Is My Mutt Smarter Than Your Show Dog?

Is My Mutt Smarter Than Your Show DogDid you know that purebred dogs are becoming dumber with each generation? Well, according to animal behaviorist, Kenth Svartberg, modern breeding techniques have led to this problem. [Source: My mutt’s smarter than your pedigree]

He says that modern breeders only want “pretty dogs.” They are no longer concerned with what the animal was originally meant for, such as herding or hunting. He calls toy dogs, such as Chihuahuas, “handbag dogs” made popular by the likes of Paris Hilton.

I have never put any of my Chihuahuas in a handbag, and I never will.

Certainly, there are still dogs bred for herding, hunting etc. Toy dogs were always bred only for companionship. And that being said some breeds are smarter than others. Today respectable dog breeders breed for temperament above all else. Yes, the breed standard is important and confirmation is what defines a beautiful show dog. But a sound temperament is what makes a good dog.

Dogs should be bred to be good family dogs. Who wants a dog with a herding instinct that is so strong that the dog is impossible to keep occupied. My husband’s husky, used to run away all the time, he just loved to run, not such a good thing in a busy town with lots of traffic.

As for the dogs in our family, sorry, but the purebreds win hands down.

Yoshi, our Japanese Chin, “toy dog bred to be cute” is the smartest dog I have ever had. Penny, our sweet rescue mutt is, on the other hand, not too bright. My son’s rescue mutt dog is very streetwise, smarter? I’m not so sure.

I am the first one to say, please adopt a shelter dog, as a shelter volunteer and the owner of two wonderful rescues, I have been lucky, my dogs are sweet and great pets. You would not believe the number of dogs that are adopted and then returned to the shelter. If you want a dog, Please do your research. If you want a purebred dog you can look for certain characteristics that you want in a dog. Always go to a reputable breeder!

“Purebred dog breeds have many advantages over mixed dog breeds or crossbreds, not least because you know what you are likely to get, however as we see mutts and mongrels make fantastic pets too.” [source: “Choosing a Dog Made Easy”]

Either way, I can’t believe that all mixed breeds are somehow smarter than all

Pedigree dogs, not in my house at least.

I think more research is needed!

In case you were wondering, there is a popular list of the Top 100 smartest dog breeds that is repeated throughout the internet. (For example here and also here.) Problem is that list only includes 98 breeds as it is missing #22 and #44. And I have yet to find any source for the ranking.  The Border Collie is named the smartest with the Poodle, German Shepard, Golden Retriever and Doberman Pincher rounding out the top 5. The poor Afghan Hound places at the bottom.

The Border Collie. Is the the smartest breed?

The Border Collie
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Wikipedia has a better sourced list of 131 total breeds and and bases their rankings on criteria like understanding new commands and obeying first commands.

Their top ten brightest breeds are:

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog
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