Studies Show That Pigs Are Actually More Intelligent Than Dogs

Posted by Katherine Ripley
Geraint Rowland/Flickr

You might want to think twice about eating bacon.

We love our dogs because they’re loyal to us, they listen to us, and it seems like they understand us. But as it turns out, dogs can be outperformed on IQ tests by an animal we typically consider food: pigs.

Pigs get higher scores than dogs on many cognitive ability tests, and they can compete with animals that we generally consider to be the most intelligent: elephants, dolphins, and chimpanzees.

Several studies have concluded that pigs excel at tests of long term memory, mazes, and puzzles. A pig named Moritz was recently filmed putting the correct pieces into a pig puzzle.

Other studies have revealed that pigs feel empathy—they react to sadness and happiness in different ways. Pigs have relatively complex social lives, where they cooperate and learn from each other, so it makes sense that they would have some degree of emotional intelligence.

Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and the author of one of the latest studies on pig intelligence, said in an interview with Huffington Post that she wants her research to make people more aware of the fact that pigs are cognitively complex animals. Her research was funded by the Someone, Not Something project, which aims to gather information about the intelligence and emotions of farm animals.

When you realize that pigs are actually very crafty critters, you might want to think twice about eating bacon for brunch. Marino, who is a vegan, hopes that her research will encourage people to stop eating meat.

Studies Show That Pigs Are Actually More Intelligent Than Dogs