Compact in size and with a signature shuffle, the English bulldog possesses renowned and highly recognizable features. Despite their slightly disgruntled facial expression, English bulldogs are amiable and very loyal pets. Contrary to popular belief, English bulldogs can be quiet, tentative, and observant.
English bulldogs are smart and intelligent dogs. They convey strong emotional intelligence and are not only astute and sensitive to their surroundings, but they are also exceptionally protective of their owners.
How smart are English bulldogs compared to other breeds?
In comparison, according to many studies and psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren, the Border Collie is ranked as one of the most intelligent dogs: its frisky and highly-alert nature make them ideal for fulfilling their purpose of herding sheep and working alongside farmers. They demonstrate speed and energy, their tactical minds and ability to problem-solve make them reliable yet independent.
English bulldogs are not necessarily blessed with the gift of swift-thinking and problem-solving nor are they always adept at thinking on their feet, yet owners can rest assured that their bulldog will sense any problem and be ready to faithfully guard their owner! Their loyalty and alert nature leads them to recognize if their owner, children, or anyone else around is at risk.
How are dogs’ intelligence measured?
There are several breeds that most of us associate with as being smart, working dogs. German Shepherds are known for their protective instincts and for working alongside the police force whilst the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent therapy dog with its empathetic and soothing temperament. And Golden Retrievers are relied on for guiding and even rescuing vulnerable owners. Different breeds have different skill sets, and its good to understand what activities they are best suited for and what types of owners they will match best with.
There are two primary ways of measuring a dog’s intelligence: ‘instinctive intelligence’ and ‘adaptive intelligence’. ‘Instinctive intelligence’ takes into consideration the reasoning behind what the dog was bred for and how well it adheres to this purpose. Initially, over one hundred years ago, bulldogs were bred for bull baiting and were identified as strong aggressors, but after being crossed with a Pug, their predominantly aggressive streak was complimented by their more affectionate side.
‘Adaptive intelligence’ is a measurement of a dog’s ability to think and act independently and how they are able to approach a range of tasks and problems. If we look at Border Collies again, a farmer needs a dog that is motivated and tactical so that it can fulfill its duties on the farm and out on the fields. With an ability to firmly lock eye contact and make decisive decisions, the way in which this breed of dog performs out on the field demonstrates its fastidious mind. Although these qualities are ideal for certain owners and purposes, the breed needs to be consistently challenged and given healthy outlets. If you are seeking a calm home-life and leisurely dog walks, you might want to consider a non-working breed.
English bulldogs are proven to have an innate tendency to protect and even offer compassion and empathy to owners when they are grieving. These are valuable qualities in a pet—especially within a family unit or around children. Their ability to make those around them smile, not only because of their unique appearance but also their general funny demeanor, means that they make exceptional playmates for little ones and brighten up the entire family’s day!
An important point to remember is that although bulldogs can be entertaining and exhibit high bursts of energy, they are predominantly indoor dogs and are not designed to spend lengthy amounts of time outdoors unsupervised nor are they the type of pet that you would choose to go running with or on a long walk.
How can you administer a dog IQ test at home?
There are numerous tests and tricks to establish a dog’s intelligence. According to Dr Cohen’s test, which will allow the owner to consider elements of its dog’s ‘adaptive intelligence’, one way of recognizing a dog’s ability to problem-solve is the basic test of putting a blanket over the dog’s head and waiting to see how long it will take for the dog to get out from under it. This easy test is a great starting point to determine a dog’s ability to problem-solve and their ability to self-motivate; plus. it is a quick, easy and fun task that can be carried out at home. You can give your bulldog top points if he os she is able to get out in under 15 seconds. And if it takes more than 30 seconds, you might want to get in there and give your pup a hand.
If the dog is successful, there is also no harm in some positive reinforcement with a tasty treat.
Another unique test is based on using your dog’s favorite spot to test his or her ability to adapt to change. Consider your dog’s favorite spot in the room is and while your dog is not in the room, move some of the furniture around. When your dog re-enters the room, watch to see if he or she returns to their spot regardless of the change. If the dog successfully returns to their spot, this conveys intelligence in addition to memory skills and an acute awareness of change. Again, provide them with some positive reinforcement and a well-earned treat.
These are just a few ways that you can test your dog’s intelligence. It is also important to remember that although dogs are born with certain genes and brain chemistry, they can also pick up environmental cues and go on to adopt either positive or negative habits: this is useful for owners to remember if they are encountering behavioral issues with their dogs too. Even if your pet does not instantaneously respond to the tests laid out to them, this does not mean that with some perseverance they won’t slowly learn and develop new habits.
Can you make your bulldog smarter?
Bulldogs can be naturally stubborn by nature and part of this approach stems from their ability to consider their options and reflect. What may appear to be a negative trait can actually be useful as they will trust their own instincts and have conviction when protecting their owners. In relation to tests, tricks, and learning new behavior, they might not immediately always be onboard and some initial resistance could be the first stepping stone to pass.
Numerous techniques can be used, and are particularly beneficial if exercised from an early age. Consistency and variety mean that your dog can be kept engage and continuously keep developing new skills.
You can always continue to develop your bulldog’s mind and body. Socializing him or her with other dogs will continue to challenge them and keep them active. Another way is to continue to teach them new tricks, and find new ways to add little challenges, so that their brains are kept active. A mentally healthy and active bulldog, is a happier bulldog!