ROUND THE BEND - 5 minutes How good is your pet at solving problems?
This is both a problem-solving test and a detour test. First your pet has to work out a route to the reward, and then it has to walk away from the treat in order to get it.
What do I need?
Two shoe boxes or pieces of cardboard tall enough so that your pet can't see over them
A pet treat or toy
The walkthrough below describes the stages of the test:
Step 1: Using the boxes or pieces of cardboard, create a V-shaped barrier on the floor or on a table. Pull the sides apart slightly, so that there is a gap in the middle that is too small for your pet to fit through.
Step 2: Place your pet outside the V-barrier next to the gap.
Step 3: Place yourself on the same side of the barrier as your pet and drop the treat onto the floor the other side of the barrier so that your pet can see it through the gap.
Step 4: How does your pet react?
A - Pet walks immediately around the barrier to retrieve treat
B - After some time, pet walks around the barrier to retrieve treat
C - Pet ignores the test or simply tries to get at the treat through the gap
If option A - Your pet cracked this puzzle remarkably quickly. This may be because it has come across a similar situation before, or it may be very good at looking at physical problems and coming up with solutions. This takes a fair deal of brain power.
If option B - Your pet took a little time to crack this puzzle. It may be that it spent a few moments trying to get at the treat before deciding on a less direct action, or it could have simply stumbled upon the solution by mistake as it walked away. If you repeated the test, it may do it more quickly now it knows what to do.
If option C - Your pet wasn't able to crack this puzzle. It may seem obvious to you, but to do this successfully, your pet must have a good understanding of its physical world, and be prepared to walk away from a treat in order to get at it. This is no mean feat.