Were Velociraptors Smarter Than Dogs?

You've done all you can: visited your local animal shelter, found the perfect canine companion, and over the years that followed, regimented a strict training schedule to ensure that they would be faster, stronger, and more capable of opening doors than a velociraptor. You have done this knowing full well that, at any point, a doddering old Scotsman with a penchant for dead bug accessorization might summon forth from the genetic depths an army of prehistoric killing machines, and like the Pokemon Masters of old, you will only have your domesticated animals to defend you. But at the end of the day, will it have been worth it? Will your dog be able to outsmart these monsters from the dawn of time, or will they, by right of their magnificent, God-given brains, use tactical cunning to outwit your pooch? Would a velociraptor be smarter than a dog? And, to take that line of questioning to its logical conclusion, is there any rule in the book saying that a velociraptor can't play basketball?

It's a little bit difficult to say exactly how smart any dinosaur really was. For one thing, there's no way to experience their behavior first hand. For another, intelligence is a spectrum, and while velociraptors may not have been great at math, they might have excelled in sculpting or theological studies.

Velociraptor brains: here's what we know

One thing that scientists are pretty sure of is that the velociraptor, while clever as compared to a lot of other dinos, probably wasn't anywhere near as sharp-witted as the versions you've probably seen in Jurassic Park or the much more haunting and scientifically sound speculative fiction series Dinosaur Train. As has been pointed out by the folks at the University of California Museum of Paleontology, velociraptors probably had brains that were almost-but-not-quite at the same level of sophistication as many modern birds.

With that in mind, when asking whether your dog is smarter than a velociraptor, the question you really have to ask yourself is, "Is my dog smarter than a parakeet?" Tread carefully. The answer might not be what you hoped.