Thursday, March 12, 2009

News: Smartest Dog Breeds

The 1o smartest dog breeds, includes the most common breeds working as service dogs, the Labrador and the Golden Retriever. Many of the other breeds listed may have the smarts to be a service dog, but being a service dog requires more than just brains.
Some example of traits that generally keep dogs from being happy working as a service dog:/
10th Smartest- The Australian Cattle Dog-"its qualities are exceptional intelligence, alertness, resourcefulness, and a fiercely protective loyalty over its property and people." Service dogs must be able to accept strange people moving in an out of their space all the time. Cattle dogs and the number one smartest dog, the Border Collie are an example of dogs who are just plain too smart and high energy to be happy living with a person whose disabilities cause them to be low energy and in a job where a lot of time is spent waiting.
People working service dogs need dogs who are not only smart enough to do the work but flexible across the board. Some of the dogs on the list are also subject to breed specific legislation such as the Rottweiler, the German Shepherd, and the Doberman Pincher that make it even more difficult for these dogs to be affective as service dogs. Their history as protection, police, and guard dogs also tends to make the public very afraid of these dogs, which can make it very difficult to work these dogs in public. I am not saying individual dogs of these breeds don't make good service dogs,in fact, here is a page show casing Rottweiler Service Dogs. These three breeds;however, are generally classified in the dog world as "not for first time owners." Many people looking to partner with service dogs fall into this category making the amiable and forgiving natures of Labs and Goldens the top choice for most service dog training organizations. People looking for a dog to owner train should remember to look at each dog not only for smarts but the temperament to thrive in the world demanding human a partner whose energy and activity vary greatly.


Carolyn said...

I always thought Charlie was one smart pooch! Guess it's all about being a golden!

Melissa Mitchell said...

Dear Carolyn,
The fun part about that is Charlie is still really young. The real fun has yet to begin. I am glad that North Star uses positive training. It takes already smart dogs and turns them into super problem solvers. Sometimes what my first SD could figure out at once amazed and scared me. He is smart and fast. I had to learn to be one step ahead of him.

Katrin said...

I generally tell people, with a laugh, that for service dog life is Very Boring. It's all about - sit around and wait until you're needed. Most of it is just being patient and conserving energy. And I agree a lot of those breeds just aren't cut out for a life like that.

Melissa Mitchell said...

Dear Katrin,
I don't know that I would characterize a service dog's life as boring. I mostly tell people that a service dog's life is a lot of hurry up and wait.

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