Average Dog IQ by Breed | Intelligence Ranking & Comparisons

Dogs have been popularly known as faithful companions and socially active animals since the Stone Age. They are widely known as care partners for disabled people and serve as wartime comrades, garbage collectors, movie stars, detectives, and even security consultants.

However, not all dogs are equally intelligent. Some may possess higher IQ and EQ than others. If you want to know more about the IQ of dogs by breed, here is a complete guide on dog breed intelligence ranking and comparison, so dive right in.

Dogs Intelligence Ranking by Breeds

Dogs are undoubtedly adaptive, instinctive, and smart animals, which is why they are considered ideal domestic pets. However, there are different dog breeds, and each has a different capacity to process data and solve problems. Here is a complete list of dogs’ intelligence ranking, defined by their breed.

Intelligence RankingDog BreedHeightWeightLife Expectancy
1stBorder Collie18-22 inches30 to 55 pounds12 to 15 years
2ndPoodle15 inches or more50 to 70 pounds10 to 18 years
3rdGerman Shepherd22 to 26 inches50 to 90 pounds7 to 10 years
4thGolden Retriever21.5 to 24 inches55 to 75 pounds10 to 12 years
5thDoberman Pinscher24 to 28 inches60 to 100 pounds10 to 12 years
6thShetland Sheepdog13 to 16 inches15 to 25 pounds12 to 14 years
7thLabrador Retriever21.5 to 24 inches55 to 80 pounds10 to 12 years
8thPapillon8 to 11 inches5 to 10 pounds14 to 16 years
9thRottweiler22 to 27 inches20 to 135 pounds9 to 10 years
10thAustralian Cattle Dog17 to 20 inches35 to 50 pounds12 to 16 years
11thPembroke Welsh Corgi10 to 12 inchesUp to 30 pounds12 to 13 years
12thMiniature Schnauzer11 to 14 inches10 to 15 pounds12 to 15 years
13thEnglish Springer Spaniel19 to 20 inches40 to 50 pounds12 to 14 years
14thBelgian Tervuren22 to 26 inches45 to 75 pounds12 to 14 years
15thBernese Mountain Dog70 to 95 cms36 to 50 pounds6 to 8 years
16thCatahoula Leopard Dog22 to 26 inches50 to 95 pounds10 to 14 years
17thQuintessential Dog20 to 22 inches74 to 84 pounds10 to 13 years
18thPortuguese Water Dog20 to 23 inches35 to 60 pounds10 to 14 years
19thPitbull Dog18 to 21 inches55 to 60 pounds12 to 14 years

What Is the Average Dog Attention Span?

On average, a dog has an attention span of 15 to 30 minutes, however, different breeds and ages have varying degrees of capacity to deal with difficult tasks. Statistics suggest that docile and well-trained active dog breeds have longer attention spans. In comparison, some dog breeds can’t even concentrate on a single task; for instance, fetching a ball may take them more than 30 minutes to one hour.

As per experts, dog owners can train their dogs to have a longer span of tasks. The foundation of all the attention training depends on your ability as an owner and the breed’s overall attention span. Here are a few ways through which you can improve the attention span of a dog for freshers.

  • Start by teaching your dog its name first.
  • Always use a positive tone when taking your dog’s name or directing it to certain tasks.
  • Be consistent with your commands. It helps your dog recognize what they need to do.
  • Use the “Watch Me” command to teach your dog the things it finds difficult. It pulls focus and lets the dog know how to do routine things more effectively and faster.
  • Offer plenty of rewards once they complete certain tasks.
  • Gradually push your dog’s limits and increase the challenge. Start by tossing the ball around the same room and get it out in the outdoor fields after some time.

Dog Intelligence List

Aside from their cute and sometimes fierce looks, dogs have been faithful and intelligent since the Stone Age. They are an ideal pet for humans, given their ability as a navigator and field guides. Across the world, dogs have served as wartime comrades, garbage collectors, movie stars, detectives, and even security consultants.

According to a neuro-researcher and professor Stanley Coren, there are three types of dog intelligence. Worldwide, dog intelligence is measured through these three segments. These include,

  • Adaptive refers to how well the dog is able to learn from its surroundings.
  • Instinctive refers to the dog’s natural ability. It usually comes down to the dog breed.
  • Working and Obedience means how hard it is to make the dog willing to work.

There are several ways to measure a dog’s intelligence an owner can use. Some of them include.

  • Standard tests like IQ games, command-and-tasks, etc.
  • Towel or bucket tests in which you put a towel or bucket on your dog’s head and see how long it takes for the dog to free himself.
  • Favorite spot. In this game, when your dog is out of the room, rearrange the furniture and see whether he is able to find his spot when he re-enters.
  • Chair puzzle where you place a treat under the chair and see whether the dog knows how to reach it.

Dog IQ Compared to Human

A leading canine researcher and PhD at the University of British Columbia, Stanley Coren explains how dogs think and compare it with humans. According to him, dogs, like humans, have the ability to solve complicated problems and prioritize things. The closest pattern between human and dog intelligence comes down to language learning, as an average dog can easily learn 165 words and phrases.

He explained that their random and erratic behavior is evident in their intelligence and creativity. It is why they may not be as smart as humans, but definitely think closer to humans than we thought earlier. Moreover, different dog breeds have different types of intelligence, which makes them closer or different to human intelligence.

Dogs Intelligence Compared to Human Child

Studies have shown that an average dog’s mental age is equivalent to that of a 2 or 2.5-year-old child. It is determined by the number of words, signs, and phrases dogs can understand. Statistics revealed that a very intelligent dog can process and learn between 150 to 250 commands, making them similar to a two-year-old.

Dog vs Other Animals

Like humans, dogs exhibit different social and emotional intelligence behaviors from other animal species. Here is a detailed guide on the differentiating intelligence levels between dogs and other animals like cats, pigs, cows, wolves, and rabbits. So, dive right in.

Cat Vs Dog Intelligence

There is a common misconception that cats are smarter than dogs, however, there is no evidence to back up the claim. As it turns out, dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortex, which means they can be twice as intelligent. The simplest explanation is that neurons are the basic data processing units and the more neurons an animal has, the more cognitively intelligent it is.

Studies suggest that an average dog possesses about 530 million neurons in the cortex whereas cats only have about 250 million, which is half the amount found in dogs. Similarly, dogs tend to demonstrate a higher social intelligence, given their self-awareness and cooperative communication. However, the social intelligence of dogs has not been taken well by researchers.

For the most part, the traditional measure of intelligence among animals comes down to their brain size and structural complexity. Sarah Benson Amram, a scientist at the University of Wyoming’s Animal Cognition lab, suggests that though brain size impacts problem-solving in carnivorous animals, there is little evidence that it influences intelligence.

Factors that Determine Intelligence in Cats and Dogs

Here are some factors that may impact the intelligence difference between cats and dogs.

  • Brain Size: The first thing used to measure the intelligence of animals is their brain size. In this case, researchers focus on the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for cognitive abilities like problem-solving and memory. Here, as mentioned above, dogs definitely have an edge.
  • Trainability: Dogs are easier to train and every pet owner will tell you that. They have been man’s best friend for centuries, and most of it comes down to their adaptive nature. That said, you can also train cats, but it may take you a little more time than usual.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Cats definitely have better problem-solving skills than dogs. Felins are known to use tools to solve problems like manipulating levers, opening doors, and overcoming barriers.
  • Social Intelligence: Dogs tend to have higher social intelligence, as they show understanding, cooperative, and communicative behavior. Studies suggest that dogs can respond to an average of 165 words and phrases, helping them develop strong bonds with humans.

Pig Vs Dog Intelligence

Simply put, pigs are at least as intelligent as dogs and they may outperform the latter while performing routine tasks. Studies show that pigs are better in intelligence and problem-solving abilities, contrary to their widely regarded image as dirty and stupid animals. Typically, it is known that an average pig has the intelligence of a three-year-old child.

Pigs are cognitively difficult animals, as they share multiple traits that humans consider smart and intelligent. A study conducted in 2009 showed that pigs are able to interpret a mirror image to find a bowl, explaining their ability of object recognition and data processing. Later, it was also found that pigs use sticks to dig and build nests, using tools to solve problems effectively.

Apart from this, pigs also have emotional intelligence like dogs, and it was shown through their reaction to different music pieces. Though it does not seem so, pigs can express feelings through gestures like nudging, vocalization, and wagging. Moreover, they make a grunt when responding to familiar sounds or when experiencing overjoyed emotions.

Horse Vs Dog Intelligence

Horse Vs. Dog intelligence; this debate has been going around for ages, and there is no simple answer to that. While horses excel in some areas like navigation intelligence, dogs have an edge in social intelligence, which means no animal is more intelligent than the other.

For starters, horses are popular for their problem-solving abilities and intelligence. They are able to understand, process, and perform complex tasks quickly and remember them for an extended period of time. It helps horses cooperate and work together with other species; for instance, they can sense whether a person is excited, calm, or angry and mimic the behavior.

In contrast, dogs are inclined towards social interactions and communication with humans. They have been used to provide love and support to their owners, which is also why they are widely used as service animals for disabled people. As compared to horses, dogs make great pets and become an indispensable part of the family.

Cow Intelligence Vs Dog

Across the board, there is a conflict about whether cows are intelligent or dogs. Some people think that cows are smarter than most pets like dogs and cats as they navigate mazes when taking detours, while others believe that dogs outperform cows in hearing and can easily sense danger from afar.

According to studies, cows do bond with humans and easily pick their people out of the crowd. They can even tell cows apart from each other and other species,including their human handlers even when they are wearing the same clothes. As per the New Root Institute, cows value relationships and choose to stay with their partners as we do.

Wolf Intelligence Vs Dog

Wolf Vs. Dog intelligence has been a matter of concern for pet owners who like to keep several animals with them. Simply put, wolves are adaptable at working with each other while humans feel more comfortable with humans and their owners. This is because dogs have a distinct interpretation of domestication than species like wolves.

Hence, it is safe to assume that we should define them as adaptable to their respective environment, and not see them as smart. According to Juliane Brauer, associate researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, dogs nor wolves are neither smarter, as we would always say they are both adapted to their surroundings.

A series of experiments run by Nath Lab in 2009 suggest that dogs are better at following human cures to perform jobs despite having other more effective strategies available. In comparison, wolves made more logical bases and their responses were similar to those of human infants.

Rabbit Vs Dog Intelligence

Like different animal species have distinct types of intelligence, rabbits, and dogs also exhibit different types of intelligence behavior when confronted by challenging situations. Generally, dogs are considered smarter than rabbits, as they have traditional learning behaviors derived from commands and human guidance.

As it is common knowledge, rabbits don’t take IQ tests, making it harder for owners to tell how smart their pet is. When it comes to rabbit intelligence, it is how humans perceive it and adjust it to their interpretation. In comparison with dogs who are socially active with their owners, rabbits show intelligence in subtle ways.

Raccoon Intelligence Vs Dog

Are raccoons smarter than dogs? Well, technically, yes despite them having fewer neurons, which is the usual measurement of intelligence in animals.

In 1913, several tests were conducted by Walter Hunter to differentiate between the smartness of these two animals. Results showed that raccoons had better memory and could recall things longer than dogs.

Raccoons have a brain size similar to that of cats, which means the number of neurons is half in comparison with cats. However, the ratio of raccoon brain size to neurons is within certain parameters, making them incredibly ingenious in solving routine problems and performing tasks. In this case, the spectrum of conventional animal intelligence does not seem feasible.

Is there any IQ Dog Training?

Having a smart dog or pup at your home is undoubtedly fun, but it is more work. You need to keep them socially, physically, and mentally simulated, so they can make the best of their abilities. At this point, you need to start looking for IQ dog training centers.

These centers help train your dog in thoroughly professionally designed sessions and special activities. It also aids you to occupy an intelligent dog during times when you are not consistently engaged with them. You can also ask them to make your dog obedient and disciplined, especially when their smartness brings mischief.

Training your dog at home can also enhance their cognitive abilities. Here are some techniques that may help you along the way.

  • Positive Reinforcements like praising them when they perform a desired behavior or introducing a reward system whenever they complete a task.
  • Clicker training includes using a clicker sound to help reinforce good behavior. It helps them recognize a distinct sound and associate the clicker with certain tasks.
  • Puzzle toys to help them with problem-solving. It keeps them mentally simulated.
  • Obedience training is like giving them commands such as sit, stay, come, etc. It helps homeowners improve their dog’s discipline and focus.

What dog has the highest IQ?

Border Collie is the top dog breed with the highest relative intelligence ranking. It is the smartest dog breed known to men, all thanks to its ability to process linguistic cues. According to the Intelligence of Dogs, a linguistically gifted Border Collie in South Carolina can recognize around 1000 words, which is unlike any other dog.

What’s the average dog IQ on a human scale?

The average dog’s IQ is around 100, which may seem low but it is important to consider that dogs have different types of intelligence. Their intelligence is divided into adaptive, instinctive, and obedience. On average, a dog’s intelligence is similar to that of a 2 and 2-and-a-half-year-old.

Which dog breed has the highest IQ?

Border Collie is a dog breed with the highest IQ. After this, some other top dog breeds with high IQ include German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Poodle, Golden Retriever, and Shetland Sheepdog.

In essence, there is no doubt that dogs are emotionally, mentally, and socially intelligent animals. However, not all breeds are equally smart, and their relative intelligence is measured through brain size and social behaviors. Finally, I hope this guide has helped you find a lot of fun things about dogs’ IQ and their social intelligence.

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