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Do dogs and cats think?

January 10th, 2005, 10:21 AM
I'm pretty sure what people are going to answer but I'm curious anyway.

I once took a course in social psychology and had a professor that made a strong argument that dogs and cats don't think. He put forth the argument that they merely react to their environment in an instinctual type fashion. He suggested that their decisons are based on instint or reflexes rather than active decision making or real thinking.

Anyone have any opinions on the matter? :party:

January 10th, 2005, 10:29 AM
I believe that animals think just like we do. I mean, Cano only pees in the house when company is here, because he's jealous. And look how chimps can sign, or cats can open cupboards. They have to be able to think to figure this stuff out, don't they???? And what about those people who say animals don't have feelings? :mad: They do too!!!!!

Lucky Rescue
January 10th, 2005, 01:14 PM
While animals don't think the way we do, I certainly believe they do think - how much depends on species.

Animals have shown the ability to solves problems, and that certainly requires thinking. I'm not including primates, because they definitely think, much the way we do.

I remember an amazing video showing a horse who picked up a stick to scratch his back with. This definitely shows thought!

January 10th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Does anyone remember this story a few months back.... I loved it so much I saved it! :love:

Proof positive that they do think!$@$Escape$@$Artists&hitboxMLC=world

UPDATE: The BBC Web site is reporting that more than 300 phone calls have poured into the Battersea shelter since Red's talents have been made public, and all have offered the dog a home. The staff will select the best home possible for the clever pooch.

January 10th, 2005, 01:28 PM
Of course they think... my Briggs thinks I'm the best!!!

January 10th, 2005, 01:31 PM
I was going to say Daisy thinks she's a cat...and I'm a chew toy...

January 10th, 2005, 01:38 PM
Of course they think... my Briggs thinks I'm the best!!!
Touché Lmao

January 10th, 2005, 01:59 PM
I took social psych too - a Loong time ago, lol - and I have to disagree with your prof. However, I do not believe dogs and cats think the way we do - in the human logic we use. It is different way of "thinking". There is instinct (I realize that's not thinking), learned behaviour (whther good or bad - i.e.the fridge door opens and ergo, I run because there will be food or that roll of toilet paper needs investigating and mommy does not let me near when she is in here so...) and genetic differences. There are some good books on the subject of "thinking" like a cat or dog. :)

January 10th, 2005, 02:16 PM
I believe they think not the same as us which is probably a good thing. But I really do beliveve they think.

January 10th, 2005, 02:59 PM
****I'm going to be sarcastic for a moment****

Yes, they do think!! Especially Pit Bulls because they have the biggest brains! They premeditate their attacks on humans and other creatures. They wake up in the morning and think about what they will go after today. At least this is what M.B. believes!!

*****ok I'm done**** :mad: mood****

I do agree with the professor but I do think that animal's must have some sort of thoughts. The only example I can think of right now is when my dog is laying on the couch comfortably while I am cleaning the house. He opens his eyes and watches where I am going and what I am doing. Then he'll DECIDE to get off the couch and come over to see me. Why???

Does this make sense to anyone??

January 11th, 2005, 12:04 PM
We play hide and seek with Ariel quite a bit. I used to hide behind this picture screen but after about 3 times, that was the very first place she went to when it was me. When its one of my wife's sisters (4 of them) that hides, Ariel instantly goes to where she knows they commonly hide. She also knows everyone by name. We held a new years eve party at our house recently. We had about 34 people there. Ariel was with my wife and I went to the laundry room to get a treat for Ariel so I can show my friends what tricks she can do. My wife then asked Ariel "Where's Romar (my real name :P)?" and immediately, Ariel went around through the sea of people looking for me and found me in the laundry room. My friends were quite shocked and impressed. :D So to me, animals do think!

January 11th, 2005, 05:32 PM
I have to agree that animals do think in some way or another. My Olivia, thinks enough to wait until I leave the room to climb up on the chair and grab the toy off the kitchen table that I had JUST taken away from her. That requires some sort of thought process. She also knows that if she hides it under my bed it will be harder for me to discover and take away from her. She even knows that if I'm on one side of the bed reaching under it to take the toy, that if she moves to the furthest corner I can't get her until I get up and go around the bed. In witch case she picks it up and moves over to the other side and around we go again. :D

January 11th, 2005, 05:41 PM
I know Daisy thinks. She won't wake up the wife in the middle of the night, but she won't think twice about waking me up (even the pitbull is afraid of waking up Cheryl!)

If they didn't think, then intelligence tests for dogs would all produce similar thoughts. Without intelligence, there would be no problem solving skills.

January 12th, 2005, 12:45 AM
They just don't think like we do. Their brains are differently wired than ours. We live longer than they do. They tell us when they're hungry, dieing of thirst, need to go out, playtime, happy, sad, fighting mood, etc. Isn't that part of their thinking process.

January 12th, 2005, 06:27 AM
He suggested that their decisons are based on instint or reflexes rather than active decision making or real thinking.
I have to disagree with the professor. I believe they think and make decisions in there own way. When my Molly wants to go out she will stare at me and if I am sitting on the couch not paying attention to her she will come over and nudge my leg. It is almost like she was thinking 'hmm mum doesn't see that I need to go out so I must get her attention'. Did she think and make the decision to do that? I think so as we have only had her a week. It doesn't make sence to me that it could be just instint or reflex that has her doing that.

January 12th, 2005, 07:08 AM
I came into this thread thinking of course animals think! Although I have no examples with a nut of a dog and 4 lazier than lazy cats.
Then again, every example mentioned here can be twisted in a way that it is merely instinct.
An animal letting you know they need something doesn't necessarily mean they thought about it first, we are their pack leader, or their master and if they can't do something themselves, their reflexes and instincts show us.
Don't yell at me! :p

January 12th, 2005, 08:31 AM
Well,when I put down 3 Vinnie will eat his,but I can"see"a blurb over his head saying"I hope Rocky and Chico don't finish theirs"gotta have more!! He is"thinking"planning how to get to the other dishes before I do :D
Also one day when we were outside,Chico disappeared and Vinnie told me,by looking up at the fence,that's where Chico had gone.Sure enough,he had jumped the fence and was waiting to be let back in at the the gate.
Smartest kitties in the world :crazy:

January 12th, 2005, 08:42 AM
I am certain that cats and dogs think, and not just instinctual things, either. A lot of animals do. I could swear that sometimes Meeko knows what I'm thinking, and he certainly has shown problem solving skills. He can turn on the water faucets by himself, and yesterday morning I discovered that he had broken into the cupboard where I keep his treats, pried the lid off his plastic catnip container, and proceeded to spread catnip all over the carpet! And every cat and dog's personality is so different, you'd almost have to think that maybe it's their thoughts that make them that way.

Oh and on a kind of silly note-I once saw a horse (Danny) playfully take a wrench out of my F.I.L.'s back pocket and run to the other side of the pasture with it. And I've seen horse's play with a hard inflatable rubber ball, kicking it and picking it up with their mouths, etc. :p