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Do you ever ask yourself if your dog is intelligent? We all know that we have the cutest, the most well-behaved dog that is really smart, right? That's what we're supposed to think about our dogs. But what about intelligence? Do you wonder if your dog is more intelligent than the average dog?

But having an intelligent dog can have some downfalls to it.

When you have an intelligent dog you need to be observant of your dog's mood. If you see that your dog is bored you need to set up your environment for success. This can be a tiring chore for many people. You have to constantly be on the ball and adapt to your dog to keep his world as exciting and challenging as possible.

One of the difficult things about an intelligent dog is measuring its intelligence. Many experts prefer to measure the dog's cognition which is its ability to think and solve problems as well as to learn something new quickly.

Most dogs can do some of the things in this list. The truly intelligent dog will probably ace six out of the seven. With that said, here are the seven signs that intelligent dogs tend to possess.

1. Quickly Figuring Things Out

How long does it take your dog to get what you're trying to tell it? Does he get it right away? Can he solve puzzle toys quickly? If so, that's a pretty smart dog. He definitely shows that he can connect the dots quickly. This is similar to the human trait of a child's quick learning. He sees. He watches. Then he does it. Often within two or three tries. This is a good beginning to intelligence. Whether human or dog.

2. Communication Skills

Some dogs are capable of getting messages across to their owners. It could be something as simple as telling you that they want to go outside or that their water bowl is empty at the other end of the house. But if you're not getting the hint it might not be that your dog is not intelligent. It might be that you are not listening to your dog. But this is even better if the both of you can communicate with each other. That's a good sign of intelligence.

3. The Troublemaker

The third sign of intelligence out of the 7 signs that your dog is intelligent may not seem like a sign of intelligence but it very well could be. For instance, a dog that is constantly getting into the trash or chewing things is probably telling you that they are bored and need something challenging to do. Many times a dog acts destructively when they are bored. Intelligent dogs tend to get bored quickly and constantly need to be challenged. The trick here is to give your dog a daily job. Hide some toys around the house and tell your dog to go and get them by name.

4. Treat-Dispensing Toys

All dogs just love to get an occasional treat. A great toy for the treat-loving dog is a treat-dispensing toy. These can be simple puzzles or really challenging toys similar to a Rubik's cube. Either one will provide a good challenge to your dog. And if he manages to get the treat out quickly that is a good sign of intelligence. What it shows is that the dog can think through a problem and come up with the solution. And that means that there is definitely intelligence in the four-legged genius.

5. Cognition Testing

It doesn't take much searching on the Internet to find a ton of products that help you to determine how smart your dog is. One of the ones that I like is a product called Dognition. This product focuses on the dog's cognition. There are 20 games that you can play with your dog. Input the data that you obtain onto their site to determine which intelligence profile your dog fits. Plus, the games are really fun for both the dog and you.

6. The Hidden Treat Challenge

Here's a simple test to determine your dog's cognition. Take a treat and three plastic cups. Hide the treat under one cup. Take a walk around the dog and cups to distract the dog. Now tell the dog to find the treat.

Some dogs will find the treat right away. Others won't have a clue as to what's going on. If your dog finds the treat you can try spicing it up a bit. To do so, place a treat under a cup and shuffle the cups around. Now tell your dog to find the treat. If he finds the treat again you might want to consider taking your dog to the casino because he's really good at remembering.

7 Problem Solving Skills

Some dogs don't need to be shown how to do something. If they want it bad enough it is most likely that your dog will figure it out all by himself. These are dogs that show reasoning skills which give them the ability to think for themselves. A trait that is often found in herding dogs. These types of dogs usually need to be redirected towards desirable behavior or they will form some very bad habits like herding humans.

The Norm

For the most part, many dogs will possess two, or even three, of these traits. Dogs are not dumb. What I often see is dogs that have trained their owners to do their bidding. And if that's not intelligence then I don't know what is.

But if your dog has four or more of these traits, consider yourself lucky. You really do have an intelligent dog. Now it is up to you as to how you will have your dog use its intelligence. And be creative to keep the level of excitement high for the dog. Remember, a bored dog is usually a destructive dog.

Let us know what special traits your dog has. Leave us a comment because we just love intelligent dog stories.

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