When it comes to whether or not dogs are smart; we know for a fact they are extremely intelligent!

All of our dogs are and have been very smart. No matter what breed, size or age they were when we rescued them; they’ve all been intelligent, with some being a little smarter at certain things than others though.  Here’s another excellent article on a dog’s ability to understand.

Personally, I think most people underestimate the intelligence of our canine friends. I routinely say that dogs ARE a product of their environment.

Perfect example; if you ignore a dog and never provide mental stimulation, then you’re dog is going to be listless, bored, unresponsive and sad.

Just like people, dogs not only need physical stimulation, but mental stimulation as well and on a daily basis. Remember, dogs are pack animals and socialization ranks high on their list of needs.

How To Broaden Your Dog’s Mind

When it comes to how smart dogs are; I believe that way to much emphasis is placed on breed and genetics.  I believe that dogs are very intelligent, period. I also believe that talking to your dog is one of the best ways to broaden your dog’s mind and provide mental stimulation.  Dogs are always watching and listening to their leader to see what is expected of them next.

Repetition plays an important role in developing and broadening your dog’s mind. Like babies, dogs learn quickly by repeating the same words, gestures and routines. Reinforce their learning ability by talking to them daily.

Our dog’s associate the phrase “let’s get your shoe’s on” with going for a walk. Why? At one point, one of our older dog’s had bad hips and would drag her feet when she would walk, so we would wear shoes on her when we walked her. This wasn’t something that we deliberately taught them, they picked up on it on their own, and it stuck.

Another example: one of my mixed breeds would mimic my facial expression every time I did it. I would raise my lip in the corner and she would do it back. Again, I never taught her this, she showed me that she could do it too.

It’s just simple communication and a matter of talking to your dog. I don’t believe that smart dogs come with spots or no spots, curly coats or flat coats, a big body or small body nor does it matter if they are herding, working or guard dogs. Dogs learn quickly and whether or not your dog’s a pure bred or a mix – it just doesn’t matter. What matters is the attention, communication and encouragement you give to your dog.

So, start communicating and talking to your dog. Just talk to him randomly and watch how alert he becomes. I don’t plan things to say to my dog’s, I just talk to them like they are anybody else in the house and they listen, which is more than I can say for others around here. 😮

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

For those of you that still want to know which breeds are considered the top 10 smart dogs, here they are:

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinschers
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dogs

So, what do you think? Are dogs only as smart as the breed or is their intelligence level unique to the dog himself and the interaction he receives? I would love to hear your opinion below.

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Showing 18 comments
  • admin

    Awe, sorry Darlene – I didn’t make the list – simply shared it! I’m sure your Akita babies are VERY, VERY INTELLIGENT. 😮 I actually forget where I got the list from – but I’ll check into it and post it here when I get time.

  • Darlene N McIntyre

    I have two very intelligent Akitas. Come on now, where did this list originate

  • admin

    Hi Chris:
    Oops! I too happen to think that JR’s are VERY INTELLIGENT, but, truthfully I didn’t make up the list. A good friend of mine had her JR for 17 years and he would open the refrigerator at night and help himself!

    Oh, thank you for your compliment on my picture with “Jenna” my dobie. She’s VERY photogenic, I tell her all the time.

  • Chris Kavanagh

    I’m not here to criticize your list, but how could you forget Jack Russell Terriers, LOL!!! Definitely, definitely, one of the smartest dogs on the planet. They have got to be in the top 3. The only dog, in my opinion, that can compare to them in IQ, is Border Collie’s.

    BTW, that’s a great pic of you & your Doberman!

  • Liyah

    My Dog Isnt Up Here Period. I Believe PitBulls Deserve a Spot Up Here Also , My Dog is Very Smart

  • Edith Bruche

    I think pembroke corgis should be listed as one of the smartest and extremely intelligent dogs.
    I have 2 very clever corgis and there’s nothing that they can’t do or want to learn.

    • admin

      Hi Edith:
      I’ve heard that Corgi’s need alot of mental stimulation, which at least indicates to me that they are very intelligent. Big dogs in little bodies, huh? I’ve never owned one, but I think they’re adorable. 😮

      • Edith

        They certainly are big dogs in little bodies and with BIG attitudes, but whatever miscief they get up to they can do no wrong.

  • shetland sheepdog

    Border collies are the most intelligent dog and that’s true just like my border collie. I can teach him tricks easily.

  • Melinda Regner

    Ooh! Border Collies are on the top spot! I never thought of that. My neighbor has a border collie but as i can see, It’s as stupid as its owner. My cute “muning” (well, for me), is better that His and her breed is only at the 7th spot. She’s a papi. Are there natural or organic foods that can boost dogs intelligence?

  • admin

    Hi Bob:
    They actually use several different methods to determine a dog’s IQ:
    Problem solving skills
    Social skills
    Manipulation ability
    Language comprehension

    However, I don’t know that I necessarily agree with these tests because I feel that each dog’s situation may be different. If you take a dog whose owner communicates with him daily and then you take a dog who is completely ignored daily – most likely the first dog will score higher than the second because of his social skills. This doesn’t mean that the second dog isn’t intelligent, it could just mean that the dog lacks confidence.

  • Bob

    I have toy poodle, I think that poodles are smart, easy to train and learn new things easily.

    How can they test dogs intelligence?

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