Most of us love animals and today there is a great deal of awareness and an increase in adoption of various domestic animals such as cats and especially dogs. As for the latter, it is often said that they are man’s best friends, and the communication between us attests to how right this beautiful sentiment is. Our dogs reciprocate our love, warmth, and express different feelings. However, there are a few more signs that your dog is indeed a very smart creature, one with highly developed intelligence, and for that, we invite you to learn 12 signs that’ll help you check whether your dog is smarter than others.
Puppies can be taught various commands early on that will be remembered for a long time. What makes your dog smart is if he or she remembers your commands, even if you haven’t used them in a while. Robert Cabral, a professional dog trainer says, “if I taught a dog to walk backward on command and haven’t done it with him in a year, if he’s smart, he will still remember how to do it when asked.”
A situation in which your dogs will refuse to eat is very rare, and you can use this fact to check just how smart they really are. There are a wide variety of dog treat puzzles where a treat is hidden in it and they need to figure out how to get the treat out. Cabral claims that smart dogs tend to solve such puzzles quicker than other dogs.
Some dogs are great escape artists, and although this can frustrate their owners, it is a sign of high intelligence. Cabral explains that one of the ways to test this skill is to let your dogs out of one door, close it and then open another door. The smartest dogs can find their way back in or out, even if their original exit and entry points are closed.
Many dogs will enjoy a game of tug-of-war or fetch, but smart dogs will initiate these games of their own volition. Cabral explains that if your dog "talks" to you, strokes you, brings you toys or does things that you taught him or her of their own free will, their intelligence level is particularly high. And no, wild barking and jumping from place to place are not behaviors you’ve taught them.
Everyone has experienced sadness or anger during their life, whether it was after a bad day at work or a fight with your partner, and dogs who can sense your feelings are the ones with highly developed intelligence. Katie Nitti, a dog behavior expert, explains that smart dogs tend to understand their owner’s feelings correctly and take different steps to comfort them. For example, if your dog comes to cuddle with you or they refuse to leave you until your mood changes, they are particularly smart, just make sure to show them love back!
From time to time, most of us enjoy taking trips, but have you ever noticed your dog’s behavior while you’re packing your bags? Nitti explains that intelligent dogs tend to observe and pay attention to your steps, which directly affect them. For example, they are able to understand the meaning of a suitcase and in turn will demonstrate strange behavior when they see it, such as entering the suitcase, trying to hide it, and even clinging to you in an unusual way.
All the dogs love attention that’s expressed in petting, games, and belly scratches, but those with advanced intelligence also know to demand it. Nitti believes that smarter dogs will approach you and lay their heads under your hands and move them to guide you to pet them, or they will even put their feet on you as a guide and example of how they want to be petted. Note, if your dog does this and after a while he stops, you probably aren’t giving him enough attention and you should spend more time doing so.
When we take our dogs out for walks, it is very important to teach them to stop before crossing the street. Veterinarian Yvonne Brandenburg says that if your dog stops before crossing a street when you didn’t teach him or her to, it is a sign they are more intelligent than other dogs. Brandenburg explains that dogs that tend to be cautious in certain situations such as street crossings, new places, when meeting strangers etc., are much smarter.
Most dogs, if not all, can be taught a number of commands and tricks, some of which will just take a little longer than others. Brandenburg explains that dogs who learn new commands, tricks, and habits faster, show clear signs of developed intelligence. For example, if you have to tell your dog "no" when jumping on strangers only a few times, he is quite smart. But if you only have to say no once, your dog might be Einstein…
If your dog gets excited on the way to the park and starts getting nervous on the way to the vet, this is a sign that they're especially smart. This not only means that they are able to recognize their environment but also can remember the way there. Brandenburg explains that their familiarity with the different locations and directions are clear signs of a more developed intelligence than other dogs.
As noted above, your dogs' ability to learn new tricks very quickly indicates a high level of intelligence. One of the ways you can assess this is by checking whether your dogs can do anything else simply by watching you or another dog doing it. Jeff Franklin, a professional dog trainer for the US Army, says dogs that can learn to do different things by observing humans or other dogs are much more trainable and smarter.
Most dogs need their attention caught before being commanded something. However, Franklin explains that dogs who naturally look to their owners for instruction, show signs of great intelligence. He goes on to argue that smart dogs will not only follow you and your orders but will also look for cues of what to do by looking to you.