15 Dog Breeds That Aren't Exactly the Smartest

Posted by Crystal Long
Pug makes funny face.

While we love all dogs, some pooches just aren't the sharpest tools in the shed... um, dog house? Meet 15 breeds that simply aren't, well, "smart."

We think it's safe to say that there's no doubting how much our dogs really mean to us (spoiler alert: it's A LOT!) -- after all, they do say dogs are a man's best friend, and truthfully, we can't agree more! But while the Border Collie is considered the world's smartest dog breed (with Poodles coming in a close second), there are indeed a few pooches out there that are simply not considered to be, well, the smartest of the pack.

Please note that what's considered a "dumb dog" is highly subjective!

First, let's breakdown what are considered to be intelligent dogs. According to canine psychologist, Dr. Stanley Coren, who wrote a book called 'The Intelligence of Dogs' in 1994, the intelligence of the loveable family pet can be broken down into three categories:

1. Instinctive Intelligence: this refers to the dog's ability to perform the tasks that it was bred for, like herding or as a hunting dog.
2. Adaptive Intelligence: this is their ability to think on their own; to independently problem solve and learn from previous experiences.
3. Working and Obedience Intelligence: this refers to the pooch's trainability -- i.e. their ability to learn new commands being taught by humans. (We always opt for positive reinforcement!)

Now that we have a basic understanding of how we measure intelligence in breeds of dogs, we bring what are believed to be the 15 "dumbest dog breeds."

However, we cannot say conclusively that these companion dogs are not intelligent dog breeds; they might just have a stubborn streak or they just need a few more training sessions than others! Some obedience training might just show that they are indeed smart dogs. In fact, they might be smarter than you think, minus the stubbornness and the independent nature of these doggos!

1. Afghan Hound

Like many sighthounds, Afghan Hounds can be aloof and not easy to train. These dogs have a stubborn and independent streak and can be standoff-ish with strangers.

2. Basenji

Another sighthound, Basenjis can be described as very cat-like, having similar characteristics as felines. They are also considered "untrainable".

3. Bulldog

Another breed known for their stubbornness, Bulldogs can be difficult to train. However, we wouldn't call them dumb... just ask those who skateboard or surf: they are definitely capable of learning.

4. Chow Chow

These adorable teddy-bear-like dogs were originally bred to be guard dogs. Chow Chows are strong-willed and stubborn, which does make them hard to train.

5. Borzoi

Yet another sighthound, Borzois have an independent nature. They are also known to be stubborn, making training itself become an exercise in patience.

6. Bloodhound

Notorious for being superb scent hounds, the Bloodhound can be hard to train because they are always distracted by the scents around them, on top of being stubborn and independent.

7. Pekingese

The Pekingese really enjoy the good life. These lap dogs of royalties in ancient China are stubborn and can be quite difficult to train, but we wouldn't necessarily write them off as "dumb".

8. Beagle

Like Bloodhounds, the beagle has a sensitive sense of smell, which leads them to some tricky situations. They are also stubborn and can be difficult to train.

9. Mastiff

This massive dog comes as chill as it can be. Laid-back and immensely chill, people often mistake the Mastiff as being a little "dumb." However, they are just stubborn and harder to train than others.

10. Basset Hound

Another scent hound, the Basset Hound is a little stubborn and can have trouble concentrating due to their sensitive nose. However, don't mistake this as lacking intelligence.

11. Bull Terrier

The American Kennel Club describes this breed as "Playful and clownish, the Bull Terrier is best described as a three-year-old child in a dog suit". If this doesn't say anything about this somewhat dopey breed, we don't know what does.

12. Chihuahua

These small dogs might be tiny, but they have a larger-than-life personality. They are fearless, but their "lack of intelligence" also makes them quite hard to potty-train.

13. Lhasa Apso

There's no denying that the Lhasa Apso is cute AF, but their main goal in life isn't to please their humans, which makes them a little hard to train.

14. Pug

As irresistible as Pugs are, they can be quite difficult to train. These goofy-looking dogs are also stubborn, but with the right motivator, like food, pugs can definitely be trained.

15. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are known to be stubborn dogs. Combined with their playful yet mischievous antics, these dogs have all the right markings for scoring low on the intelligence scale.

Do you live with any of these dog breeds? Share your pooch on the Wide Open Pets Facebook!

READ MORE: 10 Bravest, Most Common Breeds of Police Dogs

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15 Dog Breeds That Aren't Exactly the Smartest