A dog’s intelligence is generally measured by how quickly s/he learns. But this doesn’t mean that slow learners aren’t smart. And it doesn’t mean that the more clever a dog, the better pet s/he is.
The average dog understands about 165 words and signals, intelligence equal to a 2 year old child. Smarter dogs have the learning capacity of a 2 1/2 year old child. But do these canines make better pets?
Smart dogs can solve problems, think fast on their paws and can have a stubborn streak, making them more difficult to train. Although they learn quickly, they may want to do things their way. These smarties will also be aware of subtle changes in you and use them to their advantage. Herding breeds can be particularly astute as they often have to make split-second decisions on their own when caring for a herd.
The truth is when it comes to us humans, all dogs are very smart and can read us like open books. You just have to decide which breed, mixed or pure, fits into your lifestyle.
Tale of a smartie:
One of my dogs, a mixed pit bull, Murphy, will do anything for food. Along with Murphy, my other mix, Cookie, inhale their food. On the other hand, my GSD, Quanah, won’t put anything in her mouth unless she smells it first and she eats slowly.
Murphy has devised a plan to encourage Quanah to leave her unfinished meal. After Murphy finishes eating, she runs out into the yard and immediately starts barking. Being curious, Quanah will go out to check on what’s happening. Murphy then rushes in to finish Quanah’s meal. Of course, when I realized what Murphy was doing, I put a stop to it, although Murphy still sometimes makes an attempt to distract Quanah. Cookie has too much respect for Quanah to pull a stunt like that.