Do You and Your Pooch Measure Up to the Smartest Dog Breeds?

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Do You and Your Pooch Measure Up to the Smartest Dog Breeds?

Like any dog lover, you believe your pup is the smartest dog on the block, but is he? Although the lineup varies somewhat, many experts agree Border Collies, Poodles and German Shepherd Dogs top the list of the world's smartest dog breeds. So, how do you and your dog stack up?

1. You both have an extended vocabulary.

According to canine experts, intelligent, trained dogs learn an average of 165 words, and the smartest dog breeds are capable of mastering a 250-word vocabulary. This puts the top 20 percent of dogs on par with a two-and-a-half-year-old child, says psychologist and dog intelligence expert, Dr. Stanley Coren. And, although one extraordinary Border Colliar named Chaser developed a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words with the help of his trainer, you, with your limitless lingo, are smarter than your pooch when it comes to conversation.


2. Your dog's sense of smell is 100,000 times sharper than yours, and more accurate.

Paws down, you can't "out-smell" your dog in a contest, but you can benefit from his incredible sniffer. In fact, our four-legged friends can be trained to detect cancer, or another illness, before you realize there's a health concern. How does he do that? The 300 million scent receptors in his nose send signals to a section of his brain for analysis that is 40 times greater than a human brain's odor-interpretation capabilities.

3. Neither of you have psychic powers, but you both understand each other.

Are you convinced your dog can read your mind? Can you read his? Fortunately, neither of you have to be one of the world's smartest dog breeds to score points in this psychic arena. It turns out dogs of every breed are often so in tune with their people (and vice versa), they sometimes appear to have psychic abilities.

For instance, when you get up from your chair and head toward your pup's leash, he jumps up and starts doing his excited "going for a walk dance" before you ever say the word "outside". Canine behavior expert, Cesar Milan says this isn't psychic ability, but rather a learned behavior.

Regardless of your dog's limited vocabulary and lack of psychic skills, his amazing ability to detect cancer is something the average human can't do. And, it's not just the smartest dog breeds that can be trained in this potentially life-saving skill.

See how smart you are for having a dog, or two, in your life?

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