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Why Is My Dog So Dumb – Measuring Your Pets Intelligence

While some dogs are highly intelligent, sometimes we are blessed with a dog that eats its own poop. Sometimes, when we witness dumb things our dogs do and its a head scratcher. When we watch these behaviors or actions, it raises the question – why is my dog so dumb?

Your is dumb due to a lack of training or guidance. Dogs suffering from lack of social skills, dealing with stress, poor nutrition, or anxiety may exhibit odd and less intelligent behaviors. Some dog breeds are more intelligent than others.

There are so many questions regarding this topic – can my dog be dumb; can a dog have a mental disability; can we test our dog’s intelligence? The list goes on. There are so many different facets to intelligence and so many different reasons why your dog might be a bit slow. So, read on to learn more about which breeds are smarter and how you can help mentally stimulate your dog.   

Can A Dog Be Dumb

In a sense, yes, your dog can be dumb. It stems from either genetics or training, whether intentional or unintentional. Certain dog breeds are superior to others, and it is in their genes to be more intelligent than other breeds.   

We can unintentionally train our dogs to be dumb – we can reward them and train them inadvertently to do dumb and off the wall things. Especially today, with our viral videos, we almost encourage the behavior. Animals love reactions – so if we give them positive reactions when they do dumb things, we are conditioning them to do those dumb things.

Can Dogs Have Mental Disabilities

The short answer is yes; dogs can have a mental disability that causes them to lack intelligence. Some causes the can make your dog ‘slow’ would be brain damage – possibly caused by a lack of oxygen at some point, inbreeding, or from a toxin that your dog’s mom was exposed to while pregnant.

Dogs are much like humans, and although I would love for the answer to be no, dogs – just like humans – suffer from mental illnesses. Statistics show that 1 in 5 suffers from mental illnesses like PTSD and OCD! So, take care of your fur babies!

Do Dogs Get Smarter With Age

Yes, your dog will get smarter with age, to an extent. Dogs are said to have an intelligence range of about a 2.5-year-old child.

They will continue to gain knowledge, but at some point, they will pretty much cap out at how smart they can become since, after all, they are animals. They do not have the same mental capacities as humans do.  

Another thing to keep in mind – your dog will only get smarter if YOU make that happen.

You must be actively teaching and training your dog for them to get smarter. Without stimulation, they will not get any smarter, so keep teaching your dog if you want them to keep growing.  

How Do You Tell If Your Dog Is Mentally Challenged

Sometimes it is hard to tell if your dog may have some mental issues or act dumb. Here are a few things to keep an eye on if you are not sure:

  • Staring off into space
  • Sideways running/walking
  • Head tilt (most of the time, not the cute head tilt they do back and forth)
  • Inability to learn or understand commands 
  • Forgetting where things are – like food/water bowls
  • Lack of emotion or blunt emotions
  • Lack of interest in eating
  • Not a lot of interest in playing or activities

These are just some of the signs. There are many more, but there are ones that are easier to tell than others. Please, if you are at all worried, talk to your vet! Either way, you will get answers and know where to go from there. 

What Is The Least Intelligent Dog Breed

Out of all the dog breeds worldwide, the Afghan Hound. They are notoriously hard to train and to housebreak. They are gorgeous dogs, so their lack of intelligence comprises their looks and their affection for their master. They are followed by these other few breeds as the least smart:

  • Bulldogs
  • Chow Chow
  • Borzoi 
  • Basenji

Although all these dogs got the short end of the stick in the intelligence department, they are all loveable and great to be around. 

Generally, their lack of intelligence will come in to play when it comes time to train them. It will take extra time, so if you end up with one of these breeds, make sure you have the time to train them.

What Is The Most Intelligent Dog Breed

Out of all the dog breeds, the Border Collie is deemed the most intelligent dog around. They are straightforward to train, are highly energetic, and extremely hardworking. Used to heard sheep, border collies are highly intelligent and can be used in many different occupations. Right on their heels are:

  • German Shepherds
  • Poodles
  • Australian Shepherds 
  • Golden Retrievers

All these dogs have their strong suits, but overall, they are easy to train and highly intelligent breeds of dogs. Just because they are smart, though, does not mean they cannot make some dumb decisions – like my shepherd lab mix. Super smart dog, but somehow still gets stuck in the same place – under the table. Every. Time.  

How Can I Test My Dogs Intelligence

You can do a series of at-home tests to get a generalized IQ score for your dog. The easiest test is to test your dog’s memory. You can use a treat – preferably one that does not have a strong smell and a cup. You show your dog the treat and then place it under the cup.

Then take your dog to another room and let him go back to the room where you hid the treat. Do not show him where the treat is and see how long it takes him to find it.

There are so many at-home tests you can do. These tests will not give you a perfect score, but they will help you understand a general area where your dog’s IQ may be.

Another easy one is to take a blanket and toss it on your dog’s head and see how long it takes for the dog to remove the towel or blanket. You would be surprised how long it can take them at times! For a more comprehensive list of tests you can do, you can find some here.

How Do You Mentally Stimulate A Dog 

There are so many ways to stimulate your dog! 

Here are a few ways that are easy and can be fun for you too:

  • Get a puzzle toy for your dog 
  • Do an obstacle course with your dog
  • Let them explore and sniff things on your walks
  • Play a shell game with your dog using cups and treats

There are so many different and new toys and inventions out there that you can use to help stimulate your dog. Even just spending time with them and talking to them – just naming their toys – you can stimulate their mind!

Final Thoughts 

Dogs, although they usually are relatively intelligent creatures, can be dumb. As awkward as it can be to say, they really can be. Just like humans, they can have mental disabilities and mental health problems. 

We must identify the difference to get our furry friends some help if they need it. 

Sometimes they are just a little bit slow, and that is ok, we are going to love them anyway!