Dog intelligence

Ruby, right after I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. You can tell by her eyes…

Yesterday I read this article on dog intelligence and apart from being surprised that poodles are the second smartest dog, it got me thinking about my own dogs. So today I googled “smartest dogs” and found out that Ruby (who is an Irish Setter/Retriever mix) is a mixture of the 35th and 7th smartest dogs. And Stella (Pomeranian/Pug) is a mixture of 23rd and 57th. I also found out that our old dog Tippy (Border Collie/Beagle) was a mixture between number 1 (Border Collie) and number 72 (out of 79)! So basically really smart meets really dumb.

This intelligence measures the ability for dogs to obey, so one could argue there are other intelligences (like the ability to track) and come up with a completely different ranking, but according to the author of the book “The Intelligence of Dogs,” obidience intelligence is the only “breed dependent” intelligence.

But I think the author of this ranking forgot a very important “breed” of dog: the Santiago street dog. These dogs know to cross the street when the light is green, they know which dogs belong in their terrirtory and which ones don’t, and most importantly, they know how to survive in the cement jungle of Santiago, something that even the smartest border collie probably wouldn’t be able to do. Cachando Chile wrote a great piece on dogs in Chile, so check it out for more info.

I leave you with a picture of my somewhat dumb but strangely loveable dog who loves to go on kayak rides. You can see my smarter dog at the beginning of the post, who despite her intelligence, goes momentarly insane when someone utters the word “walk” or she sees a large mud puddle.


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