How Smart Is Your Pup?

If our culture’s ever-growing interest in dogs over the past ten years have taught us anything, it’s that 1.) we are officially obsessed with our four-legged friends, and 2.) they are remarkably intelligent creatures. They can read body language, feel empathy, and strategize, to name a few, making them, according to some experts, the most successful mammal on the planet, behind humans. But are there ways to measure exactly how smart our pups are? Read on as we consult the experts about doggy IQ.

Doggy Geniuses

There are many different kinds of canine intelligence,dogs Are Smarter Than You Think. This may explain why some dogs can rescue people from burning buildings and navigate intricate mazes, but can’t stop eating your socks—dogs, like us, have different intellectual strengths. And in fact, there is no scientific evidence that one breed is any smarter than another.

To illustrate this intellectual spectrum  world’s leading canine scientists and trainers created the Dognition Assessment, a standardized set of interactive tests and games that owners can use to analyze the cognitive strengths and weaknesses of their pups. Inspired by the program, we pulled together a series of “tests” than can help you determine what your pup’s intellectual strengths are. Go ahead, grab a paper and pencil and try these “tests” with your pup.

1. The Towel Test

Place a large towel or blanket over your dog’s head and see how long it takes for him to get it off.


* Less than 15 seconds = 3 points

* 15-30 seconds = 2 points

* 30+ seconds = 1 point

 2. The Cup Test

Place three plastic cups upside down on the floor a foot apart. Put a treat underneath one of the cups while the dog is watching. Then lead the dog out of the room for 30 seconds, come back, and let her try to find the treat.


* She immediately goes to the correct cup = 3 points

* She takes two attempts = 2 points

* She looks under the other two cups first = 1 point

3. The Favorite Spot Test

With your dog out of the room, rearrange the furniture. When he re-enters the room, see if he goes directly to his favorite spot (ie, his bed, a side of the couch, underneath a table.)


* He goes directly to his favorite spot = 3 points

* He investigates for more than 30 seconds before finding his spot = 2 points

* He decides on a new area completely = 1 point

4. The Platform Test

Place a treat under a low platform, far enough back that your dog can’t reach it with his mouth. (A couch usually works well.)


* Your dog figures how to reach the treat within one minute = 3 points

* Your dog uses her paws and nose = 2 points

* Your dog gives up =1 point


11-12 points: Your pup is Harvard-bound!

8-10 points: The New York Times Saturday crossword is no problem for this pup.

5-7 points: We think you have an expert squirrel chaser here.

1 to 4 points: This pup knows exactly how to melt your heart and make you smile!