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Recommend a Book > How smart is your dog? Where does he rank? See book.

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Below is a link to a webpage which shows the ranking of dog breeds according to intelligence: ====>

How smart is your dog?

This information, and more, is found in the book: _The Intelligence of Dogs A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions_.

The brightest dog is said to be the Border Collie.

The dumbest dog is said to be the Afghan Hound.

My Maltese ranks 59th out of 78. But to me he ranks highest in cuddling. (g)

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 6282 comments Jack Russells aren't on the list, but that makes sense. They're mutts. I wonder how accurate it is, anyway. Some dogs will do some things better because it is bred into them.

Molly is a mutt, but mostly an Australian Cow Dog & she not only wants/needs to herd, but does it well with no training. She's really smart about a lot of things. Our JRT's are really smart about others. They can get into & out of places or get things that would seem impossible - including trouble!

message 3: by Jackie (last edited Feb 03, 2009 10:02AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I notice Malamutes are 50th on working dogs. They should be at the top of the list because they learn new commands with only 1 or 2 repetitions. The drawback with a Malamute is they are very stubborn.
The question isn't 'does he know it', it's 'WILL he do it'?
There's been a few occasions when I said a command and didn't even get the chance to show Juneau what I meant, he just did it. Wait, Stop and Look are three I can remember off-hand.
In general, I have to show Juneau something new only once though, and he's got it. And he's capable of learning a lot of different commands.
And it's not only Juneau, it's every Malamute I've ever met that is this way. Highly intelligent and notorously stubborn.

message 4: by Jackie (last edited Feb 03, 2009 10:07AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments PS: I agree with Jim about certain traits being bred into them, or instincts. When Juneau was 5 months old, we had ice on the ground, but it was early so it was melting underneath. When we walked across it, it made a cracking sound and Juneau immediately threw himself down onto his belly. I could not get him to move forward. Even with a snack as an enticement. He did go back, but crawled on his belly to the edge of the ice. He had never even seen snow or ice before this day. He just instinctively knew not to cross ice that cracked. There was no way I could get him to cross that ice (think stubborn), I had to physically pick him up and carry him over it.

It was funny though, because the ice was very thin, if we fell through it, it would have been a whopping 1/8 of an inch fall onto the pavement, LOL

message 5: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 03, 2009 10:33AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jim and Jackie,
I now see the following explanation about the dog rankings.
(I found it at the link I posted above.):
"While this method of ordering dog intelligence is acceptable for training and working with dogs, it does not apply to the genetic intelligence which can be measured by ingenuity and understanding of common situations. Some dog breeds may be lower on the list due to their stubborn or independent nature, but this nature does not make them unintelligent or impossible to train."
Above from:

That's what you both were pointing out.
Hmmmm, so the list of rankings is more complicated than it looks.

message 6: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments According to the Goodreads description of the book at:
the following questions are speculated on by the author, Stanley Coren:
Do dogs really think?
Are they conscious in the same way humans are?
What is the nature of canine memory?
Can dogs communicate with us -- and, if so, how can we understand them?
Do they have feelings such as guilt, loyalty, and jealousy?
Do they experience joy and sorrow?

Sounds interesting. I think I'll put it on my BTR list.

message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Some dog breeds may be lower on the list due to their stubborn or independent nature
I had to laugh at that, because that is exactly why I mentioned it as a drawback: they can be difficult.

Joy, what does BTR mean?

message 8: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, BTR = Books To Read.
It's easier than typing "To-Read Shelf" or "To-Read List".

Yes, Jackie, you told us how independent and stubborn your Juneau could be. That would make training difficult if he just didn't want to do what you wanted. I'm beginning to think that our Romeo is stubborn too. He's a bit of a fox too. Knows what he wants and when he wants it. LOL He only comes to us when he wants to. He pleases himself. That's pretty smart. (g)

message 9: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Food is a great motivator for Mals, LOL. If were in the same room and I call him to me, sometimes Juneau comes to me, sometimes he doesn't. but if he's in another room, or in the yard where I can't see him, I call him and he comes running. He probably thinks I have food, LOL

I was pleased to see border Collies as #1, because they are very smart, and they have wonderful qualities. My friend AC has a beautiful one, Finn, who I adore. There's a nice picture of him in the comments section of my page. I love when she tells me stories of Finn.

message 10: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Yes on the food. The dogs come running when they know there's food to be had. They even recognize the sound of the packages being opened.

I looked at the pic of Finn. I didn't know border collies were black and white. Live and learn.

message 11: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Yes, they are always black and white from what I've seen. There's nothing like the regular Collies, the Lassie type dog.

message 12: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Yep, Jackie, when I hear "Collie" I think of Lassie. From now on I'll think again. (g)

message 13: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I always thought of Lassie too. My foreman has shelties and they look like miniature collies.

message 14: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 03, 2009 11:01PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "I always thought of Lassie too. My foreman has shelties and they look like miniature collies."

I've been trying to think of the name "Shelties", Jackie. Thanks for mentioning it. My neice has a Sheltie. I wondered if they were a kind of collie. So I went to Wiki to find out. It says:
"The Shetland Sheepdog, often known as the Sheltie, has been intentionally bred small. Shelties are ideally suited for the terrain of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. While they resemble a rough Collie in miniature, they are not a true miniature Collie, as there are many differences in appearance."

So I guess that answers my question. BTW, I see that their coloring can be black and white.
In fact it says:
"They have a thick double coat that can come in many different colors and patterns. There are three main colors: sable, which ranges from golden to mahogany; tri-colour, made up of black, white and tan; and blue merle, made up of grey, white, black, and tan."

message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 10, 2009 07:11PM) (new)

I have my 6th Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) who looks like a Border Collie. He is tricolor. He is extremely bright but all Shelties are. I also own a Pomeranian. She is very sweet but not half as bright as Jasper who knows how to manipulate her behavior. If he wants to be petted and she is being petted he will go get a toy as he knows she wants the toy more and will take it from him which is what he wants then he will come over and get her spot to be petted. I have seen him do this several times. He also has ESP. Sometimes I have seen him react knowing that I am going to do something before I know it!! Today on The Dr's they were talking about dogs who can smell cancer and alert the person.
I have also owned German Shepherds, an English Springer spaniel, golden cocker and various assorted mutts.

message 16: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 10, 2009 11:41PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Your dog must be very smart, Alice! Amazing how he knows to bring the toy to distract your Pomeranian.

I'm not sure how smart our Maltese, Romeo, is. He likes to run and he likes to play. He also likes chewing hide-sticks. Oh, he likes to be petted while sitting in our laps. (g) He also knows how to find the most comfortable spots to sleep. :)

What were your dog's names, Alice? We've had a Spokey, a Fetchie, a jorji, and now Romeo.

Our sons' dogs are Alice and Boogaloo, Boogie for short. They also bring along a guest-dog name Cosmo who is a boxer. He resembles this dog:
I love this photo! LOL

message 17: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6051 comments Hi Alice,

I once dog sat a Sheltie. She was dear and would hardly leave my side; literally. I know they are bred to be protectors and herders. when I was sitting on my couch my cat was at my feet; Princess, the Sheltie, laid next to the cat and reached her paw over to pat my leg, letting me know she was there to protect me. I also had a friend who dog sat some Shelties and she complained they were super hyper. I guess even dogs of the same breed can differ. nina

message 18: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 11, 2009 07:55PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments My niece had a Sheltie. They're beautiful dogs. But I guess each one has a different temperament.

message 19: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6051 comments Thank you, Joy, for the wonderful web site on Intelligent dogs. I looked up Irish Setters and they had a good rating but from there I did more research and the man who wrote that had to have had one. I couldn't believe how he hit the nail on the head. He could have been living in my house with MY dog. He said they were kind animals and got along with all people and pets in the house. My baby grandson bit my setter on the leg and Scarlet just stood there looking hurt. He said they greet visitors enthusiastically. My husband said our dog would kill visitors with kindness. The site said don't get an Irish if you want a guard dog as they will lick the intruder to death. I loved travelling down memory lane tonight. You gave me such a treat. Thank you, nina

message 20: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments My pleasure, Nina. Irish Setters are certainly beautiful dogs.
I haven't seen one in a long time.

As for memories, I think you'll like the following quotes:
"I have liked remembering almost as much as I have liked living."
-William Maxwell, editor at "The New Yorker"

"Recall it as often as you wish, a happy memory never wears out."
-Libby Fudim

message 21: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6051 comments Those are wonderful quotes. Here are a couple for you. "Friendship doubles our joy!
And divides our grief."

I don't know the author.

"Poetry is the art of uniting beauty with truth."

Samuel Johnson

message 22: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Those are beautiful quotes, Nina. I've saved them. Thank you.

message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments We had an Irish Setter when I was little, I hardly remember her but I know I loved her. Banshee.

Recently, my husband, Anthony, was looking up info on Malamutes. I did that before we got Juneau. So it was funny that he'd say something from the website and I knew it already, besides the fact of living with a Mal for 2 1/2 years. I know all his traits and they are all classic Malamute traits.

message 24: by Nina (new)

Nina | 6051 comments Irish setters are gentle with children. My eight month old grandson bit our Irish on her leg and instead of growling she just looked confused. nina

message 25: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "We had an Irish Setter when I was little, I hardly remember her but I know I loved her. Banshee..."

Jackie, how'd she get the name Banshee?

message 26: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I don't know. My mom is Irish, maybe she named her.

message 27: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie wrote: "I don't know. My mom is Irish, maybe she named her. "

Yes, that's probably why, but it's such a spooky name. See the definition at: ====>

Maybe the dog barked a lot. :)

message 28: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I read a lot of celtic fairy tales and novels, 'banshee' is a familiar word in those, LOL

message 29: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, I love the way you read so fast and so many books. You're a true reader. I just dabble. :)

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