Intelligence in dogs


Did you feel a sense of pride when you taught your dog the word "sit"? You may have even thought to yourself, "Oh my, how smart is he? " 😍 Well yes, of course the fact that he understands you is a form of intelligence.

When we talk about intelligence in dogs, we are talking about cognitive ability, which includes the ability to understand and learn.

According to the specialist in dog psychology Stanley Coren, he has determined that there are 3 types of intelligence:

  • Instinctive intelligence, which would be based on the dog's genes and therefore on its breed.
  • Adaptive intelligence, which is the dog's ability to learn from its environment and solve problems.
  • Obedience and working intelligence, which would be the dog's ability to learn from humans.

According to him, there are more "intelligent" breeds such as the border collie, the poodle or the german shepherd.

The dog educator Roxane Fumeaux from Déclic Canin proposes us a rather amazing story about a border collie:

A female dog, named Chaser, knew more than 1000 words after 3 years of training!

When you know that a child of the same age doesn't know so many words, it's quite impressive. So of course, it is the result of thousands of hours of work but especially of the incredible relationship that was created and maintained between his owner and her during all these years.

In more common facts, the intelligence of the dog is demonstrated every day. We can mention among others guide, dogs for the blind (ex. Labrador), police dogs (ex. Malinois) or rescue dogs (ex. Newfoundland).

The important thing to remember is that a dog's intelligence can be worked on. The breed of dog can indeed play a role in the learning of the dog but it is not everything. You must also consider your dog's character to choose the most effective learning method (of course, always inspired by positive education). The good relationship you have created with your dog is also an important element, if not the most important one, because a happy dog will enjoy learning. 😉


P.S.: The book about the story of Chaser is available in French under the name "Chaser, le chien qui comprend 1000 mots", in English "Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words" and in Italian "Io e Chaser: Tutto quello che ho imparato dal cane più intelligente del mondo"