Does the breed of a dog affect its intelligence?
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
The short answer is yes, given the way you phrased the question. Numerous studies conclude that a dog’s breed does affect its intelligence, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that one breed is more intelligent than another.
Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia addressed this very subject at last year’s American Psychological Association Convention. Coren gave a presentation with the topic of how dogs think. He said, “There are three types of intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems), and working and obedience (the equivalent of ‘school learning’).”
Based on the working and obedience part, Coren said, “Border collies are No. 1, poodles are second, German shepherds are third. Fourth on the list are golden retrievers; fifth, Doberman pinschers; sixth, Shetland sheepdogs; and finally, Labrador retrievers.” These rankings were based on data from 208 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada.
Another important point to keep in mind is that individual intelligence also varies. A dog that may not solve certain problems, and another dog may be especially affectionate and play in more creative ways.