21 Not-So-Intelligent Dog Breeds

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When you think about it, why do you need an intelligent dog, anyway? Well, it all depends on what you want to get out of your dog.
If you want a pet, the more silly the dog is, the more likely you are to love them. On the other hand, if you are a hunter, you need a smart, hunting breed.

According to some studies, some breeds are smarter than others. However, we can’t exactly talk about their levels of intelligence; instead, we can determine whether the dog is obedient, able to solve problems, learn, and be trained. Researchers have as much difficulty agreeing on a method for testing canine intelligence as they do for human intelligence.

These are said to be the least intelligent dog breeds. Let’s not call them stupid. Let’s just say they’re not so smart.

1. Afghan Hound

This is a very old breed. In fact, it is so old that it predates written history.
It was developed in some of the most remote regions on Earth. So, we know nothing about their beginnings. What we do know is that for centuries they were rugged, very fast hunting companions and status symbols for the rich and royal, tribal chieftains, and aristocrats of Asia’s kingdoms.

Owning an Afghan almost guarantees that your companion will be one of the most beautiful animals at the dog park. And the breed’s lovers swear by its faithfulness and wonderful personality. However, they come with certain conditions.
These conditions include grooming them, running with then, worrying about their exceptionally high prey drive, and training them.

It’s a special breed for very special people. An Afghan expert once said, “It is not the breed for all would-be dog owners, but where the dog and owner combination is right, no animal can equal the Afghan Hound as a pet.”

Referred to as an aristocrat, the Afghan Hound’s appearance is one of dignity. Well covered with thick, silky hair, fine in texture, the Afghan hound’s coat is a sort found among animals native to high altitudes. They can come in all colors, and while the breed is excellent for hunting, its popularity here comes from the fact that it is a spectacular show dog.

As for their intelligence, some say it’s their trainability that may be the issue. They advocate that Hounds are highly intelligent but not the same kind of intelligence as a dog from one of the “working” breeds, whose ancestors were selected for their ability to follow orders.
The Afghan Hound had to think for himself without human assistance or he would not have been successful as a working sighthound. They claim they learn fast and will learn from dogs or humans, but only if it works for them.

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  • That Trainer with the Flower

    I feel like this more of a list of difficult to train dogs, not dogs that are necessarily unintelligent.

  • Ted Hoo

    Difficult to train dog could also be stubborn and aloft. From the looks of some of these dogs, there is dumb written all over their face.

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  • Debbie Radziewicz

    Ridiculous. I have a female and a male and they are quite intelligent. Hard headed and loveable but very intelligent an I found them easy to train.

  • Meowhiss

    Basenjis are VERY intelligent they are just fiercely independent.

  • Oldilocks

    The picture with the mastiff entry is of two Dogues de Bordeux, not mastiffs.

  • JB-asdf

    Whoever wrote this has no idea what they’re talking about. Chows are “jealous and like to be at the center …” -100% false.

    Chows are one of the most intelligent breeds, they are too independent to take orders from strangers – like some guy in an obedience school. and unless you are one of the 2 or 3 people to which they are devoted; they would rather not even be touched by you.

  • reformed1

    English Bulldogs are intelligent by convenience but are easily distracted. The right treat gets quick results! Had bulldogs for years. Fav breed! Can see the wheels turning when these guys are thinking. I agree with “that trainer with the flower” stubborn does not equate to unintelligent, quite the opposite in this breeds case. Never seen a collie skate board.

  • Blind Squirrel

    “Not So Intelligent”?? The Beagle??

    Clearly the author needs to either pick up a dictionary, or actually work with the breeds they’re citing here, because either (a) the title doesn’t line up with the message or (b) they haven’t got a clue as to what they’re talking about, and likely have never worked with or trained a dog the right way.

  • Blind Squirrel

    Here’s another one: Incidentally, the dog in the Mastiff picture, while a type of Mastiff, is actually a Dogue de Bordeaux.

  • Blind Squirrel

    Be careful with that dissenting opinion. The author might get her panties in a bunch and delete your post like she did my initial ones.

  • gggreggg

    almost all dogs of the hound persuasion are independent-minded. dachshunds are hounds (badgerhound) and are easily distracted by any scent that they find interesting.
    (I, too, find these dog lists inaccurate.)

  • gggreggg

    I think it would have been useful to note traits that have been bred into these dogs that cause health problems—such as breathing difficulties that bull dogs and other dogs with “crunched up” noses.
    (I think some of these dogs should no longer be bred for the sake of the dog.)

  • Tamme Pompilio

    THANK YOU! Glad to see someone else besides myself knew that! I also agree that this list should be labeled as “Hard to train dogs” and not unintelligent. I have bred Chows and they are one of the only dogs that I know of that really doesn’t require potty training if they are around other potty trained dogs……they train themselves and do it quickly! I know my dogs and all the traits listed for each breed is accurate, but being categorized as unintelligent is NOT accurate (in fact they say that in each one)!!!

  • Yorkshire Rose

    I disagree with St. Bernards, I have Great Pyrenees who are the same size and have had them around my children from a very young age. They have been nothing but aware of their size and been very gentle. A trait the St. Bernard also has I believe. I would have added Border Collie, Bearded Collie and Old English Sheepdog to this list. The first two being herders with a tendancy to nip (I grew up with Bearded Collies in the household, and while ours lived in the house, they could nip when they wanted to), OES are natural guard dogs and not a breed I would have around children. All lovely but common sense has to prevail. I just wish alot of people would read up on breeds before they bought a puppy as so many end up in dog shelters for being what they were bred for.

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  • SarBear21

    Duh, if it’s Not-So-Intelligent dogs, why am I seeing the word intelligent in the descriptions??

  • Tamme Pompilio

    We had a Saint when I was very little and he was very protective of me, but very gentle at the same time. He was a big clown, but he let us do whatever we wanted to him. We would hang on his tail and he would slide us around the foyer and he loved it!! We hooked him up to our sled and he would would pull us in the park in the winter. He loved every minute of it and he NEVER knocked us over with size! He was so gentle that he actually wanted to play with our white mouse and he carried him around his mouth and never hurt it! My Aunts Irish Setter on the hand was an obnoxious dog that rammed his nose in your crotch and knocked you over all the time!! That breed should be listed as a clutz or obnoxious.

  • lily

    I have an oes and a child. They are great with children and people. You should be the one looking up breed standards before talking about a breed as a whole. They were bred as drover dogs, which is herding, which is why they are a part of the herding group.

  • Melanie Collins Pennock

    AKA French Mastiff…..a beautiful breed!

  • Melanie Collins Pennock

    What? What would THEY say about your face??

  • kulaid

    A mastiff at 135 lbs is a runt. Not sure what dog you’re talking about here.

  • Mary Scouten

    Being independent, and difficult to train does not equal stupid, on the contrary in my opinion the dumbest dog I ever met was our Black Lab, although he was easy to train, he did not learn from experience. He would chase and catch porcupines, and skunks repeatedly. No matter how often he got sprayed or quilled, we finally gave him to a relative in the city when he was blinded in one eye after the umpteenth time of getting quilled. He was only there for a short time when he tried to chase a snow plow that was backing up, he was hit and required a hip replacement and months of rehab, the result was that the following winter he was better, but bolted out the front door and got killed by the same snowplow doing the same thing the very next winter. Stupidity is NOT learning from experience.

  • Spiritof America

    On the Irish , they bred beauty in, brains out.

  • Melissa

    Basenjis are hard to train…they’re actually intelligent dogs. People who don’t take the time to be patient with basenjis are who you got your “facts” from. They are also independent dogs, but that doesn’t make them dumb. Please own a few basenjis and base your opinion on experience. Or rather, don’t — you don’t have the time to do real research, so why would you have the time to own a dog and actually give a crap about it?

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