Are Dachshunds smart?

According to canine intelligence tests, dachshunds are ranked 92nd out of the 138 most intelligent dog breeds. If you have been lucky enough to have a dachshund in your life, you will know that these dogs are quite clever and charismatic. Dachshunds can be stubborn and have a mind of their own. This comes from the fact that they were bred to work independently as badger hunters.

According to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, there are three types of intelligence in dogs; adaptive intelligence (or figuring something out), working intelligence (following orders), and instinctive intelligence or innate talent.

Anyone who owns a dachshund knows that these dogs are very communicative, they are always attentive and responsive to their owners and always find a way to get away with what they want. For this reason, those of us who know this breed very well, have the impression that this is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. But, how come they rank so low? What does science say about it? How smart dachshunds really are? Let’s find out.

What is the IQ of a dachshund?

Dachshunds have average intelligence in most areas, according to canine psychologists. Though Dachshunds are considered “average” in dog intelligence, there are many reasons why they’re actually a lot smarter than you’d think. For one thing, while doxies rank low in obedience and trainability tests, they tend to be really good at other things like problem-solving, reading the body language of the owners, or quick learning.

The Intelligence of Dogs,  a book on dog intelligence by Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In this book, the professor writes about how different dog breeds differ in the level of canine intelligence. The book was first published back in 1994 and is based on data from professional US and Canadian canine obedience judges. Dr. Coren’s studies are used to determine the level of intelligence of different breeds of dogs.

Coren set out three aspects of dog intelligence: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence. Of these three aspects, Coren offers a breed ranking for the latter category – working and obedience intelligence. This aspect of dog behavior seems to have received the most public attention, perhaps because the concept refers to a dog’s ability to learn from humans and is a natural reference point for us.

Dr. Coren’s trials measured the following:

How quickly a dog breed learned new, unknown commands. The more repetitions it required for the breed to learn, the lower they ranked on the list. 

How closely a first command is obeyed on the first attempt without errors. Breeds with great success rates in this regard showed greater intelligence.


How intelligent are dogs?

Dogs are very similar to us humans in that their brains are split into two hemispheres. In fact, dogs process information faster than we humans do. According to research conducted by Dr. Stanley Coren.

According to this research, the most intelligent dog breeds tend to be at least as smart as a two-year-old child. Coren says that for your dog to perform tricks, it has to understand the idea of what you are asking it to do, and then it will be able to do them without any issue. Of all aspects of dog intelligence, Coren offers a ranking for working and obedience intelligence. He suggests this aspect is the best way to judge a dog’s attentiveness to its owner.

Today, researchers are finding out that what makes one dog smart may be different from what makes another dog smart. There are many different kinds of intelligence. Some dogs might be good at understanding social situations, others might learn words well, and still, others might have the ability to solve problems. When it comes to animal intelligence research, there is no “one size fits all.”

Dogs are really great animals. They understand humans well, which is a special skill. That’s what Dr. Alexandra Horowitz from the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, Columbia University said: “They are very attentive to and responsive to us, which is a great social cognitive skill.” Read more about the intelligence of dogs.

So, what about dachshunds?

Coren found that dachshunds needed around 40 repetitions before understanding a new command, and even then they only obeyed commands half of the time. In comparison, top-ranking breeds, such as the Border Collie or Labrador Retriever needed fewer than 5 repetitions of command to understand it and obeyed a command the first time around 85% of the time.

Thus, according to scientific evidence, dachshunds are not very intelligent and are considered dogs of average intelligence. But for dachshund owners, a question remains. It could be that the dachshunds did understand the researcher’s commands perfectly, but they did not feel like obeying. after all, when we give our dachshunds an order, they usually won’t obey it. Even though, we know they know what we’re telling them. It could be that the stubbornness and disobedience that characterize this breed are the reasons why they do not fare well on canine intelligence tests. Related: Can Dachshunds Be Service Dogs?

Dachshund intelligence ranking

Anyone lucky enough to own a dachshund knows that they are very communicative, they are always aware of their master, they always find a way to get away with what they want. for this reason, those of us who know this breed have the impression that this is one of the most intelligent breeds. But what does science say about it?

We already know that canine intelligence tests tell us that dachshunds have an average IQ and rank 92 out of 138 in the ranking of the most intelligent breeds. We also know that these canine intelligence tests are based on the dog’s ability to understand and obey human commands, and dachshunds are anything but obedient.

So dachshunds don’t do well on obedience intelligence tests. But remember that this is not the only type of canine intelligence that was described by Dr. Coren. Coren uses three aspects to measure the intelligence of dogs: instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence. If you know dachshunds well, you may already be suspecting in which of these aspects dachshunds have problems.

While dachshunds are not good at following orders. Everyone who knows this breed knows that if they excel at adaptive intelligence with excellent problem-solving skills, they usually use this ability for their mischief. They also have a very good instinctive intelligence, as these dogs are innate hunters and trackers. Related: Are Dachshunds Hunting Dogs?

Are Dachshunds dumb?

Now, this may mean that dachshunds are not a very bright breed. Or it may also mean that dachshunds are very bad at obeying human commands. There is NO way to know for sure, but as dachshund owners suspect it is the second option. Dachshund owners are convinced that their dogs are very intelligent, but they are also very stubborn and disobedient. Therefore they fare badly in the tests. In summary, dachshunds can be a very intelligent breed of dog, but their stubbornness prevents them from having a good result in intelligence tests.

Are dachshunds lazy?

There’s a long-standing reputation that Dachshunds are lazy, but whether or not this is accurate I believe it all depends on the individual dog.

As you may know, Dachshunds are hunting dogs. Thus they tend to sleep more than other dog breeds when not engaged in a hunt because they need to conserve their energy. For this reason, expect your four-legged friend to sleep as much as 14 hours per day.

Are dachshunds hard to train?

One of the earliest dog breeds created for hunting, Dachshunds were bred to chase down badgers and track scents. This independent nature likely made training challenging. In fact, they are one of the most stubborn dog breeds due in part to being so hard to train.

When you have a dog that’s hard to train, consistency and patience are essential. Repeat commands until your dachshund learns them. Pair verbal instruction with hand signals, which will help him associate the command with its meaning. Related: Are Dachshunds Easy to Train?

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Are Dachshunds smart?