Unleashing Creativity: The Hidden Talents of Our Canine Companions

Joanne Baker | Sunday, April 21st, 2024

Pappa da Vinci

It’s no secret that dogs are more than just pets; they are companions, protectors, and often, heroes. Many of us are familiar with the remarkable abilities of assistance and therapy dogs. These special animals support individuals with disabilities, offer emotional comfort, and even save lives with their trained skills and innate sensitivity. But what about the everyday genius of the average household dog? Recent research suggests that these dogs, too, possess a surprising level of creativity and intelligence.

Thinking Outside the Kennel

A pioneering study titled “The Creative Canine: Investigating the Concept of Creativity in Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) Using Citizen Science” has revealed fascinating insights into the cognitive abilities of our four-legged friends. By training dogs to respond to a “create” command, researchers have found that dogs are not only capable of learning new tricks but can also innovate and problem-solve in ways previously unimagined.

This training involved asking dogs to perform a behaviour they had not previously displayed during the session. The only incorrect response was repetition. The variety of behaviours dogs came up with on their own was astonishing—from crafting intricate toy arrangements to coming up with new games to engage their owners.

Creative Canines at Home

While assistance dogs are trained for specific tasks that require intelligence and adaptability, your domestic dog also has the potential to showcase similar sparks of creativity. For instance, have you ever found your dog solving puzzles on their own or inventing new ways to interact with their environment? Such actions are manifestations of their cognitive flexibility and creative problem-solving abilities.

Fostering Creativity

So, how can you encourage this creativity? Here are a few tips:

  • Challenge Them Regularly: Use puzzle toys and games that challenge your dog to think creatively. This not only stimulates their mind but also strengthens your bond.
  • Training Sessions: Incorporate training sessions that require them to follow complex commands or find solutions to new problems.
  • Socialisation: Exposure to new environments and experiences can stimulate your dog’s brain and enhance their adaptability.

Share Your Stories

We love hearing about the inventive ways your dogs brighten your lives. Whether it’s a clever trick they’ve pulled or an ingenious solution to a common problem, your stories inspire us and others in our community. Share your experiences and photos with us, and let’s celebrate the creative spirit of our canine companions together.


Dogs have a remarkable capacity to adapt, learn, and create. As we continue to explore the depths of their intelligence, we not only deepen our understanding of them but also enrich the lives we share. Encourage and nurture this creativity, and you may be surprised at just how ingenious your furry friend can be.

WILLGOHS, K. et al. The Creative Canine: Investigating the Concept of Creativity in Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) Using Citizen Science. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, [s. l.], v. 35, p. 1–12, 2022. Disponível em: https://research.ebsco.com/linkprocessor/plink?id=b0d1ba91-ea3c-3d07-b002-88c98044da69. Acesso em: 20 abr. 2024.