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The top 10 smartest dog breeds

The Labrador makes an excellent guide for the blind, while the best police dogs are often German Shepherds. The intelligence of a dog, however, is difficult to define. What does science say and who are the smartest races?

When we talk aboutintelligence of the dog, the most difficult is to agree on the concept of intelligence. ” Most people consider dogs to be more intelligent than cats because they obey human orders better. But it’s not quite the same “, Warns Frans de Waal, a biologist at the University of Atlanta, in the New York Times.

In 2016, researchers from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Mark Adams of the University of Edinburgh have created a IQ test for dogs, including for example navigation (time taken to reach food placed behind different types of barriers), the ability to distinguish different amounts of food or to follow the gesture of a human pointing at an object. They thus found that, as for IQ tests in humans, dogs that do well on one type of test tend to do better on others as well. ” It means that dog intelligence is structured like ours Says Rosalind Arden, who led the study.

But there are many differences between the races. A 2019 study suggests, for example, that large dogs are smarter than small ones. Smaller dogs have smaller brain and therefore struggle more when they have to remember the location of a treat hidden under a cup or resist the temptation to pounce on prohibited food. But brain size does not do everything. In 1994, Canadian psychologist Stanley Coren established in a book titled The intelligence of dogs, three types of intelligence:

  • innate intelligence, determined by race;
  • coping intelligence, that is, what the dog learns from its environment to solve problems;
  • working intelligence, the ability to learn and obey humans.

Due to their natural instinct, some dog breeds are therefore particularly good at a particular type of task. Terriers make excellent hunting dogs, the border collie is an admirable sheepdog, the poodle is particularly good at acrobatics, and the Australian Shepherd is able to remember hundreds of words. According to the specialist, 51% of the dog’s intelligence is linked to the genetic and 49% to its environment. He thus established a ranking of the most intelligent dog breeds, based on the evaluations of 199 canine judges in the United States and Canada. Note that out of the 79 breeds studied, the Afghan Hound comes last.

1. Border collie

Chaser, an American border collie dog who died in 2019, has been recognized as the world’s smartest dog, able to identify 1,022 toys by name and find them based on their name and category, and even understand sentences. Originally herding dog, the border collie is very receptive to education and affectionate. However, it requires great availability and needs to be constantly stimulated physically and intellectually.

2. Poodles

With a playful temperament, the Poodle easily learns complex tricks and can understand hundreds of words. This is why it is often found in performances such as in the circus. Tireless and very adapted to a family life, the poodle should not be left alone for too long at the risk of being depressed.

3. German Shepherd

Identified with the police dog, the German Shepherd is versatile and learns quickly. Also used as a guard dog, search dog or assistance dog, he is faithful and follows to the letter the instructions he is taught. However, care must be taken to socialize him well during his education so as not to make him aggressive.

4. Golden retriever

Known for his skills as a search, rescue and guide dog for the blind, the golden retriever loves water and long walks. He has a strong ability to mobilize his attention, good memory, calm and self-control. If he is good at learning through play and positive reinforcement, he finds it difficult to endure punishment and unfair situations.

5. Doberman

Despite his impressive appearance and reputation as a fierce dog, the doberman is very gentle, especially with children. He must, however, be firmly educated from an early age to teach him to master his natural distrust of strangers. He is also an emotional dog who does not appreciate the commotion around him.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Originally used as a herding dog, the Shetland Sheepdog is easy to train and obedient. Very popular in dog sports such as agility competitions, he is very playful and well suited to family life. He nevertheless needs to exert himself and does not support the separation.

7. Labrador retriever

Favorite companion of the Presidents of the Republic and guide dog ideal, the Labrador is appreciated for its vitality, kindness and loyalty. Its very good smell and his intelligence also make him a popular dog for police and rescue services. The Labrador needs intellectual stimulation and hates loneliness and boredom.

8. Butterfly Spaniel

This little dog with long floppy ears has an extraordinary learning ability and adapts easily to any situation. Lively, balanced and obedient, he is often used as a therapy dog ​​and as a pet for the elderly. But it is also a sporty dog who enjoys hiking and jogging.

9. Rottweiller

The Rottweiller is much better than its image of a fierce fighting dog. His aggressiveness stems from a poor upbringing, when he has not been taught to overcome his natural protective instinct. Well trained, he is very loyal and gentle. His excellent flair also makes him a good police dog.

10. Berger australia

Originally used for herding herds, the Australian Shepherd is a cross between the dingo (a breed of wild dog) and English sheepdogs (notably the collie). Easy to educate, docile, he can however prove to be stubborn and needs a master capable of opposing him. resistance.

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