Top 10 Smartest And Dumbest Dog Breeds – For some dogs, learning to “shake” is not so easy. But that doesn’t mean they’re stupid. Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, and Labradors, among other working breeds, are often ranked among the most intelligent dog breeds. But Margaret Gruen, assistant professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at North Carolina State University, told Woman’s Day that whether a breed is intelligent depends entirely on what you define as intelligent.
Intelligence is not a line, with border collies at one end and “dumb” dog breeds at the other. “There are actually these areas where you can excel,” he said. “Memory or navigation or causal reasoning or inference—these are all different domains, and different species have strengths in one or the other, or a combination of these.”
Top 10 Smartest And Dumbest Dog Breeds
According to Liz MacHaffie, a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, most dogs that people think are intelligent are breeds that work closely with people. “These dogs are much more likely to tune in to us and value what we’re doing and be motivated by socializing with us,” she told Woman’s Day. In other words, people often think breeds are smarter than when they are around people more. (So obviously people weren’t biased at all.)
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But “dumb” dog breeds, on the other hand, are dogs that people have bred to be more independent. They aren’t necessarily less intelligent – they just excel in other areas that people ignore or don’t quite understand. Here are the nine “dumbest” dog breeds that aren’t actually dumb.
People often think that the Basset Hound is not intelligent because it is not the most energetic dog, and as a hunting dog, it is easy to get distracted by scents. But Basset Hounds excel at what they were bred to do: scenting. And they can be trained with the right amount of motivation to eat.
MacHaffie noted that some dogs with long backs and short legs can have back and joint problems, which can affect their ability to learn and focus.
MacHaffie said humans have bred some of the “predatory sequence” into dogs like hounds. Retrievers, for example, complete the part of the predator sequence where they find and bring back prey. Afghan hounds, for example, were bred to complement the “scented portion of the predatory sequence.”
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“Their job is to get away from you and lead you to things,” he said. “They were literally trained for people to go and do the things we asked them to do.” Many people think that the Afghan’s independence and energy means it is less intelligent, but perhaps only if intelligence is defined as being more dependent on and interested in people.
Beagles often end up on the “dumb” dog list because they are scent dogs who are easily distracted, stubborn and difficult to train. But Gruen said most of what experts know about dog cognition and cognitive dysfunction comes from research on Beagles.
He noted that the intelligence of a scent hound should not be beaten when they follow their nose because they are only doing what we have trained them to do. “Smell is incredibly important to dogs,” Gruen said. “So to be distracted by a scent is in many ways the nature of the dog.”
Bulldogs are often chosen because they are stubborn and difficult to train. According to MacHaffie, this is partly because of how we have bred them over time. “Of all the breeds, bulldogs have perhaps the most and most severe health problems that we have caused through selective breeding,” he says. Bulldogs are brachycephalic or flat-faced and have breathing problems as a result.
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MacHaffie noted that they also have very wrinkled skin on their faces, which can be prone to fungal infections and other skin problems. All of these issues make it difficult for Bulldogs to focus and learn or participate in physical activities.
“If I’m a bulldog and I’m very stocky and barrel-chested and have short legs and a crushed face, there’s a lot of things I can’t do physically because that’s the shape of my body,” MacHaffie said. So it’s not that the bulldogs are less intelligent – they may just have trouble climbing, let alone learning new tricks.
The Pekingese, like the Bulldog, has a flat face and suffers from the same breathing problems. They are not the easiest dogs to train, and they are not fans of a lot of exercise. According to MacHaffie, it was because they were bred to be friends.
“It’s not a working kind,” he said. “Their thing was to just hang out with their people, be in their laps, and be a cute dog.” And they do it pretty well, which makes them geniuses at “looking cute” and “loving well.”
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Chihuahuas have big personalities, which means they can resist trying to get them to do something they don’t want to do. Owners
Train them from the start to prevent this problem, but VetStreet says people often don’t bother because Chihuahuas are so small.
MacHaffie said she sees a lot of chihuahuas with behavioral problems that usually stem from stress. He said that they are considered less intelligent in part because they are prone to fear. And fear prevents them from learning or responding to training. “When we study to the best of our ability, we are calm,” he said. “When our brain is under stress, it pushes us into fight or flight and actually shuts down the part of the brain that helps us think critically and learn.”
When it comes to chihuahuas, Gruen said, “what we perceive as less intelligent may just be a behavioral response.
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“They have physical characteristics that make people think they’re not that intelligent,” he says. But these assumptions are based only on how mastiffs look, “or how quickly they react to something, which may not be a very good measure of intelligence.”
Bloodhounds were bred to be more independent. People often think they are stupid for a number of reasons: mastiffs or basset hounds are funny-looking and easily distracted by scents like other hounds. But again, MacHaffie said they were just doing what people asked. “You want your bloodstream to get the scent and go,” he said. “And you follow the dog because the dog will lead you to the thing you want.”
Bloodhounds are bred to follow scents for miles, and they are very good at what they do. If you measured their intelligence by their ability to smell, they would be geniuses. But if you compare them to Labradors, for example, and expect them to want to be around you all the time and get things back, they can let you down.
PetGuide describes the Chow Chow as an “alpha dog wannabe” who resists training simply because he is very stubborn. According to the American Kennel Club, chows were originally bred for multiple purposes: guarding, carrying and hunting.
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Don’t let their stubbornness fool you; they’re not stupid, they’re just after your money.
Gruen says that when you’re thinking about adopting or buying a particular breed of dog, intelligence isn’t the first thing you should look at. Rather, you should think about what the dog should be in your life. Do you want a dog that can be trained very well, or with which you can, for example, play agility or search and rescue? So when deciding which dog breed is right for your life, “the strengths of the different breeds become important,” she said. “It’s not so much intelligence, but whether a breed’s strengths in cognitive domains match what you’re looking for.” Now, before we go into the top 10 dumbest dog breeds, let’s make it clear that we don’t actually think any dog breed is stupid. All dog breeds are trainable, the owner may need some help learning how to train the dog to perform basic tasks. That being said, there are clearly dog breeds that stand out from the crowd when it comes to natural intelligence, and conversely, there are breeds that take a little longer to grasp the basics. Of course, there are many examples of these “dumb” breeds that are incredibly well trained to perform various tricks and tasks, but training these breeds on the hole requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds. Distinguished by thick, fine, silky fur and a curly tail with a ring at the end, the breed gained its unique characteristics in the cold mountains of Afghanistan and eastern Iran, where they were originally used to hunt rabbits and gazelles. Local name
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