BTW, I notice, in the WP article:
> In a review by Bennett it is argued that there are no clear evidence for cognitive maps in non-human animals (i.e. cognitive map according to Tolman's definition). This argument is based on analyses of studies where it has been found that simpler explanations can account for experimental results.
Once they've used the subway a few times, they probably learn to distinguish the sounds and smells of the stops they're interested in. Even if they can't read or understand spoken announcements, most dogs seem to figure out what vehicles are for without much trouble.
Once one or more dogs have learned this trick, transfer of information kicks in. At the end of the day, the other dogs at the shelter can probably tell who ate well that day, and they're likely to want to go with that dog to see where the food is at. The subway dog may even encourage his friends to come along; most of us have probably seen and understood a dog's "hey come with me and see this thing" signals, and dogs are pack animals.
Smell fresh meat/produce, get off in Chinatown.
Smell the sea, get off by the river, etc..
Subways are fairly predictable and they have a natural rhythm to them, animals can deal to deal with this sort of system.
We should be designing more user experiences that are so natural and predictable, even dogs can take advantage.
There's a web startup idea somewhere in that sentence... "it's like MTurk for dogs who want work for earning treats, and web application developers who want to request dogs for user testing."
And dog-workers are such an untapped resource... imagine all the hours they spend at home tearing up furniture that could be used for something productive. All we need to do is figure out an intuitive dog computer interface along with a treat dispensing device, and this startup idea would be bulletproof.
I'm not at all surprised by the story growing up with working dogs on a rural farm. Dogs would constantly surprise you with the understanding of the world around them, often better than people you would work along side. One dog we had knew the locations of buildings by name, and you could tell it the speed to get there and wait for you (I think via the urgency in your voice). You could say "met at the house" and it would turn and head straight back to home, or "go to the kennels", it'd shoot off and wait for there etc.. (Collies BTW, various other breeds we had struggled with simple things like avoiding running head first into barns if you called their name out loud while they ran LOL).
Whats more fascinating to me is this Boing Boing piece on baboons raising pet dogs http://boingboing.net/2013/04/26/baboons-raise-pet-dogs.html
> Neuronov says there are some 500 strays that live in the metro stations, especially during the colder months, but only about 20 have learned how to ride the trains. [...]
“They orient themselves in a number of ways,” Neuronov adds. “They figure out where they are by smell, by recognising the name of the station from the recorded announcer’s voice and by time intervals. If, for example, you come every Monday and feed a dog, that dog will know when it’s Monday and the hour to expect you, based on their sense of time intervals from their biological clocks.”
Later Edit: And the dogs weren't actually mimicking the behavior of the people waiting for the green light to turn on, because even when the light was red there were a couple of people crossing the street but the dog wouldn't follow them.
In my home town, a dog escaped and went 7.5 miles to the Tim Hortons where everyday it was getting a TimBit. I was super impressed, before reading that I didnt think any dog liked timbits...
My brothers doberman is really intelligent. She can figure out how to get any piece of food no matter where you put it. She will move furniture to try and climb up and can be absolutely relentless. She has escaped on the leash a couple of times during walks and always ends up on the front porch no matter where she escapes. Dogs are like humans, driven by motivation.
This was a great article - I read it when it came out - three years ago. Unless there's an update, it's worth noting that this is a three-year-old post.
This happens often. It's generally a good thing.
See also: https://xkcd.com/1053/
In this case, this is essentially a repost of something PG put up three years ago:
It's simply not detected because it's in a different publication on a different URL. If the dupe system was more "effective" it wouldn't even show up, as it's exactly the kind of repost that is intended to catch.
Seriously "Author Eugene Linden, who has been writing about animal intelligence for 40 years"
Pretty sure Eugene Linden has zero training in animal intelligence and is just a journalist.
Why can't people just be happy with the fact non humans are just that, not humans please stop trying to anthropomorphism them.
I believe this is the guy:
He actually wrote an awful lot of books.