Want An Intelligent Dog?

Every dog lover wants an intelligent dog.  The smart dog may obey better and be easier to train, however, statistics show smarter dogs are more likely to develop behavioral problems.  Some dogs may actually have a good behavior until restrained in small areas, such as an apartment or limited to certain rooms of the home.  Some breeds are very active and need to stay busy; therefore, refining them to a restrained area could cause these behavioral problems.

Statistics show the top 10 most intelligent breeds are:

  1. Border Collies.  Border Collies were originally bred as sheep herders and have a lot of energy.  They need lots of exercise and room to run.
  2. Doberman Pinschers.  The Doberman is a great guard dog and are obedient but they also need regular exercise.
  3. Australian Cattle Dogs.  Also known as the Aussie, they have been bred to herd cattle and are very smart dogs.  They also need lots of exercise and something to keep them occupied.
  4. German Shepherds.  They’re loving guard dogs that are great with children, but also need regular physical activity.
  5. Golden Retrievers.  Goldens are typically used as hunting dogs and aide with searches and rescue missions.  They are very friendly pets, great with children and live to please their owners.  They are a large breed dog and also need plenty of exercise.
  6. Labrador Retrievers.  These hunting dogs are used as guide dogs, police dogs to track narcotics and also aide in search and rescue missions.  Labs are easily trainable and have good temperaments.
  7. Rottweilers.  Surprised?  So many people are afraid of Rotties, however, they are huge babies.  The Rottweiler is a very obedient dog and work as herders, therapy and police dogs as well.  They’re loving to their owners and family but will protect their home and may not get along as well with strangers.  Socializing these dogs and offering them obedience training is recommended by experts.  Rottweilers also need dailyexercise.
  8. Poodles.  They’re cute, smart and active and Poodles do well in any size home due to their size, however, they also need daily exercise.
  9. Shetland Sheepdogs.  Also know as Shelties, these herding dogs are very obedient and devoted to their owners.  They may be shy around strangers and may try to herd people they don’t recognize.  They do much better on a farm but can also do fine in homes providing they get enough exercise.
  10. Papillons.  This small breed of dog typically does well in any size home and are considered happy and alert.

There you have it, the statistics, anyway.  I have owned and worked with dogs most of my life and I do somewhat agree with this information; however, I’ve owned several purebred dogs and also several mixed breed dogs.  In my opinion, the mixed breed is generally the smarter of the two.

We currently have a Shih-Tzu/Jack Russel mix named Jewel and also a purebred boxer puppy named Ginger.  They’re both very loved and spoiled, but as for now, the Boxer isn’t quite the brighter one of the two.  But I’m sure she’s going to be a smart dog, once we get through the ‘puppy stage.’  She’s been pretty easy to housetrain, but will walk out right in front of you if you’re walking through the house or walk out in front of you, knowing the path you’re heading, and sit down right in front of you!  haha   Agreed, our Shih-Tzu/Jack Russel is much older than the boxer but is very intelligent.  As much as she loves food, and I mean she LOVES food, in fact, I’d say she WORSHIPS food!!   Yet, I can sit a plate of food; steak, chicken or whatever, on the floor right in front of her and she won’t touch it until she’s told she can.  The strange part is, she wasn’t ‘trained’ not to touch it until told, but just automatically knows.  And honestly, I can’t take credit for housetraining Ginger because Jewel actually trained her.

Ginger’s a great dog too, very loving and of course still very playful because she’s a pup.  Playful enough that we have to make sure everything’s (and I do mean everything) off the floor and out of her reach when we’re not looking.  haha  My daughter sometimes forgets to close her bedroom door and Ginger will just help herself with any toys, clothes, pillows, shoes, anything she can find.  Although she has a full box of her own toys, I guess ‘new’ toys are always more exciting!

One morning about a week or so ago, I had some clothes in large plastic bags sitting in the corner of the living room that my daughter had outgrown and was planning to go through them to sort the sizes before packing them up to give away.  I had gone to take my daughter to school that morning and when I came back, Ginger had them sorted for me, all over the living room floor.  She’s a lot of fun and I’m sure she’ll grow out of this stage eventually but although she’s not yet two, I’d still say she’s going through the ‘terrible twos.’  Both are our babies and we couldn’t imagine life without them!  Just like the saying goes (a dog is man’s best friend); they really are our best friends and a part of our family!  Always remember to treasure your pets; that’s one friend you’ll have for life!

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10 thoughts on “Want An Intelligent Dog?

  1. Both your dogs are A-DOR-A-BLE!!!!! So funny about Ginger being in her terrible twos!! Boxers and Labs seem to stay in the puppy stage for a while. I SO agree about mixed breeds being smarter!! Sweet Jewel has a face like my Jack Russell, who is a rough-coated one…

    Love, love, love following your post 🙂

    • Awww, thank you! Haha, Ginger seriously must be in her terrible twos because every time I walk out of my home office into the living room, there’s more paper, cardboard, something, tore up all over the floor. I try to make sure everything is up out of her reach, but she must hide things from me because she always finds something to destroy. haha Thank you, Jewel is my baby. I’ve had her since birth, 8 yrs ago this July. She also has the wirey hair. I’m sure you know then, you just got to love Jack Russells! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your comment and follow. 🙂

  2. My boxers took about 18 months and then it was like a switch was turned…they then each became a very reliable well behaved dog…no more puppy stuff. BUt the EASIEST dog I ever trained was an Australian shepherd female…she was amazing! One time told and she had it!

    • Ginger is the first boxer we’ve had from a puppy. Our previous boxers were already a year old or older when we got them, but boxers are smart dogs and you’re exactly right….most are very well behaved too (after the puppy stage, of course…haha). Jewel is great at ‘training’ her, so she’s progressing, just still likes to get into things. I’ve never owned an Australian shepherd, but do know they’re very intelligent dogs. Thanks for your comment!!

  3. We have two poodles, a male toy, named Bo, and a female tea cup, named Dixie. They are both very intelligent, loyal, and friendly. I think so dogs just stay more puppy-like longer than others…our dogs are the same age – within months of each other, but Bo has never grown up. He loves to raid the trash cans, and chew on anything wooden that he can find…so he no longer has run of the house. After he chewed the spindles out of a rare find antique table a couple of years ago, I decided to buy him a vet size kennel to keep him out of trouble when we leave the house…he only gets into bad mischief when we leave them alone…lol…and we have been a much happier household with this decision.

  4. Yes, D, poodles are very intelligent and I totally agree with you! Some do stay in the puppy stage longer than others. I’m sorry to hear Bo chewed on your rare antique table. 😦 I have a wire kennel and have thought about using it for Ginger, but just don’t really want to contain her unless we have to. She hasn’t destroyed anything of real importance (yet LOL) so we just still clean up after her, just like a kid. haha Thanks for your comment!

  5. We have always had Shelties. Sooo smart. One was deaf and totally trained to hand signals, re: walk, dinner, fetch, outside, sit, heel, etc. The most recent two have been rescues. Our sable is the most placid dog our vet has ever met. He allows the vet to place him in what ever position required and just waits until he is given the okay to release. Fabulous dogs, but they do need to work and walk, alot.

    • I love Shelties, but then again I love all dogs and puppies! How amazing!! I would think a dog would have to be intelligent to learn hand signals! The walking and exercise a lot of dogs require is one reason I love living in the country. Our dogs have plenty of room to run and get the exercise they need but still be closeby. Thanks so much for your comment!

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