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2/16: The Intelligence of Dogs


2/16: The Intelligence of Dogs

Here’s one for the dogs and the dog lovers out there!

dog wearing glasses


Most U.S. residents — 80% — say dogs are more intelligent than we think they are.  Just 15% believe dogs are less intelligent than commonly perceived.  5% are unsure.  Not surprisingly, nearly nine in ten of those with a dog at home — 87% — think a dog’s intelligence is underrated.  This compares with 73% of residents who do not own a dog.

Women give dogs a big “bark out.”  85% believe canines are sharper than we think compared with 76% of men.  18% of men and 11% of women, however, report dogs are less intelligent.

And, if you’re wondering if someone you know is a dog owner, you have about a fifty-fifty shot of being right.  51% of U.S. residents say they or a member of their household have a dog at home.

Table: Dog Intelligence
Table: Have a Dog

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Story:

Are You Smarter Than Your Dog?

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  1. allana

    August 27, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    That is a very interesting article. It makes a lot of sense to me that people without dogs would not value their intelligence. Dog owners know and realize how smart and helpful dogs can be; and as more and more people become owners they will realize the truth. Tx.

  2. Best Waterproof Dog Coats

    March 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I think people would be amazed if they knew what degree dogs understand humans. They are masters at reading the tone of your voice and your body language and they know exactly what you are talking about most of the time without even being able to understand very many of the words you use.

    Most people cannot understand a single thing aboput others unless they can hear and understand the words that are used.

  3. dog mom

    March 10, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    I definitely think dogs are intelligent. I’m amazed by how quickly they can learn things. They’re also good at observing things (especially in the cases of service dogs who can sense seizures, dogs that can sniff out bedbugs, etc) that people can’t notice.

  4. vydee - invisible fence batteries

    February 26, 2011 at 6:19 AM

    Dogs and cats are man’s best friend, but of course to be like that so, they must first in practice even though they basically already have the intelligence as a guard.

  5. Pets

    January 12, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Great topic at Pet about dog intelligence. I personally believe, like people some dogs are smarter and find learning easier than others. Training them from a young age gets them used to training methods and may allow them to do more tricks thus seem smart.

  6. Complaints Board

    January 12, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    All dogs are smart.. it depends on the owner really.. If the owner teaches the dog, it can get really smart..

  7. Cynthia Thomas

    October 13, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    If you have never lived with a dog you can’t appreciate how smart they really are. Dogs have a keen sense of observation and will often know what you’re going to do before you make a move. I know this because I have a keen sense of observation too. 🙂

  8. Insulated dog house

    October 9, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    I believe dogs are smart animals. Now to think whether they are smarter than i think, hmmmm, i guess that rather depends on which dog i am dealing with. Each dog has its own level of intelligence. Some are probably smarter than we think, some are not.

  9. Alexander

    September 19, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Well dogs are smart. They can be trained to do many different things like sniffing for bombs. Some dogs have been trained to find humans burried beneath snow and save lives. Instinctively, a dog knows when his owner is in danger.

  10. Pet Lover

    May 29, 2010 at 1:28 AM

    Knowing dogs as ‘Man’s Best Friend’ for centuries there must be something to dog intelligence. After all if they are smart enough to hang out with the smartest creatures on the planet then dogs must be smarter than most people think. Correct?

  11. john kayea

    March 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    i have a 2 year old black lab he is very smart he knows words and just what i am saying so yes i know dogs are smart jk

  12. Andrew Hofer

    March 9, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    I thought this poll sounded ridiculous when I heard about it on the news. In a nutshell, you’re saying “most people think dogs are smarter than most people think.” Huh?? What a great poll! So most people think that most people think dogs AREN’T that smart? I think that polls about what most people think about what most people think are an interesting use of your time! What do most people think about that?

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