How clever is your dog?

  • September 28, 2009
  • By

The relative performance of dogs in intelligence tests can be quite subjective. I have heard many reports that "such and such" a breed is the most clever. Here is one list I encountered recently prepared in accordance with criteria developed by American psychologist Stanley Coren. The two main criteria of this method are the understanding of new commands (the top 10 respond to fewer than five repetitions) and obedience upon first command (the top 10 obey on first command 95 per cent of the time or better).

For those who are interested in these sorts of things, the list of top 10 clever dog breeds using Coren's criteria is:
  • Border Collie
  • Poodle
  • German Shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Golden Retriever
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Papillon
  • Rottweiler
  • Australian Cattle Dog
Personally, I am not sure if lists like this are really that helpful, and if you feel you have a clever dog, but his or her breed hasn't made this list, I would not be too put out. What I do know is, that as an owner of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, I am not the least bit surprised that this breed never makes any of those sorts of lists!

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