Cheeky, lovable and fearless, Chihuahuas are for sure one of the world’s most widely popular toy dogs. And we totally understand why. The way they look is already adorable. But, then you get to see their personalities and that’s when things get really interesting. For example, are Chihuahuas smart? or how smart are chihuahuas compared to other dogs?
Are Chihuahuas Smart Dogs?
Chihuahuas are considered average on the scale of intelligence, according to the professor of canine psychology Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs” which lists the ranking of 130+ breeds in regard to how smart they are. But don’t let this deceive you, as Chihuahuas are very intelligent dogs, capable of learning complex tricks.
As you are about to discover in this article on Chihuahua’s Land, where we will examine what really makes these dogs smart. and where do chihuahuas really stand when it comes to smartness.
How Can You Measure a Chihuahua’s Intelligence
In general, there are multiple factors that are examined when debating how intelligent a dog is. such as:
Comprehension: Dogs in highly interactive homes can on average understand 165 words, which is roughly equivalent to a two-year-old human. With some work, this number can be far surpassed
Memory capacities: This correlates to remembering items, people, places, commands, etc. Dogs have both short-term and long-term memories, all it takes is repetition to shift something from short-term to long-term memory.
Social awareness: This refers to a dog’s overall ability to read subtle social signals. Research has shown that dogs can spot hidden toys purely on the basis of their owner’s shrugs, nods, and sometimes even facial expressions. In this respect, dogs were found to be smarter than chimps and even human babies. It’s a really nice takeaway; your dog catches your cues all the time.
This entails how a dog can figure out a problem, such as locating a hidden treat that is only released with a series of manipulation tasks. For example, a button is pressed with a paw, a lid must be lifted, and a handle is moved to the side. Many dogs can do this, with some practice of course.
Emotions: To measure intelligence, several scientists take into consideration the range of emotions that an animal can experience. This is an intriguing component, as it can also help compare how intelligent a canine is compared to a human. As humans grow, their ability to feel and express certain emotions grows.
For example, emotion has been there since birth. However, contempt is not felt or voiced until the child is about 5 years old. Countless studies have demonstrated that a canine has the same emotional intelligence of at least a 2 and 1/2- year-old human.
Cognition: This involves the capacity to grasp one’s surroundings and make such connections. For instance, to understand that getting in the car with toys means a trip to the dog park, but without them may suggest a visit to the groomer or the vet.
Perception: This is similar to awareness, but instead involves how a dog uses all of its many senses to comprehend any single occurrence of a particular event. He will utilize a combo of vision, hearing, smell, touch, and sometimes taste to pick up on what something is.
Are Chihuahuas Smart Dogs
Stanley Coren is a psychology professor and neuropsychological researcher, greatly praised for his extensive research and understanding of canine behaviors and human-canine relationships.
In 1994, Professor Coren released his book The Intelligence of Dogs, becoming his signature research work. the book ranked more than 130+ different breeds of dogs according to their intelligence. which might shed some light on answering are chihuahuas smart dogs?
Partly because of the lack of other sources, it is a preferred method of classifying breeds of dogs. The ranking only displays one aspect of how intelligence is graded: working and obedience ( capacity to obey orders).
Canadian Kennel Club
The breeds were given ratings through survey forms sent to 199 first-time judges from the AKC and the Canadian Kennel Club, who then formed their opinions based only on what they witnessed in the ring. Owners were later asked to rate their dogs’ abilities and some of the breeds fell under the same ranking order.
According to the judges involved, the Chihuahuas did “just fine” when learning new commands. They required up to 25 repetitions just to begin to comprehend a command and between 40 and 80 repetitions to show mastery, but still did quite averagely with no reminders.
Most Chihuahuas owners who swear by their pets’ brains, would take these statistics with some skepticism. However, keep in mind that dogs, in general, need about 40 repetitions of a command to have good comprehension and 60 to 70 repetitions to have very good comprehension. Then over 1,000+ to be reliable in all situations. So don’t let this ranking fool you into thinking that your Chihuahua can’t learn commands or any other type of training.
How Smart Are Chihuahuas
What Chihuahuas lack in the size department they certainly make up for in personality and fearlessness. But also with their cunning intelligence.
A Chihuahua dog’s intelligence can be measured in several ways: by how well or how quickly your dog can grasp and understand your meanings, figure out ways to get around obstacles, or recognize people and things.
But intelligence should not be confused with being a good companion. Intelligent does not always mean trainable. A smart Chihuahua may well understand you, but still elect to do something else.
Chihuahuas are badly known to have very stubborn heads. So when it comes to following orders most of the time they will do it to please you and not for the sake of obeying orders.
The significant quality of a companion dog is that it wants to please you. After all, basic training is about preparing your Chihuahua to listen to a command, but it doesn’t require your dog to “understand” the command the way a person does.
How to Enhance Your Chihuahua’s Intelligence
Your Chihuahua must be encouraged to develop and learn new skills. For example, an unattended dog living in a cage, sadly, has few skills. He might have the capacity to learn, but without being given chances and the right motivation, he would not assimilate any new knowledge that would enhance his intellect.
The trick for a dog to achieve his potential is to give him plenty of opportunities to gather information and hone his skills. There are definitely good things you can do to help your dog be at their best.
Encourage your Chihuahua to utilize his canine instincts. Introduce your dog to a new environment or stay with him in the park so he can see, smell, hear and explore new smells and sounds.
Hide special treats in the house and challenge your Chi to find them by scent alone. Now hide the treat and see if he can learn to find it by reading your shaking or nodding cues. Every opportunity to do this kind of activity allows the gears in a dog’s mind to run.
Teach your Chihuahua word comprehension
A dog can very easily figure out 165 words on average, as many as a two year old. Your own dog is ready and able, and here’s how you can do it: choose 3 objects that are quite different from each other, such as a cup, a ball, and a wind-up toy. Hold each one, saying aloud the corresponding word. Do this over and over again.
Once you feel your dog is ready, line up all 3 and give a command to grab one of them.Did he do it.Great! Give a reward treat and praise. Practice a lot, so there are lots of repetitions. Next week, teach 3 more. Continue and try to use the words as much as you can so your dog doesn’t forget.
Teach your Chihuahua new commands.
All dogs are wired to learn commands; it just takes sufficient repetition. It is a sure way for a dog to gain self-confidence, leads to better behavior and allows you to show how smart your dog is.
There are skill and obedience contests created for Chihuahua dogs. If you plan to train yours, make sure that the education is from a very young age. It is an ideal scenario for training. Consult a trainer and together develop strategies to take advantage of their abilities.
According to Professor Stanley Coren, 51% of a dog’s intelligence stems from its genes while 49% is based on environmental circumstances.
How Big is a Chihuahua’s Brain Size
Did you realize that Chihuahuas are the dogs with the largest brains in comparison to their body size? This is reflected in a higher intelligence. Not surprisingly, they are very trainable pets, since they learn very quickly everything they are taught. Of course, never hit them on the head because their cranial bones are soft.
Remember that dog intelligence is simply a matter of perspective, especially when it comes to Chihuahuas. As a toy breed, the majority of owners choose them for their loveable, funny character and for companionship.
It’s good if they can learn some tricks and follow orders, just don’t expect them to solve your math problems, take it easy and enjoy the company of your Chihuahua.