So you think your dog is so smart that you wouldn’t be surprised if he started talking or walking on two legs like Brian Griffin? It might be harder than you suspect to find intelligence in dogs, especially when you consider that different breeds are better as some tasks. For example, a Collie might be good at herding your children, while your Lab might bring you your slippers. Keep that in mind as you look for these intelligent traits in your dog.
A dog who easily learns tricks and commands might be smarter than the average bear. One thing that indicates intelligence in dogs is the ability to learn when tricks are rewarded. If you stop giving treats in response to a successfully-completed trick and your dog stops responding, he’s smart enough to know when doing something isn’t benefitting him.
2. Recognizing Guests
When Fido recognizes your new neighbor after just a visitor or two, you may have adopted the smartest pet in the pound. A friendly greeting is a sign of recognition as is your dog bringing a toy to a guest who has previously played with your dog. This may also indicate better memory skills as dogs who tends to forget new people and objects tend to have poorer long-term memory.
3. Retrieving with Paws
A dog who knows how to use her paws to fetch things from beneath the furniture, flush the toilet or open a door handle is one smart cookie. It doesn’t mean your dog isn’t smart if he waits for you to retrieve his favorite chew toy or tennis ball, but canines who think outside — and under — the box, are better at doing things for themselves.
4. Adaptive Intelligence
If your dog seems to give thought to things that will have negative outcomes, like angering a skunk or porcupine, he might be one smart pup.
While Family Guy‘s Brian makes a good pet because he can literally talk to the family, you might prefer a dog who is more loving than she is smart. When she knows how to outwit you and test you, your dog might not be the companion that you were hoping for, especially if you don’t have the lifestyle that allows your dog to feel sufficiently challenged. It’s a similar concept to having enough space for your big, energetic dog to run around.