Calculating Dog Does Math Tricks

08/17/2011 at 04:00 PM EDT

Dog Does Math, Can Add and Subtract by Barking
Tom Bauer/Missoulian
Who needs a calculator when you've got a dog?

Beau, a 12-year-old Labrador retriever, can help you solve all your math problems. What's the square root of 9? Ask him, and he'll tell you in barks – even if his owner, Dave Madsen, isn't nearby.

Madsen, of Missoula, Mont., started teaching his intelligent dog how to count when Beau was a puppy, and now Beau can answer a variety of complicated questions involving addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and more.

"We do try to keep the answers at 10 or below," Madsen told The Missoulian, "because otherwise, it's a lot of barking."

Madsen doesn't use signals to sneak Beau the answers, and still Beau manages to come up with the correct number of barks about 85 percent of the time. And each time he does answer correctly, Beau gets a treat. This is one dog who doesn't need to eat anyone's homework – he has plenty to chew on!

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