Which is the most intelligent dog breed of all? This a complicated question to answer because, firstly, dogs have proven to understand human behavior in more than one way, and secondly, measuring intelligence is not a simple task from a scientific point of view.
Dogs have been with humans for at least 10,000 years, and there are even researchers that venture to argue that their domestication started much earlier, 27,000 years ago. This is the reason why the rapport between both species is so great that we have been able to see the great intelligence they possess. But human curiosity does not stand still just knowing that the intelligence of dogs is comparable to that of a small child, that is why studies have been made to know which is the most intelligent breed of dog of all.
How to Evaluate the Intelligence of Dogs?
Measuring canine intelligence is not a simple task, as there is more than one type of intelligence; on the contrary, there is a whole range of cognitive talents ranging from spatial problem-solving to reading human facial language.
To find out which dog breed is the smartest, a study subjected more than a thousand dogs of different breeds to the smartDOG cognition test. It evaluates problem-solving, as well as strategy, impulse control, the ability to read human gestures, as well as imitation, behavior, memory, and logical reasoning.
Thanks to smartDOG, differences between breeds in different test conditions began to emerge. Among the breeds present in the participants were border collies, which are believed to be one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs and managed to score high in most of the tests.
“Most of the breeds had their own strengths and weaknesses,” said study author Saara Junttila, a doctoral researcher in canine cognition at the University of Helsinki. “For example, the Labrador Retriever was very good at reading human gestures, but not so good at solving spatial problems. Some breeds, such as the Shetland Sheepdog, scored fairly uniformly on almost all tests.”
What is the Smartest Dog Breed?
As the analysis of the dogs’ behavior concluded, each breed had relevant scores in different tests. Retrievers, for example, scored the highest on human-directed behavioral tasks. And Labradors are largely adept at understanding human body language, perhaps the reason why they are best suited for training as guide dogs.
While it is true that each breed stood out in specific tests, there was one that obtained uniform scores and managed to obtain 35 of the 39 points available on the test. It is the Belgian Malinois, which is considered to be the most intelligent of all dog breeds, or at least that is what the test conducted by the University of Helsinki concluded.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera