Can This Dog Count to Five?

Long-time readers of this blog will need a moment, I’m sure, to collect themselves after laughing that this is even a question.

But when it’s too muddy to do our normal walk, we’ve taken to just doing laps up and down the driveway. It’s not perfect, but it gives Sonnyboy a chance to poop.

Today, I said, “Let’s do five.” Meaning, five times up and down the driveway.

And without complaint, he did five times. And then went in the house.

Like he had fucking counted the laps.

I am 100% sure this cannot be. And I am also 100% sure the only explanation for it is that he knew we’d done five laps.

I don’t know how to test this, though.

But clearly, what I mistook for stupidity was this dog’s genius eccentricity. Or something.


One thought on “Can This Dog Count to Five?

  1. The standard explanation when animals appear to count is that they’re reacting to other cues, often very subtle body language cues in a human.

    For example, there are cats who know when a clock chimes a certain hour, it’s food time. But they don’t need to count to do that — cats have a more precise sense of time than humans do, so to them the clock striking a particular hour cannot be mistaken for another hour, even if the clock made the same noise every time.

    So the standard wisdom is that animals can’t count. Well, but can’t count to what? My cat clearly knows the difference between one and two. And between two and three. And it looks pretty solid that she’s clear on the difference between three and four.

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