A Quintessential Toy Dog– The Pomeranian

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Early History

The Spitz household of dogs comes from the Arctic region of Iceland. Their initial function was rounding up, pulling sleds and safeguarding. Pomeranians are a Spitz and began as a much bigger breed, safeguarding their owners’ residential or commercial property and caution of burglars. The Spitz types shared numerous wolf-like characteristics: little ears to protect against frostbite; an insulating, dense undercoat to trap the warmth; and a tail securely curled over the back.

In time, the Spitz was given Europe, along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. This region was called Pomerania, which now includes parts of modern-day Poland and Germany, where the breed got its name. Pommore or Pommern means “on the sea.” Dog historians believe this is where the downsizing of the breed began. Many paintings and prints from the 18th century program Poms of different sizes and colors.

Royal Influence

The dog-loving British royals took a fancy to the Pomeranian and helped promote the type’s popularity. Queen Charlotte influenced the progress of the breed when she brought 2 Poms to England in 1767. Phoebe and Mercury were portrayed in paintings by Sir Thomas Gainsborough. Although the set was larger than today’s Pomeranian, weighing most likely 30 to 50 pounds, Queen Charlotte’s Poms however had the small ears, heavy coat and curled tails that are trademarks of the breed. The Prince of Wales (later on George IV) had a black-and-white, parti-colored Pom called Fino that was the subject of a painting in 1791.

In 1873 the Kennel Club (England) was formed and the so-called Spitz canine was amongst the very first breeds recognized. Poms revealed at the time weighed about 18 pounds. In 1888, a Pomeranian from Florence, Italy, called Marco was sent to Queen Charlotte’s granddaughter, Queen Victoria. Marco weighed 12 pounds and was the start of a large breeding kennel Queen Victoria established. Because she was such a popular queen, the Pomeranian’s appeal likewise grew, especially the smaller specimens. At one time she had as many as 35 Poms in her kennel, and on her deathbed, she requested Turi, a favorite Pom, to be at her side.

© GlobalP|Getty Images The Pomeranian in America Pomeranians were first exhibited in this nation in 1892. In 1900, the American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledged the breed, and the American Pomeranian Club (APC) was formed. The APC held its first national specialized show for the type in 1911 and drew a whopping entry of 262 Poms. (Did you understand: Two of the three pets to endure the sinking of the Titanic were Poms, one bundled into Mrs. Rothschild’s bag on a lifeboat.

Poms and Artists

Throughout history, Poms have actually mesmerized composers and artists. Mozart committed among his finished arias to his family pet Pom, Pimperl. Frederic Chopin, enchanted by a good friend’s Pom chasing his tail, composed the song Waltz of the Little Dog. While Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel, his Pom sat below on a satin pillow supervising the action.

The Pomeranian Color Palette

No breed comes in as numerous colors and color scheme as the Pomeranian. You will find them in all strong colors (black, blue, chocolate, red, orange, cream, white); parti-colors (white with even patches of color); black, blue or chocolate, each with tan points above the eyes, on the cheeks and on the lower legs; brindle (stripes); and merle, a color scheme giving a mottled or marbled appearance. Whatever your heart’s desire, from fragile pastel to vibrant, dramatic multi-color, there will be a Pom someplace to satisfy your tastes.

Coat and Grooming

The Pomeranian is a double-coated breed. The official type basic states that the body “must be well covered with a short, dense undercoat, with long, harsh-textured guard hair growing through, forming the longer, abundant outer coat which stands off from the body. The coat must form a ruff around the neck, framing the head, extending over the shoulders and chest.” While grooming is simple, the thick coat tangles easily, so combing out mats and brushing completely is advised a number of times a week. Regular grooming to keep the mats at bay is specifically essential when the undercoat is being shed, two times yearly.

Personality

Pomeranians are confident in nature, friendly and animated. Alert and always familiar with modifications in their environment, excessive barking needs to be resolved early prior to it becomes a persistent issue. This breed likes being the center of attention, which can in some cases get them into difficulty if they become too requiring or want to take on a larger, stronger pet dog they think is stealing their spotlight.

Celeb Pom People

Pomeranians are extremely popular with entertainers and jet-setters. Poms are always prepared for the next close-up. Actors who are partial to Pomeranians consist of Gwen Stefani, Jessica Alba and Keanu Reeves. Socialites and TELEVISION celebrities who are never ever without their Poms consist of mother-and-daughter Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, and Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Lisa Vanderpump.


Allan Reznik is a journalist, editor and broad-caster focusing on dog-related subjects. He is the former editor-in-chief of Dogs in Reviewand previous editor of Dog Fancy publication. A city dweller all his life, on both coasts, he now enjoys the rural South with his Afghan Hounds, Tibetan Span-iels and assorted rescues.

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Decoding Dog Gas — When Is It a Problem?

The post Decoding Dog Gas — When Is It a Problem? by Jackie Brown appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

Have you ever been cuddling on the couch with your dog and heard strange rumbling sounds coming from his tummy? Dog gas has some seriously gross side effects. Some dogs belch and others have the opposite problem — their stinky gas can clear a room! “Gas is a normal byproduct of digestion,” explains Tracey Jensen, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, founding partner of Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Wellington, Colorado. “When you hear the stomach gurgling, it’s gas and liquid. It’s the same kind of sounds you hear in a soda can, it just sounds different because it’s inside a dog. Dogs burp just like people do and they expel gas from the intestines in the form of flatulence.”

A dog sitting and looking back.

Is that dog gas normal — or not? Photography ©Fly_dragonfly | Thinkstock.

What’s normal and what’s not?

A small amount of stomach gurgling, burping or even farting is normal for most dogs, but excessive dog gas may signal a problem. “When it’s abnormal is when it’s excessive in volume or odor,” Dr. Jensen says. “When it’s consistent or persistent, it’s an indication of a variety of different things that warrant a visit to your veterinarian.”

Excessive dog gas may be caused by a less-than-ideal diet. If the ingredients in your dog’s food are hard for him to digest, it might result in burping, stomach gurgling or flatulence. Large amounts of dog gas or very foul-smelling dog gas may also be signs of issues like inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal parasites.

Diagnosing abnormal dog gas

If your dog is very gassy, your vet might want to run certain tests, especially a fecal test to check for parasites. When you go to the appointment, bring a fresh stool sample, the label from your dog’s food and any supplements or treats your dog gets at home.

Treating dog gas

If no overt issues are discovered as the cause of the dog gas, your vet might talk to you about switching your dog to a higher quality of the food for increased digestibility, and perhaps adding daily probiotics.

“In uncomplicated cases when there’s not an underlying medical problem, probiotics are fantastic,” Dr. Jensen advises in regards to treating dog gas. “Probiotics vary in their potency and in the evidence behind the specific preparation of probiotic, so definitely visit with your veterinarian so he or she can recommend which probiotics would be best for your pet.”

Although it’s safe to give your dog small amounts of plain yogurt as a healthy snack, he likely won’t reap many benefits from the probiotics found in yogurt. “Let’s face it, dogs and cats eat things that we would never dream of,” Dr. Jensen says. “They have pretty robust digestive systems. Because of that, the probiotics that you find in yogurt are just not potent enough to get to the intestinal tract of our domestic pets.”

Yes, it is more prevalent in certain breeds!  

Some dog breeds are more prone to gas simply because of the way they are built. The pushed-in faces of the brachycephalic breeds, including Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs and Pugs, causes these dogs to swallow air while they eat, which can lead to excess gas in their digestive tracts. If you have a short-nosed breed, you understand the reality of life with dog gas (good thing they’re so cute!).

A dog eating his meal out of a crate, showing his butt.

What and how your dog eats can affect his issues with gas. Photography ©CarlyDybka | Thinkstock.

How to stop dog gas?

There are some steps you can take to alleviate dog gas, especially in flat-faced breeds. First, make sure the food you’re feeding is very high quality and highly digestible. If you’re not sure, talk to your vet about it. Next, consider giving your dog daily probiotics.

Once those things are in place, take a look at the way your dog is eating. “Chewing is the first part of digestion,” Dr. Jensen says. “When dogs inhale their food, they bypass this important step. Dry food is easy to shovel into their mouths.”

You can also find special pet food bowls that are designed to help short-nosed dogs eat more comfortably and swallow less air, and there are even some brands of dry food designed with brachycephalic breeds in mind. “Pet food companies have addressed how those short-nosed dogs pick up their food and have created kibble to minimize the amount of air that those animals take in as part of picking up their food,” Dr. Jensen explains. “Smaller kibble sizes or kibbles with larger surface areas like those shaped like LifeSavers are preferable for dogs that do not chew their food.”

A few other tricks that might help cut down on swallowing air during mealtimes and reduce dog gas? Elevating the food bowls or adding some water to the food. “By adding a little water to the dry food, just like you would pour milk on cereal, aggressive eaters will ‘lap’ rather than ‘grab’ their food. When they use their tongues like ladles instead of shovels, they slow down and swallow less air.”

Thumbnail: Photography ©WilleeCole | Thinkstock. 

Originally published in 2017. 

Read Next: What Is HGE (Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis) in Dogs?

 

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Bark About Books

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All Creatures Great and Small; All Things Bright and Beautiful

For fans of the recent premiere of PBS MASTERPIECE’S release of All Creatures Great and Small, St. Martin’s Griffin is reissuing two of James Herriot‘s very first books. Millions of readers all over the world have actually enjoyed the stories of the world’s most beloved veterinarian and his animal friends. All Creatures Great and Small follows a young Herriot as he fulfills his clients. Some are heartbreaking, like a canine who is his ailing owner’s only companion. Some are amusing, like the Pekingese who has his own stationery. Herriot’s follow-up, All Things Bright and Beautiful, consists of more remarkable animal shenanigans, this time informed by a recently wed Herriot from his house in the Yorkshire countryside. Herriot’s books are must-reads for animal enthusiasts everywhere.

$16.99 (each) at stmartins.com Lost Companions: Reflections on the Death of Pets This new book by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson checks out the grief that results when the bond we forge with our animals is broken by death. Family pets are relative, and, for many, the loss of a companion animal brings on the exact same levels of sorrow one would experience for a close human companion. Animal lovers memorialize their animal pals with whatever from tattoos and tailored precious jewelry to obituaries and funeral. They share their sorrow on social media, join bereavement groups, contact animal loss assistance hotlines or go to therapists. But, lots of who go through the loss of an animal don’t feel taken seriously. This book puts grief and grieving in perspective, showing us that it’s legitimate and necessary, and shares insights gathered from a life time of connecting with animals. Published by St. Martin’s Press.

$27.99 at stmartins.com Chew This Journal Trying to find ways to enrich your dog’s life? This unique book by Dogster factor Sassafras Lowrey can help! Part activity book and part keepsake, it leads you through fun activities with your pet dog, and you can artistically record your experiences. The book consists of more than 100 activities, techniques and difficulties, like paw painting, no-sew beds, DIY reward puzzles and family pet birthday celebration ideas. The very best thing about this book is that you and your pet can finish it together. Released by Mango Publishing.

$16.95. Available wherever books are sold. When Harry Met Minnie When CBS Sunday Morning News correspondent Martha Teichner had a possibility encounter with an old acquaintance in New York, she didn’t understand just how much her world would change. The pal knew someone who was passing away of cancer due to contaminant direct exposure after 9/11 and was desperate to discover a house for her dog, Harry. He was a Bulldog, similar to Martha’s beloved Minnie. Martha accepted fulfill Harry and his owner, Carol, and to think about giving Harry a safe, loving, new home. But what began as merely a transaction involving a dog became a deep and significant relationship between the 2 ladies. The bond that established altered everybody’s lives. This touching narrative thinks about the methods our life stories are changed by the peo-ple we fulfill– and the love we can discover by opening our hearts. And if you require something fun to listen to while strolling your canine, the audio version of the book is read by Martha herself. Released by Macmillan Publishers.


$ 26.99 at macmillan.com Inform us about YOUR favorite dog books! Email us at [email protected]

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Do Dogs Need Shoes?

The post Do Dogs Need Shoes? by Sassafras Lowrey appeared first on Dogster. Copying over whole articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, however all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. Nevertheless, we value that you like the article and would like it if you continued sharing simply the first paragraph of a post, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

Does your dog wear shoes? Pet shoes may sound silly, however depending upon your climate and the activities you and your pet dog do, pet shoes can assist protect your pet’s delicate feet.

Wondering if canines require shoes? Here’s what you need to know about pet shoe options and how to get your dog to use shoes. Image: damedeeso/Getty Images Do canines need shoes? Correctly fitted pet shoes can be necessary for securing the feet of your pet dog, especially for the hot weather in summertime and winter in winter. Hot summertime concrete can cause serious burns to your pet dog’s pads. While in the winter season, ice can lead to cuts or foot injuries and typical de-icing chemicals can be dangerous to your pet dog

‘s paw pads. In addition to helping your pet stay safe in severe weather condition shoes help prevent dogs from slipping on hardwood, tile or other extremely polished floors. If you do a great deal of hiking you may also desire your pet dog to wear shoes to prevent injury to your pet dog’s paws from sharp rocks.

Getting your pet used to wearing pet dog shoes can make it possible for your canine to securely go locations with you in all sort of situations.

What kind of dog shoe options exist?

Footwear alternatives for pets vary from aesthetically designed shoes meant to look like designer sneakers to more utilitarian options. There are no-skid socks for dogs to assist avoid slipping within, thin balloon-like rubber dog shoes and thicker shoes designed to safeguard feet from hot or cold conditions without affecting a pet’s natural gate.

Some dog shoes are intended for all-weather wear while others are developed only for protecting your canine’s feet from snow and chemical de-icers. The shoes you buy for your canine ought to be suitable for the conditions where you will be strolling.

When purchasing shoes for your pet dog, follow all fit and measurement instructions. Each shoe brand name will have sizing information for its shoes with info on how to appropriately measure your dog’s feet to ensure the shoes will fit correctly. This is vital to make certain the shoes stay on and are comfy for your canine to wear.

do dogs need shoes?

This Yorkshire terrier wears dog shoes to play in the snow wearing. Keep reading to learn how you can get your pet to wear pet dog shoes. Photo: Annaartday/Getty Images

How can I get my pet dog to use shoes?

As soon as you have the right shoes for your dog, be intentional as you introduce your dog to the shoes. The goal is to move slowly and assist your pet to produce positive associations with the presence of the shoes. We’ve all seen the viral videos online of dogs struggling to stroll in shoes, that’s not what we are going for; we desire our pet dogs to be positive and comfortable in their shoes.

Step 1: Show your pet the shoes then praise and treat for any interaction, such as approaching, sniffing etc. at the shoes. Ensure your pet dog has a possibility to see what the shoes are and not be afraid of them.

Step 2: After a number of repeatings of letting your canine check out the boots and get deals with, take one of the shoes in your hand. Let your pet dog sniff and investigate– appreciation and reward. Then take one shoe and put it on your pet’s foot. Give lots of praise and deals with then quickly take the shoe off. Repeat this numerous times over multiple session and don’t forget great deals of deals with and praise.

Action 3: Now start to introduce a second shoe to your pet in the same method. Great deals of treats/praise with the shoes on and after that quickly get rid of both shoes. After several practice sessions, start to construct duration and ensure your pet dog is comfy with the shoes on. One method to do this is to begin playing with your pet dog with 2 shoes on: toss treats for your pet to go after or highlight a toy and play fetch or pull with your dog while the shoes are on. This will assist your pet to continue to build a lot more positive associations with the shoes being on.

Step 4: When your pet dog is comfortable wearing and having fun with the very first 2 shoes on, you can include the 3rd shoe. When your pet dog is easily playing with two shoes on, put one more on, give great deals of praise and treats. After a couple of repetitions of putting the third shoe on and taking it off, include play with the 3 shoes on. After a number of training sessions when your canine is comfy, add the fourth shoe with the very same approach.

If at any point your pet dog struggles with the shoes, becomes nervous or unpleasant, get rid of the shoes and go back a step for your next training session. This isn’t a race, and the top priority is to ensure your dog is comfy using shoes prior to relocating to the next stage.

Step 5: When your pet dog has the ability to happily and easily wear his shoes inside your home, you can start to construct their confidence wearing them in more amazing environments like in your lawn, on a walk or at a park. This is where all the foundation training you did of assisting your pet dog to gradually build favorable associations with using the shoes will pay off as your pet dog will be positive in the shoes and all set to deal with the world.

Getting your canine used to wearing shoes can take a little while. It’s an excellent concept to begin early during mild weather and in advance of taking a trip to an area where your canine will need proper footwear.

Included Image: Nataba/Getty Images

Read Next: Hiking With Dogs: A Guide to Safely Taking a Hike With Your Dog

The post Do Dogs Need Shoes? by Sassafras Lowrey appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire posts infringes on copyright laws. You might not be aware of it, however all of these articles were appointed, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. Nevertheless, we appreciate that you like the post and would love it if you continued sharing simply the very first paragraph of a post, then linking out to the remainder of the piece on Dogster.com.

Does Your Dog Make the List of the Dumbest Dog Breeds?

The post Does Your Dog Make the List of the Dumbest Dog Breeds? by Jackie Brown appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

The Border Collie is widely considered to be the world’s smartest dog breed (with the Poodle coming in close second). If some dog breeds are the smartest, it only makes sense that some dog breeds are the dumbest, right? An internet search for dumbest dog breeds will turn up numerous lists of those breeds people think are less intelligent in some ways.

First, what determines the smartest and dumbest dog breeds?

What determines which dogs are among the dumbest dog breeds? Chow Chows.

What determines which dogs are among the dumbest dog breeds? Photography by Waldemar Dabrowski / Shutterstock.

So, just what makes a dog smart — or puts him in the rankings for the dumbest dog breeds? Is it simply how trainable he is? His ability to remember things? Sense of direction? Energy level? Something else?

In 1994, a psychologist named Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc., FRSC, wrote a book called The Intelligence of Dogs (Atria Books). Dr. Coren ranked more than 100 dog breeds based on three specific types of intelligence:

  1. Instinctive intelligence (ability to perform tasks it was bred to perform like herding or hunting)
  2. Adaptive intelligence (ability to independently problem solve and learn from previous experiences)
  3. Working and obedience intelligence (ability to learn when being taught by humans)

In The Intelligence of Dogs, Dr. Coren’s top 10 smartest breeds in order of intelligence were:

dumbest dog breeds

Border Collies top the list of smartest dog breeds. Photography by oneinchpunch / Shutterstock.

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd Dog
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

The 10 lowest-ranking breeds (or the dumbest dog breeds) according to the book were (in descending order):

A beagle lying down on a deep carpet. dumbest dog breeds

Beagles make the list for dumbest dog breeds. Photography by alex_ugalek/Thinkstock.

  1. Basset Hound
  2. Mastiff
  3. Beagle
  4. Pekingese
  5. Bloodhound
  6. Borzoi
  7. Chow Chow
  8. Bulldog
  9. Basenji
  10. Afghan Hound

So, does this mean these are the 10 dumbest dog breeds? Well, not necessarily.

When talking dumbest dog breeds, remember: all dogs are bred for different skills

“How smart you appear to be depends on the test,” says Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, Dipl. ACVB, professor emeritus and former section head and program director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. “Until quite recently, I had two dogs. One of them was hyper and the other dog would sort of lie around like a lump. You would say Jasper was not as smart as Rusty. But once you were out on a trail, Jasper lit up. He was doing the job that nature intended him to do because he was a coonhound, and he was using his super-intelligent nose. He was brilliant at his job, but not so good at some other things.”

It’s no secret that purebred dogs have very different skills depending on what they were bred to do. For instance, herding breeds like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds and Corgis are universally considered to be extremely intelligent. Due to the nature of their work, they are excellent at both making independent decisions and taking instructions from humans.

Why are hound dogs considered to be among the dumbest dog breeds?

Why do so many hound dog breeds make the list of dumbest dogs breeds? “Pretty much all scenthounds are governed by their noses,” Dr. Dodman says. “They’re hard to train because they don’t really look up, they look down. They’re not really interested in listening or pleasing anybody, they’re just interested in tracking with their noses. The sighthounds want to chase anything that moves. For every dog breed there’s a purpose, and the mixed breeds are just a combination of the purebreds. I can see how it might be easy to superficially judge a dog who is kind of slow and not paying a lot of attention to what you say and really not that interested in performing tricks, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not smart, and in some ways, being very independent could be more intelligent than being obedient.”

Scenthounds like Basset Hounds, Beagles and Bloodhounds can sniff out almost anything. Sighthounds can spot their prey making the slightest movement and swiftly chase it down. A Border Collie is far more trainable than a Bloodhound, but a Bloodhound is far superior at tracking scents than a Border Collie. They each have different skills, but they excel in their own ways.

Determining the dumbest dog breeds presents the same issues as determining human intelligence

Dr. Dodman notes how gauging human intelligence can present a similar conundrum to determining the dumbest dog breeds. “It just depends on how you grade people,” he explains. “Some people are good at math, some people are good at English. You can be good at some things and not so good at others.”

Considering the vast differences in skill sets among dogs, and taking into account the fact that dogs don’t speak our language, how can we accurately assess a dog’s intelligence and thus, the dumbest dog breeds? “It seems to be like multiple intelligences,” Dr. Dodman says. “Do you measure them as being particularly bright like Jasper, almost a savant, when it came to hunting? Or do you have to average out all the behaviors over 10 different types of behavior and give them an average score, which I imagine would come back to be pretty much the same for all dogs?”

Brian Hare, Ph.D., associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University in North Carolina, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, studies dog psychology. “We play the same types of games that researchers play with young children,” he says. “We give dogs puzzles to solve, and the choices they make reveal how their minds work.”

According to Dr. Hare, dog intelligence and the dumbest dog breeds are not black and white matters. “I don’t really think there is any such thing as ‘smart’ dogs and ‘dumb’ dogs,” he states. “That is just a throwback to a linear version of intelligence, as though intelligence is a cup of coffee that is more or less full. Different dogs are good at different things. And all of them are geniuses in their own way.”

In fact, some of the research on dumbest dogs might not be accurate

As it turns out, some of the research done to determine the most intelligent dogs or dumbest dog breeds might not be entirely accurate.

“The scientific work on breeds has not really held up,” Dr. Hare states. “Most breeds are only 150 years old, so there is very little to distinguish them. To scientifically prove the smartest breed, you would need to compare at least 30 dogs from each breed. They would have to be puppies raised and tested in a similar manner to control for the effect to rearing history and age on performance. If you took the AKC breeds or all breeds worldwide, you would need between 6,000 to 12,000 puppies, decades of work, millions of dollars and about a thousand graduate students. It is no wonder no one has done it.”

In fact, in his own research, Dr. Hare has seen as much variation within a breed as between them. “For example, Labradors bred for the military are the same breed as Labradors bred to be assistance dogs — and you have never seen two more different dogs in your life,” he explains.

Humans categorizing certain breeds as the dumbest dog breeds is less about truly measuring their intelligence and more about not understanding the breed’s particular skillset.

“No individual dog or an entire breed should be considered ‘dumb,’” says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary for the American Kennel Club. “Ease of training is not an accurate way to assess a dog’s intelligence. What we humans may perceive as an animal being ‘dumb’ may be independence, stubbornness or aloofness, which are common characteristics in many breeds. Training takes time and patience, and every dog is different. Learn different training techniques available, and if you are having problems, seek out a trainer who can give you the skills that you need to teach your dog.”

So, what is it about certain breeds that caused them to end up as the dumbest dog breeds in Dr. Coren’s book The Intelligence of Dogs? Let’s take a look at each of the supposed dumbest dog breeds.

The 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds and Why They’ve Been Characterized as “Dumb”

1. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound. dumbest dog breeds

The Afghan Hound is the “dumbest” dog. Photography by Olga_i / Shutterstock.

The Afghan Hound tops the dumbest dog breeds list according to The Intelligence of Dogs, but Afghan lovers surely disagree. Afghans are sighthounds, which means they were bred to hunt using their extraordinary speed and eyesight. Like many sighthounds, Afghans can be aloof, which means they can be a little standoffish and reserved, especially with strangers. They can also be stubborn and independent. Due to these traits, Afghans are not easy to train, but that doesn’t mean they’re dumb. They simply prefer to think for themselves and do things on their own terms. You might have to be more creative when training an Afghan, but their elegance, regal air and devotion to their humans makes them special companions.

2. Basenji

dumbest dog breeds

Basenjis also make the list of dumbest dog breeds. Photography by krushelss / Shutterstock.

The Basenji is another sighthound that makes the list of dumbest dog breeds for his independence and aloofness. Some people describe this breed as having feline qualities, and in fact, many Basenjis will groom themselves like cats. The breed has earned a reputation for being “untrainable,” but again, ease of training is not always an accurate indicator of intelligence. Quite the contrary, Basenjis are intelligent, curious and playful. Like inquisitive toddlers, they are smart enough to get into trouble if you don’t watch them carefully. Raising a Basenji can sometimes feel like taming a wild animal. They are watchful and wary, and although most bond with their owners, they may or may not like your friends. Bottom line: Basenjis are stubborn so they aren’t consistently obedient, but they can be trained. Positive methods are best.

3. Bulldog

A dog sleeping with his tongue out. dumbest dog breeds

Bulldogs are known for their stubbornness. Photography ©Lindsay_Helms | Thinkstock.

Another breed known for stubbornness on the list of dumbest dog breeds is the Bulldog. The term “bullheaded” fits the Bulldog to a T. For this reason, Bulldogs can be difficult to train, but dumb? You only have to look to one of the famous skateboarding or surfing Bulldogs to see that they are definitely capable of learning. Bulldogs are also labeled as lazy, but clearly some enjoy more vigorous activities than lying on the couch.

4. Chow Chow

A Chow Chow dog. dumbest dog breeds

Chow Chows can also be difficult to train. Photography by Sergieiev/Shutterstock.

Chow Chows might look like adorable teddy bears, but they are not always the cuddly type. Originally bred to be guard dogs, Chows are serious, independent and aloof. They are strong-willed and stubborn, and therefore more difficult to train, which lands them a spot on the list of dumbest dog breeds. Chows are intelligent — they just have minds of their own. If not trained correctly, Chows might challenge their humans for authority, which can become problematic. For these reasons, Chows require firm but fair training and extensive socialization starting from an early age. When raised properly, Chows are noble, loyal and devoted companions.

5. Borzoi

Borzoi. dumbest dog breeds

Borzois are sighthounds and may be a bit stubborn. Photography ©volofin | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Yet another sighthound, the Borzoi is an independent freethinker. This breed gets on the dumbest dog breeds list since they can also be stubborn — training a Borzoi is an exercise in patience. Borzois seem to do best with frequent, short training sessions rather than hour-long classes. In the house, they are generally very well-mannered, calm, clean and quite affectionate, especially with their special people.

6. Bloodhound

Bloodhound. dumbest dog breeds

Bloodhounds are another hound dog on the list of dumbest dog breeds. Photography ©alkir | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

If you have ever witnessed the aurora borealis, the colorful northern lights display that transforming the night sky into a brilliant sight to behold, you might be able to understand how a scenthound like the Bloodhound “sees” the world with his sensitive nose. Bloodhounds make the list of dumbest dog breeds and are hard to train because they are so distracted by all the glorious scents just waiting to be investigated. They also have a ton of energy, are stubborn and independent, and are absolutely relentless when on a scent trail. Combined together, the Bloodhound’s unique skills can sometimes make these dogs challenging to live with, but enter a Bloodhound in a tracking event and watch his special talents shine.

7. Pekingese

dumbest dog breeds

Pekingese are somewhat slow and sloth-like. Show Pekingese Malachy. Photography by by Debby Wong / Shutterstock.

One reason people might think Pekingese are a little slow is the fact that they are somewhat sloth-like. At home, they enjoy lounging about and surveying their domain. This could be due to their physical build or partly held over from their history as sacred pets of the Tang Dynasty in 8th-century China. In fact, Pekingese were called “sleeve dogs” because members of the Imperial household carried their cherished companions around snugly nestled in their voluminous sleeves. Can you blame the Peke for enjoying the easy life? Pekingese are also stubborn and difficult to housebreak. This doesn’t make them dumb, but it does make for some training challenges. Start training early and be consistent.

8. Beagle

dumbest dog breeds

A Beagle’s keen sense of smell often causes people to label him as “dumb.” Photography ©Halfpoint | Thinkstock.

Like Bloodhounds, Beagles like to follow their noses, which can sometimes get them into trouble … and lands them on the list of dumbest dog breeds. The Beagle’s sweet, affectionate nature, combined with his happy-go-lucky outlook might lead you to think he’s empty headed, but this breed is far from dumb. It’s best to keep Beagles on a leash. They can’t resist the urge to explore, smell the world and chase small critters.

9. Mastiff

Mastiff. dumbest dog breeds

Mastiffs make the list of dumbest dog breeds. Photography ©Photology1971 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

The large, laid-back Mastiff is a very chill dog. So chill, in fact, that you might thing he’s a little dense. They are also a bit stubborn and might be more challenging to train than some breeds. Again, activity level and ease of training aren’t necessarily good indicators of intelligence. Mastiffs are actually quite bright. Due to their size and natural wariness of strangers, it’s essential for owners to start training and socialization early in puppyhood so Mastiffs develop into well-behaved and discerning companions.

10. Basset Hound

Basset Hound by momente / Shutterstock.dumbest dog breeds

Basset Hounds, like Beagles and Bloodhounds, are very guided by their sense of smell. Photography by momente / Shutterstock.

Like the Pekingese, Basset Hounds can be a bit lazy. This could be in part to their long and low bodies or their laid-back personalities. Bassets can be a little stubborn, and like their scenthound cousins the Bloodhounds and the Beagles, Bassets might have trouble ignoring the amazing scents around them long enough to concentrate on learning. However, Bassets want to please their people and are very food motivated, so they do respond well to training. Don’t mistake the Basset’s easy-going personality for lack of intelligence, though. They are bright and affectionate dogs.

The bottom line on the dumbest dog breeds

It’s not fair to label any breed or individual dog dumb. Yes, some dogs are brighter than others, but most dogs are good at something — you just have to figure out what.

“Some dogs do some things better than others, and they have different behaviors.,” Dr. Dodman says. “Police dogs and army dogs tend to be the German Shepherd Dog and Malinois types because they’re easily trainable. Does that mean they’re smart? Or does it mean they’re not so smart because they always follow other people’s directions and don’t think independently? You can argue it both ways.”

Note: Dogster does not believe any dog breed is a “dumb” dog breed.

Thumbnail: Photography ©dimarik | Thinkstock.

Having trouble training your dog? Find out 3 reasons why dogs ignore our cues >>

Originally published in 2012 and updated in 2018.

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