break without other repurcussions, although the min pin does wear a zap collar for when he gets too bad.

  2. Jen Says:

    I was an honor student myself, for many years. My Doberman Elka can’t spell, can’t really do math, and doesn’t know history. But it’s meant to be funny, not take a shot at America’s school systems. Canine intelligence is obviously very different from human intelligence, and then a step or more further away from schooled intelligence.

    I have one of those magnets: “My Doberman is Smarter Than Your Honor Student”. It’s fading now, and when I get a new car adornment, it won’t likely be a repeat of the original. One I saw over the summer I liked a lot was “Wag more, Bark Less”. It seemed like a good lesson, the sort of things that we can learn from dogs, that their intelligence covers.

    • dogear6 Says:

      That’s what I love about blogging – someone taking time to leave a comment and give me some perspective. Thanks Jen!

      You’re right – I need to take a deep breath on this one and not be so peeved about it. What really got me going on that bumper sticker is having a family member who truly believes honor students are overrated and should not be a big deal to anyone. It burns me every time I hear about that sticker and how stupid honor students are.

      Our dogs do teach us a lot – from my beagle living in the moment to my miniature pinscher doing a happy dance when I put his bling bling on (red collar with tinkly tags).

      I did not realize you were following my blog. Thanks so much! And thanks for the reminder to just let this go.

      • Jen Says:

        It just never occurred to me to be ticked off about that kind of bumper sticker (obviously, since I have one!) However, I don’t have a family member who denigrates honor students, and if I did, that would really burn me up. School is hard and so much of what makes up getting good grades is, I began to feel, unnecessarily time consuming and frequently dumb. Notice I said “was” an honor student. Not for the whole time, unfortunately. As I grew older, homework became more a waste of my time and less an actual teaching and learning tool so I just…stopped…doing it.

        But, I’m really good at getting wound-up angry at things that nobody can see the point of. And while it’s really really hard to just let things go, because those things can be very hurtful and bothersome, I’m trying to learn how to do so! Glad I could lend some perspective, I hope I helped a bit.

        • dogear6 Says:

          You did help – thanks. I agree with your assessment of school. So much of it was useless and time consuming. But it was necessary to go to college and get a good job, both of which my daughter did.

          I’ve noticed this on your blog – you write it out, vent some anger, and cool off. Writing is good for that, isn’t it.

          • Jen Says:

            Yes, writing is very good for that! I do get a little rant-y on my blog sometimes, don’t I? The miracle is that I’ve somehow still kept it family friendly ;)

            The funny thing I learned in college is that what I learned in high school more or less didn’t apply. This could have had to do with the particular college I went to, I’m not really sure; I was a little surprised. I’d always assumed schooling always built on the previous years’ foundation (well, except for History class, which started over with Columbus every friggin’ year until high school).

          • dogear6 Says:

            I loved your rant on mean Dobermans. It was a good one.

            It’s not only in school that learning isn’t built on. I’ve changed jobs several times and am amazed at how little they’ve had in common even though they are all corporate taxation. It’s a good thing I’m a fast learner.

          • dogear6 Says:

            Here’s the post that I referred to. If you have a chance to visit Jen’s blog, she has many good stories about life with her dog.

            http://theelkaalmanac.blogspot.com/2011/09/mean-doberman.html

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