All Things Dog

Do Dog I.Q. Tests Work?

Do Dog I.Q. Tests Work?

Like us, dogs have different kinds of intelligence. Some are talented in more ways than others.

Are you wondering whether your dog should bury his head in the books and come up with the next earth-shattering breakthrough or just enjoy the simple things in life? Our dogs may not have an Ivy League education, but we love them just the same because they've got doggie smarts.

Problem solving with the "Can Game"

Problem solving and I.Q. may (or may not) be the same thing, but here's a fun test that can be used to measure a dog's problem-solving ability.

What You'll Need:

  • An empty can (a soup or coffee can will do)
  • A piece of your dog's favorite treat (like a bite of chicken or a bone)
  • A timer (to see how fast your dog responds)

What To Do:

  • Command your dog to sit.
  • Let your dog sniff the treat.
  • With your dog watching carefully, slowly put the treat on the ground about six feet away. Then, cover the treat with the empty can.
  • Start the timer and command your dog to retrieve the treat.

How To Score:

  • 5 Points: If your dog gets the treat in 5 seconds or less.
  • 4 Points: If your dog gets the treat in 5 to 15 seconds.
  • 3 Points: If your dog gets the treat in 15 to 30 seconds.
  • 2 Points: If your dog gets the treat in 30 to 60 seconds.
  • 1 Point: If your dog just sniffs the can or doesn't respond.

What do these results really mean?

The test above was originally created by Dr Stanley Coren, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Now, is it an accurate measure of your dog's intelligence? There's debate around that question. But, here's our advice: Take it with a grain of salt and have fun with it. Like us, dogs have different kinds of intelligence. Some are talented in more ways than others. After all, who are we to say whose brain reigns supreme in the four-legged world?

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