Is your dog a smartie pup? Do you sometimes think your dog has the same intelligence level as your toddler? If you do, you aren’t the only one. Dogs are very intelligent animals. In fact, the average dog has the same level of smarts as a 3-year-old human child! If your dog can understand at least 150 words, can count to “5,” and is smart enough to out-smart you, then you have one intelligent canine.

Some breeds are smarter than others. Canine researcher Stanley Coren, a psychologist from the University of British Columbia, determined the seven smartest breeds based on data from obedience judges within the US and Canada. Did your dog make the list?

  1. Border Collies
  2. Poodles
  3. German Shepherds
  4. Golden Retrievers
  5. Dobermans
  6. Shetland Sheepdogs
  7. Labrador Retrievers

To help your pup catch up in the IQ department, there are a few things you can do. For starters, you can work on training commands. When your dog learns more training commands, he is increasing his vocabulary. Not only does training help increase vocabulary, it keeps your dog busy and active, which stimulates his brain.

For a fun way to boost your pup’s IQ, you can give your dog puzzle toys, sometimes called “smart toys.” These dog toys provide dogs with more mental stimulation than chasing a ball provides. Toys promote problem solving so that the dog can “win” the puzzle, which means receiving a treat.

Toy Puzzles

Dog toys in the form of human puzzles are really popular ways to help boost your dog’s IQ. Depending on the toy, there are different skill levels your dog can “play” in order to retrieve a treat. Treats can be anything from food to actual treats, so these puzzle toys are brain-boosting ways to feed your dog, rather than using the traditional bowl. In order to work the puzzle toys, your dog has to spin, paw, or nudge the specified parts of the puzzle in order to reveal the food. Pretty great motivation!

Toy puzzles include Paw Hide Dog Games, Dog-E-Logic Canine Treat Puzzles, Dog Games Treat Wheels, or Star Spinner Dog Games.

Food Dispensing Toys

Some toys are related directly to your dog performing one action and receiving food. Whether the action is making a toy bob around the room, pushing a ball around, figuring out how to get a cube to turn on its side, or applying different pressure on a rope to release food, your dog will love spending time figuring out how to make the toy release food. These toys are generally built to withstand some chewing, as many dogs try to break through the outer shell in order to get to the goodies inside. Food dispensing toys usually have multiple levels of difficulty, as well, so that your dog can get a treat by a simple paw or really have to work to figure out how the food is dispensed in order to get one tiny morsel.

The Kong Wobler, Everlasting Dog Treat Ball, Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug, or Buster Food Cube are some examples of food dispensing puzzles.

Hide-and-Seek Toys

Softer toys that encourage your dog to “find” a smaller toy or figure out eye-paw coordination by removing a part of a toy from the main toy are other ways to keep your pup entertained while boosting IQ. Rather than rewarding in the form of food or treats, dogs are rewarded via their natural instinct to dig out and hunt for the reward. These toys can be incorporated with treats, but that is a secondary feature.

The Intellibone and Hide-a-Squirrel Dog Toy are examples of hide and seek puzzle toys.

Now that you know how to boost your pup’s IQ, have your dog learn while he plays. You’ll both be happy you did.

About The Author Pet Expert

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