How To Make Your Dog More Intelligent
Making My Dog More Intelligent
All dogs have a basic intelligence based on their nature. They are easy to house train because it is natural not to mess up their home, they are easy to bite-inhibit because it is natural to respect the leader, they are easy to obedience train when we ask them to perform natural movements like sit and lie down.
But is it natural to learn new words and odd behaviors?
A dog can be more attuned to his owner and easier to train if he is socialized more. The more you talk or give hand signals to your dog, and work on giving commands, the more likely your dog is going to learn new commands. A lot of people consider assistance dogs intelligent, but anyone who prepares them will tell you that they have to be very well socialized. If they are not, they are never going to be considered as assistance dogs, and thus they will not be considered intelligent.
To improve my dogs intelligence, I made sure she had:
- Early manipulation
- Socialization, especially during the sensitive period before 16 weeks
- Early training
- Continued exposure to tests and problems
- Introduction to new tricks and other commands during training
- Lots of praise when she displays intelligent behavior
Helping A Puppy Become More Intelligent
Almost everyone of us want a dog that is considered smart. The path to intelligence should start early.
Puppies can be touched and manipulated even before they are able to hear or see. As soon as a puppy is about 5 weeks old, he will be able to learn basic obedience commands if taught in very short sessions.
If your puppy is already 8 weeks old when you bring him home, training should begin from the first day. The more you teach your dog, and the more you ask of her, the more intelligent she can become. Are there genetic limits to the intelligence that can be gained through training? Probably. No matter how much we teach, however, we are not even getting close to reaching those limits.
- 4 Basics You Must Teach to Train a Puppy Early
If your puppy can walk and knows what is going on in her world, it is time to start training. There are some things to take into consideration when training a small puppy--start now!
If you have a very young dog, follow the superdog training schedule outlined in this book to make your dog even smarter. There are also tests you can give your dog to determine his level and type of intelligence.
One reason my dog is so smart is that I have been giving her intelligence tests since she was young. Dogs are amazing animals and will learn what we want and how to respond.
But Is My Dog Really More Intelligent?
Recently I discussed this subject with a misguided young man who wanted to select his dog based on the breed´s intelligence score. Intelligence scores, of course, are determined by humans and are a human method of deciding which breed is the most intelligent. Most intelligent means most trainable, in some eyes. Most trainable does not mean most intelligent.
Intelligence is the ability to learn and think, not just do what I command.
Some breeds are considered more intelligent because they are easier to train than others. Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherds are easy to train and rank high on many intelligence lists. When I was young the German Shepherd Dog was considered the most intelligent breed since they had won most of the obedience awards at dog shows. Later a Border Collie was made famous since he could remember over 200 words and knew how to string some of the words together. Labrador Retrievers are popular in this area because they have made the list of “The 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds”.
But what happens when you take an “intelligent” dog breed and ask it to do something contrary to its breed intelligence? Can you teach a Border Collie to kill chickens like a Siberian Husky? (Okay, maybe that’s not the best example but anyone who has owned a Siberian will realize why that is one of the first things I thought of.) Can you teach a French Bulldog to point out birds in the field and retrieve them without damaging the flesh? Can you teach your German Shepherd to run rabbits like a Beagle?
My dog, a Pitbull cross, is intelligent enough to shepherd the rabbits, collect coconuts on the beach, and act as my therapist when out collecting seaweed for my garden. Her main job is to guard my house.
- Top Ten Most Intelligent Dog Breeds, Really?
The idiocy and predjudices behind the ranking of the ten most intelligent and ten least intelligent breeds of dogs. Really!
- My Dog and My Eyes :Why the Dog Makes Eye Contact
Why do dogs look into our eyes? Why do dogs make eye contact when so many other species of animals do not?
Who is the ultimate judge of intelligence? The list spread out over the internet may say that my Siberian Husky was stupid compared to a Border Collie, but he would work all day to solve the puzzle on how to open the door of the rabbit hutches so he could enjoy a snack. (We had built the rabbit hutches in a dog-proof style. For a dog of normal intelligence I am sure they were. They were not Husky proof.)
Is my Pit Bull cross stupid because she practices kinhin (walking meditation) instead of doing my neighbor´s algebra homework? I guess I could be accused of the same level of stupidity.
I am not saying that my dog is more intelligent than your dog…yes, I guess I am!