Where Do Animals Rank on the IQ Scale?

Aug 20, 2021 Stuti Pandey

No creature is born intelligent. Humans are the most intelligent living creatures. But Humans have evolved from Animals, haven’t they?

Let us look at the scale of learning: understanding, applying and analyzing by checking out some interesting facts.

  • The smartest animals such as Wolves can apply their knowledge of teamwork to single off prey and capture it!!
  • Animals know things that we don't, such as weather predictions. Elephants were running for the hills when struck by the infamous Thailand Tsunami.
  • Dog takes an instant dislike to a person whom you find out later is not good.

These were some of the scientific examples that show that animals have IQ but their IQ is restricted to fundamental life processes like threats to their life, food, a member of the pack or their herd, their safety or safety of their owner, or their offspring. Unlike human beings they do not think about progressive topics like development, standard of living or better lifestyle.








But when given adequate training, they can be tutored to be used by humankind like we use dogs as sniffers to locate bombs. This trait comprises of LEARNING. It means when animals are trained, they can increase their IQ as compared to animals who are not trained.

Now coming on UNDERSTANDING, I would like to share an incident. When I had secured poor marks in my Grade 12 Maths Exam, I returned home and broke down. My pet came and sat near me and lent her paw to me. It seemed that she was telling me that no matter what happens, she would be next to me. It’s their love, compassion and insight skills that gave them the quality to understand things. Similarly, parrots are known to catch and understand voice and dialogues very quickly.

Now coming to APPLYING and ANALYSING, we all have seen Discovery channel, we have seen how a Lion waits, analyze and apply their hunting tactics till the prey is in proximity. A Lion makes sure that he camouflages himself and makes no noise to let the prey know about his presence. Similarly in the case of a trained pet dog, he knows where to find his food, water and his bed. This is because they apply their trained minds to it.

Evan MacLean, Brian Hare, and Charles Nunn of the Duke University had led an international team of 58 scientists from 25 institutes to study the evolution of one mental skill, self-control, in 567 animals from 36 species. The team found that the animals’ scores on the self-control tests did correlate with reports of other skills, like innovation, tool use, deception, and social learning.

So, YES, animals do have IQs and are trainable. They can be trained in order to sharpen their senses. Before winding up, take a look at my pet who has a much stronger IQ than I have! 

Author: Stuti Pandey






Stuti Pandey is a 22-year old Engineer and cynophilist who also loves any being that has an element of life in them. She adopted a stray dog in 2015 who has now turned into a playful and naughty 6-year-old adorable creature. Exercising her moral responsibility, she feeds stray dogs in her society and ensures their vaccination and sterilization.




About Us

Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW) India is a registered nonprofit /non-government organization and its focus is summed up in its motto, Animal Welfare through Education. It promotes empathy and compassion for all living beings and care for the environment by educating young people through its humane education programs and workshops.


Stray Relief and Animal Welfare (STRAW)
4th Floor, D2/2303, Vasant Kunj
New Delhi, INDIA
PIN: 110070
Email: contact@strawindia.org

Subscribe for updates


Follow Us