I don’t have kids, at least not human ones. Like most parents I love my baby regardless, but it would still be nice to brag about my baby boys' “genius” (or lack thereof). Now there are a few factors to consider when on the topic of canine intelligence. First off, there are a couple “schools” of intelligence when it comes to dogs - Instinctual and Adaptive.
Hound dogs are trail finders. Aussies are herding dogs. Rottweilers are guard dogs. French Bulldogs are just cute as heck. These are all traits that are breed specific. They can be refined with training, but ultimately these are all genetic traits. Not that one is necessarily more intelligent than another, their just different!
Adaptive intelligence is referring to the problem solving abilities your fur baby has developed over the course of their life by interacting with their environment. Their ability to retain this information and recall experience varies from dog to dog, even within the same breed. This school of intelligence is closer to what we consider to be “smart”.
It’s important to note that a dogs obedience level or how many tricks you’ve taught don’t necessarily reflect a dog’s IQ or problem solving abilities. This is called “Working Intelligence” and consists entirely of things you or your trainer have taught your pup.
If you browse around the internet, you’ll find that most of the reputable dog IQ tests are very similar. This is because a real smart Doctor Cohen set the standard for these tests and the scoring system. Within a certain degree, this is a very accurate test! She has a degree, I'm not arguing with it.
Always stay positive with your dog when conducting the IQ Test, it’s meant to be fun for everyone! It’s recommended you break up each part of the test throughout the course of a couple days or a week. This is due to confusion that can be caused by you asking your dog to perform so many strange requests in a short period of time and can lead to innaccurate results.
Remember: Dog’s are awesome. It doesn’t take a high IQ to love you or to be the cutest potato dog ever - and that’s what counts!
When your dog is unexpecting, grab a familiar towel or blanket and put it over your dogs head. This gauges your dog's ability to solve problems. We score this test based on the amount of time it takes for your dog to remove the blanket.
3 Points: 15 Seconds or less
2 Points: 15~30 Seconds
1 Point: Dog takes longer than 30 seconds or just goes to sleep. Hey, at least he tried.
Don’t put your towel away yet! We still need it.
Take a treat and place it on the ground. Cover it up with your towel or blanket and give pup permission to find it! Again, we’ll score this based on how long it takes your dog to complete the task.
3 Points: 15 Seconds or Less
2 Points: 15~60 Seconds
1 Point: Over a minute. Doesn’t like treats huh?
Grab the Solo cups for this one! Kidding, any type of cup or small containers will work, so long as they look the same! Grab your dog’s favorite treat and line up the cups on the floor in a row. Let your fur baby watch you put the treat under one of the cups. Now you need to distract your dog for just a few seconds before you let them try and find the treat. This test gives some insight into your dog's ability to learn and retain information! We Score this test based on attempts.
3 Points: Your dog picked the cup containing the treat on the first try! “Smart cookie” ha.
2 Points: Your dog knocked over an empty cup, looked confused and then found the correct cup.
1 Point: Your dog picked wrong cups on the first two attempts. Poor guy. What bad luck. Who knows, maybe he's playing games with YOU…..
This one tests your dogs reasoning skills and persistence. Find a piece of furniture (I used my couch) that is just high enough off the ground for your dog to fit his paw under. Put a treat under the couch and watch how your dog tries to retrieve it.
3 Points: Your dog got the treat in under a minute using ONLY their paw.
2 Points: Your dog gets the treat but uses both paws, or goes face first under the couch before using a paw.
1 Point: Your dog says “screw this” and gives up.
The final test requires a bit more effort on your end. Hope you like arts and crafts. I was a cardboard robot for Halloween when I was a kid so I had some experience. What you want to do is build a sort of “cardboard barricade” aka a fort that is too tall for your dog to jump over. Cut a small opening in this barricade and show your dog a treat through the hole. Start a timer for 60 seconds, the whole time encouraging your dog to get the treat.
3 Points: It took your dog under 30 seconds to realize they just need to walk around the wall to get to you.
2 Points: It took longer than 30 seconds to figure out this puzzle.
1 Point: Your dog is like mine and literally just tackled your cardboard fort. Stole the treat, and ripped the cardboard into a million pieces.
Now, the moment of truth…. Add up all your points!!!
13-15 Points: Your dog could have beat Nikola Tesla in an invention contest. Bonafide Genius.
9-12 Points: He’s not building rockets, but he’s smarter than you. Smart floof +1 .
5-8 Points: He’s a backup Quarterback, but hey so was Tom Brady. Has potential!
1-4 Points: You may have picked the wrong test. Proceeds to win cutest dog of the year.
Comment, Share and let us know how your dog scored using this test!!