Are Small Dogs Less Intelligent?
Are you a fan of those small little fluffs and fur balls that just love to run around, play, and cuddle? Do you think that they are a bit slow when it comes to their mind and perspective as you need to repeat training courses a few times before your little friend remembers it well and repeats it without an error? Don’t think your small dog is less intelligent than the bigger ones, they are not.
However, there is no simple answer to this question, because like people, dogs have different kinds of intelligence. These are instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence.
What kind of intelligence do small dogs have?
Instinctive intelligence is all a dog was bred for. Hunting dogs are best in tracking and hunting prey, herd dogs for herding sheep and cattle, and companion dogs are their owners’ moods and emotional cues.
Adaptive intelligence, on the other hand, is a measure of the dog’s capability to solve a problem without human intervention.
Working and obedience intelligence demonstrates how well and how quick a dog can be trained to perform certain tasks and commands. Dogs that learn quickly are those that excel in obedience, sports, agility, and other types of training.
Sadly, for the small dogs, working and obedience intelligence isn’t high on the bar, which has created a stigma that they are less intelligent. However, that is not the case; they might not listen to you the first time you tell them to do something, but they have developed other measures of intelligence, scoring high on some dog IQ tests.
Since most of the studies measure dog’s intelligence on the working and obedience intelligence, small dogs, being rather stubborn, anxious, and excitable, aren’t that easy to train, but that doesn’t mean they are less intelligent. Bigger dogs, such as golden retrievers and border collies are regarded as rather friendly and obedient, which classifies them at the top of the lists, but this doesn’t mean that they are smarter than the smaller dogs.
However, another study shows that bigger dogs have better short term memory; for instance, a play of hide and go seek was made with treats hidden under cups, and bigger dogs had less trouble finding the treats. Furthermore, the self-control of smaller dogs is also at a questionable level when the pet owners tested it by placing the treat in front of their dearest pets and ordering them not to take it.
Nevertheless, this just shows that small dogs are impatient and not less intelligent or even stupid. This can be trained over time, though bigger dogs have it naturally in their blood. On the other hand, small dogs are great at some other tasks, including going to where their owner is pointing when told, which is an example of social intelligence, and reasoning as one of the ways to obey the commands.
There is no sure determinant whether smaller dogs are less intelligent and no proof is yet offered. Although bigger dogs are better at some tasks that are a part of a certain intelligence, smaller dogs reign in some other aspects and other intelligence. For now, your dog is still the smartest one, whether it has a small head, a short face, and a flat nose like a pug, or a narrow, elongated face like a greyhound.