How smart is YOUR dog?

June 25, 2014

I caught Riley reading this the other day.  He was interested in how he stacked up and, after I read it, well, it’s verified: he’s a brainy K-9.  He’s got a large vocabulary and has learned commands before WE even recognized them as commands.

One night he was being a total pain in the butt and I said in frustration, “Riley, go to bed!”  And he jumped down and went to his bed.  We’d never taught him to do that, he just understood what we were saying–not only the words, but the concept after we put them together into a sentence.

Same with “Puppy to his room!”  That’s another command he did the very first time he ever heard it.

Like his mom (me), he’s very intuitive. Riley reads our actions looking for signs of what might be next. When M puts on his sunglasses, it means we may be going for a walk or even a drive. When I get dressed in the morning, it’s a sign that he may get to go out and walk with me.

He’s also a very clear communicator, himself. Going for rides is one of his favorite activities, and if we’re outside and he wants to go, he pulls me over to the car, stands by the door and looks at me with a “open it” command.

There’s no question that he’s the smartest dog I’ve ever had.  But, I’d like to hear about your dog–how smart is he or she?

Ri sleep readingAfter he sped-read the cover story, he yawned widely, and went to sleep, as if to say Ho hum….tell me something I don’t already know.

47 comments on “How smart is YOUR dog?
  1. Come meet my puppies. 🙂 They are brilliant manipulators.

  2. We have two lil terriers. Lance and Louie are brothers that we rescued from Denver. They are brilliant but at times our sweet boy Lance can be, not that smart. What he lacks in smarts he makes up for in empathy. Whenever one of us is sick he will not leave our sides, crying when he knows we are in pain.
    Louie on the other hand is brilliant. He climbs like a cat, we have to be so creative hiding his treats. I’m worried he will fall.
    He knows when I’m about to travel and will pee on my suitcase ((ugghhh)) if I don’t put it up. If he knows I’m going to work a long shift he takes my shoes out the doggie door.((ugghh))
    They know so much language, it surprises us all the time.
    I just love my boys. They have their own different personalites, I could go on and on:)

    • Your boys have real distinct personalities. Thankfully, Riley doesn’t pee on out suitcases but he does get stressed when he sees them. I think dogs know more language than we think they do.

  3. Tammy says:

    He’s a cutie…love dogs and cats (just as long as they are someone else’s). We did have a Cat…very smart – we always said that China thought he (yes he) was a dog – no litter box, he’d scratch to go out and use his paw to knock on the window screen to come back in.

  4. Estelle says:

    I don’t have a dog, but I can appreciate intelligence in an animal. My dear-departed cat Oliver was very smart; my current cat, Percy, not so much.

  5. Sounds like a smart dog! I think animals do understand what we’re saying especially if we communicate with them regularly. I don’t have a dog yet but when we get a bigger place, we’d love to have one. Found you at Jenny Evolution and now following on Pinterest. 🙂

  6. WendysHat says:

    Cute! My daughter has a Siberian Husky that gets whatever he wants, so I’d say that he’s pretty smart indeed! Me… I have desert tortoises and they’re smart to stay outside and not bug me!

  7. Roz Warren says:

    Captain is a very dim bulb but we love him anyway. Loved this post! I need to get my hands on that test.

  8. Lori Lavender Luz says:

    Our dog is selectively smart.

    Which means he’s pretty smart. (But to my knowlege he can’t read.

  9. Diane says:

    We tried the ‘intelligence test’ on our three Old English Sheepdogs. (Hiding a treat under a can or cup and timing how long it takes for the dog to get the treat.) The first merely sniffed it, sat beside it and looked at us, then at it, then at us. The second sniffed it (and the can) all over the house. The third batted the can off and ate the treat. I know which one I thought was smart! 🙂

  10. My last dog was too smart almost. He could open windows and doors – my husband and I had to buy a $250 doorknob for our last place so that he couldn’t open it! It was crazy. But really cool and funny. Riley is adorable!

  11. It’s funny I have a draft of a post about my dog as well! His name is Rocco and he is a one year old German Shepherd puppy. He is brilliant. He can distinguish between the orange ball and the blue ball. It so surprising what he is capable of! As of now, I don’t think he can read! Have a great day!

  12. My little girl Kloe is not the brightest tack in the box but she knows what she knows. She’s not much of a reader but regularly watches TV (maybe that has stunted her intelligence?) She is afraid of ALL horses–especially on TV (not sure where that came from) but is FEARLESS with all other dogs no matter what the size. She reads my energy VERY well and can usually tell what I want her to do just by a look. Does she do it? Sometimes, sometimes not! She is a little hard-headed and sometimes bossy. I can’t imagine where she gets those traits. She’s definitely in the right family. 🙂

  13. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Oh my, don’t get me started. My Duncan is so smart. As you say about your dog, he understands things that we aren’t even aware of. It is so easy to communicate with him. I have thought of writing a book about my sweet Dunkie but my words could never adequately describe how amazing my little love bug is.

  14. Our Stanley stays within a few inches of my feet when we are preparing to go out of town. Then he hops in the suitcase when we are trying to zip it. Dogs are the best.

  15. Carol Graham says:

    Well, Carol, you don’t really want me to answer that because it would take volumes. I know you followed my 26 posts on animal stories in April and for each story we tell, there are 10 more. But I think my favorite one is the one where my miniature Dachshund packed his own suitcase ( took over and hour) and then crawled inside trying to zipper it closed, He wanted to go on the trip as well.

    If you want to read it again for a smile – it is here –

  16. Ruth Curran says:

    We have a grand dog living with us temporarily (long boring story about my son’s battle with his HOA) and he is an escape artist. He doesn’t go anywhere when we are gone — just shows us he can get in and out any time he likes no matter we do. Sheesh….

  17. Liv says:

    My dog is also a fully functioning alarm clock and baby monitor.

  18. We consider dogs smart if they can do what we do – but have you ever thought about what they might think of us?!

  19. Lana says:

    We have a yellow lab named Abby, and she’s not the sharpest tool (aren’t labs supposed to be near the top of the list?). But we love her anyway!

  20. Sherri says:

    My dog is always trying to pull a number on me… and I have long suspected that her “dumb lab” act is all a show and she is actually smarter than me.

  21. I had a dog named Jack and whenever we would go towards the canoe he would sit down and make this whining noise (he was a big dog). We would load up the canoe he would jump in the back of the truck. When we got to the water he would sit at the front of the boat (my husband says like a car emblem) and ride when he needed to get out he would turn around and look at us. We’d pull up to shore he’d do his business and get right back in. He loved canoe rides. When I was at my sickest there were several months that I couldn’t walk. My husband was working nights and he would bring everything I would need beside the bed before he left. My bed was right beside the bathroom (thats as far as I could get in those day). I was trying to get myself back into the bed when I fell. I couldn’t get up I must have been down there 2 hours and he never left my side. I finally got up by leaning over him and HE HELPED me up. After I made it back to bed he manuevered himself to lay on the edge of the bed so I wouldn’t fall. Sadly, 2 weeks later he heard a lloud truck coming down the road and ran out and was killed. I got him when he was 6 weeks old and we had him 14 years. I miss him so much.

  22. Animals know so much more than we give them credit for. Both of my dogs were so smart and they were able to train me much faster than I was able to train them!

  23. Carol,
    Your dog called and wants to know about the trust fund for all of his royalties. I think he has expanded his reading.

  24. That’s pretty neat that Riley knew all of those commands without you teaching him! (See our kids really ARE listening to us after all…) My dog knew a lot but I think I’d taught her first.

  25. Theresa Wiza says:

    Sadly, I am allergic to all animals, but I used to have a cat, Layla, who thought she was a dog. She was very bright in all other areas. 😉

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