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Dumbest dog breeds

Breeds and Brains: The Dumbest Dog Breeds

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Do you think your dog lacks in the intelligence department? Then it might be part of one of the dumbest dog breeds in the world. To see if your dog makes the list, read on to find out which are the dumbest dog breeds out there.

What Makes a Dog “Dumb?”

Perhaps you’ve heard that dog breeds like the Border Collie, the Poodle, and even the Siberian Husky are intelligent dogs. What do they mean by that? How they measure a dog’s intelligence? A few key factors are considered when determining a dog’s intelligence.

Those factors begin with their instinctive intelligence. This describes being able to perform the tasks that it was initially bred for and its skill in doing so. For example, a Border Collie was bred for herding. A Collie with a strong instinctive intelligence is able to herd its targets without much instruction.

Another factor that is considered is its adaptive intelligence. This describes an ability for a dog to face a problem and solve it based on its past experiences. It basically shows that the dog learned from past experiences to solve a new problem.

In this case, a Collie might see that it can’t herd the sheep in the direction it needs to because there’s a fence in the way. It needs to get the sheep around the fence. It may use past experiences that it has dealt with before in order to carefully steer the sheep in the direction that it needs to around the fence.

The last factor is working and obedience intelligence. For many dog owners, this is the kind of intelligence that they typically think of with a dog. It’s how well the dog can learn training from a human. This training can be focused solely on obedience like housebreaking or preventing them from jumping on people.

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It could also be for tricks like learning when to sit, roll over, or to shake a hand.

All of these factors make up a dog’s overall intelligence. Depending on how well a dog does with each of them, their intelligence score will reflect whether or not they’re considered to be an intelligent dog or a dumb one.

What are the Intelligent Breeds?

Golden retriever

To briefly go over which dogs make the most intelligent list, these are the breeds that are widely regarded as those with significant intelligence.

They are the Border Collie, the Poodle, the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever, the Doberman Pinscher, the Shetland Sheepdog, the Labrador Retriever, the Papillon, the Rottweiler, and the Australian Cattle Dog.

While there are many other dog breeds that are considered to be intelligent, these are some of the most popular ones.

The Dumbest Dog Breeds

Now for those who are worrying that their dog might make the list, here is the list for the widely-accepted dumbest dog breeds in the world.

1. The Afghan Hound


Making the number one spot is the Afghan Hound. While owners may not agree that the Afghan Hound is dumb, it contains a lot of traits that make it miss out on some of the intelligence factors described earlier.

The Afghan Hound is a sighthound. That means that it was specifically bred to chase anything that moves. They have fantastic speed and eyesight, but this can sometimes be a detriment for owners who aren’t using the Afghan Hound to hunt.

Afghans are also typically aloof and reserved. This is a common trait that’s shared among many sighthounds. Because they’re a bit stand-offish, they might not be interested in learning obedience training or even tricks.

They’re also quite stubborn and independent. While some owners might love the Hound’s ability to entertain itself, they’ll also find that training can be frustrating. Instead, the Afghan Hound prefers to do things on its own terms.

They are, however, elegant, regal, and loyal dogs. You may just have to be a little creative when it comes to training them.

2. Basenji


The Basenji is another sighthound that makes the list of dumbest breeds. They’re also fiercely independent to the point that many consider them to have feline qualities. Some have even noticed that the Basenji will actually groom themselves like a cat, too.

Their reputation isn’t exactly pretty. They’re considered to be untrainable because of their stubbornness and independence. They are, however, playful and curious. Many consider them similar to toddlers. They’ll wander around and get into stuff in order to satiate their curiosity.

The Basenji is also wary even of their owners. While they can be loyal and friendly, they won’t exactly be your best friend. With a lot of patience and effort, you might successfully train your Basenji.

3. Bulldog


The Bulldog has become surprisingly popular in the past few decades despite its tendency to slobbery everywhere. They’re also quite dumb. Many owners believe that the Bulldog is named as such because of their sheer bull-headed attitude.

They’re incredibly stubborn and do whatever it is that they want to do no matter what the owner says. They can also be quite lazy, so getting them to join you for a training session can be difficult.

That being said, in their movements of activity, you can at times train them to do incredible things like skateboarding and surfing.

4. Chow Chow

Chow chow

Many people have come to love the Chow Chow for its resemblance to a bear or a lion. Initially, they were bred to be guard dogs. Because of that, they’re often quite wary of people, including their owners. They’re also aloof and independent.

While some consider the Chow Chow to be intelligent, they most certainly have a mind of their own. They can be quite serious and may find training sessions with you to be unnecessary. They often challenge their owners for authority.

This can create a lot of behavioral problems in the future, so it’s important that you attempt to train your Chow Chow as best you can. A key part of this is to socialize them early.

5. Borzoi


Another sighthound that makes the list is the Borzoi. Also bred for the hunt, Borzoi has a tendency to bark or chase after what they perceive to be their target. Many owners, however, love their gentle and sweet disposition.

Yet they’re also freethinkers. They can become bored quickly and don’t like to feel cooped up for too long. Because of this, training them in short intervals may be more effective than a long training session.

You can expect your Borzoi to be independent and stubborn.

6. Bloodhound


Bred as a scenthound, the Bloodhound has an incredible nose. However, that nose is also the primary reason why it makes the list of dumbest dog breeds. Bloodhounds are constantly becoming distracted by the scents around them. They’d rather sniff around then pay attention to what their owner is saying.

They’re inquisitive dogs, but their curiosity is more geared towards finding the source of a certain scent than anything else. Because of this distraction, owners find it incredibly difficult to train their Bloodhound.

They have a lot of energy and independence and typically won’t stop following a scent trail until they’ve discovered its source. Because of this, owners may face a challenging time trying to keep them focused on their training.

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7. Pekingese


Many believe that the Pekingese are dumb because of their slow nature. They don’t really move around much, and when they do, it’s at their own leisurely pace. A lot of this is due to its origins. They were considered sacred pets of the Tang Dynasty back in the 8th century of China.

Those owners would actually make special pockets in their sleeves in which to carry the dogs with them wherever they went. As a result, the Pekingese is used to being treated like royalty. They’re stubborn and used to their independence.


Last update on 2020-11-27

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