When it comes to obedience, various factors can affect a dog’s disposition. The quality and duration of training, environmental factors, and the puppies’ individual personalities are all major contributors, but how much can a dog’s breed and genetic makeup come into play?
In 1994, neuropsychological researcher Stanley Coren set out to compile the definitive resource for understanding the inner workings of our canine companions, captured in his book “The Intelligence of Dogs”. Coren’s research was based on extensive surveys of 208 obedience judges from American and Canadian Kennel Clubs, representing half of all judges in North America. According to Coren, 51% of a dog’s intelligence comes from its genes while 49% is based on environmental circumstances. Coren eventually collected statistically significant data for 140 recognized dog breeds, ranking them based on their working intelligence and obedience. This form of canine intelligence represents a breed’s ability to learn and respond to commands and training, described by Coren as a “measure of what the dog can do for humans.”
From Coren’s research, Stacker compiled the breeds that rank in the lower half of working intelligence and obedience. Each race is broken down based on their estimated understanding of the new commands and their ability to obey a command known the first time around, while adding details about their trainability and history as a race. Coren’s research assessed the animal’s problem-solving skills, obedience, memory, social training, and powers of observation.
Read on to see why not all retrievers are created equal in terms of training ability, and why you can’t write off pocket dogs when it comes to their watchdog abilities.
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