Dogs may be able to learn a few tricks, but some dog breeds are more difficult to teach than others.
There are many things to consider when choosing a dog, including personality, eating habits, size, and behavior. One thing that is often overlooked is intelligence.
The Perks Of Intelligent Dogs
For most families, intelligence may not be a deciding factor, as a dog has minimal responsibilities.
However, it is worth noting that dogs with higher levels of intelligence may be easier to train and are more likely to adapt to new environments.
Some Dogs Are Not That Smart
According to the book The Intelligence of Dogs by a psychologist named Stanley Coren, there is a definitive catalog of dogs that may not measure up to average intelligence levels.
The Dumbest Dogs
Dr Coren assessed instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence, appraising over 100 different breeds in his research.
And while the breeding of dogs holds immense importance in canine intelligence, this is a definitive estimate. So, who fell short?
1. Basset Hounds
Low and sleepy-looking Basset Hounds were originally traced to France between the 16th and 19th centuries.
In 1883, it is recorded that two were brought to a ranch in Texas for the purpose of rabbit hunting, a job it was believed the dogs were originally bred to do.
1. Basset Hounds
These days, Basset Hounds make lovely pets known for their friendly and gentle personality. While they may not be the smartest of dog breeds, they sure make up for it with those big brown eyes.
Otherwise known as the English Mastiff, this breed is one of the largest canines.
With records from England to Asia dating back to 3000 BCE, the Mastiff was used as a guard and fighting dog for more than 2000 years.
The Mastiff has a shorter lifespan of 6-10 years. It is considered a loyal and loving dog, and it is recommended to conduct training gently.
While the Mastiff is not considered the most intelligent dog, it is usually the largest, and that surely counts for something.
Famous from the Snoopy cartoon, the Beagle is another hound derivative, dating back to historical times.
Greek historian Xenophon wrote in the fifth century BC that “hunting and hounds were first an invention of the gods.” He went on to describe small dogs being used for chasing hares, a similar job to the Basset Hounds.
These days, Beagles are known for their family-friendly presence, their personalities being attributed to their social and mischievous nature.
And while this playful dog may not be doing any SATs, it certainly has a place in America’s households, with the American Kennel Club saying it has been the most popular hound dog among American pet owners for years.
A dog that may resemble a long-haired guinea pig, the Pekingese was a toy dog developed in ancient China.
The dogs were called ‘sleeve dogs’ as they were often carried by Chinese royalty in the sleeves of their robes. At only six-nine inches tall, it was an easy feat.
Pekenese are known to be independent and assertive, aloof with strangers but affectionate with family.
Like many small dogs, they can be easily territorial and difficult to train. They may not be especially intelligent, but boy, are they cute!
With another member of the hound family making the list, it is important to note that while hounds are objectively intelligent dogs, they were first and foremost bred as hunting dogs and therefore will prioritize scent over obedience.
As Dr Nicholas Dodman, professor emeritus and former section head and program director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, said, “Pretty much all scent hounds are governed by their noses.”
If you look past their loyalty to the hunt, a bloodhound exhibits a calm and even-tempered demeanor.
They are affectionate and devoted, and though they were initially bred to trail larger animals like deer and boar, in modern times, they enjoy lounging around with family members.
Also known as a Russian Hunting Sighthound, the Borzoi was used for wolf hunting.
Russia rarely allowed these dogs to leave the country, and during the Russian Revolution, the species were almost made extinct.
A drastic change from this lifestyle, in the late 1800s, the Borzoi was recognized as a breed in America and is now seen as a celebrity glamor dog due to its rarity.
The Borzoi has a calm and agreeable temperament and a regal air. Their body is similar to a greyhound; however, their hair is long and soft. They require room to run and express much stubbornness, traits that have perhaps contributed to their spot on the list.
7. Chow Chow
Another dog of ancient China with a surprisingly close genetic makeup to wolves, the Chow Chow was originally used for hunting, guarding, and even pulling carts.
They have a sturdy mane, are fiercely loyal, and make spectacular watchdogs.
7. Chow Chow
While they are not ideal when it comes to meeting strangers or other dogs, they make excellent pets.
Stubborn and difficult to train, it is not considered a highly intelligent dog despite having plenty of other skills.
Geniuses In Their Own Ways
Truly, man’s best friend, a dog, can enrich life to great degrees, intelligent or not. Gina DiNardo, executive secretary for the American Kennel Club, said, “no individual dog or an entire breed should be considered ‘dumb.’”
Dr Brian Hare, Professor in Evolutionary Anthropology and Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, said, “Different dogs are good at different things. And all of them are geniuses in their own way.”
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.