As a dog owner, and particularly a herding dog owner, I have had many years of seeing just how smart dogs are. Sophie, in fact, may be smarter than some humans I know merely by her quick understanding of particular words I say that (may) have an abstract meaning. I have conveyed concrete statements to human beings without them being understood. 😉
Now more research has come up that proves dogs are self-aware. Here is an article from Lives Science with the information.