Is He a Smart Dog?

A woman feeding her pet dog.

Do you notice how some dogs are quick to respond to your commands, follow instructions, or remember rules? That’s because dogs, too can have varying levels of intellectual development. Some dogs can be as accomplished as avalanche rescue survivors, while others don’t understand when you say “sit.” 

Understanding how a dog’s mind works requires effort, time, and dedication. There’s no standard test to measuring a dog’s IQ, but some performance metrics can help.

Here’s how you can tell if your pup is a smart dog or requires training.

Differences in Intelligence

There are two categories of intelligence in dogs:

  • Adaptive intelligence
  • Instinctive intelligence

Instinctive intelligence is correlative to the dog’s breed. Some breeds are inherently more intelligent than others. Greyhounds and Russian wolfhounds are famous for their performance on sight-oriented tasks. Their vision offers them leverage over other breeds. In contrast, beagles and bloodhounds have a stronger olfactory sense. Their sense of smell improves their intelligence by granting them a more robust scent memory.

Adaptive intelligence pertains to your dog’s social abilities and linguistic skills to learn from the environment. If your pup can express their needs, understand your commands, solve doggie tasks, pick social cues, and adapt to changing living conditions, that’s a sign of their adoptive intelligence.

Two women playing with a dog.

Sample IQ Tests

Here are some simple IQ tests that let you quiz your dog.

Towel Test

Place a towel on your doggie’s head. If they can shake it off and drop it, it’s a sign of their intelligence. You could also test how long it takes them to register the extra material on their body and get rid of it. If they do it in less than 15 seconds, it’s first-rate intelligence. However, any duration longer, say 15 to 30 seconds is average. And longer than 30 seconds means intelligence isn’t their strongest suit.

Bucket Test

Hide a dog toy under a cup or bucket before your dog. To make the puzzle more complex, add a few similar buckets next to it. Distract your dog for a bit and then ask them to find the toy. Don’t change the arrangement of the buckets from what your dog saw.

If they identify the correct bucket in the first go, they deserve a gold star. If it takes them two or more attempts, their performance is average for dogs. If they exhaust all their turns and reach the correct bucket at the end, they aren’t as smart as other dogs.

But you don’t decide how much to love your fur babies depending on their intelligence. Their compassion is also a form of emotional quotient that makes them more special than other companions.

We know how much your pets mean to you. So if you need help caring for them while you’re out of station or busy, send them to our doggie daycare.

Reach out to us if you’re in College Station.

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