Indeed, considerable variation exists among dogs, as their behavior can be influenced by breed, socialization, life experiences, and so on. Importantly, however, dogs are really good at being dogs, including stuff like playing fetch, barking at the neighbors, herding sheep, mooching for snacks, and, very importantly, providing companionship. There’s literally no reason for them to be more human-like when it comes to their intelligence, even if we sometimes mistakenly project more smarts onto them than they deserve.
“Dogs are very good at what they’re bred to do—they’re excellent at doing those things, and in some cases even better than other species we think are intelligent, such as chimps and bonobos,” Zachary Silver, a PhD student from the Comparative Cognitive Lab at Yale University, told Gizmodo. “But as soon as we step outside of that domain, we see a lot of failures in cognition, including a lack of flexibility and cognitive sophistication.”
And that brings us back to exposing areas in which doggie intelligence is somewhat lacking. Not coincidentally, these deficiencies, so to speak, aren’t things we require or expect from dogs, which is probably why they never developed in the first place or are being weeded out on account of breeding.