4 Things to Know About Dog Intelligence

Sparky Steps - 4 Things to Know About Dog Intelligence

4 Things to Know About Dog Intelligence

We all want to believe our dogs are smart. Every time they learn a new trick or sense that we need some extra affection, we laud them as geniuses. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating your dog’s quick wit and emotional intuition, there are objective measures of dog intelligence. Is your dog truly a four-footed Einstein, or are you blinded by puppy love?

 

Signs of Intelligence

Intelligence can be reflected in a number of different ways. Just like people, dogs will have varying personalities and skills. PetMD lists some common signs you have a smart pup on your hands, including:
  • Problem solving. Does your dog seem to quickly figure out puzzle toys? Does she figure out how to get those treats even though you put them away? Problem solving is a clear sign of canine smarts.
  • Getting into trouble. Those same problem solving skills can assert themselves in some frustrating ways. Your dog might learn how to escape his enclosure or even act out in destructive manner. Smart dogs tend to grow bored if not challenged, and that boredom can be reflected in bad behavior.

Dogs vs. Cats

Dog owners and cat owners often have strong opinions about which pet is smarter. For quite some time cats seemed to be the uncontested winners of battle of the brains, but new research suggests otherwise. A study published in the Frontiers in Neuroanatomy found that dogs actually have twice the number of neurons than cats, according to National Geographic. Dogs have approximately 500 million neurons in their brains, while cats have about 250 million. While more research is certainly merited, it seems dogs come out on top in this study.

Size Does Matter

Another study, this one published in Animal Cognition, has found that larger dogs may be smarter than smaller ones, according to Futurity. Dogs with larger brains demonstrated better short-term memory and self-control, according to the report. But, brain size isn’t everything. For example, the study found it does not predict a dog’s social intelligence.

Brainy Breeds

Breed does come into play when considering canine intelligence. Border collies known for their ability to learn quickly, are almost always at the top of the list of smartest breeds. Border collie Chaser learned more than 1,000 words, according to abcNEWS. Border collies aren’t the only highly trainable breed. Poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Doberman pinschers, Welsh corgis, and Australian cattle dogs are also among the quick learners, according to the American Kennel Club.

 

Written by Carrie Pallardy

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