What IQ Do Dogs Have?

Do you ever wonder what intelligence quotient (IQ) your furry friend has? You’re not alone! Scientists have long been curious about just how smart dogs are, and recent studies have yielded some pretty interesting findings.

The dog has an average IQ of 100! This makes it the same as a 2-year-old human.

While cats are known for their intelligence, a dog’s IQ can be just as impressive. This article will explore how you measure up to your pup when it comes down doggy brain power as well as list some breeds that ranked highest on tests measuring canine smarts.

Can You Really Measure A Dog’s IQ?

Researchers from the London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh have developed a prototype IQ (intelligence quotient) test for dogs, and their findings are sure to spark a lively debate. According to the researchers, just like humans, dogs would have a measurable intelligence quotient. To test this theory, they conducted a study with sixty-eight border collies in a specially designed laboratory. The results of the study are sure to surprise and delight dog lovers everywhere.

Among the exercises, they had to find their way to food placed behind a barrier while choosing the most filled plate. The researchers observed the behavior of the dogs, their speed, their ability to orientate themselves… And thus deduced their level of “intelligence”.

You might think that the dogs being tested for IQ are just any breed. Border Collies are known to be easy learners. They pick up new tricks quickly and reproduce what they’ve been taught with ease. Plus, they’re quick on their feet and have a practical instinct. So when we’re talking about situational intelligence, we’re really talking about Border Collies. These amazing dogs have proven time and again that they’re not just smart, but also resourceful and adaptable.

These tests are based on gratification. Dogs have to go for a treat, they are motivated by this bait. Their intelligence depends on their need. And border collies are very playful: they were the perfect animal for a test like that. A dog that doesn’t feel like it – a fox terrier, for example, which is known to be more “stubborn” – won’t submit to the test because it’s not interested. Can we say in this case that he is less intelligent?

The Intelligence Of Dogs

Did you know that dogs are smarter than we give them credit for? According to psychologist Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia, dogs can count, understand more than 150 words, and intentionally trick other dogs or people into receiving treats. The researcher reviewed several studies on canine cognition and found that dogs are capable of high-level reasoning. That’s pretty impressive!

When it comes to intelligence, dogs are not one size fits all. Depending on the breed, dogs can have different levels of instinctive, adaptive, and obedience intelligence. For instance, breeds that were originally bred for hunting or herding tend to be more instinctually intelligent, while breeds that were bred as companions tend to be more adaptable and obedient. However, all dogs are capable of learning new things, and even the smartest dogs still need some training.

While the average dog can learn 165 words, including signals, those in the top 20% for intelligence can learn up to 250 words. Dogs also have a good understanding of numbers and can count up to 4 or 5.

Games are a great way for dogs to use their natural cunning to obtain rewards, says Coren. In games with other dogs or humans, dogs are able to deliberately try to fool their opponents in order to win. Studies have shown that dogs are almost as successful at fooling humans as humans are at fooling dogs! Games also provide an opportunity for dogs to solve problems in the spatial domain. By playing games with our furry friends, we can help them stay sharp and engage their natural abilities.

A Human-Like Intelligence?

Smarter people tend to be healthier and live longer. If, as our research suggests, dogs’ intelligence is structured in the same way as ours, studying this species, which doesn’t smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, or have differences related to education or social status, could help us understand the link between intelligence and health.

It’s often said that dogs reflect their owners. If you’re patient and loving, your dog is likely to be the same. However, if you’re angry and aggressive, your dog is more likely to behave in a similar way. This is because dogs are highly influenced by their environment and the people around them.

Just like humans, dogs have memories and they can learn from experience. For example, a dog that has been beaten by its owner is likely to be afraid of humans. But that doesn’t mean that all beaten dogs are stupid animals – it just means that they’ve had a bad experience that has influenced their behavior.

Interestingly, cognitive decline in old age has also been observed in dogs. Dogs may lose their appetite, develop fears of things they once loved, and have difficulty orienting themselves in time and space.

Can You Rank Breeds By Intelligence?

Attempting to classify dogs by intelligence is not an easy task. Indeed, there are three distinct types of intelligence:

  1. The ability to understand orders
  2. The ability to take initiative
  3. The ability to adapt to its environment

It’s no secret that different dog breeds have different temperaments. Some breeds, like the Labrador or German Shepherd, are known to be highly intelligent and quick to learn new commands. Other breeds, such as the Siberian Husky or Akita Inu, are more independent and stubborn, preferring not to be ordered around. So, how can we compare breeds when they excel in different areas?

To fairly compare breeds, we need to first define the type of intelligence we’re referring to. There are many different types of intelligence, so any comparison is bound to be imperfect. However, by taking into account different factors such as trainability, memory, and problem-solving ability, we can get a better understanding of each breed’s unique strengths.

Intelligence Ranking: The Stanley Coren Model

To rank dogs by intelligence, psychologist Stanley Coren, a specialist in dog psychology working at the University of British Columbia in Canada, decided to consider only the ability to understand commands, which is the most easily measured form of intelligence.

In its classification, dog breeds are placed in different categories, according to the number of repetitions needed for them to understand a new instruction and the percentage of chances that they will execute it the first time. The lower the number of repetitions and the higher the speed of execution, the more intelligent the breed is considered to be.

This means, however, that Coren’s ranking necessarily penalizes stubborn races over docile ones, even if they understand perfectly what is expected of them but simply do not want to do it. It is therefore a questionable bias, but it does allow a comparison between the different races on the basis of their intellectual capacities.

The Classification Of Dog Breeds By Intelligence

The list is based on the Stanley Coren model, which is based on the ease of learning commands. It is broken down into 6 categories based on the number of repetitions needed to teach a command and have it executed, as well as the percentage of success on the first try.

1. Border Collie

2. Poodle

3. German Shepherd

4. Golden Retriever

5. Doberman Pinscher

6. Shetland Sheepdog

7. Labrador Retriever

8. Papillon

9. Rottweiler

10. Australian Cattle Dog

11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12. Miniature Schnauzer

13. English Springer Spaniel

14. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)

15. Schipperke, Belgian Sheepdog

16. Collie, Keeshond

17. German Shorthaired Pointer

18. Flat-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, Standard Schnauzer

19. Brittany

20. Cocker Spaniel

21. Weimaraner

22. Belgian Malinois, Bernese Mountain Dog

23. Pomeranian

24. Irish Water Spaniel

25. Vizsla

26. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

27. Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Puli, Yorkshire Terrier

28. Giant Schnauzer

29. Airedale Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres

30. Border Terrier, Briard

31. Welsh Springer Spaniel

32. Manchester Terrier

33. Samoyed

34. Field Spaniel, Newfoundland, Australian Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Gordon Setter, Bearded Collie

35. Cairn Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Irish Setter

36. Norwegian Elkhound

37. Affenpinscher, Australian Silky Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, English Setter, Pharaoh Hound, Clumber Spaniel

38. Norwich Terrier

39. Dalmatian

40. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Fox Terrier (Smooth)

41. Curly Coated Retriever, Irish Wolfhound

42. Kuvasz, Australian Shepherd

43. Saluki, Finnish Spitz, Pointer

44. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, German Wirehaired Pointer, Black and Tan Coonhound, American Water Spaniel

45. Siberian Husky, Bichon Frise, King Charles Spaniel

46. Tibetan Spaniel, English Foxhound, Otterhound, American Foxhound, Greyhound, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

47. West Highland White Terrier, Scottish Deerhound

48. Boxer, Great Dane

49. Dachshund, Staffordshire Bull Terrier

50. Alaskan Malamute

51. Whippet, Chinese Shar Pei, Wire Fox Terrier

52. Rhodesian Ridgeback

53. Ibizan Hound, Welsh Terrier, Irish Terrier

54. Boston Terrier, Akita

55. Skye Terrier

56. Norfolk Terrier, Sealyham Terrier

57. Pug

58. French Bulldog

59. Griffon Bruxellois, Maltese

60. Italian Greyhound

61. Chinese Crested

62. Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Tibetan Terrier, Japanese Chin, Lakeland Terrier

63. Old English Sheepdog

64. Great Pyrenees

65. Scottish Terrier, Saint Bernard

66. Bull Terrier

67. Chihuahua

68. Lhasa Apso

69. Bullmastiff

70. Shih Tzu

71. Basset Hound

72. Mastiff, Beagle

73. Pekingese

74. Bloodhound

75. Borzoi

76. Chow Chow

77. Bulldog

78. Basenji

79. Afghan Hound


Nikol Toteva was born into a family with a Saint Bernard and spent her childhood on a farm surrounded by animals. Animals have always been a big part of her life. Her upbringing has created a special place in her heart for animals, which she enjoys writing about. She has worked as a writer in different industries for many years. Nikol has a degree in History and loves to spend time with her cat Napoléon.

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