Dog Intelligence:
How Smart is your dog?

When it comes to dog intelligence, the Coton de Tulear doesn’t rank on any of the smartest dog breeds top 10 or even top 50 lists. However, in my opinion, that is just an oversight due to the rareness of the breed.

Luc may not be on the list, but he’s pretty damn smart. He can’t build a rocket engine or do calculus, but I swear he understands everything I say and he sure can figure out how to get into the trash as soon as I leave the room.

smart do

How smart is your dog?

I’ve seen variations of these tests for years on TV, the internet and even my local newspaper, and I think these games are a fun way of indicating how smart your dog is. Have fun and try them. Don’t forget to reward your dog with a treat or extra play for participating.

Try one of these fun and easy dog intelligence tests:

Test #1

While your dog is sitting, throw a towel over his head, covering his eyes. Time how long it takes for him to free himself from the towel.


  • Free in less than 15 seconds = 3 points
  • Free in 15 to 30 seconds = 2 points
  • Free in longer than 30 seconds = 1 point

Test #2

Tell your dog to sit and then place a treat on the floor about three feet away from him. Place a bowl or cup over the treat and turn your dog around. Then tell your dog to get the treat.


  • Finds treat immediately = 3 points
  • If it takes 2 tries = 2 points
  • If it’s in the 3rd bowl your dog looks in = 1 point

Test #3

Pick a time when you wouldn’t usually take your dog for a walk and then casually pick up his leash while he’s watching you.


  • He knows immediately that he’s going for a walk = 3 points
  • If you have to go to the door before he understands = 2 points
  • He doesn’t have a clue = 1 point

Test #4

Monitor how long it takes your dog to benefit from one of your mistakes. This is where my dog Luc is brilliant. He seems to have instant radar that let's him know when food is dropped on the floor, the trash can is left unguarded, or a gate if left open.


  • He knows immediately and instinctively that he has an opportunity to gain from your mistake = 3 points
  • He only realizes your mistake if he's in the vicinity of the trash can, gate, or food = 2 points
  • He rarely notices these opportunities = 1 point

Dog Intelligence: Scoring and results
12 points – Smarter than you
9 to 11 points – Above average intelligence
5 to 8 points – Average intelligence
1 to 4 points – Thank goodness he’s cute

So, you’re probably wondering which dogs did make the Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds List. These may change in order from time to time, but these are the breeds that make the top ten year after year.

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

Need a name for your smart dog? Try these smart dog name suggestions

Return to Choosing a Small Breed Dog

Home | About Me | Contact Me | Privacy Policy |Disclosure

Copyright© 2008- All Rights Reserved