10 Least Intelligent Dogs

Posted by on Jun 1st, 2016 and filed under Pets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

With good comes bad and with smart comes stupid. With every positive quality comes a negative. Yes, this applies to dog breeds, as silly as it may sound. You have probably seen or heard about how smart some dogs are. These dogs are usually the ones that hog up all of the limelight. Mostly everyone wants an intelligent dog that can be trained to do things that most dogs can’t. On the other hand, some people don’t.

What’s so wrong with a not-so-intelligent dog anyway? It all depends on what you want to do with the dog. If you’re looking for a dog that will herd your cattle, you’ll want one that is on the more intelligent side. If you’re looking for a lap dog to sit and cuddle with day-to-day, you probably aren’t too worried about how smart the dog is. It’s time to steal some of the thunder from those intelligent breeds. Move over Labradors! Here is a list of the top 10 least intelligent dog breeds:

10. Basset Hound


At the top of the list is the Basset Hound. You can find this breed sporting droopy eyes and long ears that drag on the floor when it walks. These dogs have a very keen sense of smell and can pick up odors most dogs can’t. Though this breed of dog lacks intelligence, they are very gentle dogs and are devoted to their owners. Basset Hounds aren’t the brightest dog in the bunch, but they have great tempers and are great around people. Even though you might be stuck repeating “sit, speak” or other commands to a Basset Hound, this breed of dog is perfect for an owner who is looking for a dog that is well behaved.
9. Beagle


Another breed of dog that has been proven very challenging to train is the Beagle. Though these dogs are very cute and cuddly, they can easily drive you up the wall, especially when you are trying to train them to do certain things. Beagles can’t be necessarily considered stupid dogs, but they are very independent, which makes training much harder than it is with many other breeds of dog. This breed is always sure to provide its owner love and attention, especially after the long day of learning how to heel. Beagles are generally small to medium sized dogs and are great with children and other breeds of dogs, just not cats.

8. Mastiff

Does bigger breed always mean bigger brain? Not in this case. The Mastiff is one of the biggest dog breeds available, but they have proven to be extremely stubborn. The Mastiff can weigh up to 130lbs. It’s like you have another person living in your home with you! Though they have always been great guard dogs, training a Mastiff to do certain things is most definitely a task at hand. If you plan to train a Mastiff, you want to have previous dog training experience. You also want to be sure that you speak in a kind, soft voice since these big-bodied dogs are a little on the sensitive side. When training a Mastiff, it is important that the sessions are short and sweet.

7. Pekingese


What a name, huh? The Pekingese has proven to be a very difficult dog to train. You might be able to blame it on the fact that these breed of dog has so much hair everywhere. Maybe it’s so hard to train because it can’t see or hear properly because of all of the fur! Though this would be a great excuse for the Pekingese, this breed of dog is simply very independent and dominating. Training a Pekingese can be like training a very stubborn child. In order to successfully train this breed of dog, you have to be firm and you have to be consistent. This is the perfect example of a small dog with a big heart. Though ranging from a small to medium sized dog, the Pekingese has always been a great breed to have as a watch dog. They are extremely loyal to their owners, but stubborn at the same time.

6. Bloodhound


This may come as a surprise. The Bloodhound is #6 on the list. If you’ve heard anything about this breed of dog, you have probably heard about how great of a nose it has. Though not the most intelligent dog, I think it’s safe to say that the keen sense of smell this breed of dog has is enough to reconsider its “low” intelligence. The Bloodhound can track any scent that is needs to. Amazingly, these dogs are able to trace and follow a scent trail that is hundreds of hours old. Could your dog’s nose do that? Probably not! When it comes to training the Bloodhound, you need to be firm and be extremely patient. They are independent and determined dogs, so they kind of follow their nose more than they follow your training commands.

5. Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound)


If you have ever had a pet cat, you can relate to owning a Borzoi. This breed of dog is extremely cat-like, especially when it comes to the independent and free-thinking nature of the dog. Though not an extremely popular dog, many people enjoy this breed because of the affection they bring. The Borzoi can be seen as one of those “stuck-up” dogs. As silly as it sounds, these dogs are generally more concerned about themselves than they are their masters. You can probably find a Borzoi cleaning itself. If you are willing to spend hours upon hours training this type of dog, good luck! Again, this dog, despite its hardships when it comes to learning training commands, is a very loyal dog that is extremely affectionate.

4. Chow Chow


No we’re not talking about food. This is another breed of dog that has a personality that is very similar to a cat. Chow Chows are generally small indoor dogs with a yappy bark. The Chow Chow demands attention, especially when there is a new visitor at the home. They are a very jealous breed of dog and like to be at the center of everything. Any owner who has a Chow Chow must be firm and strong-willed. This breed of dog, though small, is very dominant and can easily take charge of its owner if the owner isn’t firm enough. Again, this dog isn’t stupid, it has proven to be very hard to train because of the nature and personality of the dog. Remember, stubborn doesn’t mean stupid. In any case, the Chow Chow is a great dog to have around the house to snuggle with.

3. Bulldogs

Despite the name, Bulldogs are one of the most gentle and affectionate breed of dog that you will ever come into contact with. The Bulldog is a very courageous dog that sometimes seems to have a mind of its own. Don’t let the name fool you. Yes a Bulldog can guard, control, and bait a bull, but it takes time and patience in order to train a Bulldog to do so. These dogs are very dependable, but it’s getting past the training part that becomes a hassle. Bulldogs are extremely great dogs when it comes to guarding the home. If you’ve ever seen a Bulldog, you’ve probably noticed that its face isn’t the prettiest one around. Who would want to mess with a dog with such a mean face? Bulldogs are very affectionate and time consuming, especially with training.

2. Basenji


Another not-so-popular dog, but let’s bring it to the spotlight. The Basenji is known for its bark. It is so unique in the fact that it sometimes can sound like a human being either laughing or crying. If you’ve ever been around a Basenji, you’ve probably looked around for a baby or a chuckling human. This breed of dog is just another breed that has cat-like characteristics. These dogs can spend hours grooming themselves, much like cats. After grooming, you can probably find a Basenji looking out the window, watching everything outside. These dogs have proven to be very temperamental as well as independent. This is what makes the Basenji a hard breed of dog to train.

1. Afghan Hound


The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs known today. They were around during ancient times and their personalities haven’t changed much. They are affectionate and love being around their owners. They are also extremely sensitive and don’t have a high dominance level. Though these dogs aren’t looking to rule above you, they have an extremely low obedience level. You may need to call for your Afghan Hound a few times before it comes back inside of the house. Many say that the personality of the breed makes up for its lack of intelligence. The Afghan Hound has also been said to be cat-like and prefers to be on its own instead of listening to an owner.

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10 Responses for “10 Least Intelligent Dogs”

  1. GCS says:

    These are great lists with useful anecdotal info. I’m a small animal veterinarian and agree with the descriptions here. My personal honorable mentions for this list are the Irish Setter followed closely by the Gordon Setter. They are very affectionate lovable dogs suitable for families with children, but they are excitable and easily distracted from a task at hand when being trained. They are very trainable however, with some extra time and work. I think of Irish Setters having a brain with a good fast CPU but not nearly enough RAM.

    The ‘Smartest Dogs” list is great too. Others to consider there are the Bernese Mountain Dog, and especially the Flat-Coated Retriever, which I would describe as similar in personality to a Labrador but a bit more attentive and bright. Perhaps they are harder to train than a Lab, but this is just a reflection of their independence and intelligence.

    I really feel that the strongest offerings in dog intelligence show up in the strange combinations of mixed breeds we know as mutts and mongrels. It is a simple matter of hybrid vigor, where the out-crossing of distinct gene pools within a species strengthens the phenotype. It is the same with corn, dogs (but not corndogs), humans, and any other species that undergoes sexual reproduction. Many health problems specific to purebred dogs are, quite simply, an extension of the inbreeding that so rapidly across time, sculpted each breed, distinctly from the others.


  2. CharlesS says:

    Actually, this post is in the least intelligent category.

    If you are really serious (are you???), then what are your metrics? Or perhaps it is just a joke.

    Often a breed will be bread to be ‘independent’ – or more dominant. I’m thinking of a Rottweiler. Such a dog might be difficult to train due to it not being as likely to seek human affirmations like another breed. Is a cat less intelligent than a dog? Does a dog know how to out smart a mouse, or a bird? Is stealth a type of intelligence?

    Among human ‘breeds’ or races it has been speculated there are differences in intelligence. Again, what is the metric? When an individual from race A is tested on criteria familiar to race B he fails. Likewise, B fails A. This has been proven again and again.

  3. Oliver Kiss says:

    I constantly read how the Chow Chow is one of the most stupid dogs, but being a recent puppy owner, I have to disagree. I received my pup when she was 8 weeks old, and she was already house broken! I’ve heard horror stories about different breeds doing peepee caca in the house many times a day!

    I brought her to a friend’s house 3 times, and the third time we took a nice 30 minute walk around the neighborhood, one that she’s never walked around in until this day. We let her off the leash a couple of houses from my friend’s house, and she jogged over and turned right onto the front porch! What’s a smart pooch!

    I don’t disagree that she’s independent, even down right stubborn, but that and being stupid are entirely 2 different things.

  4. Ali Rae says:

    I never heard of Beagles being dumb. I heard that they’re stubborn and have a hard time not following their nose. My dog is half beagle half shepherd and was very easy to train and is extremely smart. The only thing we could never get her to do was walk on a leash without us being walked.

  5. Mike Clarke says:

    Your post is without question a terrible piece of writing. Just because a breed is hard to train, does not make them “stupid”. It is people like you that make people shy away from great dog breeds. Having owned German Shepards, Labs, Dobermans and Rotts, I would not trade my 2 Basenjis for any of them. They are the most INTELLIGENT animals I have ever had the pleasure of being around. Furthermore, Basenjis do not bark, they yodel. If you are going to bash a certain breed, ensure you can atleast talk about them INTELLIGENTLY please.

  6. Jean Clarkson says:

    I agree with Mike, terrible writing and how am I to know these breeds have been researched well over various sources. And one question still remains in my mind, why would a perfectly good veterinarian go on this website and post comments. Or may that be a poser?

  7. Deb Paquette says:

    I think perhaps if this article had been entitled “Most difficult to train” or something not having to do with intelligence, it would have been less misleading. I bred Basenjis and own 5, and the last thing I would call them is “dumb”. More like “too smart for their own good”. They are creative problem-solvers, curious, receptive animals. Again, like the comment about the Rotties above, these dogs were bred to be silent, independent hunters. Yes, they’re stubborn and hard to train, but dumb? I don’t think so! As a teacher, I know the hardest kids to teach are sometimes the smartest ones! They already feel they know more than I.

  8. kaylee kay says:

    This peice of writing is absoulutely ridicoulous. Beagles are in no way unintelligent and untrainable. if they are then why are they used in many movies and also they are sniffer dogs. many dogs are unique and just because a dog is stubborn does not mean it is dumb. beagles can sometimes be stubborn and so can many other dogs but this does not mean that that whole breed of dog is sudennly unintelligent. The stupid and unitelligent author of this article should get their facts right and call this article “hardest dogs to train” but even if they did they can not put these wonderful dogs on the list. Like Deb said the last thing i would call a stubborn dog is dumb, just too smart so it knows it has better things to do than listen to its owner.
    Beagles are beautiful and loving and also vey intelligent dogs so this article can shove it up its butt.

  9. Maika says:

    i only able to say this list are in general.
    where your personal experience with your dog may not be the case.
    People might say my dog is smart or stupid. However, intelligence between dogs of same breed might differ from each other.

  10. Beagle owner says:

    I completely disagree with this post.. Like many others here who’ve commented on the beagle making it to the list [!!!] .. Maybe you should get the facts right. Beagles are intelligent dogs. They are stubborn yes, but thats because they have a mind of their own. They are NOT hard to house break and they do understand commands. Just because a dog is stubborn does not mean hes unintelligent! You need to rethink this before u post here coz u just might mislead potential dog owners about these wonderful dogs.

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