The Intelligence of Dogs

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For the actual intelligence of dogs, see Dog intelligence.
Standard Poodle - among the most intelligent breeds.

The Intelligence of Dogs is a book on dog intelligence by Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.[1] Published in 1994, the book explains Coren's theories about the differences in intelligence between different breeds of dogs.[2][3][4] Coren published a second edition in 2006.[5]

Coren defines three aspects of dog intelligence in the book: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence.[6] Instinctive intelligence refers to a dog's ability to perform the tasks it was bred for, such as herding, pointing, fetching, guarding, or supplying companionship.[6] Adaptive intelligence refers to a dog's ability to solve problems on its own.[6] Working and obedience intelligence refers to a dog's ability to learn from humans.[6]

Methods[edit]

German Shepherd

The book's ranking focuses on working and obedience intelligence. Coren sent evaluation requests to American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club obedience trial judges, asking them to rank breeds by performance, and received 199 responses, representing about 50 percent of obedience judges then working in North America.[6] Assessments were limited to breeds receiving at least 100 judge responses.[6] This methodology aimed to eliminate the excessive weight that might result from a simple tabulation of obedience degrees by breed. Its use of expert opinion followed precedent.[7][8]

Coren found substantial agreement in the judges' rankings of working and obedience intelligence, with Border collies consistently named in the top ten and Afghan Hounds consistently named in the lowest.[6] The highest ranked dogs in this category were Border collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers.[9]

Dogs that are not breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club (such as the Jack Russell Terrier) were not included in Coren's rankings.

Evaluation[edit]

When Coren's list of breed intelligence first came out there was much media attention and commentary both pro[10] and con.[11] However over the years the ranking of breeds and the methodology used have come to be accepted as a valid description of the differences among dog breeds in terms of the trainability aspect of dog intelligence.[12][13][14] In addition, measurements of canine intelligence using other methods have confirmed the general pattern of these rankings[15] including a new study using owner ratings to rank dog trainability and intelligence.[16] 79 ranks are given (plus 52 ties), a total of 131 breeds ranked:[17]

Brightest Dogs[edit]

  • Understanding of New Commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 95% of the time or better.[18]
  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. Doberman pinscher
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. German Shepherd
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

Excellent Working Dogs[edit]

  • Understanding of New Commands: 5 to 15 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 85% of the time or better.[18]
  1. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  2. Miniature Schnauzer
  3. English Springer Spaniel
  4. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)
  5. Schipperke
    Belgian Sheepdog
  6. Collie
    Keeshond
  7. German Shorthaired Pointer
  8. Flat-Coated Retriever
    English Cocker Spaniel
    Standard Schnauzer
  9. Brittany
  10. Cocker Spaniel
  11. Weimaraner
  12. Belgian Malinois
    Bernese Mountain Dog
  13. Pomeranian
  14. Irish Water Spaniel
  15. Vizsla
  16. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Above Average Working Dogs[edit]

  • Understanding of New Commands: 15 to 25 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 70% of the time or better.[18]
  1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    Puli
    Yorkshire Terrier
  2. Giant Schnauzer
  3. Airedale Terrier
    Bouvier des Flandres
  4. Border Terrier
    Briard
  5. Welsh Springer Spaniel
  6. Manchester Terrier
  7. Samoyed
  8. Field Spaniel
    Newfoundland
    Australian Terrier
    American Staffordshire Terrier
    Gordon Setter
    Bearded Collie
  9. Cairn Terrier
    Kerry Blue Terrier
    Irish Setter
  10. Norwegian Elkhound
  11. Affenpinscher
    Australian Silky Terrier
    Miniature Pinscher
    English Setter
    Pharaoh Hound
    Clumber Spaniel
  12. Norwich Terrier
  13. Dalmatian

Average Working/Obedience Intelligence[edit]

  • Understanding of New Commands: 25 to 40 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 50% of the time or better.[18]
  1. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
    Bedlington Terrier
    Fox Terrier (Smooth)
  2. Curly Coated Retriever
    Irish Wolfhound
  3. Kuvasz
    Australian Shepherd
  4. Saluki
    Finnish Spitz
    Pointer
  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    German Wirehaired Pointer
    Black and Tan Coonhound
    American Water Spaniel
  6. Siberian Husky
    Bichon Frise
    King Charles Spaniel
  7. Tibetan Spaniel
    English Foxhound
    Otterhound
    American Foxhound
    Greyhound
    Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  8. West Highland White Terrier
    Scottish Deerhound
  9. Boxer
    Great Dane
  10. Dachshund
    Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  11. Alaskan Malamute
  12. Whippet
    Chinese Shar Pei
    Wire Fox Terrier
  13. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  14. Ibizan Hound
    Welsh Terrier
    Irish Terrier
  15. Boston Terrier
    Akita

Fair Working/Obedience Intelligence[edit]

  • Understanding of New Commands: 40 to 80 repetitions.
  • Obey First Command: 30% of the time or better.[18]
  1. Skye Terrier
  2. Norfolk Terrier
    Sealyham Terrier
  3. Pug
  4. French Bulldog
  5. Griffon Bruxellois
    Maltese
  6. Italian Greyhound
  7. Chinese Crested
  8. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
    Tibetan Terrier
    Japanese Chin
    Lakeland Terrier
  9. Old English Sheepdog
  10. Great Pyrenees
  11. Scottish Terrier
    Saint Bernard
  12. Bull Terrier
  13. Chihuahua
  14. Lhasa Apso
  15. Bullmastiff

Lowest Degree of Working/Obedience Intelligence[edit]

  1. Shih Tzu
  2. Basset Hound
  3. Mastiff
    Beagle
  4. Pekingese
  5. Bloodhound
  6. Borzoi
  7. Chow Chow
  8. Bulldog
  9. Basenji
  10. Afghan Hound

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Coren, Stanley (1995). The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide To The Thoughts, Emotions, And Inner Lives Of Our Canine Companions. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-37452-4. 
  2. ^ Boxer, Sarah (1994-06-05). "My Dog's Smarter Than Your Dog". NewYork Times. 
  3. ^ Wade, Nicholas (1994-07-03). "METHOD AND MADNESS; What Dogs Think". NewYork Times. 
  4. ^ Croke, Vicki (1994-04-21). "Growling at the dog list". Tribune New Service (published in the Boston Globe). 
  5. ^ "Showing all editions for 'The intelligence of dogs : a guide to the thoughts, emotions, and inner lives or our canine companions'". WorldCat. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Stanley Coren (July 15, 2009). "Canine Intelligence—Breed Does Matter". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2011-08-16. 
  7. ^ Hart, BL; Hart (1985). "LA". JAVMA 186: 1181–1185. 
  8. ^ Hart, BL; Hart (1988). The Perfect Puppy. New York: Freeman. 
  9. ^ Stanley Coren. "Excerpted from "The Intelligence of Dogs"". Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  10. ^ Example: Perrin, Noel (April 10, 1994). "How Do Dogs Think?". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  11. ^ Example: "Coren's Canine List Has Owners Growling". April 30, 1994. Apr 30, 1994. 
  12. ^ Example:Csányi, Vilmos (2000). If dogs could talk: Exploring the canine mind. New York: North Point Press. 
  13. ^ Example:Miklósi, Ádám (2009). Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  14. ^ Davis, SL; Cheeke PR (August 1998). "Do domestic animals have minds and the ability to think? A provisional sample of opinions on the question.". Journal of Animal Science 76 (8): 2072–2079. 
  15. ^ Example: Helton, WS (November 2009). "Cephalic index and perceived dog trainability". Behavioural Processes 83 (3): 355–358. 
  16. ^ Coren, Stanley (2006). Why does my dog act that way? A complete guide to your dog's personality. New York: Free Press. 
  17. ^ "Ranking of Dogs for Obedience/Working Intelligence by Breed". Archived from the original on January 2, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Coren1995