Dogs can do a lot of dumb things.
For example, the dog who sprained his tail because he wagged it so hard; or the one who somehow squeezed into a tiny space behind the toilet cistern – but couldn’t get out again until the owners removed the whole thing from the wall.
Just for fun, we have pulled together a list of the dog breeds that have a reputation for being awesome, but also pretty dumb. And you can check it out.
But before we stick labels like ‘dumb’ on entire breeds or individual dogs, we need to remember that people can do a lot of dumb things as well!
And a dog isn’t necessarily dumb just because it does some crazy things, or it doesn’t immediately learn how to do that fancy trick you saw a Border Collie do on YouTube.
Dr Brian Hare, who studies dog psychology and is the founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, says, “I don’t really think there is any such thing as ‘smart’ dogs and ‘dumb’ dogs. Different dogs are good at different things. And all of them are geniuses in their own way.”
Gina DiNardo, executive secretary for the American Kennel Club agrees. “No individual dog or an entire breed should be considered dumb,” she says. “What we humans may perceive as an animal being ‘dumb’ may be independence, stubbornness, or aloofness, which are common characteristics in many breeds.”
For example, you might notice there are a lot of hounds on our list.
They can be harder to train because they get very distracted investigating all the wonderful scents that their exceptional noses pick up. Or they simply prefer to think for themselves and do things on their own terms.
Both cases do not make them dumb. But it does mean you need to get a bit creative with your training and rewards.
If you think your pooch is at the opposite end of the IQ stakes to Einstein, remember that most dogs are good at something. It might just take some time and patience to figure out what yours is good at.
And ask yourself, does being easy to train and always following orders make a dog smart?
Or does it mean they’re not so smart because they always follow other people’s directions and don’t think independently?
Something to think about while you enjoy looking through our list.