How Smart Is Your Dog?

Most of us love dogs, and many of us have or have had a dog. So just how smart is your dog?

Dr. Stanley Coren who is a psychologist and an expert on dog intelligence says the average trained dog knows roughly 165 words.  Something you might not know is that most dogs can count to 4 or 5.

The smartest dogs according to Dr. Coren know up to 250 words, which would put them on par with a child of 2 or 3 years old.  The smartest dogs are the top 20 percent.    Chimpanzees have been taught to read and use sign language and parrots also can be trained to speak.  So, what does it take to help your dog learn more words?

First, acknowledge your dog’s achievements when they do what they’re told to do.  It’s much the same as working with kids.  Always use your dog’s name before you teach a word.  Show the ball and then say, “ball.”  That’s word association.  Dogs also read people’s body language better than most people.  This is why professional trainers use hand signals.

So which breeds are the smartest dogs?

Border Collies, Poodles and German Shepherds.

The the dogs not as smart?

Chows and Bulldogs, with the dumbest breed according to Dr. Coren, the Afghan Hound.

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