Is A Dog Smarter Than You Think?

Dogs may be considered man's best friend, but it is rather amazing how many people think dogs are stupid. They are not. Dogs are intelligent animals. In many cases, people simple confuse enthusiasm and happiness for stupidity in a pup. 
 
Don't think dogs have much in the way of intelligence? This video should change your mind. It details a beagle who has a craving for chicken nuggets and the pup isn't going to let a few obstacles stand in his way.
 
 
Dogs vs Cats
 
And how do dogs stack up against their arch enemy – the cat? Cats have long been thought to be the more intelligent species since their solitary nature forces them to be clever on all fronts or potentially become prey for a predator. 
 
Ready for the truth? 
 
Dogs are smarter on average than cats. This isn't just an opinion. It is science!
 
Scientists at Oxford University set out to study the two animal groups to determine which had the greater intelligence level. The scientists found dogs had evolved at a faster rate and grown larger brains than cats. 
 
The reason? Socialization. 
 
As reported in the The Telegraph, the Oxford scientists found the difference between cats and dogs has nothing to do with one animal being inherently smarter than the other as a matter of genetics. Instead, the fact dogs are very social spurs brain activity, which has resulted in an increase in brain size and intelligence over time. As solitary creatures, cats have not received as much stimulus and have evolved slower. 
 
It gets better. 
 
In 2002, scientists at Harvard University tested the intelligence of dogs against chimpanzees with the goal of verifying that chimps are smarter. The chimps did test out as smarter overall, but dogs outpaced the chimps in certain areas. For example, dogs tested far better than chimps when it came to recognizing cues given by humans in relation to finding a hidden object. Put another way, dogs did better in some forms of problem solving. Pretty amazing!
 

Top 7 Smartest Dog Breeds

 

A "top 7" of anything is obviously a fairly subjective count. Having said this, there is a general consensus as to the dog breeds with the highest general level of intelligence. If you are looking for a "smart" dog, you need to consider the following breeds. 
 
1. Border Collie
 
The border collie was bred to herd sheep. It is universally considered the smartest dog in the canine world. This dog can solve problems and learn just about any trick. There is a downside with these pups, however. They are highly energetic. They need a lot of mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis, so make sure you are able to give it to them before adding one to your family. Here's a video of a border collie following commands to find very specific items. 
 
 
 
2. German Shepherd
 
The intelligence level of the German Shepherd really isn't in doubt. Just give some thought to the dog breed of choice for the military and police. German shepherds are smart and intelligent as this hilarious video of a 4 month old pup reveals.
 
 
 
3. Bloodhounds
 
Bloodhounds are often viewed as pups who like to lie around and sleep all day. Well, they do love a good nap, but this fondness of naps hides a wickedly sharp intellect. They also have such a tremendous sense of smell that their tracking efforts are considered admissible in court. Think about that for a minute…and then watch this.
 
 
 
4. Beagles
 
Do we really need to cover the beagle? If you have doubts, go back to the top of this article and watch the video of the McNuggets loving beagle again. The amazing thing is there are three breeds smarter than the beagle. If only one could do my taxes. 
 
5. Labrador Retriever
 
The Labrador Retriever is often viewed as not being particularly intelligent. Actually, the dog is very intelligent, but is misunderstood because it is so happy to socialize with its humans that it comes off as a bit of a clown. In truth, Labs are considered the most intelligent of the guide dogs and are often used as care dogs for children with autism. Here's a video of a smart Lab in Japan. 
 
 
 
6. Newfoundland
 
The Newfoundland is a big dog. It is also an incredibly smart dog. Although calm, these pups can be a bit destructive because of their sheer size. Here's a video of Bailey displaying her talents as a waiter. 
 
 
 
7. Australian Shepherd
 
The Australian shepherd is a smaller dog with a boatload of intelligence and energy. The dog is a natural herder, so it is a problem solver and highly attentative. This is a dog that is great…if you have time to give a bunch of attention to the dog. It needs stimulation on a daily basis, so make sure you can give it. Here's a video of Kodi showing his intelligence and a bit of curious energy. 
 
 
 
Final Thoughts
 
Are dogs intelligent animals? Yes, absolutely. This is particularly true when you train them properly and give them plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Just make sure to watch out for your chicken McNuggets. 
 
 

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