“Why the long face?” one might be inclined to inquire of a basset hound. But that meltingly droopy face, flanked by velvety floor-sweeping ears, is in no way a reflection of the basset’s chill temperament. Great with children and other dogs, and one of the dogs that get along with cats, the basset hound is believed by some experts to be second only to its hound cousin, the bloodhound, in its scent-tracking skills. But does that earn it IQ points?
Not so much, at least according to Coren’s canine intelligence rubric, which ranks the basset as one of the top 10 dumbest dog breeds. Like other scent hounds, it’s easily distracted by smell, and like the beagle, in particular, the basset is stubborn. Both qualities combine to make it less than receptive to training. But is it really fair to call this dog breed dumb when it’s so good at what it was bred to do? We’ll always love this sniffing pooch.
One of the most popular toy dog breeds, the shih tzu, Mandarin for “little lion,” was bred hundreds of years ago as an indoor lap dog. And that’s precisely what it excels at. What the shih tzu does not excel at is learning commands with speed and consistency. Specifically, Coren’s research found that on average, the dog breed obeys a first command less than 25% of the time. This puts it squarely into the category of dumbest dog breeds. But remember, the shih tzu is known to be most affectionate with family, nice with children and playful with other dogs – and some might argue there’s nothing dumb about that.
Here are 11 of the most affectionate dog breeds that love to cuddle.
Another of the giant dog breeds, the bullmastiff was bred as a bulldog and mastiff hybrid. Like the mastiff, it was bred as a guard dog that’s nevertheless docile with its humans. And at this, the bullmastiff excels, thanks to its sheer size and its relative wariness of strangers. What the bullmastiff hasn’t necessarily mastered as a breed is the art of quickly learning commands and performing them consistently. For that reason, it’s considered by Coren’s criteria to be one of the dumbest dog breeds. However, Bullmastiff lovers will claim that this breed is highly intelligent, but simply strong-willed. You have been warned.