Dogs must be quite intelligent to understand human emotions, signs, words and cues. However, like humans have intellectuals and dummies, dogs also do have intellectuals and dummies.
But what exactly is the yardstick for classifying a dog as either dumb or smart? Our experiences while training them? How they do with training? How vibrant they are? How submissive they are?
Every dog breed has different tasks they were bred for and would most likely act according to their breeding before they act according to their training.
Due to their task of herding, dog breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are widely considered to be very smart and intelligent, as they are great at carrying out instructions and handling situations independently. This consequently makes lots of people ignore dog breeds that do not exhibit obvious smartness or intelligence.
In this article, we will discuss the smartest and dumbest dog breeds and how they came to be considered so.
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What Breed Of Dog Is The Dumbest
The dogs we mostly consider to be dumb are usually smarter are more intelligent than we give them credit for. Some of the studies carried out to accurately determine a dog’s intelligence or dumbness might not be so accurate after all.
Dr Stanley Coren, in his book “The Intelligence of Dogs”, categorized dog intelligence into 3 types, namely:
This intelligence is based on the ability of a dog to learn from former experiences and adapt, with little or no help, to new conditions and handle new experiences.
This intelligence is based on the ability of a dog to carry out the tasks that he was originally bred for. Some of these tasks would include herding, hunting, and more.
Working And Obedience Intelligence
This intelligence is based on how quick a dog is to learn and pick up on trainings, without the need for repetitions, and carry out instructions given to him.
The Psychology Professor and researcher, Dr Coren, ranked and categorized one hundred various breeds of dogs and categorized them based on these three types of intelligence.
- Dogs who gave 95% correct responses were categorized as Most Intelligence dogs.
- Dogs who gave 85% correct responses were categorized as Excellent Intelligence dogs.
- Dogs who gave 70% correct responses were categorized as Above Average Intelligence dogs.
- Dogs who gave 50% correct responses were categorized as Average Intelligence dogs.
- Dogs who gave 30% correct responses were categorized as Fair Intelligence dogs.
- Dogs who gave 25% or less correct responses were categorized as Lowest Intelligence dogs.
Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds
Top 10 smartest dog breeds according to Dr Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs” are:
- Border Collies are top on the list of smartest breeds of dogs.
- German Shepherd (Alsatian)
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Doberman Pinscher
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
Top 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds
Top 10 dumbest dog breeds according to Dr Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs” are:
- Afghan Hound tops the list of dumbest dog breeds, as they are considered the world’s dumbest breed.
- Chow Chow
- Basset hound
This, however, does not necessarily mean that these are the 10 dumbest breeds of dogs. In spite of the fact that a Border Collie is agreeably easier to train than an Afghan hound, an Afghan hound is far superior at spotting its prey. Each of these dog breeds have their different skills that are unique to them.
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Why Some of These Dogs Are Considered To Be Dumb
- Afghan Hounds
You would wonder why a good number of hound dogs are on the list of top 10 dumbest breeds. Afghans are sight hounds. This hound dog has phenomenal eyesight and speed and is bred to spot the smallest movement and hunt down his prey. Afghans can be really reserved, independent and stubborn.
For this reason, most people find training them difficult. Training an Afghan may require a little more effort and creativity, but they not necessarily dumb and would in fact make great companions and can be very loyal and devoted to their owners.
The Basenji is second on the list of dumbest breeds of dogs. Just like the afghan hound, the Basenji is also a sight hound that makes the list of dumbest dog breeds as a result of its reserved, stubborn and independent nature, although Basenjis can be very playful and tend to be more intelligent than people think.
Some describe the Basenji breed as having qualities of a cat and it is generally seen as a dog breed that is not trainable but we must understand that a dog’s intelligence is not always accurately determined by how trainable the dog is. They may be disobedient most of the time but training them is not impossible.
Bulldogs are well known for their laziness and stubbornness. They could be referred to as bullheaded Bulldogs. Bulldogs could prove difficult to train and act lazy but they have proven to be very capable of engaging in activities that are more strenuous than lying around. Bulldogs can certainly be trained, with the right approach.
- Chow Chow
The Chow Chow has an appearance that sometimes betrays its personality. Chows can be serious, stubborn, independent and reserved, as they had always been trained as guard dogs.
Chow Chows are an intelligent breed and can take over leadership from their owners, if they are not properly trained. Training a Chow to get the best out of his companionship requires a little more strictness and early socialization.
Borzois are also members of the hound family and are sight hounds, just like the Afghan and Basenji. They are generally calm, lovely and well-mannered, especially around their human family but can be a tad bit stubborn, hence their spot o the list of top 10 dumbest dog breeds.
Training a Borzoi would require some extra patience as Borzois do not really do well with long hours of training but would mostly fair better with short training periods every now and then.
According to Gina DiNardo of the American Kennel Club, “No individual dog or an entire breed should be considered ‘dumb,’”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are There Dumb Dogs?
A dog’s stubbornness, independence and strong will would most often be perceived as dumbness since the dog would tend to be disobedient and unreceptive to training. However, most dogs that are considered to be dumb are actually a lot smarter than we assume.
Are Chihuahuas The Dumbest Dogs?
Although Chihuahuas are not very smart dogs, they cannot be considered as dumb either. Chihuahuas may tend to be disobedient and slow to learn but they are very keen on understanding human feelings and emotions.
Are Dalmatians Dumb?
Dalmatians are intelligent dogs. As a matter of fact, they fall under the category of above average intelligence, according to Dr Coren’s book. However, they are sometimes regarded as dumb dogs because of their possible deafness.
A number of things must e put into consideration when ranking a dogs based on their intelligence. As was mentioned couple of times in this article, dogs are not always as dumb as we think they are.
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