The human being is considered the most intelligent animal. However, we must find what the properties that explain this difference with the rest of the animal world are. Because certain qualities, such as the theory of animal mind or thought, imitation, or syntactic language, considered unique in humans, have ceased to be treated as such.
Today, science has shown that animals with relatively small brains possess high intelligence, such as corvids or dogs.
In any case, to define an animal as more or less intelligent, it must be considered for the species. Therefore, we cannot compare the cognition of different animals since they will have a varying degree of evolutionary development. This is the case of dogs that, as the only species, their breeds can be compared to each other to discover if there are dogs smarter than others.
What is intelligence, and how is it measured?
Measuring intelligence is a complicated job since it is hardly measurable. In the first place, it can only be quantified from the human point of view, so it would not be objective.
To know the intelligence of an individual, the speed at which he solves problems to survive in his natural and social environment must be measured. This would be, for example, getting food, orienting in space, socially interacting, and communicating within their species.
To define intelligence, scientists such as ethnologists and comparative and evolutionary psychologists have determined that this is the mental or behavioral flexibility that appears before novel solutions that are not part of the individual’s usual repertoire. Also, the best scenario to measure it is the natural environment of the animal.
Are some dogs smarter than others?
According to recent studies from the University of Arizona, there are differences between the intelligence of some dog breeds and others. A group of scientists from that university surveyed with more than 7,000 dogs of 74 different kinds.
During the investigation, the dogs performed different tests to determine the communication capacity they have with their guardian, their short and long term memory, self-control, and the reasoning capacity in certain situations.
The results of the study showed that in all tests related to the ability to memorize, both long and short term, those massive and giant dogs were better. The same happened with those tasks related to self-control and obedience to the owner.
What are the most intelligent dog breeds?
Given the above, the most intelligent dog breeds are those that have a large size. This is related to the size of the brain and the number of neuronal connections it has.
Large-breed dogs have a brain with higher volume and more weight, and their neural connections are more numerous, although not linearly. For example, the cerebral cortex of a golden retriever, weighing 32 kilograms, contains about 627 million neurons, and yet a dog with an unknown breed of 7.45 kilograms has 429 million neurons.
Depending on the size of the breed and the data obtained from this study and other studies, it is concluded that the most intelligent dog breeds are:
- Border collie
- German shepherd
- Golden retriever
- Shetland Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Australian pastor
- Springer spaniel
- Belgian Shepherd Tervueren
- Belgian Shepherd
- German shorthair pointer
- Breton Spaniel
- Nova Scotia Retriever
- Weimar Braco
- Belgian shepherd malinois
- Irish Water Dog
- Hungarian Braco