Ever wondered whether your dog is smart or not? If he’s a fast learner, behaves well without being instructed to and helps in daily jobs, he must certainly be. But how do you determine a dog’s intelligence and is it connected to its breed after all?
Many will tell you that, yes, a dog’s intelligence is connected to its breed. And this may be only partially true. In fact, only these criteria:
- The ability to learn a new command after it is repeated less than five times
- An obedience rate of 95% after a given command
have been used to rank the top 5 smart dog breeds, which are:
1. The Border Collie
Why do Border Collies rank high? The answer is simple and can be found in their personality traits. In fact, Border Collies enjoy playing games, learning tricks, retrieving objects and of course the human’s company. Among others, these are the reasons why we regard them as very smart dogs.
Poodles are so versatile that they can even be trained in acrobatics exercises! Such a breed is characterized by the ability to learn tricks, movements, and tasks very quickly.
3. The German Shepherd
German Shepherds are wonderful human companions as they are very cheerful dogs. Sometimes involved in group therapy, German Shepherds are also very good at adapting quickly to environmental changes.
4. The Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are among those dogs with excellent communication skills, and capable of recreating a very happy household’s atmosphere. Also, these dogs are very versatile: one of their capabilities is to lead. This is why they are sometimes employed as herding or guard dogs.
5. The Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinschers are bred for different scopes (therapy, search, rescue or as guard dogs) and are generally alert, fast and agile.
But obedience is not all that matters
Intelligence is a broad concept. Theorists generally categorize the intelligence of dogs into 3 dimensions:
- Obedience intelligence: the dog’s capability to understand humans’ instructions
- Instinctive intelligence: the scope a dog is bred for (e.g.: herding, guarding, helping people with special needs, being good companions to us and our families)
- Adaptive intelligence: how much a dog can learn by himself/herself
Breed or not breed?
Intelligence, we have learned, is not one-dimensional. In fact, the top five breeds which represent the most intelligent dogs only seem to fulfill the dimension of obedience intelligence. This is why it is not the breed itself that determines if a dog is smart or not but the criteria you select to define a dog’s intelligence.
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