When your dog gazes at you with those sparkling eyes, do you ever wonder how clever he really is? The following questions can help you determine how smart your dog is. Keep track of your answers, and use the key to determine your score. Remember, different dogs have different types of intelligence, depending in part on the breed’s original purpose.
1. Your dog goes to his water dish for a drink and discovers it’s empty. He then:
a. Lies down by the empty dish.
b. Checks to see if the toilet lid is up.
c. Stares at you and barks, or whines.
d. Takes his empty dish to you.
2. How many of his toys does your dog know by name?
a. All of them.
b. One or two.
c. None, but he likes to play with them anyway.
d. He has no toys.
3. The last time a friend visited you, she played with your dog for a while, throwing a toy for him to chase. Your dog had fun with her. When that friend visited again, your dog:
a. Greeted her when she arrived, then pretty much ignored her.
b. Acted as if he’d never met her before.
c. Ran and found the same toy they’d played with before and dropped it at your friend’s feet.
d. Picked up the nearest toy and tried to get your friend to play.
4. How long did it take for your dog to learn to lie down on command?
a. He figured it out in one or two training sessions.
b. It took about a week before he got it.
c. It seemed to take forever for him to learn this.
d. I’ve never taught him to lie down.
5. When you arrive home after being gone for several hours, your dog:
a. Meets you at the door with a toy in his mouth as a welcome-home gift.
b. Meets you at the door and jumps on you (for about the millionth time).
c. Waits until you’ve taken off your coat and set down your keys, then greets you.
d. He lives outside and doesn’t greet you until later.
1. a=1, b=3, c=2, d=4.
2. a=4, b=3, c=2, d=1.
3. a=2, b=1, c=4, d=3.
4. a=4, b=3, c=2, d=1.
5. a=4, b=2, c=3, d=1.
18 to 20: Your dog is brilliant, but you probably knew that. You’ve probably nurtured his intelligence, which is good, because if you ignore him too long he may make you wish you hadn’t.
13 to 17: Your dog is very bright. You may be able to help him grow even smarter by spending a bit more time teaching new tricks and games.
8 to 12: Your dog is about average in intelligence, but he has good potential for learning and he’s probably a great companion who seldom causes trouble.
7 or less: This score may not actually reflect your dog’s true intelligence, but it may be the result of too much time spent alone. You can help build up his mental powers by getting more involved in training and playing games that exercise his mind.