How Smart is your Pet?

How Smart is your Pet?

Ever wondered why some pets catch on easier than others?  Ever questioned how you determine a dog’s IQ in the first place?

When it comes to smart pets, it’s not uncommon to find a cat or dog who seems to grasp things quicker than others. There will always be that dog that learns how to potty train, fetch, come when called fasted than his or her furry friend.

However, smarts are not everything. Just like humans, pets have different degrees of intelligence. A common assumption by many is that certain types of pets or breeds are smarter than others, but which are the most intelligent pets and how smart is your pet?

As much as specific intelligence is based on the individual pet, all pets are smart companions in their own special way, are all lovable and make for the best of friends. However, some are more lovably clueless than others.

When it comes to working intelligence and following commands, certain pet breeds stand out. So, if you’re curious about your pet’s IQ, read on because we’ve answered some FAQs about pets’ IQs that may help you to choose a pet breed that’s best suited for you and your family.


What makes a pet “smart?”

Pet breeds’ levels of intelligence are often based on their obedience, instincts and adaptability. Some pets are socially and emotionally dependent on humans, making it easier to train them. They are way more receptive to our idea of what they should do and have some intuitive smarts.

Some dog breeds, for example, are not receptive but have superior senses of smell and sight. Others might have a superb sense of hearing but can not take direction well.

Do pets have an IQ?

Not exactly. For pets, IQ mostly depends on the particular quality you’re observing.

However, you can have your pet take an IQ test or simply run a few tests with them at home. If your pet can learn a new command in less than four repetitions, you can consider them among the Einsteins of pets!

Are bigger dogs smarter than small dogs?

It has been suggested that bigger dogs breeds could be smarter than small dog breeds, but this claim has not been confirmed as a fact.

From a recent study, data was obtained from 1,888 dogs, and the results were unambiguous. There was a clear trend indicating that larger dogs were able to accurately remember over a longer period of time than their smaller counterparts.

Keep in mind, however, that some companion dogs were bred to have particular traits, like being calm and non-confrontational. Many small breeds are bred down from larger breeds, and thus have similar drives, instincts, and yes, smarts.

Which is the Most Intelligent Small Pet

The rat is arguably one of the smartest small pets. Widely used in research for their intelligence, rats can perform a number of tasks, like solving puzzles and mazes. In eastern cultures, rats are revered for being cunning and resourceful. If you are looking to have a low maintenance and intelligent pet, then a rat would definitely be a great option.

Most Intelligent Non-Traditional Pet

With the increase of smaller-bred pot-bellied varieties, pet pigs are quickly gaining popularity all over the world. While these gorgeous fur babies are often mistaken as sloppy or gluttonous, pigs are one of the most intelligent animals in existence.

Domesticated pigs are very intelligent and can even match the training abilities of most dogs. Because they possess flexibility in diet and can easily adapt to any climate condition, pigs have undoubtedly become a popular modern choice for a pet.

Most Intelligent Bird

If you are a bird lover and are looking for a highly intelligent bird that has a strong desire to learn, then you need not look further than the African Grey. These birds are known to have a vocabulary of up to 2,000 words! They are demanding and are not meant for the average pet owner because their high levels of intelligence require constant stimulation to avoid boredom.

With the right amount of stimulation and attention, these birds are loyal and affectionate. They can live up to 70 years, so it’s important to have a care plan in place for them for the entirety of their life.


Smartest Cat Breeds

Intelligent cats usually have lots of energy coupled with a mischievous streak. Their naughtiness is, however, related to how inquisitive they are. Most brainy cats enjoy challenges, playing interactive games and learning tricks. These intelligent felines are also able to understand household routines, like when you return home, their mealtimes, and certain activities are carried out.

Ranking a cat’s learning abilities is not as straightforward as it is with other pets because of their often aloof nature. Even so, certain breeds exhibit higher levels of intelligence and have increased abilities to solve problems, learn and easily adapt to new environments.



The Abyssinian is a sleek-looking, agile, athletic and affectionate cat. They are highly intelligent and in tune with the daily activities of their human family members. This breed enjoys perching, heights and surveilling everything. Of all the cat breeds, this one will absolutely enjoy running a feline agility course and learns tricks very quickly. They’re not lap cats but generally love getting brushed or petted. Abyssinians tend to love the company of other pets and easily adapt to most living arrangements.


The Balinese look like a long-haired version of a Siamese cat. They are active cats who love to investigate what their humans are doing. They are also chatty and often vocalise their opinions. Puzzles, teaser toys and climbing are some of the ways to keep them stimulated and entertained. The Balinese cat breed can walk on a leash, learn to fetch and figure tricks out very quickly. They are affectionate with their humans, but can get into mischief if left unstimulated for long.


The Bengal is probably best known for its exotic coat that almost resembles that of a leopard or jaguar. This cat breed is said to have originated from cross-breeding a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat.

Though still a bit wild, Bengals are athletic and highly intelligent. They love to run, climb, jump and play. For this reason, they need ample space to exercise and have mental challenges, like toys and puzzle games. Some Bengals can turn a light switch on and off because of their nimble paws which are almost as good as human hands. They can also pull small items out of drawers and pluck pet fish out of the home aquarium.


Smartest Dog Breeds

Border Collie

There are many smart dog breeds. However, one of the most notably intelligent one is the Border Collie. Like the African Grey bird, their high level of intelligence makes the Border Collies a highly demanding dog breed. They require lots of stimulation and attention. Like other intelligent dog breeds, they require a purpose in life or some kind of task like herding, lest they end up bored and destructive.

With proper training and attention, Border Collies have legendary intelligence and have earned top titles in obedience, agility, and, more notably, herding.

These herders dogs took the top spot in Stanley Coren’s intelligence rankings, meaning most can learn a new command in under five repetitions and follow it at least 95% of the time. They require lots of stimulation, attention and a purpose in life or some kind of task like herding, lest they end up bored and destructive.


Poodles are loved not only for their cuteness or hypoallergenic qualities. These curly-coated cuddly pets don’t shed and are the perfect choice for a sneeze-free friend dog breed. They are also famous for their working intelligence.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd can happily serve as a police dog, seeing eye dog, medical assistance dog and therapy dog. Their consistently obedient and intelligent character comes as a standard with this breed, making it a perfect choice for an intelligent and useful pet.


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Information sources:-


Absolute brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function


Why Do Cats Like High Places?


Are Big Dogs Smarter Than Small Dogs?



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