What’s Your Dog’s IQ?

by admin on August 3, 2011

There are 3 categories of Canine Intelligence

This is a topic that is intriguing to me. I have heard many people say “my dog is so smart” or “my dog is dumb” that I decided to look into some facts. According to Psychology Today, there are three kinds of canine intelligence:
Instinctive Intelligence—an innate instinct, like guard dogs guard, herders herd, pointers point, etc.
Adaptive Intelligence—a measure of what they are learning from experience and then adapting to a new environment.
Working & Obedience Intelligence—this is their learning IQ. Trained animals such as guide dogs, police dogs, the military dogs are examples of animals that demonstrate their ability to respond to commands. For working intelligence, a research questionnaire was sent to and completed by dog obedience judges in the U.S. and Canada. They ranked Working and Obedience Breeds in terms of intelligence as follows:
1. Border Collie
2. Poodle
3. German Shepherd Dog
4. Golden Retriever
5. Doberman Pinscher
6. Shetland Sheepdog
7. Labrador Retriever
8. Papillon
9. Rottweiler
10. Australian Cattle Dog
However, it also means that they learn what they can get away with! Also, the example was given of the Afghan Hound, which was at the overall bottom of the Working & Obedience Intelligence list, but probably at the top of the Instinctive Intelligence as a hunter.

My personal example of adaptive intelligence is a story about my Havanese. He was 4 when we brought a new puppy into the household, and he was not too keen about our new household member. One thing he noticed immediately was that the puppy could climb steps upstairs but had not learned how to come downstairs. So his method to get rid of the younger pest was to run him upstairs and leave him there! I swear I could see him sneering about his cleverness.

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