Is Dog Training More Helpful for Some Breeds than Others?

We know that dog training benefits every animal, regardless of age, breed or temperament.

Because dog breeds can be so different from one another, our clients often ask whether our dog training, puppy school and boot camp programs are especially helpful for any particular breed.

Let’s start by taking a look at the role that intelligence plays in successful dog training.

Dog Intelligence Is Real

In the past few years, scientific research has proven what most canine lovers already knew: Dogs are smart. Really smart, in some cases.

A study conducted by the Duke University Canine Cognition Center demonstrated that, while all dogs are intelligent, different breeds have developed different skills sets. For example, some breeds are more adept at adopting the human visual perspective.

That’s why these breeds, including Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and golden retrievers, are most often used as assistive animals for visually challenged individuals.

What Are the Most Trainable Dog Breeds?

Any dog, given the proper handling and opportunity, can learn and grow into an amazing companion. We do know, however, that some tend to learn faster and more easily than others.

The border collie usually tops the list of most trainable dogs, and is known for being the most intelligent of dog breeds. The American Kennel Club includes the poodle, German shepherd, golden retriever and Doberman pinscher on its list of the smartest dog breeds.

Those all make sense, but you might be surprised to learn who’s on the least intelligent dog list. Beagles, bull terriers, Saint Bernards and Scottish terriers all made the “worst-of” list, according to the research.

Fortunately, intelligence has almost nothing to do with trainability. In fact, every breed is an equally strong candidate for puppy school and dog training.

How Smart Is Your Four-Legged Friend?

Canine intelligence is measured in terms of memory, problem-solving, language comprehension and gesture sensitivity to humans. Emotional sensitivity is another area of interest for dog psychologists, but the testing procedures are still a little challenging.

You can find some fun (albeit non-scientific) doggy intelligence tests online if you’re curious. The results won’t mean much, but it may be an entertaining way for you and your canine companion to spend an afternoon.

You can help your pet work on his cognitive skills by using problem-solving toys and treats (like Kongs). But researchers say that the best way to improve your dog’s intelligence is to keep his mind active and provide the richest possible life experiences.

This means taking him new places, exposing him to new experiences and ensuring that he is a life-long learner. Reward-based dog training is one of the most effective ways of expanding your pet’s cognitive abilities.

Innovative K9 Academy offers Utah’s most effective training programs for dogs of all ages and breeds. From puppy camps to group training programs, we use a unique program of motivation and positive reinforcement, designed to appeal to your pet’s innate intelligence.

Whatever breed your furry friend may be, let Innovative K9 Academy up his IQ with our exclusive dog training programs.