The Intelligence of Dogs – The LIST

3 May

Stanley Coren (born 1942) is a psychology professor and neuropsychological researcher who has become best known to the general public for a series of books regarding the intelligence, mental abilities and history of dogs. Through television shows and media coverage that has been broadcast in Canada and the United States as well as overseas, he has become popular with dog owners, while continuing research and instruction in psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia.

According to S. Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs”, there are three types of dog intelligence:

  • Adaptive Intelligence (learning and problem-solving ability). This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
  • Instinctive Intelligence. This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
  • Working/Obedience Intelligence. This is breed dependent.

And, I personally think he’s brilliant.

Methodology

The author used “understanding of new commands” and “obey first command” as his standards of intelligence. He surveyed dog trainers and compiled this list of dog intelligence. While this method of ordering dog intelligence is acceptable for training and working with dogs, it does not apply to the genetic intelligence which can be measured by ingenuity and understanding of common situations.[5] The drawback of this rating scale, by the author’s own admission, is that it is heavily weighted towards obedience related behavioural traits (e.g. working or guard dogs), rather than understanding or creativity (e.g. hunting dogs).

As a result, some breeds may appear lower on the list due to their stubborn or independent nature, but this nature does not make them unintelligent or impossible to train. The book includes other sections on hunting and other intelligence types, as well a general IQ test that owners can perform on their dogs; that test is better weighted for ingenuity and independent problem solving, but rankings were provided only for working intelligence, and are listed below.

  •  1–10 Brightest Dogs
  • 11–26 Excellent Working Dogs
  • 27–39 Above Average Working Dogs
  • 40–54 Average Working/Obedience Intelligence
  • 55–69 Fair Working/Obedience Intelligence
  • 70–79 Lowest Degree of Working/Obedience Intelligence

Ranking of dogs by breed

Brightest Dogs

  • Understanding of New Commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 95% of the time or better.
  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

Excellent Working Dogs

  • Understanding of New Commands: 5 to 15 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 85% of the time or better.
  1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  2. Miniature Schnauzer
  3. English Springer Spaniel
  4. Belgian Shepherd Tervuren
  5. Schipperke
    Belgian Sheepdog
  6. Collie
    Keeshond
  7. German Shorthaired Pointer
  8. Flat-Coated Retriever
    English Cocker Spaniel
    Standard Schnauzer
  9. Brittany
  10. Cocker Spaniel
  11. Weimaraner
  12. Belgian Malinois
    Bernese Mountain Dog
  13. Pomeranian
  14. Irish Water Spaniel
  15. Vizsla
  16. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Above Average Working Dogs

  • Understanding of New Commands: 15 to 25 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 70% of the time or better
  1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    Puli
    Yorkshire Terrier
  2. Giant Schnauzer
  3. Airedale Terrier
    Bouvier des Flandres
  4. Border Terrier
    Briard
  5. Welsh Springer Spaniel
  6. Manchester Terrier
  7. Samoyed
  8. Field Spaniel
    Newfoundland
    Australian Terrier
    American Staffordshire Terrier
    Gordon Setter
    Bearded Collie
  9. Cairn Terrier
    Kerry Blue Terrier
    Irish Setter
  10. Norwegian Elkhound
  11. Affenpinscher
    Silky Terrier
    Miniature Pinscher
    English Setter
    Pharaoh Hound
    Clumber Spaniel
  12. Norwich Terrier
  13. Dalmatian

Average Working/Obedience Intelligence

  • Understanding of New Commands: 25 to 40 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 50% of the time or better.
  1. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
    Bedlington Terrier
    Fox Terrier (Smooth)
  2. Curly Coated Retriever
    Irish Wolfhound
  3. Kuvasz
    Australian Shepherd
  4. Saluki
    Finnish Spitz
    Pointer
  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    German Wirehaired Pointer
    Black and Tan Coonhound
    American Water Spaniel
  6. Siberian Husky
    Bichon Frise
    English Toy Spaniel
  7. Tibetan Spaniel
    English Foxhound
    Otterhound
    American Foxhound
    Greyhound
    Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  8. West Highland White Terrier
    Scottish Deerhound
  9. Boxer
    Great Dane
  10. Dachshund
    Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  11. Alaskan Malamute
  12. Whippet
    Chinese Shar Pei
    Wire Fox Terrier
  13. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  14. Ibizan Hound
    Welsh Terrier
    Irish Terrier
  15. Boston Terrier
    Akita

Fair Working/Obedience Intelligence

  • Understanding of New Commands: 40 to 80 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 30% of the time or better.
  1. Skye Terrier
  2. Norfolk Terrier
    Sealyham Terrier
  3. Pug
  4. French Bulldog
  5. Brussels Griffon
    Maltese
  6. Italian Greyhound
  7. Chinese Crested
  8. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
    Tibetan Terrier
    Japanese Chin
    Lakeland Terrier
  9. Old English Sheepdog
  10. Great Pyrenees
  11. Scottish Terrier
    Saint Bernard
  12. Bull Terrier
  13. Chihuahua
  14. Lhasa Apso
  15. Bullmastiff

Lowest Degree of Working/Obedience Intelligence

  • Understanding of New Commands: 80 to 100 repetitions or more.
  • Obey First Command: 25% of the time or worse.
  1. Shih Tzu
  2. Basset Hound
  3. Mastiff
  4. Beagle
  5. Pekingese
  6. Bloodhound
  7. Borzoi
  8. Chow Chow
  9. Bulldog
  10. Basenji
  11. Afghan Hound

59 Responses to “The Intelligence of Dogs – The LIST”

  1. Erin C May 8, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    I’ve always hated this scale because the average person takes it as a true measure of intelligence and not a measure of obedience (which is what it basically is). I have a basenji which is 2nd last on the list, and while it’s true they are very hard to train and will obey on the first command way less than the 25% listed (more like 5-10%) this does not mean they are stupid dogs. In fact, they are VERY intelligent dogs. However, they are also very stubborn and have no desire to please humans the way the most “intelligent” dogs on the list do. I think that some adaptive and instinctual intelligence are also breed dependent and with the list reflected this.

    • Erin C May 8, 2011 at 5:18 am #

      whoops….I mean I wish the list reflected it!

    • samsonite December 15, 2011 at 1:24 am #

      face it you have a dumb dog.

    • shibaluver August 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      I have to agree with Erin C. While my dog (Shiba Inu) is not on the list, it is a very smart dog but it’s stubbornness makes it a difficult dog to train because its not a people pleaser.

      They need a tempting incentive to do what you want and even then it can be difficult.

  2. Leslie Garrett October 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    I agree with Erin C. For years my West Highland terrier traveled about with me while I shot landscape photographs and traveled. He was smart enough to jump out when I stopped and not get in trouble. He could go do his business at a service station, or follow me along the edge of a highway and be cool enough that I did not need to worry about him getting hit or stopping traffic. Then he would be ready to go when I was. On that list fox hounds and beagles are put ahead of terriers that have ten times the useful brains day to day. This list indeed only tells you which breeds are eager to respond to your wishes, not which breeds are intelligent. I assume this to be an American site, and Americans have come to place more importance on obedience than individual reason.

  3. Flyby January 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    As this list does not cover every breed including rare ones it is therefore not factual, Also they way the tests are done may not be consistent as they have never said exactly how they come to these conclusions. Would give much credit to the results.

  4. Flyby January 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    As this list does not cover every breed including rare ones it is therefore not factual, Also they way the tests are done may not be consistent as they have never said exactly how they come to these conclusions. Wouldn’t give much credit to the results.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    • Ronald Reginelli April 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      Correct, please see my comment below.
      Credibility cannot be extended to these ‘rankings’.

  5. Jerry Gordon Key January 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    It absolutely hilarious that people who own stupid breeds almost 100% of the time, will tell you their dog is very smart. He’s just stubborn. I submit what these folks really should say is, “my dog is really very intelligent. He just prefers to act stupid and totally ignore me.”

    • Gloria February 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      Jerry,

      I own a Lab (#7) on the list, and a Chihuahua (#67) and what I can tell you is my lab is so eager to please and will do anything that I ask on first command. Great family pet!

      Both my Lab and Chi can run through a list of tricks and impress everyone. But when my Chi wants to do something that I don’t it is a whole different story. The Lab will obey and sit at my feet. The Chi will pretend to obey and as soon as I’m not looking do what he wants. After being told he couldn’t have a Hershey Kiss, he waited until we left the room and unzipped my friend’s purse, pulled out her Hershey Kisses, unwrapped them (leaving perfect pieces of tinfoil around the room) and ate them all. He is amazing at problem solving and can find ways to get across a raging river even though his legs are only 4″ long while the lab just runs across. We take both him and the Lab hiking and camping.

      So while my lab is very intelligent and obedient; my chi is also very intelligent and creative. So, I argue just like people there are different types of intelligence in dogs. To call a dog stupid just because it doesn’t blindly do what a human wants is like calling Einstein stupid because quit high school disgusted by rote learning.

      I love the reliability of my lab but am constantly amazed by my chi’s independence and free will.

      • ruby May 12, 2014 at 11:20 am #

        Totally agree. I have a Shepherd and a Shih Tzu. They learn equally quickly and well–both learned to fetch after 3 or 4 repetitions. But the Shepherd obeys verbal cues or “commands” while the Tzu is all about body language. I’m a teacher, so I get that different pupils have different learning abilities. I think a lot of small breeds are visual learners and are not adept at hearing words, but if you show them the ball and indicate that you want it brought back with your body language, they’ll fetch as well as the Shepherd. But, with the herding breed, they’ll understand “go get it.” They’re just different.

  6. Bob Owbridge February 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    I have a Lhasa no68 on the list and I have to say… He’s the dumbest dog I’ve ever had, but I love him.

    • Linda March 12, 2012 at 4:04 am #

      Ditto here with our Lhasa!

    • Larry June 8, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      Bob—-this intelligence list does appear to be of use in some instances.
      a dog that truly does not UNDERSTAND commands vs dogs who fully understand but may not be interested in doing what we want.

  7. hobby March 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  8. Ronald Reginelli April 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    This ‘ranking’ is based on command response and trainability, not intelligence, therefore is not an accurate grade of intelligence. A trait of many of these breeds is loyalty to their owner and intelligent thinking, not just immediately obeying anyone that spits out a command.

    If you want an intelligent dog, then simply select a dog from a reputable breeder from either the sporting, working or herding group has NOT been ruined by the AKC dog shows. You cannot go wrong in doing so.

    By the way, I have 30 years of experience with MANY sporting breeds (retrievers, pointers, flushers, etc) and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever by a fair margin is the most intelligent of all the retriever breeds. They will not obey you until you prove that you have earned them.

    • Larry June 8, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      Ronald I feel your response is an accurate assessment of the intelligence rankings. A breed should be chosen on what kind of lifestyle you choose to share with your new friend and what you expect of your friend.

  9. vinay May 7, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    I have a lhasa apso,which stands at 68th ranking….they are extremely smart dogs.Very quick to learn but hard to train.They are very stubborn.

    If borger coolie is ranking no.1,& lhasa apso 68th,this doesn’t mean borders are 67 times more intelligent than lhasas…i saw many stupidly behaving border coolies,german she..,labs.

  10. Bichon Frise puppy May 17, 2012 at 10:51 am #

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  11. dogs May 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

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  12. Larry June 8, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I understand parameters of some sort are necessary to attempt ranking our dogs by intelligence. I see a giant chasm exists between people who believe canine intelligence should be based solely on whether a dog is WILLING to obey commands right away as you wish, or with being cajoled into doing it by nagging them (means they COULD actually be training us-as my Boston Terrier is so fond of playing)…This little American Gentleman fully understand the commands we WANT him to do but quite often chooses to focus on his ball instead.. if he forgets where his ball is just tell him to [look in the bedroom----it is in the laundry basket]—-and he will go directly to it and bring it to you-cajoling you to play {take it from me if you can game}—-letting you take it when he is ready for you to {throw the ball }
    ( this #54 rated little guy seems to be a master at training us)

  13. jime June 12, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    so… what about pitbulls? i’m quite surprised to hear that they are not in the list.

    never in my wildest dreams could i have imagined i would be defending the breed, much less having one, but i recently adopted what seems to be a labrador-pitbull mix (i’ve seen them called labrabull or pitador, but to me he’s just a mutt) and i’m constantly being surprised by his sharp intelligence, unusual concentration, goofy and playful sense of humor and, i must admit, stubbornness. however, he is very eager to learn and doesn’t take more than a few repetitions to learn a new command.

    i’ve had plenty of labradors before, so i’m guessing that his fun, smart and energetic personality must come from (what i’m guessing could probably be) his pitbull side. then again… he might just be a total mutt who just happens to resemble a pitbull from some angles.

    • Lindsay June 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

      Hello!
      I agree! The Pitt is a very intelligent breed. :)
      This list is a very general one, of course, missing out on some other amazing breeds.

      -Lindsay//

      • Connor June 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

        We have had a Bullmastif and a Bulldog and they were/are way smarter then our Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Not just just Obedience, but also doing really smart things that you wouldn’t think a dog could do, so this is most likely based on about like 5 dogs for the same breed. Also every Poodle i have met isn’t smart at all.

    • Barb Bentley June 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      Pit bull is on the the. The other name for it is the American Staffordshire Terrier.

      • Barb Bentley June 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

        That was supposed to be that they are on the LIST. Haha- should check my typing first.

    • George8586 April 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Yeah i was surprised as well. i mean as far as intelligence, apbt’s definitely should rank in the top ten because of their ability to solve problems on their own without being taught, such as how to get the child lock off the refrigerator. plus, as working dogs, they are one of the only breeds that can be used in wild pig hunting. one of the funnier things i have noticed is that while i have only owned apbt’s my whole life, i have a friend who has owned many german shepherds. my pit bulls learned house training and the pecking order (useful in feeding, treats, etc) within a week of being old enough to understand such things, while my friend would complain for months how his shepherds would fight over food, treats and attention, and would piss all over the house. of course, i have also known a lot of borderline retarded golden retrievers who either didn’t listen at all or sometimes bit children they had been living with for years for no reason.

  14. Zed June 17, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    The list is what is. Don’t be cut if you’re dogs smart but doesn’t rate high on the list, it doesn’t mean the list is wrong or highly inaccurate its there abouts

  15. Patrish June 25, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I have been a professional all breed dog trainer for over 25 years. There is a huge difference between compliance as in obedience of a trained command and puzzle solving. Certain breeds can do puzzle solving faster and I think that is the true measure of intelligence not train-ability. But most intelligence tests for dogs do not test this aptitude. I see that dogs that were bred to work alone vs dogs that were bred to take instruction from man are generally better puzzle solvers.

    • Tony G July 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      This list is interesting to discuss,but not having a terrier on the list until the twenties and completely omitting the Jack Russell Terrier is a joke.I admit to being partial to terriers,but having a Bassett Hound on here and noJack Russell Terrier is a bit ridiculous.

    • Pam December 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

      best comment of the day…

  16. Lisa July 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    While it’s probably true that dogs have different kinds of intelligence, why should we care about a hypothetical type of intelligence that can’t be measured? If dogs were like humans and expected to take care of themselves, get a job, etc. then we would be able to see this elusive ability to be “creative” and “solve problems” that no one knows about. Until the time that dogs turn into humans, we have to take care of them and honestly I would rather have one that is less work than one who ignores me but may or may not be secretly getting its Cisco qualification while I’m at work, or something.

  17. A-M August 10, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    for ignorant people like jime, the American Staffordshire Terrier is the PITBULL. -.-

  18. grace September 9, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    hi

    i have a question about coton de lutear. if he is on the list of smart training easy dog.

    or dump. not easy train list?

    as i can not find enough information about it.

    please let me mnow ic can help me find out the answer.

    thanks.

    grace

    • thehydrant September 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      Hey Grace!
      I don’t know too much about the Coton de Tulear, but what I just read about them on Wikipedia, they sound like a laid back breed that seems fun and eager to please. They sound like a good combination of a large personality, with an active streak!

      This is what it says about them on there Wikipedia page:

      Temperament

      The Coton is a playful, affectionate, intelligent breed. Although generally quiet, it can become very vocal, grunting, barking and making other noises when having fun. Cotons are known to have a habit of jumping up and walking on their hind legs to please people. Most Cotons love meeting new people and are very curious in new situations. Cotons are easy to train, as they are very eager to please. Cotons are great with kids and other animals. The Coton de Tulear has a large dog personality much like the Lab. Cotons love to swim, run, and play. They adapt well to any kind of living environment.

      Read more about the breed here. And let me know how your dog breed researching goes!

  19. Hmmm November 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    What about Icelandic sheepdogs?

    I don’t know if they’re smart or dumb, but they should be on the list.

    I know one that understands what you want it to do and listens to its masters orders, but also runs after a stick every time you pretend to throw it.

  20. Janice Kyriakou November 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    I have 2 Border Collies. Yes, they are super smart. I have also had 2 Afghan Hounds. They were also quite smart but totally uninterested in pleasing anyone but themselves. I honestly think they considered themselves superior to humans. But they were happy and friendly and enjoyed life tremendously. Both breeds are great.

    • shibaluver November 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      Oh Afghan Hounds are very beautiful dogs! Sounds like they are also stubborn or independent. My Shiba Inu is the same way. She only wants to do it when she pleases not when it pleases us.

      • thehydrant December 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        HAHAHA!! Sounds like the Shiba’s who come and stay with me on a regular basis!
        Smart as a whip, but won’t do something if they don’t wanna! ;)

  21. Barry December 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    This article appears to base its’ results on surveys only-It does not indicate what breed’s he himself trained from puppyhood to adult-This may have skewed his results-it could indicate general behavior of breeds at the time the surveys were taken- relying on only one source of information ( a survey) would not necessarially produce acurate results – only the resuls of peoples opinions at the time the survey was taken- it only indicates general tendendcies which as you know change over time as access to information, & gathering tecniques improve have changed over time- His opinions are not written in stone & his results are not the final word—-but at best a very general guide—-perhaps his other credentials & writings are more accuate,I am not familiar with him or his writing–so I wouldn’t be able to say one way or the other

    • thehydrant December 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

      What a fantastic point, Barry!!! Thank you so much for sharing your input :)

  22. Rach January 12, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    I love how everyone who has a lower ranking dog says it not factual.
    I have a collie and I agree with the list :)

  23. Charlie January 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I Have a English Bulldog and he is dumb as bricks. But he does shake my hand. Lol. No matter what he’s the best.

  24. http://tinyurl.com/prublambe16031 February 2, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    “The Intelligence of Dogs – The LIST The Hydrant” ended up being a
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    All the best -Halley

  25. Blanche Norman February 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    The smartest dog I know is a shih tzu. She knows more commands than any other dog I have ever known. My friend, her person, has been able to use her dog in advertising and she was a regular on a soap opera. She can even sneeze on command and then go get a tissue on command. My brother had a Border Collie who never did high level commands but he would respond to commands and at times he seemed to comprehend entire sentences. He would make noises that sounded almost like he was talking. But he was stubborn and at times goofy. My dog, a cavalier, learned commands very very easily. More so then you can tell by this list. He can also be stubborn and is far more likely to follow a command when there is a treat involved. He is an empath and extraordinarily affectionate. Spaniels in general have high emotional intelligence which is why they make great therapy dogs. They sense and understand moods very easily. That isn’t even measured here. My point is that dogs, like humans, are individuals and judging their intelligence based only on command response leaves out a lot of information about their intelligence.

  26. Randy Veitengruber February 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    All dog owners should believe that their dog is the best and love it in that way. I get involved with different hunting breeds and see various character attributes in each breed,so to say one breed is smarter than the other would be an unfair judgement. Although my Golden Retrievers are both very smart I have seen other dogs with similar capabilities. So love your dog and don’t worry if your dog is smarter than the other dog.

  27. Renee March 17, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    I own a Dalmatian (#39) and people who say their dogs are stubborn have clearly never met or tried to try a Dalmatian. My dog, who I might also add was born bi-laterally deaf is THE most stubborn dog I have ever met or trained BUT in saying that, she is entertained for hours on ends with puzzle balls. She needs constant mental stimulation as she bores very easily but will happily follow you around as Dalmatian’s are companion dogs so they thrive on constant human attention. She may be stubborn but is a very smart dog and I’m not just saying that because she’s my dog. With her being deaf she is trained using hand signals as obviously voice commands aren’t going to work, however she has to be looking directly at us to obey the command and this is when she will look at us through the corner of her eyes to see if we have treats, if we do then we have her full attention, if not then she goes off to do her own thing.
    When looking for a dog you shouldn’t choose based on its ”Intelligence” but by what breed is suitable to your lifestyle and the personality of the dog. I spent 7years researching all about Dalmatians before I got my first one and my choice was not based on how smart the dog was but rather its characteristics and I think this is an important factor to choosing a breed that alot of people tend to ignore these days. I see so many people choosing dogs which clearly are not suitable for their lifestyle because its a “smart” dog or because its “cute”. People should stop focusing so much on the breed intelligence but rather on the other aspects of the breeds.

  28. me April 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Jack Russel Terriers not on the list

  29. Enigmatic Babylonian May 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    I don’t particularly care for dogs in the first place – they’re almost all either big, too noisy, or both – but I can’t *stand* the dumb breeds. They’re so needy, complete attention whores who can’t entertain themselves without destroying things. Properly trained, intelligent dogs are more than happy to leave me alone, and because that is what I want them to do, they are superior animals.

  30. Fleurdelisfan July 19, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    To answer many of your concerns, I suggest that you read Stanley Cohen’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs.” First and foremost, this list is ranked by working intelligence – dogs working with and responding to man – and not a ranking of a dog’s mental facilities.

    The reason certain breeds are not listed is because he only researched the AKC-recognized breeds at the time. Furthermore, his research came from polling many experienced obedience trainers and not just from his own personal experience. He also mentions that individual dogs can vary although they are the same breed. Additionally, in some breeds, the gender of the dog can make a big difference in the tendency to please its owner.

    Cohen uses a percentage of the number of dogs registered and the number of obedience titles in each breed in addition to the professional trainers’ experience training the breeds to determine working ability because there are many more Labs than Otterhounds, and ranking merely by the number of Obedience Trial Champions (OTCH) would obviously be skewed.

    Although this list is helpful to people who want to compete in obedience or rally, or those who don’t want a dog with high working intelligence (potentially destructive or high-strung if the owner does not offer a daily dose of mental exercise for the dog), or merely those who are interested in learning how the typical dog in each breed might do in companion events like obedience, it was not designed to say, “Your dog is dumb.”

    When the list is stripped out of the context of the book, it can cause confusion. Please read the entire book before judging. It will explain in detail this research project and why the list was compiled in this order.

    • Fleurdelisfan July 19, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      Duh! Coren not Cohen. Typing on a small phone stinks! Sorry for the mistypes.

  31. LovemySARGSD October 19, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    Thank you for posting that, Fleurdelisfan. Actually having read the book, and understanding Coren’s criteria, I was becoming increasingly annoyed as I read through the comments.

  32. Marin November 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I would put my Jack Russell in that top 10 AT LEAST.

  33. Rachelle December 1, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    This list should be named “The List of Trainability of Dog’s by Human’s”, then it would not be so utterly ridiculous. It reminds me of the narrow-mindedness being used in public and some private schools, assessing intelligence of children based on levels of cooperation, when time and again our geniuses suffer in school BECAUSE OF HIGH INTELLIGENCE, and shine when their talents are understood and properly applied. This principle applies with other intelligent life, and humans should be the best equipped to grasp this. Assessing the intelligence of dogs with how well they cooperate with humans shows so much NARCISSISM and such a LACK OF INTELLIGENCE, UNDERSTANDING, AND INSIGHT, it’s truly laughable. The author and contributors to this compilation do not rate high on my “The Intelligence of Humans” list. Hmmm, where would the intelligence of wolves fall on this list? Or wild dolphins? Yes, this list IS useful for people who want a highly cooperative or trainable dog in a particular setting. However, I find calling this a hierarchy of intelligence insulting to the intelligence of our own human race, who should be smart enough to make a more insightful assessment. Embarrassing.

  34. Halligan1201 February 2, 2014 at 4:03 am #

    Hilarious how clearly the vast majority of people who commented on this didn’t read anything but the list.”The drawback of this rating scale, by the author’s own admission, is that it is heavily weighted towards obedience related behavioural traits (e.g. working or guard dogs), rather than understanding or creativity (e.g. hunting dogs).” Clearly states this is a list of obedience intelligence (how easy it is to train a given breed to perform uniform commands). Its clearly states problem solving is specific to individual animals. Anyone who knows dogs knows how much breeding, diet, and just random luck play into how instinctively smart a given individual dog is. This list proves what hundreds of years of breeding and actual use already has shown us; the dogs that are at the top of the list aren’t the most commonly used dogs in their fields for no reason. Its because they are breed for their specific tasks and are effective at performing them under direction because they are easily trained. And it only includes breeds where enough test data was available; if your dog isn’t listed its not a slight, there isn’t enough data.

    • Ronald Reginelli February 3, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      Seems your intent was not to comment, but instead take a backhanded slap at many of those that commented. Hence the title should be more correctly titled “the obedience of dogs”…..

  35. Christina Mia September 28, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    Il admit it I got 2 beagles and 1 German shorthaired pointer and the beAgles are dumb as rocks!! Riley the 15 inch beagle is adorable but still pees in the house sometimes and forgets to use the doggy door that we’ve had since he was a puppy. Niles the 13 inch beagle will bark and howl for an hour straight at nothing and if my bf comes over he will bark and growl at him even though he’s seen him hundreds of times lmao. I love them though=-) Lulu the GSP on the other hand is very intelligent and obedient. She always listens to me and never causes any problems. Perfect dog off leash too I love her.

  36. Christina Mia September 28, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    It’s a good thing beagles are so damn cute and sweet to make up for their lack of intelligence lol but hey they got amazing noses and are very smart when it comes to tracking rabbits;-)

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