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Thread: Bulldog Intelligence

  1. #13
    Wrinkle Wiper DinoRoyale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    Dumb??? I think not. Last night I watched a bulldog ride a skateboard on a halfpipe. I have yet to see one of the smarter breeds of dogs accomplish something as this. I agree though, bulldogs do what they want to do, they just need motivation. I'm the same way, heh, I work because I need money, not because someone tells me to do it...

  2. #14
    Feed Store Operator Angievelvet's Avatar
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    Wow violet was sitting, laying down and shaking by 9wks old. She knows when it's bedtime. And she taught herself to ride my daughters skateboard. I don't like that they mistake stubborn for dumb

    Sent from my HUAWEI-M860 using Tapatalk

  3. #15
    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    Here I go again, sticking my neck out there! The thread responses so far have completely misunderstood the research conducted.

    The bulldog was listed as #108 out of 110 dog breeds in the canine intelligence ranking published by Stanley Coren in his book The Intelligence of Dogs. No, Dr. Coren doesn't own a bulldog and he doesn't own a Border Collie either. Dr. Coren is a neuropsychologist. His ranking was based on scientific research methods and not emotional attachment.

    Dr. Coren presented in his book that there are 3 types of canine intelligence.

    1) instinctive intelligence - is bred into the dog in it's domestication history. A retriever, for instance, is bred to retrieve something. This trait became enhanced in the breed by selective breeding. Therefore, a labrador retriever breed will always be more intelligent than a bulldog at fetching something. A bichon frise was bred to be pretty and that's about it, so it doesn't really have much instinctive intelligence.

    2) Adaptive intelligence is not breed specific. This is a particular dog's learning and adaptation. For example - all labradors have the same instinctive intelligence and will fetch a ball - but you will find that some labradors, when they see the ball roll under the couch will think the ball gone and return to his parent without it, whereas some labradors will go behind the couch and catch the ball as it comes out the other side. My very first companion was a purebred German Shepherd. Ranked 3rd on the Intelligence ranking. Super smart dog - she is show quality on obedience! But, when she gets her leash wrapped around a tree trunk, she is stuck, because, even after I showed her multiple times how to unwrap herself, she just never learned it. My 2nd dog was a Lhasa Apso. Ranked #68. Never had a problem unwrapping himself out of the tree... Because, unwrapping a leash out of a tree is not instinctive and cannot be breed specific - it's adaptive learning that varies for each individual dog.

    3) Working intelligence - this is what "the ranking" is based on. Because it is the only type of intelligence that can be compared by breed. Working intelligence is susceptibility to obedience training (command and reward). This study gives researchers a starting point in choosing the best breed to do human assistance work such as guide dogs for the blind or police dogs. Although each individual dog, regardless of breed, can have different levels of obedience depending on the trainer, the study was conducted on the ease and consistency of obedience training. Therefore, a Border Collie is ranked #1, because all dog trainers who joined the study named the Border Collie as the breed that required the least number of command repititions to learn a new command and the breed that recalls that command at first issue (only has to say the command once for the dog to obey) 95% of the time or better. So, if you are a trainer for guide dogs and you have 2 pupies to choose from - a German Shepherd and a Bulldog, you will not choose the bulldog, guaranteed.

    It is no surprise to us bullie lovers that the English Bulldog is ranked 108. My Bullie knows all the basic commands but, she obeys them, I'd say less than 20% of the time at first issue and only if there's a treat involved. And I'm fairly certain it took several reiterations for her to even just learn them in the first place (I got her at 3 years old). My bichon, for sure, took days just to learn "Stay", but he's consistent on it now with no more than the 3rd issue, usually obeys at first command issue. My German Shepherd is like a robot - I don't even have to say the command, he can anticipate "Sit" before it is issued. And she learned each command very fast - Sit was a 5 minute session.

    So, is my English Bulldog dumber than my German Shepherd? Depends on what your personal criteria of what you consider intelligent. Stanley Coren's criteria is for a specific type of intelligence for a specific purpose and has its specific uses. In my opinion, Bullie the bulldog, is just as smart as Megabyte, the Shepherd, because they both figured out how to become a value addition to my eccentric lifestyle. They both got ME trained.
    Last edited by anatess; 08-08-2011 at 01:13 PM.

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    Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011

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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    @anatess - this is a really interesting answer. I have read some of Dr Coren's books and thought they were quite good; not sure if I've read The Intelligence of Dogs, but as you note, this is measuring "working" or obedience intelligence, and obviously a breed which like a sheepdog is bred for obedience is going to score much higher on this sort of measurement than a bulldog which basically was initially bred to fight (hold onto a bull's nose without letting go, regardless of the difficulty).

    In my opinion adaptive intelligence as you describe is the best test of intelligence. About fifty of Moscow's tens of thousands of dogs have actually learned to use the metro train system to travel from one place to the other - how amazing is that!

    On an obviously much more basic level our boy has shown some signs of adaptive intelligence as when he has learned over the years to react in a better way towards other dogs, despite never having had siblings and being taken early from his mother. We have never tested him on adaptive intelligence though and I wonder if tests of this nature have been carried out on different breeds.

  5. #17
    Wrinkle Wiper DinoRoyale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    Stupid is as stupid does? Ha, seriously though, there is a fine line between "Will" and "Intelligence" I can understand what the doctor is trying to say and what the measure he is using to reach his conclusions but...... He is basing his decisions on whether the animal does the desired requests rather than if the animal understands the desired request. Angus can sit, lay down, high five, and come over when called but he chooses when to do it. If he doesn't do it, it doesn't mean he doesn't know how, it just means he's just not motivated enough.

    This doctor should perform the same test on humans

  6. #18
    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by hoegaandit View Post
    @anatess - this is a really interesting answer. I have read some of Dr Coren's books and thought they were quite good; not sure if I've read The Intelligence of Dogs, but as you note, this is measuring "working" or obedience intelligence, and obviously a breed which like a sheepdog is bred for obedience is going to score much higher on this sort of measurement than a bulldog which basically was initially bred to fight (hold onto a bull's nose without letting go, regardless of the difficulty).

    In my opinion adaptive intelligence as you describe is the best test of intelligence. About fifty of Moscow's tens of thousands of dogs have actually learned to use the metro train system to travel from one place to the other - how amazing is that!

    On an obviously much more basic level our boy has shown some signs of adaptive intelligence as when he has learned over the years to react in a better way towards other dogs, despite never having had siblings and being taken early from his mother. We have never tested him on adaptive intelligence though and I wonder if tests of this nature have been carried out on different breeds.
    Yes, adaptive intelligence is basically like your particular dog's IQ level. But, this is not something you can attach to breed - it is truly breed independent. There is an IQ Test that you can perform on your dog to gauge his adaptive intelligence. See, the thing is, for it to be true adaptive intelligence and not working intelligence, the test needs to be something you haven't taught your dog how to do - something he works out himself. There are several activities to the IQ Test, I can't remember a lot of them - I did this long time ago - but I'm sure it's on the internet somewhere. I remember one of them is to put a towel over your dog's head covering his face, and time how long it will take him to get the towel off. Another one is putting a bowl over a treat and time how long it will take them to get the treat from under the bowl... that kind of stuff.

    I got Bullied and loving it!
    Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011

  7. #19
    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    Quote Originally Posted by DinoRoyale View Post
    He is basing his decisions on whether the animal does the desired requests rather than if the animal understands the desired request.
    That's exactly what he is basing the ranking on. That's why it is called "Working Intelligence". It is a measure of a dog's aptitude to do work. So, all things being equal with the amount of motivation the same for all breeds, a Border Collie has a higher working intelligence than a Bulldog. Doesn't mean the Bulldog doesn't understand anything, his understanding just doesn't amount to much use for work.

    I like the book. I thought it was very insightful. He goes into detail on how, as a member of your family, an "intelligent" dog (working intelligence combined with adaptive intelligence) may not be suited for your household. Just like Einstein - because of his genius - is not suited for the standard classroom setting and would be disruptive.

    I got Bullied and loving it!
    Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011

  8. #20
    Wrinkle Wiper DinoRoyale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    I agree though that could be useful for people that are searching for breeds that fit their lifestyle. Different dogs have been breed to serve different purposes. It amazes me still that our bullies were once bred to take bulls head on, no fear, no remorse, just little tanks with only one goal in mind and now they are just wrinkly clowns that are just full of emotion and caring.

  9. #21
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    If you type "dog iq test" into bing or google, you will get a list of six tests of dog adaptive intelligence as created by Dr Coren, which might be quite fun (although these have been criticised by others as not properly thought through and favouring certain types of dogs eg food motivated or praise motivated dogs).

  10. #22
    Potty Trainer Spinal Remains's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    I don't see how this is possible to be honest. Rufus is pretty smart already. He was a breeze to potty train. He's 10 months now and he can fetch his toys by name. I say "get the froggie" and he brings his frog to me. "Get the rat" and he brings me the rat etc........... Thats shows extreme intellect to me. He is not only looking to please me, but he is listening and attributing objects to sounds. He knows thinga have different names attatched to them. I have had stupid dogs, and Rufus Hambone is not one of them. That is all I have to say on the subject.
    Even on the most awful of days, Hambone can get a smile out of me. I don't know what else to say other than, the bond one has with their dog is one of the most special things there is.

  11. #23
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    My bullies are smarter than the average honor student.
    Have a Great Bully Day.
    Member of The Bulldog Club of America, The Bulldog Club of Texas and French Bulldog Club of America.
    Bully hugs from - BeBe, Hazel, Lucy Lu, JLO, Hillary, Henri & Katie


  12. #24
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    Default Re: Bulldog Intelligence

    It only took BOTH Gypsy and Gator 5 minutes to learn new commands and they also anticipate commands at times.

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