We all know how intelligent animals can be. The Chimpanzee is considered to be the most intelligent animal in the world. What about dogs? How intelligent are our favorite family pets, actually?
Sit, come, fetch, lie down… we love it when we see how quickly our puppy learns commands!
With good training, there are so many things a dog is capable of learning. Some learn faster, some slower, but all in all, every dog that is regularly worked with can surprise us with its skills.
But, have you ever wondered how intelligent your dog really is? What is the average IQ of a dog?
Today, we will learn a little more about the average intelligence of dogs, about the dogs that are considered to be the most intelligent breeds in the canine world, and about the ways in which we can measure dog intelligence.
I believe that this topic will be interesting to all dog owners, so let’s get to the point!
What Is The Average IQ Of A Dog?
The average IQ of a dog is estimated at 100. It is believed that the average dog can learn about 160 words. Some dogs that are considered to be among the most intelligent can even learn over 200 words.
Various studies of dog intelligence show that dogs can be compared to the average two-year-old child in terms of the number of words they understand, their interaction with people, and their emotional intelligence.
Some above-average intelligent dogs are even smarter than two-year-old humans.
Dog intelligence is quite a broad term, and if one dog is better than another in a certain aspect, this does not mean that that dog is generally smarter. This means that there are different types of dog intelligence.
3 Types Of Dog Intelligence
Stanley Coren is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, who was particularly interested in aspects of dog intelligence. In 1994, this psychology professor published a book called, The Intelligence Of Dogs.
According to professor Coren’s book, the following are the aspects, or types, of dog intelligence:
• Adaptive intelligence: This aspect of dog intelligence refers to the dog’s problem-solving skills. While some dogs will solve something in a second, for some other dogs, this will take a lot more time. Adaptive intelligence can be measured with IQ tests.
• Instinctive intelligence: This aspect of dog intelligence is determined by the main reason as to what one dog was originally bred to do. Therefore, this is why we have different types of dogs such as working dogs, herding dogs, or companion dogs.
• Working intelligence: This aspect of dog intelligence shows how much one dog is capable of learning.
For example, the working intelligence reflects how the dog learns new commands, how quickly it learns them, and in general, how capable it is of learning new things. This type of intelligence is also called obedience intelligence.
How Do You Measure A Dog’s IQ?
I am glad to inform you that you can measure your dog’s IQ at home without even having the official IQ score for your pet friend. So, how can you find out if you are dealing with a smart dog?
Each of us has surely been surprised by the speed with which our dog overcame a certain obstacle, or by noticing something new in its environment. But, how often have you actually noticed this in your dog?
Does your dog get mental stimulation at all or do you leave it to chance?
Below are some simple tactics to measure your dog’s IQ.
Does Your Dog Listen While You Are Talking To Someone?
Have you ever noticed that your dog listens to your conversation with someone in the house?
If the dog curls up in one place and follows your voice, looks at you while you are talking, and then at your interlocutor while he takes the initiative, this could be a sign that your dog is very intelligent.
We won’t go too far and say that a dog understands all human words, but dogs can also infer a lot from your facial expression or your posture.
If you raise your voice or make some other sudden movement during the conversation, the dog might get up and look at you curiously.
This all means that your dog is actually following your conversation and your reactions. So, your dog shows high emotional intelligence, and the ability to empathize with its owner!
Dog Hiding Something Wrong He Did
This is a very important cognitive skill that can only be recognized in highly intelligent dogs.
Although your dog was potty trained a long time ago, he suddenly had a small accident inside your house. When you come in, your dog doesn’t seem to want to leave that exact spot.
What is happening?
What is happening is that your very intelligent dog is aware that he has done something bad – something that you have trained him not to do, and now he wants to cover up his deed.
So, in this way, dogs show that they understand that they and their owners do not see the world in a completely identical way.
However, even though they are smart enough to notice this, this does not mean that your dog will not still be mischievous and will not come up with silly ideas!
Does Your Dog Notice Any Changes?
Try to move something inside the house to a new place. Make it something your dog likes and plays with.
If the dog reacts as if it is looking for that thing, or if it barks to inform you that it is missing, this is a sign that your dog is intelligent!
So, very quickly, he noticed a certain change in his environment and reacted to it.
Does Your Dog Notice Your Mood?
You’ve had a bad day, and when you get home, you’re in absolutely no mood for anything but lying on the couch.
You lie completely listless for a few minutes, after which your dog comes and starts licking you. This is a sign that your dog is clearly noticing a change in your mood. He has sensed that something is not right, and he came to comfort you.
Also, when the dog sees you happy and excited, he might start to behave similar to you.
These are signs that your dog has a high IQ, and that he responds to his owner’s emotions and acts accordingly.
Can You Improve Your Dog’s Intelligence?
Your dog’s intelligence is predetermined by genetics, and so there is nothing you can do about it.
Absolutely – no!
It is true that genetics play a strong role in a dog’s intelligence, but the dog’s intelligence also develops throughout the dog’s life and through its acquaintance with the world around it.
This is exactly why the early socialization of a dog is so important. With early socialization, the dog learns about different people, phenomena, places, and sounds that surround it.
Just as regular physical exercise is important for a dog’s development and health, it is equally important to mentally stimulate your dog. How do you stimulate the development of your dog’s intelligence at home?
Very simple, and you don’t have to buy expensive aids at all!
1. Hide And Seek
You can give your dog a challenge. By solving this challenge, the dog develops its intelligence and resourcefulness, has fun, gets tired, and its stress level decreases. A lot of positive things can be achieved at once, right?
This challenge might involve hiding your dog’s favorite toy. When he notices that the toy is not in its usual place, the dog will sniff around curiously, and will do everything in his power to find it.
When he succeeds, it’s a good idea to reward him with his favorite treat! In this way, the dog will gain insight into the positive correlation of getting a treat with finding a toy.
This or any similar trick is a great solution when your dog seems bored and you are not able to take him outside and play with him at the moment.
2. Use Your Dog’s Love For Food!
Today, we have various toys for hiding food. By using these types of toys, it will be a little more difficult for the dog to get to the food since the toy consists of certain obstacles.
But, in the end, every dog will succeed at this! In addition to being mentally stimulated, this kind of tool is useful because the dog will eat more slowly, and will not overeat.
3. Never Stop Teaching Your Dog New Commands
Of course, we must not forget your role in teaching your dog commands.
If your dog has mastered basic commands, don’t stop there! There are so many words that dogs can understand, and with your effort and encouraging your dog to work further, we think you will be extremely pleased with the results!
What Are The Smartest Dog Breeds?
I am sure you are all wondering: How smart is my dog? Is he among the smartest dog breeds in the world?
Well, let’s see who the canine Einsteins are! Which dog breeds have the highest IQ?
The following is a list of 20 smartest dog breeds in the world, arranged in alphabetical order:
1. Australian Cattle Dog
2. Belgian Sheepdog
3. Belgian Tervuren
4. Border Collie
7. Cocker Spaniel
8. Doberman Pinscher
9. English Springer Spaniel
10. German Shepherd
11. German Shorthaired Pointer
12. Golden Retriever
13. Labrador Retriever
14. Miniature Schnauzer
16. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
19. Shetland Sheepdog
20. Standard Schnauzer
Which Dog Breeds Do Not Have A High IQ?
Based on the research of certain dog behaviors, the dog’s ability to learn new things, and the time it takes them to learn them, it was determined which dogs have the highest IQ. In the same way, it is determined which dogs are at the other end of this scale.
These are the following dogs, arranged in alphabetical order:
1. Afghan Hound
3. Basset Hound
7. Chow Chow
8. English Bulldog
10. Shih Tzu
This list is based on scientific research, but I still think it is too harsh to say that some dogs are not smart. Moreover, if the average IQ of a dog is 100, are all dogs that fall into the group with IQ below this limit really dumb?
Can Some Dogs Really Be Characterized As Dumb?
There is so much that our dog understands. There is a reason why we chose dogs to be our best friends and the animals that we share our living space with!
If there are some basic things that a dog hasn’t mastered, maybe he just didn’t have a way to do it since no one paid enough attention to him.
According to the American Kennel Club, most dogs are intelligent, just not in the same way. Some dogs will simply learn to do something faster than other dogs, thanks to their natural instincts and abilities.
If a dog does not learn a certain command the first time, I firmly believe that he will succeed with regular training. Even though it takes him significantly longer to do this compared to other dogs, that doesn’t mean we should give up!
Simply, not all dogs are easy to train, and do not show obedience to their owner at all times. Some dogs need to be shown dominance much more than other dogs.
Each dog is different in its temperament and psyche. Even dogs of the same breed can be totally different!
For example, the Basset Hound is a funny and somewhat lazy dog. He enjoys hunting prey, but maybe he’s just not interested in learning the commands you keep trying!
It may seem to you that the Bloodhound is a slow learner, but this dog loves to sniff, and he focuses all his attention on that. A
Beagle may seem impossible to train, but this energetic dog can still be trained into an obedient dog with a lot of effort!
So, the progress and education of a dog also significantly depends on its owner and his desire to improve the intelligence of his pet.
Today, we learned a little more about the average IQ of dogs. I believe that many of you are proud owners of very intelligent dogs that are capable of learning a lot and showing you their understanding.
But, how important is IQ when choosing a dog? For some people, it will be the most important factor, and they will choose the type of dog that is reputed to be extremely intelligent.
However, we would like to emphasize at the end that intelligence is subjective, and that if you take, for example, a Border Collie… it does not immediately mean that your dog will be successful in absolutely everything, and that it will be the best choice as your family dog.
Additionally, we want to remind you that every dog is capable of learning commands and showing you love.
Some of them need more attention and training, but we believe that every dog is made to be excellent in something, and just needs a little encouragement to show it!