Dog owners passionately defend their dog breed of choice, but is your precious poodle really smarter than a Labrador retriever?
It's time to put those weekly dog park arguments to rest. If you’re looking for a definitive answer to the question of whether or not your pup is smarter than the average dog, then author and professor of canine psychology Stanley Coren’s 2006 book, "The Intelligence of Dogs," is an excellent reference point. It’s widely accepted among the community of canine devotees as an accurate representation of the trainability and overall intelligence of breeds recognized by the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs.
Coren’s list of the 63 brightest dog breeds was compiled with help from the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs, as well as a survey of dog owners. At Coren’s request, obedience trial judges ranked breeds on obedience and working intelligence—categories that are based on how well a breed typically learns from humans. The analysis also ranked breeds based on adaptive intelligence, which refers to a dog's ability to problem-solve on its own. Breeds that took the shortest amount of time to learn new commands rank the highest.
Does your loyal pup’s breed make the list? Read on to see if you’ll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don’t worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy—some traits simply can't be measured.
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