Dogs who are highly intelligent are dogs who need “jobs” and if you do not provide the dog with a job, it will find one. The most usual job a dog will find for itself is digging, followed by chewing, or other destructive behavior. Typically these dogs are active, to the point of being considered as being “hyper”. Some people find these dogs very demanding. If they want to play ball, you will not be able to stop a game easily.
Many times they are observant of human actions, watching you constantly, looking for clues as to what you want them to do next. As such they can be a problem for a first time owner who isn’t sure how to read a dogs signals or how to respond correctly. Intelligent dogs are often surrendered to shelters by people who got them as a cute puppies and were unable to cope with their mental needs.
Intelligent dogs need mental stimulation. This means more than just a “walk in the park” it means more than a 3 mile run every day. It means you have to interact with your dog in a way that stimulates his, or her, mind. A basic requirement is obedience lessons and regular practice of such. Smart dogs are keen to learn, but must be trained consistently.
Smart dogs often excel in agility classes or obedience trials. They are not a “stay at home-sleep on the couch” dog.
Who is the smartest dog of all?
Within every breed there are smarter dogs than others, on the whole though I would have to say that the Border Collie is the smartest dog breed of them all. They are bred and used to herd sheep, but they will herd other things too, including birds, and other pets, including your cat. They are my favorite breed to watch, but I would never own one. They are super intelligent. They are always looking for clues from their owner, in a true effort of wanting to please. A border collie is keen and always focused.
Aside from the Border Collie, other dogs who were bred as working dogs are fairly intelligent, Terriers were bred for hunting, so they are particularly smart, as are other herding breed dogs, scent and sight hounds, and retrievers.
Why would you want a “dumb” dog?
No dog is truly dumb, so just think of it as being “less intelligent”. Have you heard the saying “Ignorance is Bliss”? Try to apply that to the dog world, a dog who does not need a lot of mental stimulation is typically a happier dog. This dog isn’t worried about world affairs or who is coming to visit. These dogs can play ball, but are not going to follow you around the house with a ball in their mouth every time you are ready to call it quits. These dogs are usually okay home alone (assuming they are house trained of course) and will not destroy your belongings while you are out.
If you are considering getting a dog and are not sure what breed is right for you, remember that intelligence is a factor. You have to decide how much time you can devote to occupying your dogs mind, playing with it and stimulating it. You must also ask yourself how much this dog will be home alone. Do not fall in love with a puppy because it is cute, plan for your future, make sure the dog you get meets your needs, and that you can meet its’ needs.