They called my dog stupid

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On the other hand, the stories the researcher has about the “intelligent” dogs are pretty great.

Whenever she hosted a male guest, the dog would head for the bedroom with malice aforethought. It was a guaranteed method of gaining attention.

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Don’t hound him. Here, have a bone:




Well, the list was apparently compiled by professional obedience trainers, so I can sympathize with their frustration when tasked with getting those bottom-of-the list dogs to do what they tell them. My Great Pyrenees mix is curled up on the bed and I’m not—who’s smarter?

That said, the Canadian psychologist who wrote the book that contains the list which PetBreeds cadged and SFGate passed along has a nice sideline in positive-reinforcement dog training. He makes a nice counterweight to Cesar Milan.

Remember that by “intelligence” what is really being referenced is “obedience” as well as the ability to learn commands. My Husky is intelligent in a “lawyer representing a Wall Street firm” sort of way that gets her what she wants, but doesn’t rank very highly as an intelligent breed owing to being too headstrong (which is great for a sled puller).


Yes, intelligence has a very specific meaning when referring to dog breeds. There happens to be a strong correlation between old breeds and ‘stupidity’.

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A breed can have a rep for a certain type of behavior, but individuals in the species can and often do act completely different, depending on upbringing, genetics, circumstances, and other variables.

Exactly. My last two dogs have been Basset Hounds, which always fare poorly in intelligence evaluations. They may not be very obedient ( they are sufficiently so for me, responding to a few commands that I am sure appear reasonable to them: stay, slow, no, etc. ) but as hunting dogs I think they are bred to value their own judgement. That’s how I characterize and understand their behavior, anyway. Their ability to infer impresses me as well.

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I personally would classify your dog as magnificent.

oh that’s ruff

Heh, my 12 year old Labrador is terrified of water… He just never understood it and has always been fearful, even to the point of running from the hose on a hot day.

So, I definitely agree, while Labradors are often called “Fat otters” mine is the perfect exception.

Nemo is smart like a kid you’d trust to watch some sheep but wish was a bit more mature.

On the order of a anti-vaxx soccer parent or a third grader.

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Great Pyraneese: my mom had one at the time of my birth. I didn’t know it extremely well since I was very little–I didn’t understand much of anything, then–and she was aloof to me (in general?) because I was now the number one to my mother, which she resented. but that sounds like intellect, to me; i.e. understanding. Mom said that this dog could escape from any pen (mom said she watched from a distance once just to see how she did it. ) Sounds like problem solving to me.

Shi-Tzu: the one I knew seemed smart, but I never gave it any commands or anything. luckily, his owners gave him a pragmatic haircut. He was a great little guy. I want to say aloof but that makes him sound like a dick; he was very personable but seemed to walk around in wonderment all the time, taking everything in. but he would chill with you and was nice. sort of like The Dude in that way.

Basenji: B-but, Weep No More, My Lady!

anyway, my dog’s intelligence is never called into question, German Shepherd and all that. training her was spookily easy. Mostly, you can talk to her in plain english and she’ll figure it out between the words she knows and your tone.

Yeah, on the flip side of that, I’ve got a Labrador who is Very Obedient etc…, but in terms of being able to figure things out on her own is about as crafty as a baggie of old macaroni. My German Shepherd, on the other hand, is almost frighteningly intelligent. There are times when you can actually watch her plan something out (usually manipulating the Labrador into doing something stupid and semi-painful, so she (the shepherd) can reap the benefits).


Hmm, I’d never have thought to rank a Husky as having low intelligence myself. From the stories I’ve heard (for example the Serum Run to Nome, I’d have thought exactly the opposite…

I think this is something of a standardised test - if you’re not compliant to the perceived norm, you’ll “fail” it.

Wikipedia has a fuller list that includes the brightest dogs

Part of me wants to ban you for a day for that pun.

If you want to nip all the bad puns, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

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