We Now Know the Smartest Dogs According to New Study That Says Yours Is Not One of Them

Photo: Darwin Wiggett (Getty Images) 

We all think our dog is smart. This is because we taught them simple tasks like fetch, rollover, and shake. Some of us taught our dog to grab the morning paper or a beer from the fridge. We assume that the level of intelligence needed to complete these tasks means that our dog is the Albert Einstein (or Albark Einstein) of dogs. But if your dog isn’t a Border Collie then it’s simply not that smart.

This is according to new research out of Hungary. A study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science revealed that Border Collies are even smarter than we ever thought. The researchers studied six border collies and their ability to remember the names of particular toys.

The experiment was broken up into four parts where the dogs were taught as many as twelve words per week and were then tested on their ability to remember these words. They didn’t originally intend to use border collies, but preliminary testing revealed them to be the best “gifted word learners”.

They studied three females and three males with an average age of 3.6 years old. They were selected because each dog already knew the names of at least 26 toys before the study. After teaching the dogs names of toys, they remembered 86% of the toy names during the initial experiment, 61.1% after one month, and a remarkable 57% after two months. This is crazy because the dogs hadn’t seen the toys in two months and still remembered more than 50% of their names.

The researchers also found that Australian shepherds, Pekingese, and German shepherds are also pretty good at learning new words. Sadly, your tiny chihuahua didn’t manage to make the cut. At least it looks cute in a tiny cowboy hat and matching boots.