20 Examples Of Pets Who Surprised Their Owners By Learning A New Skill Themselves
Comprehensive research has shown that animals can empathize with humans and other animals. And they do so by comforting, grieving, and even coming to the rescue in case of danger. Empathy is specifically what binds us, humans, together. And when fellow humans are not available, pets are happy to assist (for a snack in return, of course). And to be heavily honest, sometimes they are better listeners than people. Seriously, we don’t deserve pets.
Other than showing empathy, many animals have unique cognitive abilities. Elephants have incredible memories, crows know physics, rats solve puzzles, raccoons pick locks, and bees have democratic dance-offs. There is a multitude of ways animals express their intelligence.
It’s always more fun to look at real-life examples, and the Ask Reddit community will always get you covered. Redditor Gearski asked, “Pet owners of Reddit, what is the most intelligent thing your pet has done?” Pets’ moms and dads were more than happy to share the moments they realized their pets were more intelligent than they thought.
More info: Reddit
Image source: Coryb155
We have 2 dogs… one is 14 and the other is 5. The older one will start playing with a random toy she doesn’t care about to trick the 5 year old into wanting it… so she can get the one he had.
Also, they’re not allowed on the couch… but at night, she’ll ninja her way down the hall and stand there listening to see if we’re asleep so she can sneak up on it.
Image source: Pwbooks13
Every night between 7:30-8 one of my dogs stands at the bottom of the stairs and barks until you go upstairs with him and put him on the bed so he can go to sleep
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I had a dog (toy poodle) pretty clearly try to trade toys with me when I was little. I was playing with an action figure and he brought me one of his toys, put it in my lap, and nudged it forward with his nose all while staring at my toy.
Image source: Pilot_Mosley
my dog constantly makes me believe she understands English. I can say something i’ve never said or trained her to respond too and she’ll do it. i’ll point and tell her to get her blue ball and she’ll do exactly that. now whether or not she wants to keep playing with the blue ball instead of the rope is completely up to her. most intelligent thing she’s done was the time i was locked out of my house and yelled “JUNO LET ME IN” and she busts through the screen on the window. coolest thing ever.
edit: dad wasn’t happy
Image source: Subdural17
My older dog got a stomach bug one time, and he never goes to the bathroom in the house. Well, I guess this time was the exception. He had diarrhea in the house, but instead of going all over, he climbed in the bathtub and went in there for easy cleanup! I wasn’t happy, but it was sure as heck better than the alternative!
Image source: ninth9wonder
I wouldn’t give one of my dogs a treat since the other dog was elsewhere; I didn’t want to play favorites.
So the sneaky little bastard leaves the room. Few seconds later, he walks back in, other dog trailing behind.
I got outplayed.
Image source: Cyanide_Kitty_101
I used to have a horse who lived to be 32. She was the sweetest horse ever, and her name was even Sugar. Anyway, when she was in her late 20s, she figured out how to open the stall doors. They had a latch that you had to lift up then pull to the side. She figured out to use her lips to lift the latch up then slide it out to get into the barn and eat the hay. We had to put clasps onto the latches to keep her from doing it. No other horse has ever done this that’s we’ve had, and we’ve had a good number of horses over the years.
Image source: punk_perfunctory
Before letting my dog out into the garden I usually put the kettle on so I can make a coffee on my way back, well now he has figured out how to turn the kettle on and does this whenever he wants to go out.
Image source: yungleg
My kitten desperately wants to get under the sink, but she’s too little to open the door. So instead, she figured out that she can open a drawer next to the sink, crawl in, and turn left to get under the sink.
Image source: AvianBEJKS
Turn up at my doorstep two years ago and refuse to leave until I let him inside and let him join the family. He was a persistent kitten, meowing at my door in the rain and sleeping on the doorstep for a week before I gave in.
Image source: Daysleepers
My dog opens the door like a bloody velociraptor.
He actually turns the thumb turn lock and lets himself out.
Sometimes convenient but not when it’s cold and wet.
Image source: VloekenenVentileren
I had some pets rats and one of them figured out how to open the cage. He’d look me straight in the eyes, grab the door with his teeth and use his tiny paws to push against the frame of the cage and force the door open. Locks were needed after that.
I do miss having pet rats though, such smart animals.
Image source: NybbleM3
My cat learned how to open the fridge. A prior cat learned how to roll over on command from watching us try to teach the dog to do it. we would force the dog draw a little girl after giving the command, and then give her a treat and praise her. The cat wanted in on this and saw her getting a treat for rolling over so he started to do it too. He learned how to roll over faster than the dog did.
Image source: M_H_M_F
My girlfriends cat likes black metal. A lot apparently. She’s a pretty rambuncious gal, but if you put on Immortal or Behemoth, she sits in front of the speakers, lies down, then takes a nap.
I tried playing the Get Up Kids once. The cat slapped me, then hissed. She kept yelling at me until I put black metal back on. She then jumped back into my lap like nothing happened.
Image source: pandasareblack
Reminds me of a golden retriever I used to own when I had a waterbed. She wasn’t allowed on the waterbed. Every time I came home, the waterbed would be covered in golden retriever hair, and undulating wildly, while she lay in her bed on the floor.
Image source: SophiaMaria33
My dog, 3/4 lab 1/4 husky, figured out how to beat the electric fence…it was a radius style and he’d walk circles around the house letting the collar beep until it ran out of juice, then he’d make his escape. He also figured out how to unlock the doors and bolt locks, and turn the handles to escape. We eventually just let him roam the town all day. He’d travel about 15 miles/day visiting his different friends and families, and come back at around the time we came home from school. He used to wag his tail so hard that his whole body wiggled, and to this day, years after he passed at almost 20years old, I still run into people who were friends with “Mr. Wiggles”.
Image source: Flaming_F
We had a dog capable of memorizing the name of about fifteen of his toys. We just had to say the name of a toy and he was able to pick it up without hesitation. He was a 8 lbs all black miniature poodle .. he lived for 16 years.
Image source: Peppered012
My cat has a heating pad, she’s seen my plug it in about 5 times before,so she tried to pick up the cord and run into the wall.
Image source: Gerreth_Gobulcoque
Dog was a puppy. My mother just found out her abusive uncle had died. She was flooded with emotions and broke down crying. I was downstairs with headphones on. Dog came downstairs and paced wildly around me until I got up, then led me upstairs. I opened the door and he ran in and laid down next to her and howled with her. Dogs and humans are coevolved. Empathy isn’t a human concept
Image source: emmyp08
I taught my parrot to say thank you when he gets a treat, but the little s*it now passive-aggressively says it to me when he is mad. I didn’t know birds could be so emotionally manipulative