Dogs are more intelligent than we give them credit for. Their intelligence is among the highest in the animal kingdom, and even though their brains are proportionately only half as large as human brains, studies indicate that the dog is certainly the smartest domesticated animal.
As is the case with humans, inherited genes play a key determining role as far as individual intelligence is concerned. Even though it cannot be said with certainty that a particular breed is more intelligent than another, certain breeds that have been selectively bred for work ability tend to be smarter and more responsive than those that have been bred purely due to their physical attributes.
Studies have indicated that a dog being purebred or mixed breed has no bearing on their intelligence. However, dogs that show more intelligence are those that have had exposure to a more diverse lifestyle both indoors as well as the great outdoors, and with both animal and human engagement.
Pure and simple, if you want to stimulate your dog’s intelligence, provide the opportunity to your dog to check out all kinds of places, explore and control all kinds of things and share different types of experiences. This will not only help your dog get more out of life, it will make your him keener to learn more, and he will gradually become a quicker learner. Nothing is more unfortunate and needless than confining an intelligent animal to a kennel and depriving him of the opportunities to stimulate his brain.
Many dog owners believe their dogs are a lot more intelligent than scientists give them credit for, and research by the Washington Post revealed that dogs show reasoning previously only seen in humans. People who have ever owned dogs have seen them take specific action only after weighing up the situation. In addition, hunting and working dogs such as guide dogs for the blind constantly have to use their judgement before making decisions.
One of the most important elements of intelligence is memory. The dog has an extraordinary memory for scents, although his visual memory is average. His memory for sounds is great because he can recall and identify voices that are familiar even when he hasn’t heard the sound for several years. Recalling various words requires more concentration, while he’s able to easily build up a sizeable store of identifiable sounds.
The dog’s ability to learn relates more to memory rather than comprehension. He is able to remember the chain reactions of his actions, but he will not be able to effectively figure out broad conclusions from the experiences he has had. The more the range of experiences and contact they have with others, the quicker they learn and the more they pick up.
We can help dogs develop their intelligence by teaching, training and working with them, even though they are naturally intellectually inferior to man.