BBC ONE is turning the spotlight on the nation’s pets during National Pet Week to discover just how clever our animal friends really are. Even the scientists will be awaiting the results with bated breath, in this, the biggest ever survey of the UK pet population.
Pet owners throughout the UK will be encouraged to look at the animals they share their lives with in a completely new way. Using a series of tests devised by animal behaviourists, pet owners will be able to uncover their own pet’s abilities and compare their results with the rest of the country. Now is the time to discover what your cats paw preference says about its intellect and whether horses understand more commands than dogs.
On Saturday 1 May presenters Rolf Harris and Kate Humble will introduce a series of tests and challenges for every pet. Devised by a team of animal behaviourists and approved by the British Veterinary Association and the RSPCA these are fun tests that people can easily try out at home but nonetheless provide revealing insights into the workings of animal minds.
The tests will enable everybody to understand their pet’s behaviour and make new discoveries about their animals’ individual characteristics and capabilities. They are not just limited to cats and dogs either. Discover whether fish really do have a five-minute memory, and if rodents beat parrots at problem-solving. There are tests for cats, dogs, birds, ferrets, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, horses, and aquarium fish to undertake.
Dr Tim Guilford, a leading expert on animal behaviour from Oxford University will be hoping to analyse the results of these tests to gain the best ever indication of pets intelligence.
‘From testing whether your pet is left or right pawed, to its ability to solve problems, its understanding of words and commands, and its awareness of the world, there is a wealth of information just waiting to be gathered and analysed’.
Viewers can visit Test Your Pet website www.bbc.co.uk/testyourpet to find out more about the tests. Digital viewers will also get the chance to participate in a unique experiment. How does your pet respond to television? Settle them down in front of PET TV and find out what your pet is actually seeing and hearing on the box.