How Old Are Dogs Mentally

The smartest dogs are border collies.



Dogs can count, even though you wouldn’t want one to balance your checkbook.

According to psychologist and top canine researcher Stanley Coren, PhD, of the University of British Columbia, these animals are also capable of comprehending more than 150 phrases and deceiving both humans and other dogs on purpose in order to obtain treats. On Saturday, he discussed about “How Dogs Think at the 117th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Coren, the author of more than a dozen widely read books on dogs and canine behavior, has analyzed a number of research and come to the conclusion that dogs are more intelligent than previously believed and are more closely related to humans and other higher primates than previously believed.

“According to Coren, in an interview, “we all want insight into how our furry friends think, and we want to comprehend the goofy, quirky, and sometimes nonsensical actions [that] Lassie or Rover display.” ” They may not be Einsteins, but their astounding bursts of creativity and intelligence serve as a constant reminder that they are more like us than we realized.

According to various behavioral tests, Coren claims that a human toddler between the ages of 2 and 2.5 and a canine have similar mental capacities.

According to Coren, there are variances in the intellect of different breeds of dogs, some of which are influenced by the breed. “Dog intelligence can be categorized into three categories: working and obedience (the canine version of “school learning”), adaptable (how well the dog learns from its surroundings to solve issues), and instinctive (what the dog is bred to accomplish).

According to Coren, data from 208 dog obedience judges from the United States and Canada revealed the variations in the working and obedience intelligence of canine breeds. “The top three dogs are border collies, poodles, and German shepherds. Golden retrievers are fourth on the list, followed by dobermans in fifth, Shetland sheepdogs in sixth, and Labrador retrievers in seventh, according to Coren.

The typical dog can acquire 165 words, including signs, in terms of language “According to Coren, super dogs (those in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence) are capable of learning 250 words. “The research of a border collie named Rico, who demonstrated ‘fast-track learning’ and knew 200 spoken phrases, helped determine the upper limit of dogs’ ability to learn language, according to Coren. Until then, scientists had thought that only humans and language-learning apes possessed this ability.

According to Coren, dogs can count up to four or five. Additionally, they have a fundamental comprehension of mathematics and can spot mistakes in straightforward calculations like 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.

He looked at four research that used a barrier-type challenge to simulate human or other dog behavior to evaluate how dogs handle spatial problems. According to Coren, dogs can learn through observation where to find valuable objects (treats), the quickest way to a favorite chair, how to use latches and other rudimentary devices, and the meaning of words and symbolic concepts (sometimes by simply listening to people speak and watching their actions).

Dogs are capable of purposefully attempting to fool humans and other dogs during play in order to obtain rewards, according to Coren. “And they are almost as successful at tricking people as people are at tricking dogs.

What mental age is my puppy?

Your dog will mature emotionally at some point between one and one and a half years of age. Larger dogs may take a little longer to get there than smaller canines. Your dog has the emotional maturity of a two- to three-year-old human child at this point. They are thus capable of experiencing happiness, fear, wrath, and love.

Naturally, just because your dog’s emotional growth is complete doesn’t imply you should stop fostering their emotions! We humans are quite excellent at meeting the physical requirements of our canines. However, their emotional requirements are as crucial. Your dog can maintain emotional health for many years by receiving regular care, socializing, and good associations.

Afghan Hound

According to The Intelligence of Dogs, the Afghan Hound is the dumbest dog breed, but Afghan enthusiasts undoubtedly disagree. Afghans were developed to hunt utilizing their exceptional speed and vision since they are sighthounds. Afghans, like many sighthounds, can be aloof, even a touch reserved and standoffish, especially around strangers. They may also be independent and stubborn. Afghans are difficult to train because of these characteristics, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid. Simply said, they favor independent thought and doing things their way. When training an Afghan, you might need to get a little more creative, but they make for unique companions thanks to their elegance, regal demeanor, and dedication to their owners.


Due to their independence and aloofness, sighthounds like the Basenji are among the stupidest canine breeds. This breed has been compared to cats, and many Basenjis will groom themselves in the manner of cats. Despite the fact that ease of training is not usually a reliable predictor of intelligence, the breed has developed a reputation for being “untrainable.” Contrarily, Basenjis are witty, inquisitive, and lively. They are intelligent enough to cause trouble if you don’t watch them attentively, just like curious babies. A Basenji’s upbringing might occasionally resemble taming a wild animal. They are cautious and watchful, and while they bond with their owners in most cases, they might or might not like your companions. Conclusion: Basenjis can be trained, but they are headstrong and not always obedient. Positive approaches work best.


The Bulldog is another type on the list of stupidest dog breeds that is renowned for its stubbornness. The phrase “bullheaded” perfectly describes the Bulldog. Because of this, bulldogs can be challenging to teach, but dumb? It only takes one of the well-known Bulldogs who excels at skateboarding or surfing to understand that they can learn. Bulldogs are sometimes associated with laziness, however some of them like more active pursuits than simply lounging around.

Chow Chow

Although they may have a cute teddy bear appearance, chow chows are not typically the most cuddly of dogs. Chows are somber, independent, and distant because they were originally intended to be guard dogs. They are among the stupidest dog breeds because they are strong-willed and headstrong, making them more challenging to train. Chows are bright; they merely have independent brains. Chows may challenge their humans for authority if they are improperly trained, which can be problematic. Because of these factors, Chows need intensive socializing beginning at a young age as well as tough but fair training. Chows are noble, obedient, and faithful friends when reared properly.


The Borzoi is an independent freethinker and another sighthound. Since this breed can also be stubborn, it makes the list of the dumbest dog breeds. Training a Borzoi requires patience. Instead of classes lasting an hour, frequent, brief training sessions tend to work best for borzois. They are typically quite well-behaved, serene, clean, and affectionate inside the home, especially with their special people.


You may be able to comprehend how a scenthound like the Bloodhound “sees the world with his sensitive nose” if you have ever seen the aurora borealis, the vibrant northern lights display that turns the night sky into a breathtaking sight to see. Because they are so distracted by the many wonderful scents that are just waiting to be discovered, bloodhounds rank among the dumbest canine breeds and are challenging to train. Additionally, they are extremely energetic, independent, and stubborn, and they pursue scent trails with unrelenting tenacity. When combined, the Bloodhound’s distinctive abilities can make these dogs difficult to live with, but put a Bloodhound in a tracking competition and see his unique qualities show.


Because they resemble sloths in several ways, Pekingese may be perceived as being fairly slow by some people. They like to lounge around the house and look over their territory. This may be a result of their physical makeup or be at least in part a legacy of their past as revered Tang Dynasty pets in eighth-century China. Because members of the Imperial household carried their beloved pets around snuggly curled in their voluminous sleeves, Pekingese were indeed known as “sleeve dogs.” Can you really blame the Peke for taking it easy? Additionally, Pekingese are resistant and challenging to housebreak. They are not stupid because of this, but it does present some training issues. Begin your workouts early and consistently.


Beagles enjoy following their noses, much like Bloodhounds, which can occasionally put them in trouble and place them on the list of dumbest dog breeds. The Beagle may give the impression that he is unintelligent due to his lovely, friendly attitude and upbeat perspective, yet this breed is everything but. Beagles should ideally be led at all times. They are driven by an insatiable want to discover, smell, and hunt for little animals.


The big, mellow Mastiff is a very relaxed dog. He’s actually so laid-back that you could think he’s a little dim. Additionally, they might be a little headstrong and harder to teach than some breeds. Once more, level of activity and ease of training are not always reliable measures of intellect. Mastiffs are intelligent animals. In order for Mastiffs to grow up to be well-behaved and discerning companions, owners must begin training and socializing early in the puppy stage due to their size and innate wariness of strangers.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds, like Pekingese, can be a little lethargic. They may have long, low bodies or laid-back personalities, which contribute to this. Like their scenthound cousins the Bloodhounds and the Beagles, Bassets can be a little stubborn and may find it difficult to focus on learning for lengthy periods of time if there are great odors all around them. Bassets do, however, react well to training since they have a strong desire to please their owners and are highly motivated by food. However, don’t mistake the Basset’s laid-back demeanor for a lack of intelligence. They are intelligent and devoted dogs.

The bottom line on the dumbest dog breeds

It’s unfair to categorize any breed or specific dog as being stupid. Yes, some dogs are smarter than others, but you just have to figure out what because most dogs are brilliant at something.

According to Dr. Dodman, some dogs are better at doing some things than others and exhibit distinct habits.

Because they are simple to train, German Shepherd Dog and Malinois breeds are frequently used as police and army dogs. Does that imply they’re intelligent? Or does the fact that they always go along with what others say and don’t think for themselves imply that they aren’t very smart? It is subject to both arguments.

What is the typical dog IQ?

The IQ of a dog is often around 100. According to the results of the IQ tests conducted on dogs, even average dogs have the same IQ as a two-year-old person. A language development test was also conducted, and the results revealed that an average dog can learn up to 165 words with the use of gestures and signals, just like a 2-year-old. Dogs at the highest levels can, however, learn up to 250 words. A dog may have an IQ that is on par with a 3- or 4-year-old in math.

As I said at the outset, the results of these tests and the intelligence of dogs vary depending on the breed of your dog. There are various ways to stimulate your dog’s brains and raise their IQ, which is fantastic news!

What is a puppy’s most challenging age?

At Jenna Lee Designer Doodles, we grow doodle litters from birth to 8 weeks of age. But we also routinely teach particular puppies for varying amounts of time, so we are well versed in the different phases of a puppy’s development! We invited our trainers to weigh in based on their professional experience so that we could publish this post.

We polled several of our previous puppy parents as well to get a sense of what the typical owner considers to be the most challenging time. And this is what we discovered:

Although there is some variation in the responses, we generally discovered that the majority of them fell into one of two categories:

About 50% of owners and trainers picked 3 to 4 months as the most challenging age, citing nipping as the greatest challenge at this stage.

The roughest age was chosen by 35% of owners and trainers, who cited new challenging behaviors brought on by their puppy’s now-larger size, like pulling on the leash or counter-surfing.

The Effects of Aging

Our pets frequently experience a reduction in functioning as they get older. Their consciousness, memory, learning capacity, sense of hearing and sight, and awareness itself might all decline. Their social interactions with you and other pets in your home may also vary as they age. Understanding the changes your dog is going through will help you humanely and successfully handle any behavior issues that could develop as your dog ages.

Make sure to let your dog’s veterinarian know about any changes you notice. Don’t think that your dog is simply getting older and that there is nothing you can do to help. A range of therapies are available to help your dog feel better and manage his symptoms, including any pain he may be feeling (see see Ruling Out Specific Medical Problems, below), as many behavioral changes can be indicators of treatable medical diseases.

The key to keeping your older dog healthy is to continue to play with him, exercise him, and train him throughout his life, in addition to seeking professional assistance from your veterinarian and an animal behavior expert (such as a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, CAAB, or ACAAB) for the age-related behavior issues covered in this article. You’ll probably need to modify play and exercise to account for his slower movements, decreased energy, deteriorating eyesight and hearing, and any potential medical concerns. Consult a local Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) for some entertaining methods of teaching your dog new tricks. You can have fun polishing up rusty behaviors he once mastered and teaching him some new actions and tricks while patiently keeping in mind his slower learning curve. If your dog has lost his hearing, a CPDT can also assist you in converting your vocal cues to hand signals and modifying your training to account for any physical limitations your dog may have acquired. There are many activities that may be done that don’t involve a lot of physical work to make your older dog’s life interesting and entertaining. Dogs need to use their bodies and minds to stay mentally and physically active, just like humans do. Use it or lose it, as they say.

Checklist for Cognitive Dysfunction

The list of potential alterations and signs that your elderly dog may exhibit cognitive impairment is provided below.

  • Gets lost in places they know well.
  • reaches the incorrect side of the door (where the hinge is)
  • gets trapped and is unable to pass over or around obstructions.
  • Less eager to engage, be petted, or greet humans or other dogs, etc.
  • Has an excessive need for contact and becomes clinging and reliant.
  • fixates, focuses, or yells at items
  • pacing or aimlessly pacing
  • Frequently licks you, your family, or items
  • more vocalization
  • consumes more food or eats faster
  • lessens his exploration and his reactivity to what is happening on around him
  • Self-grooming is less.
  • less food
  • seems disturbed or restless
  • is concerned about being away from relatives.
  • generally acts in a more irritable manner
  • snores noisily and wakes up at night
  • daytime naps more frequently
  • Eliminates inside in unexpected places or in your or your family members’ line of sight
  • Eliminates within after coming inside from the outside.
  • removes from sleeping areas (for example, in his crate or on the couch or floor)
  • less use of bodily language (body postures and signals associated with feelings)
  • becomes incontinent (accidental release of bladder)
  • shows a reduced capacity to work or complete tasks
  • Occasionally looks unable to distinguish between familiar persons and pets.
  • shows a lower receptivity to commands for pranks, sports, and games.
  • appears slower or unable to pick up on new activities or cues

Ruling Out Other Causes for Your Dog’s Behavior

If your dog exhibits any of the above-mentioned signs or modifications, your first course of action should be to take him to the vet to ascertain whether there is a particular medical reason for his behavior. Any medical condition or degenerative disease that causes pain, discomfort, or decreased mobility, like arthritis, dental disease, hypothyroidism, cancer, poor sight or hearing, urinary tract disease, or Cushing’s disease, can cause an increase in sensitivity and irritability, anxiety when touched or approached, aggression (since your dog may decide to threaten and bite rather than run away), decreased responsiveness to your voice, and decreased ability to adapt.

It is assumed that these behavioral signs are caused by the effects of aging on the brain and is diagnosed as “cognitive dysfunction syndrome” if medical issues are ruled out and if primary behavior problems unrelated to aging are ruled out (for example, problems that started years before your dog began aging or those that started in response to recent changes in his environment or family).

Treatment of Cognitive Dysfunction

The abbreviation CRASH, which stands for: can be used to briefly describe the main symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Response time and recognition drop
  • Activity variations
  • disruptions of the sleep-wake cycle
  • Gaps in household training

The medication selegiline hydrochloride can be administered by your dog’s veterinarian to treat cognitive dysfunction syndrome (brand name Anipryl). You and your veterinarian could also take into account a range of additional drugs and dietary supplements. The best results come from combining medication therapy with behavioral counseling tailored to the particular issues your dog is facing.