Have you ever wondered how smart your dog is? You feel like your pup can tell a lot of cues and learn really fast? Maybe he is a little doggie genius! Let’s put it to a test. There are several tests that you can conduct to gauge your dog’s intelligence. You may want to try them all or just a few. Using a variety of tests is helpful as your pup’s problem solving skills might be better than his memory for example.
What can a dog IQ test tell me?
It can help you understand his ability to learn new commands or tricks. A very intelligent dog might learn new things easier and faster. Dogs that are not as smart might need a lot more time and practice.
It can also help you understand your dog’s behavior. If your dog is highly intelligent it can also lead to boredom, which in turn can lead to your dog to act more destructive.
Are these tests accurate?
Conducting a dog IQ test can give you a general idea of his intelligence but is by no means set in stone. There are different areas of dog intelligence in dogs similar to humans’ intelligence. Just because one fails one area doesn’t make you stupid.
Puppies that are not even one year old might have more problems with these tests. You can still try it and ty to test your dog again later to see if there was an improvement.
Do the test with the dog’s owner. The owner is the most familiar person and won’t distract the dog from the task. Dogs also simply behave different around other people and might just get excited or nervous.
Use desired treats. While some dogs might do just fine with some kibble as a reward, a lot of dogs might need a better incentive. Try using some of their favorite treats or even a piece of human food like cheese.
Towel over the head
Place a towel over their head and see if your dog will remove the towel. Depending on how long it takes him give him points.
Takes it off within 30 seconds: 3 points
Takes it off within 30-60seconds: 2 points
Takes it off after 60 seconds: 1 point
Doesn’t try: 0 points
Treat under a towel
Place a treat under a towel while your dog is watching. See how long it takes for your dog to get it from under the towel.
Gets treat within 30 seconds: 3 points
Gets treat within 30-60 seconds: 2 points
Doesn’t get treat within 60 seconds: 1 point
Doesn’t try: 0 points
Treat under a cup
Place a treat under one of 3 buckets or cups while he watches. Distract him for a few seconds by taking him out of the room, then let your dog back in and have him try to find the treat under the cups.
Checks under right cup right away: 2 points
Checks under right cup on second try: 1 point
Doesn’t find it on second try: 0 points
Treat under furniture
Place a treat on the floor, underneath a piece of furniture like a sofa, where there is enough space for your dog’s paw to go under but not enough for him to reach the treat with his snout. See if he uses his paws to try to get the treat and how long it takes him.
Gets treat within 2 minutes: 3 points
Gets treat within 3 minutes: 2 points
Doesn’t get treat within 3 minutes, using paws: 1 point
Doesn’t get treat, uses snout only: 0 points
Treat behind a barrier
Create a barrier using furniture or boxes, keeping a small space in between so that your dog can look through but not get through. Throw a treat to the other side and see if your dog goes around the barrier to get to it.
Goes around barrier within 30 seconds: 3 points
Goes around barrier within 60 seconds: 2 points
Doesn’t go around barrier, only tries to squeeze through the little space: 1 point
Doesn’t try: 0 points
Now to the part we’re all waiting for: How smart is your dog?
12-14 points: Little genius
9-11 points: Smart
6-8 points: Average
3-5 points: Below average
0-2 points: Little on the slow side
How to improve IQ test results
Give your dog puzzle toys. They are great to get your dog thinking and try to problem solve. They might spend a long time on it but should get better once they understand how it works. It is also great for very smart dogs to keep them occupied and not bored.
Practice the tasks of the tests. You can switch it up and use other things to hide the treats, for example use a box or a bowl instead of a cup. Place the treat under the bed instead of the sofa.
Demonstrate. If your dog didn’t even try to take off the towel or to use his paws under the furniture, show him by doing it yourself. You can use your hands to show he can use his paws, too.