How to Test a Dog’s IQ? Tips for Evaluating K9 Smarts!

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Can I Give My Dog an IQ Test?IQ tests evaluate intelligence (for the human mind only).

But, guess what…

You can give your dog this type of test!

Everyone thinks their pets are clever. Why not evaluate how smart they truly are!

IQ tests for dogs are easy to do and won’t cost you anything. You’ll also better understand your furry friend.

There are some basic things you can try on the family dog.

Results aren’t scientific, but they reveal intelligence (or lack of).

Remember though…

Dogs are man’s best friend. Unconditional love can’t top smarts!

You Can (sort of) Give Your Dog an IQ Test

But take something into account…

Breed plays a big role in a pet’s intelligence.

Of course, there are always exceptions. Your dog, whatever their breed, may be very clever.


Science is discovering that the average pet is smarter than initially thought.

Here’s the deal:

Dog intelligence is evaluated through behavioral reactions, or simple problem solving.

Common canine scenarios reveal a lot!

Do this:

Try a quality interactive toy for dogs. It can bring out the IQ capabilities of a pet.

Instinctive vs. Learned

Intelligence, or IQ, falls into two categories.

One is instinctive, which is largely determined by genetic makeup and breed. This is natural ability.

The other is doggie smarts which comes from experience and training.

Learned intelligence is acquired. This explains why some dogs can be taught new tricks more easily than others.

Limits to Testing Accuracy

There’s overlap between these types of mental abilities.

Other factors?

A dog’s willingness to participate, enthusiasm level and health. You can see why results aren’t completely accurate.

If your pup is easy to train then they’re likely smart.

IQ testing sort of goes hand-in-hand with dog training. Below are examples of fun and interesting mental exercises you can try.

Basic IQ Tests for Dogs

One of our favorites is a memory test using 3 cups.

Cover up a tasty treat under one of the cups. Then, distract Fido with something else.

Can they locate the treat on the first try?

Another test is silly but revealing of IQ.

Here goes…

With your dog watching, pretend to grab a snack somewhere in arm’s reach. As you chew the imaginary food, do they know that you’re fooling around or do they salivate?

Testing a dog’s ability to recognize danger is another intelligence aspect.

Do they know to look both ways before crossing the street?

That type of awareness should get some serious bonus points.

You can literally think up hundreds of situations which require reasoning on your dog’s part.

Scoring Your K9’s Smarts

Assess your dog’s IQ level by keeping track of how well they’re doing.

Record their scores. Many unofficial online tests have systems for keeping score.

Checkout the great questions here for an assessment of your dog’s overall intelligence.

The Bottom Line

Dogs are generally smart animals.

Our neighbor’s dog literally brings his leash when he knows it’s time for a walk.

Get a better idea of your dog’s intelligence by evaluating certain reaction skills. Be sure to make IQ-like tests enjoyable.


If they aren’t scoring well, it’s likely because breed plays a big role.

What Do You Think? Are There Ways to Determine a Dog’s IQ? Have Your Say Below…

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