Unfortunately, the answer to that question is NO. According to S. Coren*, author of "The Intelligence of Dogs", there are three types of dog intelligence:
- Adaptive Intelligence (learning and problem-solving ability). This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
- Instinctive Intelligence. This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
- Working/Obedience Intelligence. This is breed dependent.
During this ordeal with Sugar, I have come to realize that she is VERY, VERY smart, despite what the research says (or maybe just stubborn?). This is especially evident when it comes to taking her pills. She can find them no matter where I've hidden them at which time she immediately spits them out onto the floor, whilst continuing to eat. (This holds true for any food item except ice cream - thank God she swallows a scoop all at one time!) You can ease them into her mouth while she is kicking and fighting, only to see they are hidden in her gums and as soon as you think she has swallowed them, she spits them back out. She is surely incorrigible and is certainly testing my patience and creativity.
Last night I tried a little cottage cheese in her dinner, hoping she would eat it just for the nutrition of it! But alas, she licked it a bit and then when she saw the white curds, which look oddly enough just like her antibiotic she takes every day, she stopped eating. I suppose it was just the association of the two, not so much the taste. Most dogs like cottage cheese. Anyway, being the servant to the little princess that I am, I then grabbed her food bowl and removed any trace of cottage cheese. I placed the bowl back onto her feeder at which time she then proceeded to eat the whole thing. Go figure.
Just for the fun of it, I found a list of the top ten "brightest" dogs. They are listed below. Although these are all wonderful breeds, I'll think I'll keep my Greyhounds!
- Border Collie
- German Shepherd
- Golden Retriever
- Doberman Pinscher
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
- Australian Cattle Dog
I found this out there in Internet land . . . here are some simple and fun ways to measure your dog’s intelligence.
- Throw a towel over your dog’s head and time how long it takes him to free himself. An average may be 15 to 20 seconds.
- Place three paper cups upside down on the floor, three feet apart. Allow your dog to see you place a bit of weenie under one of them. Turn him in a circle twice or lead him into another room for about 30 seconds and then see if he can go to the right cup the first time.
- Split a weenie in half so that it has a flat side. Place it just under the edge of the sofa. Time how long it takes him to get it out. An average may be around 60 seconds.
- Take your dog outside the yard on a long leash and walk along the fence several feet from the gate which you will leave open. Toss a bit of weenie back over the fence. See if he figures out to go back around through the gate to get the treat
You can also visit this MSN article for a few more IQ tests for your dog. This is definitely pretty interesting stuff. I have to say though, that I don't necessarily agree with Dr. Coren's assessment of the Greyhound. I think, for the most part, they are pretty intelligent animals.
Before I close, I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to applaud Jen Bachelor for her work with Greyhounds. She has the patience of a Saint and the drive and determination needed to train her Greyhounds to levels most trainers only dream about! Her Greyhounds perform in agility and obedience trials all over the country and hold more titles than any Greyhounds in the sport. Way to go Jen - you do the Breed proud!
Just goes to show you that you can teach an old dog new tricks! Even a Greyhound!
*Stanley Coren is a neuropsychologist and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Coren has published articles in medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Public Health and Sleep. He has appeared on numerous television programs including Good Morning America, CNN, The Osgood Files and The Today Show. Dr. Coren is a fellow of the American Psychology Association, American Psychology Society and Canadian Psychology Association. He was recently awarded the Killam Memorial Fellowship.