How Smart is Your Dog? 

By on July 24, 2019

We all want to think that our kids are the smartest. This extends even to our fur babies. Have you ever wanted to know how smart your dog is? If you have there are many websites out there that can help you out with specific breeds like for the Western Highland Terrier. So, if you are looking for breed-specific information, this is a site you will want to be sure to visit.  

In this article, we are going to talk about a few of the smartest dogs and how you can test your dog’s IQ in the comfort of your home. At the end of the day, knowing how smart is your dog doesn’t impact anything unless you want to train them and enter competitions, but it is always good to know. So let’s go ahead and take a look. 

Smartest Dogs 

Your dog is at the door when you get home; they make themselves present when it’s time for their normal walk time; they react to certain words the way you want them to; and they even seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to potential dangers. So, your pooch must be a genius! Judging this is not as simple or the same as if you were doing the same with yourself or your kids.  

They seem to know in advance when it’s time for feeding and how to alert you when they sense peril. Most scientists say that the average mental abilities of most dogs fall in the range of a 2-year old. They can learn basic vocabulary (up to 165 words) and signals. This may differ a little from breed to breed. There are however other ways that the dog’s intelligence can be judged. Some of these are: 

  • Ability to problem solve  
  • Communication with humans 
  • Figuring out toys and other doggie gadgets 

There have been many studies on the issue of canine intelligence and here are some of the smartest dog breeds: 

  • Poodle (standard) 
  • Retrievers (Golden) 
  • Dobermans 
  • Sheepdogs (Shetland) 
  • Retrievers (Labrador) 
  • Papillons 
  • Cattle Dogs (Australian) 

Now, these studies seem to focus on only purebreds, so it would seem okay to assume that a mixed breed would benefit from a combination of their breed. These studies also took some tests that were crafted for children and modified them to be usable on your dog.  

But what if you just want to know how smart your own dog is? There are some tests that you can do at home, so check out the next section to see how you can test Fido for their IQ. 

How to Test Your Dog’s Intelligence 

There are many tests available on the web that are designed to see how smart your pet is, but there is one that above all else is the easiest to execute and determine the results. The good old towel test. Here is how you would run this test on your pup: 

  1. Find a towel or sheet that is larger than your dog and show it to them. Let them smell it so they get the scent and are familiar with the fabric. 
  2. Then simply drape the towel over the dog’s head. 
  3. Press start on your stopwatch and wait for the dog to remove it from their head. 
  4. The amount of time it takes dictates just how smart your four-legged friend is: 
  • 15-30 sec. = A 
  • 31-2 min. = B 
  • Tries but doesn’t get it done under 2 mins. = C 
  • Doesn’t try at all = Bless its heart, as they would say in the south. Cute but not bright! 

It may feel good to know that your dog is smart, but it doesn’t change the love you feel for him, just like if you have a kid that is not the sharpest crayon in the box  you love them regardless. But it may help determine how much training you want to invest in that lovable furry rascal. 

Final Thoughts 

Knowing how smart your dog is, like we said above, can be key to figuring out just how much and what type of training your need for them, or it can just be a way to make you feel good about your choice. But in the end, the IQ level of a certain breed should not be a deciding factor unless you are purchasing them for a specific job (i.e. cattle dog or home protection). Instead, go with your heart and if you do, you will not regret it. 

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