by No Dogs Allowed
By now, you may have heard of Dr. Stanley Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs. Dr. Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, uses “trainability” as the primary intelligence criterion. So trainable = smart. I respectfully disagree. Most dogs don’t fulfill the purpose for which they were originally bred, which makes them frustrated, prone to destroying their owners’ property, and barking endlessly.
Here’s Dr. Coren’s Top Ten List of Smart Dogs:
1. Border Collie: A workaholic, this breed is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct, and working ability.
DHU Review: One of the most annoying breeds, certainly. A working dog that should never be kept as a pet. In my younger days, I used to jog a few laps around my neighborhood, and a neighbor’s border collie usually followed me. It wouldn’t just go around a block or two with me, it had to follow me the whole freakin’ 2 1/2 miles that I ran. I hated that dog. It was always trying to herd me whenever I ran, and I had to stop to let it run in front of me several times; and people would get pissed off when they saw the dog running loose, and they would ask me “Is that your dog?” in an annoyed tone, and I would always say “No, it’s just following me,” and they would make dismissive grunting noises, as if they didn’t believe me. Which they probably didn’t. But I swear, the dog wasn’t mine, and I hated my canine running companion. I used to wish it would run in front of a moving car, but unfortunately it never did.
2. Poodle: Exceptionally smart and active. Bred to retrieve things from the water. The miniature variety may have been used for truffle hunting.
DHU Review: Truffle hunting! How useful – I do that all the time! Ugly, nervous, barking fluffballs from hell. And I speak from experience because I grew up with poodles. Big-time fail. Next!
3. German Shepherd: The world’s leading police, guard, and military dog — and a loving family companion and herder.
DHU Review: Yeah, they were Hitler’s favorite canine companion, and that says a lot about them, doesn’t it? Big, scary and ugly. Maybe good as police dogs, but otherwise dangerous because these dogs are probably smarter than their owners, and they know it. Which makes them even scarier.
4. Golden Retriever: Intelligent and eager to please. Bred as a hunting companion; ideal as a guide and as assistance with search-and-rescue operations.
DHU Review: Dumb, dumb, dumb. Goldens are the dumb blondes of the canine world, and I apologize if I’ve offended anyone with that remark. But that’s how I think of them. We had a Golden Retriever named “Goldie” (such an original name!) that lived behind us when I was a kid, and I fed it mud-covered rocks through our chain-link fence. And the dumb mutt ate them like Christmas candy. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
5. Doberman Pinscher: Known for its stamina and speed. Bred to be a guardian and in demand as a police and war dog.
DHU Review: Dangerous and scary. There’s a reason these dogs are often used as killer guard dogs. They freak me out with their small, pointed heads and large bodies. Just stay away.
6. Shetland Sheepdog: The “Sheltie” is essentially a miniature working Collie. A rough-coated, longhaired working breed that is keenly intelligent. Excels in herding.
DHU Review: Herding – such a useful skill in today’s urban and suburban landscape! I might have use for this dog if it could herd away the Jehovah’s Witnesses and magazine salesmen that come a knockin’ at my front door - but then again, I have the personality of a pit bull, so a herding dog is not necessary. Next.
7. Labrador Retriever: An ideal sporting and family dog. Gentle and intelligent.
DHU Review: F*ck gentle and intelligent, how about most annoying breed ever? And Labrador owners are the dumbest people on Earth. I often see Lab owners amuse themselves for hours by throwing tennis balls and Frisbees for their dogs to catch. Really, don’t you have anything better to do? F*cking losers.
8. Papillon: A happy, alert breed that isn’t shy or aggressive. Known as Dwarf Spaniels in the 16th and 17th centuries, they reach 8-11 inches high.
DHU Review: Great, perfect height for stomping on! Next.
9. Rottweiler: Robust and powerful, the breed is happiest with a job. Suitable as a police dog, herder, service dog, therapy dog, obedience competitor, and devoted companion.
DHU Review: A mauling masterpiece. When a dog that attacks someone is not a pit bull, it’s usually a Rottenweiler. Should never be kept as a pet because these dogs are smarter than their owners, and like German Shepherds, they know it…which makes them even more dangerous.
10. Australian Cattle Dog: Happiest doing a job like herding, obedience, or agility. Energetic and intelligent.
DHU Review: Great, except I don’t own cattle or live in Australia, so it would be pretty useless for me. And energetic means hyper, which means destructive, which is a most annoying quality. Next.
So all of these so-called “smart” dogs should be a joy to own, right? Even Dr. Coren disagrees with that sentiment. “Smart doesn’t mean easy,” he says. No sh*t, Sherlock. Dumb dogs are difficult to keep as pets, which is one reason their appeal is lost on me.
Jack Russells are supposed to be smart – although they didn’t make Dr. Coren’s Top Ten list – but really, how smart is a dog that eats 111 pennies? That’s exactly what “Jack” the Jack Russell (again, dog owners are so clever when it comes to naming their mutts!) did recently in Manhattan. Well, at least that makes the dog worth $1.11. Otherwise, it’s worthless.
And Labs are smart? “Barney” the Chocolate Lab in Surrey, England recently ate over 100 rocks and lived to bark about it. How smart is it to eat over 100 rocks? I think Dr. Coren needs to revise his list.
I think this is the only dog I could ever allow in my house! But then again, I’d have to buy an iPhone, which I hate almost as much as dogs, so maybe not.