How Intelligent Is Your Dog?

By: Monica Lee

How Intelligent Is Your Dog?
Image: Olaser/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

If you're a dog person, the following is not news to you: dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have, which may indicate they could be about twice as intelligent. It makes sense since there are no service cats or drug-sniffing cats. So we know dogs are smart, but where does YOUR dog score on the intelligence test? Is your dog an obstacle course champion or does he run into a wall when you tell him to fetch? Let's just say both keep us entertained, but it's nice to know what you should expect out of your dog given his I.Q.

In this test, we'll use a scale of 100 to provide a comparison for intelligence, with 90-100 being Champion-Type Intelligence, 80-89 being above average, 70-79 being average, and below that, well, your dog is smarter than a cat. But let's not put down that score, as domestic cats have a similar intelligence quotient as bears. Now the real fun begins. Time to answer these personality questions about your dog and see where it sits on the intelligence scale. That being said, remember there's more to your best friend than just being top of the class. 

Does your dog change facial expression when you pay attention to him?
Absolutely
Most of the time
Some of the time
Not that I've noticed

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Will your dog do a trick even if no treat is involved?
Of course
I see some reluctance but he will do it.
He'll do them sometimes.
He keeps looking for the treat so I can't get him to do anything.

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You're walking your dog and another dog walks towards you. What happens?
Nothing. We continue walking.
Sometimes my dog strains to greet the other dog.
He strains and barks at every dog.
I have to pull him off the sidewalk until the other dog passes.

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A squirrel has crossed your path and you have a loose leash on your dog. What happens?
We continue walking.
He gets alert and pauses in his walking.
I shout "no" and tighten the leash.
He takes off after the squirrel.

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You throw a french fry in the air for your dog to catch. Where does the french fry land?
We don't give our dog french fries.
In his mouth
In his mouth, but now he's begging for more.
He missed catching it, so he's eating it off the floor.

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When your dog doesn't get something he wants, what does he do?
Puppy eyes
Whimper
Bark
Non-stop barking

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How has your dog adapted himself to make himself more loveable?
More body contact, more licks
Resting his head sideways on your lap (like a child sleeping)
He gets underfoot.
What are you talking about?

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How many times do you have to call your dog to come in from the outside?
Once
Twice
Several times
I have to wait until he barks to come in, he won't come at my call.

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Posing for pictures. How does that work with your dog?
I can get him to sit, but it takes a few calls to get him to look at the camera.
He just walks away.
He sits quietly until I'm ready and keeps his eyes on me.
By the time I take out the camera the cute pose is gone.

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It's holiday time, guests keep ringing the doorbell and coming in, how does your dog respond?
I have to put him in another room.
He's running around the house, and kind of scaring the guests.
He is greeting everyone whether they like it or not.
He sits quietly and only responds when people call his name.

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How is your dog around babies and toddlers?
Gentle
He lets them pull his hair and poke him in the eye with no repercussions.
He runs around and will knock them over, so I keep him away from them.
He barks or growls.

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How does your dog react if he knows he's going to the vet?
He jumps in the car, no problem.
Rapid breathing but will get into the car.
Actually, he has no clue where we are going.
He won't get in the car unless I physically put him in.

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Once at the vet, how does he react in the examination room?
He is well-behaved.
He's scared but behaves well.
He hides behind me and tries to leave the room.
He does not behave.

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You're playing tug of war and have to take a phone call. You step on the rope so your dog can continue to play. What happens when you're off the phone?
He starts playing by stepping on the rope and sees if I can take it away.
The dog starts playing the tug of war the regular way but uses his paws more.
The dog starts playing tug of war the regular way.
The dog barks until I start playing again and ruins my conversation.

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You're playing fetch. What happens next?
He runs into a bush or tree, trying to catch the ball.
He anticipates where I'm going to throw it and starts running in that direction.
He barks if I don't throw it quickly enough.
He is tireless.

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Your dog is done playing ball. How does he communicate that?
I tell him when we're done, not the other way around.
He lays down with the ball. Game over.
After I throw the ball he doesn't retrieve it.
He found a squirrel and is now chasing that.

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Does your dog eat food that drops from the table?
He knows enough not to.
He looks at me for permission to eat it.
Of course, he's my floor cleaner.
The food doesn't need to be on the floor, he'll take it right off the table.

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Does your dog destroy clothes or shoes?
No
He has learned that only his toys can be chewed.
If it's smelly we'll find him sleeping with it with some chew marks.
Yes

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Your dog is hiking with you in the woods and can't get through the bushes like you do. What happens?
He cries.
He barks.
He finds a different route around to me.
He has gone off the trail because he smelled something. Now I have to find him.

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What happens if you decide to walk your dog without a leash?
He heels.
He heels, but I need to watch for distractions (cats, squirrels, etc.)
He runs around but heads back to me eventually.
He is off like lightening.

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Which of these is your dog's favorite food?
His dog food
Peanut butter
Sweet potato treats
Food wrappers

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Halloween. How does that work at your house?
He tries to push himself outside to greet the trick or treaters.
He's too aggressive, I put him in another room.
He barks every time the doorbell rings.
I tell him to be quiet and he stays quiet.

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Staying overnight in a dog-friendly hotel. How does that go?
Fine, he's perfect.
He seems restless but then settles down.
He only barks when we leave.
He barks the entire time.

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How well does your dog know you?
He anticipates what I want. I don't need to give commands.
He seems to know when I'm sad and gives me extra licks.
He walks right by me and sometimes gives me a lick in passing.
I don't think my dog even looks at me.

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How would you rate your dog's ability to remember things once you taught him something new?
Excellent
Above average
Average
Poor

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Which of these tricks can your dog perform?
Sit, Stay, Heel, Rollover, Lie Down, Quiet, Gentle, Fetch, Stand, and more
Sit, Stay, Heel, Lie Down, Quiet, Gentle, Fetch
Sit, Stay, Heel, Lie Down
Sit, Stay, Lie Down

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How is your dog's sense of direction?
Excellent
Good
Okay
Non-existent

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How does your dog do with hide-the-treat games?
He likes to push and pull the levers to get the treat.
It took a lot of training, but he likes the game.
He'll push at my hand to get the treat before I can load it, then leave the game.
He has no interest in it at all.

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Could your dog be one of those surfing dogs or skateboarding dogs on YouTube?
Yes, I just haven't felt like training him.
I think it would take a lot of training.
I'd be surprised if he could do it.
Wait, let me stop laughing.

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The mail person just came. What happened?
He sees the mail as a threat and destroys it.
He barks like heck until the mail person leaves our porch.
He growls to let me know someone has approached the door.
He stands at attention at the door and observes.

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