How clever are dogs really?

The dog chases its tail… again. You’d be forgiven for thinking that man’s best friend isn’t the brightest spark, but you’d be wrong, as psychologist Stanley Coren from the University of British Columbia in Canada has discovered. Coren collected data from 208 dog obedience experts who judge canine intelligence or talent competitions. The dogs were found to have the same intelligence level as a child aged between two and two-and-a-half, and their brains structured in a similar way to a human. The pooches could process voices, decipher emotions, recognise over 200 commands and even solve simple mathematical problems. So which is the smartest breed? “Border collies are number one; poodles are second, followed by German shepherds. Fourth on the list is golden retrievers; fifth, dobermans; sixth, Shetland sheepdogs; and finally, Labrador retrievers,” said Coren.

Quick fact