Just Exactly How Smart Is A German Shepherd

Everyone knows German Shepherds are intelligent.I’m not just referring to their owners.If you asked strangers to name three characteristics of a German Shepherd, intelligence would most likely be on the list.But what exactly is intelligence, and how intelligent is a German Shepherd?

What exactly is intelligence?It is defined in the dictionary as “the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.”But not so quickly.Is it really that straightforward to define intelligence?I don’t think so, and neither do most other researchers.To truly comprehend intelligence, you must consider the ability to think abstractly, logic, understand, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Consider a dog who meets Webster’s definition of intelligence: a dog who can learn and apply knowledge and skills.A dog of this type could be trained to perform skills and do them well.But what’s to stop him from jumping off a cliff if he lacks logic and understanding of consequences?Even if a dog is well trained and can apply the skills he has learned, he has not been trained in the fine art of avoiding cliffs!That just goes to show how important it is not to concentrate on one aspect of intelligence.

To return to the question of how intelligent a German Shepherd is, the average dog has the intelligence of a two and a half year old toddler.However, German Shepherds are not your average dog and can be as intelligent as a three-year-old child.Let’s take a look at the top three most intelligent dogs.Border Collies are the smartest dog on the planet, followed by poodles and German Shepherds (perhaps the researchers all have poodles).

The difference in intelligence between these dogs is quite small, and a motivated member of any of the top several breeds would perform similarly if given identical tasks and tests.Researchers have tested far too few German Shepherds because they are usually overlooked when studying Border Collies.That, and Border Collie owners appear to be drawn to training tricks and other activities that most other dog owners do not.I believe it is to keep them occupied and prevent them from driving their owners insane!

Chaser, a Border Collie, has learned the names of 1,022 different items, more than any other animal tested, including primates and parrots.Very impressive, but keep in mind that dogs think more like humans than wild animals like primates and parrots because they evolved alongside and alongside us.And part of that is because they learn from us more easily than any wild animal.That’s just a disclaimer so no one thinks German Shepherds will ever outperform dolphins or chimps in practical intelligence tests!

German Shepherds can accept and recognize a wide range of verbal, audible, and nonverbal cues.They can learn new commands in as few as six to eight repetitions in terms of general intelligence.

During the tests, a researcher would place an object in Box A and let the test subjects find it.
When the experimenter switched and placed the object in Box B, the human babies and dogs became confused and continued to look for the object in Box A.Wolves, on the other hand, followed the evidence of their eyes and found the object in Box B.

Dogs and human children appear to have a lot in common.Both become accustomed to routines and expect assistance from adults.Wolves, on the other hand, do not have this luxury.So, who is the smarter of the two?Wolves and dogs, on the other hand, lead very different lives.One must fend for itself, while the other has staked its advantage on human intelligence and ingenuity.They are intelligent in two different ways.

German Shepherds are among the easiest dogs to train.The breed’s founder specifically mentioned “working aptitude” as a key trait.Working aptitude is best described as motivation and drive, which a properly bred German Shepherd has in abundance.This “working aptitude” is what makes German Shepherds so adaptable.A German Shepherd was the first seeing-eye dog, and they are still one of the most commonly used police dogs.German Shepherds are among the most commonly used military working dogs.This breed is capable of locating everything from landmines to missing children.From leading the blind to leading the fight against terrorism, he has done it all.

So, how intelligent is a German Shepherd?Toddler intelligence.Intelligent enough to learn and recognize a wide range of words, objects, commands, signals, and locations.But none of that matters if you don’t train your dog and develop an understanding and mutual respect relationship with him in order to channel his intelligence into positive behaviors.

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