Dogs are some of the most clever creatures on the planet. They are highly trainable, can do important jobs and can even save human lives. Scientists at the University of Helsinki in Finland conducted a study to find out which dogs are the smartest and which are not so smart (but cute).
Scientists have carried out various studies on 13 breeds of dogs. In particular, experts have studied the ability of dogs to read people’s gestures, solve problems and remember information. A thousand dogs took part in the experiment.
The breeds studied included Border Collie, Belgian Shepherd, English Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labador Retriever and others.
Belgian shepherd dog (Malinois)
The most intelligent dog was a Belgian shepherd dog. It scored 35 out of 39 points. It did almost perfectly in all the tasks. Not surprisingly, as dogs of this breed are often used in the police and border guard services.
The Border Collie
In second place are Border Collie herding dogs. These clever dogs are easy to train and are the quickest to learn tricks and commands. The only thing this breed is bad at is getting food. But maybe they just weren’t hungry.
The third place went to the Hovawart breed of dog. This is a breed of service dog bred in Germany. These dogs are not as popular, but they are very clever. They failed at the training task and that’s all!
The researchers noted that all breeds had their pros and cons. For example, spaniels were best at catching food, Labradors were best at remembering gestures, and German shepherds were found to be the first to guard.
Labrador Retrievers were the ‘silliest’ of the breeds studied. They scored the lowest in problem solving and inhibitions tests. Although they scored the lowest, they came first in reading human gestures.
«All the dog breeds selected for the study are very intelligent. It’s about like taking a sample of Nobel laureates and comparing their intelligence,» said Professor Stanley Coren.
The aim of the study, he said, was to provide a better understanding of what traits dogs have as a result of their breed, not to identify the silliest dog.