The 5 Least Intelligent Dog Breeds in North America

Not all dogs are created equal, and these adorable pups come up a little short in the smarts department. Here are the top five least intelligent dog breeds.

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Cute dog wearing glasses
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Doggy IQ

Back in 1994, judges from the Canadian and U.S. Kennel Clubs were asked to determine the intelligence level of various breeds, based mainly on how many repetitions it took the pups to master new commands. The Border Collie came out on top, followed by others you’ve seen trained as successful service dogs, like German Shepherds and Labs. The four-legged fur babies who made our list, however, are some of the least intelligent dog breeds. You won’t see any of them teaming up with the police department or being commissioned for search and rescue any time soon!

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The Borzoi is one of the least intelligent dog breeds
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Least intelligent dog breeds: Borzoi

Borzois are many things—loyal, independent, willful, proud, charming, affectionate—but smart? Not so much. They do get marks for having a cat’s intuition to clean themselves, but their other cat-like qualities (they’re not as driven as most dogs to please their masters) make them difficult to deal with sometimes.

Here are 4 Ways to Stop Your Dog From Barking.

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Chow Chow dog breed
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Least intelligent dog breeds: Chow Chow

There’s a difference between smart and intelligent, and that gap is noticeable in the Chow Chow. The breed is loyal to its family, but becomes very dominant in the household and is wary of strangers. They need an owner who is calm, consistent and firm to lay down the law—but it’s difficult for the breed to accept their masters’ friends and visitors, despite attempts at training.

These Are 4 Sure Signs Your Dog Trusts You.

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Bulldog with owner
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Least intelligent dog breeds: Bulldogs

These pups are gentle, affectionate, even-tempered, friendly, persistent, dependable, brave—but you won’t see any dominating an agility course or sniffing out trails.

From Retrievers to German Shepherds, check out the most popular dog breeds.

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Basenji dog breed
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Least intelligent dog breeds: Basenji

This is unique breed is widely known as the “barkless” dog—instead of barking, it makes yodeling noises. Between that and their cat-like tendency to clean themselves, the Basenji doesn’t score high on your classic dog trait test.

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Afghan Hound dog
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Least intelligent dog breeds: Afghan Hound

This elegant, dignified breed is notoriously difficult to train and housebreak. What they lack in smarts, however, they make up for in affection towards their owners. They are sweet and loyal to the ones they love, but the breed is wary of strangers so don’t expect a warm greeting if you come across one out for a walk. They are beautiful though!

Check out these 7 Reasons Every Kid Should Grow Up with a Big Dog.

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