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35 Least Intelligent Dog Breeds & Why They’re Actually Not Dumb Dogs

These are the least intelligent dog breeds in the world, according to Stanley Coren.
Written by Richard Jeng

What makes a dog breed dumb? Ask an animal researcher and he will tell you that there is no such thing as a “dumb dog.” It’s just a matter of identifying what the canine is good at in order to realize its actual dog intelligence.

Like human beings, dog breeds also differ in terms of intelligence and capabilities. While some are able to respond quickly to a set of instructions and commands, others might excel in sniffing out objects, hunting, herding or retrieving. 

Most owners gauge their dog’s intelligence by its ability to impress (tricks and commands). Going by this logic, dog breeds that respond quickly to instructions are seen as more intelligent, despite their limitations in other aspects.

And dog breeds that prefer to remain aloof and are not interested in obeying their master’s orders are called “dumb.” However, the truth is that all dogs are intelligent in their own way.

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How Dumb Dog Breeds are Measured

Dumb dog breeds are measured by an IQ test.

On closer examination, a fact that emerges is that, like human beings, canines are also differently intelligent. Let me explain…

While some are great at responding to the human voice, others may not be as responsive. So just because a canine chooses to follow its own mind does not mean it is dim-wit or dumb. It just means that it has a unique persona.

According to canine psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren, canine intelligence can be broken down into 3 dimensions or components:

  1. Instinctive Intelligence – This refers to what the dog breed was bred for. For example, how efficient they are at performing specific tasks like hunting, herding cattle and so on. These natural skills require little to no human training – they just have the innate ability to perform these tasks.
  2. Adaptive Intelligence – This type of intelligence refers to whether they dog can think on their own, or in other words, think independently. Do they rely on their own judgement rather than relying on the master’s commands. Are they good problem solvers?
  3. Obedient & Work Intelligence – And finally, this refers to how quickly a dog can learn commands and how obedient they are. Dog breeds that are quicker at learning and more obedient are called “smarter” dogs.

Obedience & Work Intelligence

Unfortunately, the most intelligent dog breeds list only measures obedience & work intelligence. At first, this may seem flawed – and it is! However, this type of dog intelligence is the most objective and can be easily measured. The other two, not so much. 

Coren measured obedience and working intelligence with the following criteria:

  1. The number of repetitions needed for a dog breed to learn a new command. Fewer repetitions meant the dog was “more intelligent.”
  2. In addition, the success rate at which a dog breed obeys a known command on the first attempt was another main factor. So the more obedient breeds are also considered smarter.

But just because a dog breed failed Coren’s intelligence test, doesn’t mean they’re not smart. It’s just that they excel in other areas of canine intelligence, such as instinctive and adaptive intelligence. 

In fact, some researchers would argue that adaptive intelligence may be more important than the others in determining true IQ. However, it’s difficult to standardize an IQ test for adaptive intelligence. Thus, obedience and work IQ is how we measure dog intelligence.

Below Average Intelligent Dogs

Below average or fair working intelligent dog breeds are the dogs that scored slightly below the average during Coren’s intelligence trials. 

As such, dogs in this intelligence class will need 40 to 80 repetitions in order to learn a new command. Furthermore, they’ll obey a known command on the first try with a 30% or better success rate.

35. Akita Inu

Highlights: Faithful, Reserved, Vigilant

Caring for an Akita requires enough exercise and grooming.

The Akita Inu is one of the national treasures of Japan, often regarded as the country’s best guard dogs. With their sharp alertness and vigilant approach, it’s easy to see why they’re among the top of the canine kingdom.

Akita Inus are highly intelligent, at least when it comes to instinctive and adaptive intelligence. It’s why they’re so great at differentiating the “good from the bad.” All top guard dogs know when to attack and when to stand down. This requires a special type of intelligence.

But while they’re watchful and cautious, the Akita Inus are both independent and dominant dogs. In addition, they’re extremely loyal. They won’t respond to obedience training if you’re not the one they trust, which explains why they may be labeled as a dumb dog.

34. Skye Terrier

Highlights: Devoted, Happy, Good-tempered

The Skye Terrier is a confident and loyal dog that’s the perfect companion for the active family. They will have a sweet disposition, but they’re not as calm and most lap dogs. These dogs, however, love to be around people and will always have their owners’ backs.

Skye Terriers need extra attention and care when it comes to obedience training. They can have their own minds and thoughts, which often leads to difficulty in training. That said, mutual respect between the handler and dog is a must.

Without positive training techniques, Skye Terriers will perform poorly on Coren’s intelligence trials. As such, they respond best when there’s consistency, patience and a firm tone. Without all these factors in place, we can see why they rank low on Coren’s list.

33. Norfolk Terrier

Highlights: Confident, Spirited, Cheerful

The Norfolk Terrier is a British dog breed that has all the key qualities of a true terrier dog. When it comes to playing, they run with high self confidence and spirit. At the same time, they’ll always be bright and cheerful with their owners.

Despite being labeled as an intelligent dog, the Norfolk Terrier didn’t perform on Coren’s obedience test for a few reasons. Like with most terriers, the Norfolk is stubborn as a mule. If they aren’t up for it, they won’t respond well to obedience training.

In addition, the Norfolk Terrier is very independent in nature. They don’t necessarily rely on their owners, but rather have a mind of their own. Most dog breeds with this characteristic often have high adaptive intelligence – which Norfolks do too!

32. Sealyham Terrier

Highlights: Fearless, Calm, Even-Tempered

The Sealyham Terrier is unlike any terrier out there. For starters, they’re calm and even-tempered as opposed to being lively and energetic. Still, the Sealyham retains the courageous nature that we often see with terrier type dog breeds.

According to Dog Time, the Sealyham Terrier isn’t the easiest to train. They can get carried away with training thanks to their food and toy aggression. It’s why they need a trusted and respected owner when it comes to obedience training.

Having an obedience judge test the Sealyham just doesn’t bode well for these dogs. Rather they’ll need to be trained by their owners for the best results. As such, the Sealyham performed poorly and have been been unfairly labeled as a “dumb” dog.

31. Pug

Highlights: Charming, Attentive, Outgoing

Silly and comical, the Chinese Pug has a personality that’s hard to resist. They’re a funny-looking dog with a charming temperament and vibrant aura. Just spend an afternoon with a Pug and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

But even with all the bright energy that comes with the Pug, they can be difficult to train in the home. That’s not to say they are always difficult to train. It’s just that Pugs have very different motivators when compared to the Border Collie.

Food is huge with the Pug – they love to eat. However in Coren’s trials, good treats and food were not likely a big part of the tests. Even so, Pugs can be very eager to please their owners. Though, their stubborn nature comes out if you can’t find their motivators.

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30. French Bulldog

Highlights: Playful, Patient, Sociable

French Bulldogs top our list of best dog breeds for kids, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are they very patient dogs, but also love to have fun. When it comes to people-pleasing the Frenchie tops the list among all dog breeds.

However, French Bulldogs can be a challenge to train. Like many bulldogs, the Frenchie will go on their stubborn streaks occasionally. In addition, the French Bulldog can be a highly sensitive dog when it comes to obedience training.

This means that Frenchies will need patience, consistency and firmness when it comes to training. As for training method, they respond the best to positive reinforcement. And unfortunately, the method of training wasn’t mentioned regarding Coren’s trials.

RECOMMENDED: Here’s Why Frenchies Are Smart

29. Brussels Griffon

Highlights: Dignified, Curious, Sensitive

The Brussels Griffon, otherwise known as the Griffon Bruxellois, is a toy dog breed that originates out of Brussels, Belgium. Despite being a small 10-inch dog, the Brussels is a great watchdog thanks to their alert and vigilant nature.

But at the same time, the Brussels Griffon is a very inquisitive dog. They’re always full of curiosity and it often gets them in trouble. Whether it’s a sound, scent or rat, it’ll grab their attention and keep them occupied for the time being.

Because of this tendency, the Brussels Griffon may have a hard time focusing on their obedience training. But again, this lack of attention isn’t because they aren’t intelligent. Just like the Beagle, the Brussels needs a distraction-free environment.

28. Maltese

Highlights: Lively, Gentle, Laid-back

The Maltese has quickly become one of the world’s best lap dogs, and for good reason! Always sweet and gentle, the Maltese knows how to snuggle up and brighten up anyone’s day. In fact, they love nothing more than to lounge on their owners’ laps.

However, the Maltese unfairly gets a bad rap for being a low-intelligent dog breed. And while they are fairly easy to train, they may not always comply. These dogs tend to go on both their independent and stubborn streaks from time to time.

In addition, the Maltese is a companion dog. They develop strong bonds with their owners and family, thus making it harder to train these dogs with a stranger, such as the obedience judge. As such, they are far more likely to go on their stubborn streaks.

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27. Italian Greyhound

Highlights: Mischievous, Athletic, Affectionate

Italian Greyhounds like to have fun. It’s why they’re known to be mischievous and stubborn in the home. However, these Greyhounds can be as loving and loyal as any dog out there. That is, as long as they get their necessary daily exercise.

According to some owners, the Italian Greyhound is a notoriously stubborn dog breed when it comes to house-training. It’s especially difficult to persuade an Italian Greyhound at times. For this reason, we understand why they may have a hard time with obedience.

This isn’t to say Italian Greyhounds aren’t intelligent dogs though. Their instinctive and adaptive IQ are through the roof. But once again, these dogs fall victim to their stubborn nature, making them seem dumber than they actually are.

26. Coton de Tulear

Highlights: Lively, Intelligent, Loving

The Coton de Tulear is a unique breed in that it’s the only purebred to originate from Madagascar. In other words, they’re one-of-a-kind! Thanks to their affectionate and sweet-tempered personalities, the Coton has become a favorite companion all over the world.

Coton de Tulears are actually highly intelligent dogs that can quickly adapt to the situation. We call this adaptive intelligence. In addition, they’re known to be trainable dogs too. But if that’s the case, why did they rank so low?

Despite being people-friendly and loyal dogs, the Coton de Tulears like to pick favorites in a family. With that said, it’s possible that having this breed learn from an unfamiliar obedience judge made the dogs stubborn and cautious with the training.

25. Chinese Crested

Highlights: Affectionate, Sweet, Playful

The Chinese Crested is a happy-go-lucky and playful lap dog that originates from the great Middle Kingdom. They’re the perfect mix of fun and affection. Kids will love them and their calm attitude will make them perfect for seniors too.

However, there are two variations of the Chinese Crested: the hairless and the puff (with hair). Both of which, are somewhat different in personalities. According to Animalso, the Cresties with hair have a reputation for being more independent and stubborn.

Depending on which Chinese Cresteds were tested during the trials could have an effect on the trial results. Unfortunately, Coren didn’t specify whether the puff or hairless or a combination were tested during the obedience tests.

24. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Highlights: Independent, Loving, Fun-loving

There’s no denying that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier loves to have fun. They enjoy the company of their humans and thrives when put in the center of attention. As such, they’re a carefree and relaxed breed that doesn’t care much for obedience training.

In addition, the Dandie Dinmont is a very confident. In other words, they’re independent dogs with a mind of their own. Whatever they fell like doing, they’ll do. But at the same time, the Dandie has as much affection as any family dog.

This easy-going and independent temperament makes the Dandie a fantastic family companion. But in an obedience test, this could be why they scored so low. It may be rather difficult getting this breed motivated in Coren’s trial.

23. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

Highlights: Cheerful, Independent, Friendly

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, otherwise known as the PBGV, is a medium-sized dog breed first developed in France. They’re known for their always-positive vibe and a friendly demeanor that’ll put a smile on anyone’s face.

But despite being cheerful and bright, the PBGV isn’t as “intelligent” as many other dogs. It’s not that they’re dumb dogs, but rather, they’re very independent dogs. And while they are naturally eager to please, they aren’t always obedient.

As a result, PBGVs won’t perform well on an obedience test that measures this specific type of canine IQ. In addition, they’re very personal dogs that develop strong bonds with their owners. If a random judge is testing them, they may not comply.

22. Tibetan Terrier

Highlights: Gentle, Vigilant, Loyal

Like the Lhasa Apso, the Tibetan Terrier tops of the list of least intelligent dog breeds. These dogs are fiercely loyal and protective of their own. Despite being a terrier, they’re quite gentle and reserved in the home.

Tibetan Terriers can be stubborn dogs with an independent mind. That is, they tend to think on their own and won’t necessarily obey their masters for the sake of obeying. However, that’s not to say they don’t love their owners.

In addition, Tibetan Terriers can be sensitive dogs too. Without some consistency, positivity and a firm hand, they may not respond well to obedience training. In fact, they may respond by going on their stubborn streaks, which may lead to poor obedience performance.

21. Japanese Chin

Highlights: Cheerful, Bright, People-loving

The Japanese Chin is the most beloved lap dog to come out of Japan. Known for their positive and bright temperaments, there’s a lot to love with the Japanese Chin. Even so, they’re considered one of the lowest intelligent dog breeds.

However, the reason for this can be their stubborn nature. Despite being loving lap dogs, they can go on their stubborn streaks every now and then. What’s more, the Japanese Chins are sensitive dogs and don’t respond well to harsh training.

But what makes them intelligent is actually their instinctive and adaptive intelligence. They’re great at reading and understanding human emotions, which in turn, make them excellent lap dogs. This is what makes them highly intelligent!

20. Lakeland Terrier

Highlights: Friendly, Brave, Spirited

When people say”big dog in a small package,” I think of the Lakeland Terrier. Though weighing just under 20 pounds, they have a bold and lively temperament. 

Lakeland Terriers are stubborn, independent and mischievous – all the main qualities of a dog breed mistaken for low intelligence. Most of the time, mischievous dogs are actually clever, hence, more intelligent than you think. 

These wonderful spirited dogs can be a handful at times, though. Plus, they can be quite aggressive towards other small dogs and animals if not properly socialized. The good news is that they’re low-shedding hypoallergenic dogs.

19. Old English Sheepdog

Highlights: Adaptable, Docile, Calm

The Old English Sheepdog is known for its shaggy coat and hairdo. They’re some of the most easy-going dogs thanks to their mellow and agreeable nature. However, they may be a little stubborn with strong herding instincts

They’ve been known try to herd children by directing them or keeping them in place. It may take a little longer with obedience training, but these dogs are wonderful companions if trained properly. 

Although they lack in obedience and working intelligence, these sheepdogs have very high adaptive and instinctive intelligence. Both of which, are significant components to true canine intelligence.

18. Great Pyrenees

Highlights: Patient, Docile, Sweet-natured

The Great Pyrenees is a big fluffy dog breed that’s often mistaken for a small polar bear. They are powerful dogs that love nothing more than to work, especially for the owners.

Though they didn’t score very high in Coren’s obedience trials, they’re not actually dumb dogs. In fact, they have exceptionally high instinctive intelligence – another component of dog IQ.

They were bred to be guardians of livestock in the snowy mountaintops.  And, they’re some of the best at their jobs. Protecting and guarding requires intelligence, just not the type that Coren measured.

17. Scottish Terrier

Highlights: Confident, Bold, Independent

The Scottish Terrier is a spirited companion that’s compact in size, but big in personality. They’re often described as dignified dogs, with a personality similar to a human’s. 

Thanks to their resilience and intensity, they’ve been nicknamed the “diehard.” But because they’re such independent dogs, they’re not a big fan of following a human’s commands.

With such qualities, these dogs think obedience is optional. Just because a Scottie doesn’t obey you doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand you.

16. Saint Bernard

Highlights: Curious, Playful, Brave

Saint Bernards are your friendly giant nanny dogs. For such a large fluffy dog, they’re quite playful and inquisitive by nature. In addition, they’re calm and patient dogs, which explains why they play well with rowdy kids.

However, in terms of obedience intelligence, they didn’t score very high. They’re not the type of dogs to obey you for the sake of obeying you. They can be very independent minded at times, but that’s all part of their charm.

Despite their low rankings, Saint Bernards are still relatively easy to train. With that said, these dogs have high adaptive intelligence, which more than makes up for the obedience.

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15. Bull Terrier

Highlights: Charming, Lively, Mischievous

The Bull Terrier is more or less your typical terrier. However, they may be the most comical and mischievous dog breed. They’re all about having fun and play time.

Though there’s a certain charm to their playful attitude, they are very stubborn dogs. In fact, it’s not unordinary for the Bull Terrier to have long stubborn streaks.

Sure, Bull Terriers are more difficult to train. However, they are fantastic companions that’ll thrive in the right environment – that is, full of affection and positive reinforcement

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14. Chihuahua

Highlights: Lively, Elegant, Charming

Chihuahua dogs are often thought to be dumb because they love to bark and pick fights with bigger dogs.

If you are someone who correlates intelligence with the size of the brain, then the Chihuahua is a dog breed that would emerge as being the least intelligent. From a Chihuahua’s perspective, size does not matter.

This explains why it regards itself as a valiant knight despite being one of the smallest in the canine world. This dog is brave and fearless, as seen by it’s knack for picking up fights with bigger opponents. Obviously, many would raise questions about its intelligence.

Pet owners feel that it is due to the pea-sized brain that a Chihuahua loves barking all the time. Lack of intelligence also renders this canine difficult to potty train. It is also believed to be responsible for their anti-social attitude, wherein they go round nipping every person.  

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13. Lhasa Apso

Highlights: Confident, Clownish, Playful

The Lhasa Apso is an ancient Chinese dog breed originating from the Himalayan region of Tibet. They served as sentinels in isolated monasteries – along with other breeds, such as the Tibetan Spaniel and Mastiff.

Most Lhasa Apso owners would be shocked that these dogs made this list. Because of their playful nature, they enjoy goofing around and having fun, instead of doing your bidding.

Still, every owner will tell you that the Lhasa Apso is a very intelligent dog breed. Though they aren’t great at obedience intelligence, they have extremely high adaptive intelligence.

12. Bullmastiff

Highlights: Loving, Devoted, Courageous

The Bullmastiff is a fierce working dog on the field, but a gentle companion in the home. Don’t let their exterior fool you, these dogs are sweet, kind and affectionate dogs.

As you may have guessed from the name, the Bullmastiff is the cross between a Bulldog and Mastiff. Their muscular build and sneaky athleticism makes them great as guard dogs.

However, when it comes to obedience training, they may not be so cooperative. Bullmastiffs have been called “tremendously strong and stubborn.” 

The 11 “Dumbest” Dog Breeds

The least intelligent dog breeds are usually the most stubborn, independent-minded and strong-willed dogs. They may not be the most obedient dogs, but they are smart in their own ways.

The 10 “dumbest” dog breeds need between 80 and 100 repetitions to learn a new command. In addition, these dogs will obey a known command (on the first attempt) just 25% or worse of the time.

11. Shih Tzu

Highlights: Loving, Playful, Social

The Shih Tzu is a legendary dog breed that’s been bred in China for thousands of years. In mandarin, their name translates to “little lion” because of their lion-like mane. 

Though playful, fun-loving and outgoing, the Shih Tzu can be mischievous at times. In fact, they tend to get themselves in trouble from time to time. Just ask any owner!

Combine that with their stubborn reputation and you have all the ingredients for a dog that would score low on an obedience intelligence test.

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10. Basset Hound

Highlights: Charming, Patient, Calm

Basset hounds aren't really dumb dog breeds, they just have powerful nose they can't help but follow.

Endearing that a Basset Hound appears (thanks to its droopy ears), nature-wise, it is nowhere close to being as amicable. The main reason why this dog breed is regarded as being dumb by pet owners is because they take a long time to grasp even the most basic instructions.

So, as a pet owner you should be prepared to show plenty of patience while training your Basset Hound. During the training session, expect your Basset Hound to be a bit slow in responding.

In addition, be prepared for them to get distracted with every possible scent. Similar to the Beagle, this breed is just overwhelmed by its powerful nose.

You might find this canine as being really lazy, laid-back and stubborn, but do not interpret this behavior as lack of intelligence. Provide it with the right motivation and you would be amazed at its efficiency.

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9. English Mastiff

Highlights: Brave, Proud, Sweet-natured

The English Mastiff is regarded as a dumb gentle dog.

When it comes to brawn and brains, most pet owners hold the opinion that this dog breed has only the former. There are several reasons for this impression.

The main reason is because the Mastiff dogs are reluctant in accepting just anyone as its master. Big and muscular that this canine is, it obeys only those whom it respects. Thus, others whom it chooses to ignore regard it as being dense and dim-witted.

To entice a response from this large canine, you need to be firm and consistent, and also ensure that your training sessions are short. Otherwise, you can just continue to tell your friends this dog breed is dumb to explain why it does not obey your commands.

8. Beagle

Highlights: Curious, Affectionate, Happy

The Beagle is one of the least intelligent dog breeds, but also one of the most popular.

‘Hard-headed’, ‘thick-headed’ and ‘empty-headed’ are some common terms that pet owners usually use to describe a beagle. In reality, the beagle is none of these. It can be argued that they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds that diligently follows its nose.

Because of this, no matter how much you try to train a beagle not to chase critters, it would end up doing just that. They can’t help but follow their nose. They were bred for it. Meanwhile you are bound to feel totally helpless as you watch all your efforts having wasted away.

That being said, Beagles are affectionate and having them around is good fun. It is their aversion to training which pet owners interpret as dumb behavior and love them anyway. However, their keen sense of smell make them some of the best police dogs in the world.

RECOMMENDED: Why Beagles Rank Low for Intelligence

7. Pekingese

Highlights: Regal, Affectionate, Loyal

The Pekingese are viewed as dumb dog breeds after been spoiled by royalty for hundreds of years.

Having been bred and revered by the royal members of China’s Tang Dynasty, this dog breed has it in its genes to assume the role of arm-candy.

Because no-one has ever expected a Pekingese to be anything more than a show-piece, this pooch does not believe in pushing itself. It is totally comfortable being a pampered lap-dog and enjoying the luxuries that life has to offer.

All the attention that the Pekingese receives makes it stubborn and independent, resulting in a dog that doesn’t accept any form of training. Unless trained to be social, this dog breed tends to assume a hostile attitude towards other animals and children.

This should be reason enough for you to be consistent with rules before the situation aggravates into a real problem. To be able to truly enjoy the affection of this small-sized canine, never allow it to get away with its tantrums.   

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6. Bloodhound

Highlights: Gentle, Inquisitive, Independent

Bloodhounds are some of the most widely used police dogs in the world – at least for search and narcotics. Because of their incredible sense of smell, they’re able to track a scent for over 130 miles!

Just imagine how distracted you’d be if you were able to smell so many scents at the same time. I know the first thing on my mind wouldn’t be following mundane commands.

Bloodhounds are also very independent dogs, meaning they’re friendly and affectionate but not overly attached to the owner. Just like the Beagle, Bloodhounds are specialists and have some of the highest instinctive intelligence in the dogdom.

5. Borzoi

Highlights: Friendly, Proud, Devoted

The Borzoi is erroneously mislabeled dumb because they're not interested in training.

Several habits of this dog breed are similar to a feline’s way of life, which explains its complete disregard for training. A Borzoi is extremely particular about its personal cleanliness, which is why it always appears well-groomed and impressive.

However, it is this self-obsession that causes this canine to not respond to training, even at the cost of being labeled dumb by its master.

If you realize that the beautiful and stately Borzoi is deliberately acting stubborn, then try countering this attitude by projecting yourself as the undisputed ‘head of the pack.’

Doing so might just convince the canine of your firm personality and it could soon start taking training a bit more seriously. As long as your training sessions are short, they will serve the purpose of transforming your borzoi into a well-mannered, loyal and pleasant companion.

4. Chow Chow

Highlights: Dignified, Bright, Independent

Although the Chow Chow is regarded as a dumb dog, I believe they're just a stubborn breed.

Decoding a Chow Chow could prove to be challenging for a dog owner, and this is why they are categorized with the dumb dog breeds. But, contrary to what most owners think, Chow Chows are not dumb. In fact, they are intelligent dogs that believe in following their own mind.

Given this strong proclivity for independent thinking, a Chow Chow is quite capable of challenging its owner or even accepting any form of authority.

Most of the time you’ll find a Chow Chow looking aloof and bearing a serious expression, which explains why they are an excellent choice for a guard dog.

Rather than cuddling this strong-willed canine, be firm with it and establish yourself as the one in charge (alpha dog). After a couple of difficult sessions, your persistence will pay off when your Chow Chow transforms into a loyal and friendly companion.

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3. Bulldog

Highlights: Affectionate, Brave, Docile

The Bulldog is considered to be the dumbest dog breed in the world.

All good things come in small packages. However, when it comes to bulldogs, you would need to change this age-old adage a bit.  It should really read as – all good things come in brave, affectionate and thick-headed packages.

Being brave implies that this dog breed can defend its owner against any adversity. Likewise its affectionate nature is indicative of how dependent this canine is on its master. But what renders them dumb in the eyes of pet owners all over the world is their reluctance to grasp and comply with instructions.

When it comes to handling a bulldog, the responsibility is on you to maintain a strict and regular training schedule. If you are consistent with the training and generous with your attention, you will soon acquire a well-trained and physically active companion by your side.

Missing out on both these aspects would lead to a lazy and lackluster dog that would stubbornly refuse to budge even an inch, thus living up to its image of being dumb.  

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2. Basenji

Highlights: Independent, Poised, Quiet

A Basenji is considered a dumb dog breed, but they're actually just disinterested in training.

Compare the Basenji to cats and you will have almost solved the riddle as to why they are virtually impossible to train. Like cats, a Basenji is fond of grooming itself, and like a cat, it is also inquisitive and playful.

On the flip side, this canine also has a tendency for stirring up trouble in ways which is strongly reminiscent of cats, not to mention their wild behavior and dislike for outsiders.

Cautious and vigilant, a Basenji is like a feline on the prowl. Use positive methods of training and do not expect any degree of obedience with a Basenji. At the same time, keep an eye on your Basenji so that you can rescue him in time.

If you know how to deal with them, you will have earned a grateful companion.   

1. Afghan Hound

Highlights: Independent, Gentle, Regal

The Afghan Hound is ranked 10th dumbest dog breed because of its unwillingness to obey and learn.

Dogs of this breed are slim, stylish and swift. It’s probably why have such confident personalities and high self-esteem. This in turn leads to an independent mind-set.

Try instructing an Afghan Hound to do your bidding and the only reaction you are likely to get is an aloof expression, as if it is unable to comprehend anything you say. It is because of this behavior that has also caused many pet owners to describe this dog breed as being ‘air-headed.’

Rather than expecting your Afghan Hound to follow instructions, accept them for what they are, namely for their excellent hunting skills. In lieu, you will have earned an affectionate and devoted fashionista for a pet.

Train your Afghan Hound while showing respect for its freedom of thought and it will reward you with unquestionable trust and devotion towards all members of your family.

The Truth About “Dumb Dogs”

No dog breed can be as dumb as this list make them out to be. And before you put one under this category, do spend some time to figure out if it might just be a little unconventional. Rather than labelling your pooch as dumb, you could try recognizing the fact that it may excel at different abilities.

Moreover, this classification is based on research, which may not be reliable for a number of reasons. To be able to draw accurate conclusions on dog breeds, each would need to be examined comprehensively over a long duration.

That would be highly impractical and not financially feasible. So, much of the existing data is not accurate enough to be treated as conclusive evidence. Therefore, to label a dog breed as being dumb based on an IQ test which cannot stand up to close scrutiny is unfair.

Ultimately, why does it matter whether your pooch is dumb or intelligent? As long as it is compatible with you and professes loyalty through thick and thin, its IQ doesn’t really matter.

What truly matters is whether it can make you smile through your tears, and if it can, then it is meant to be your pet, “dumb” or otherwise.

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About the author

Richard Jeng

Richard has been raising dogs his whole life, including a Poodle, Pomeranian, Corgi and Australian Shepherd. He's always working with animal shelters and dog rescues because of his passion for all dogs. Fun fact: his all time favorite breed is the German Shepherd. Read More.

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