Is Basset Hound the smartest dog?

Picture this: A dog with droopy ears, drooping eyes, and a mournful expression. If you’re thinking of a Basset Hound, you are clearly a dog lover! They might be known for their seemingly sad faces, but behind those long ears and droopy eyes lies one of the most intriguing canine minds.

Despite the Basset Hound’s reputation for being a bit slow or even lazy, they’re actually incredibly intelligent. However, their sort of intelligence differs from what you might expect in dogs like Labradors or Border Collies.

Sure, you won’t find Basset Hounds dominating agility courses or taking home the gold in obedience trials, but if you’ve been considering a Basset Hound as your next family pet, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover just how much this breed has to offer in terms of wit, charm, and sheer cleverness.

A short history of Basset Hounds will quickly dispel the notion that these dogs do little more than laze about the house. This breed was developed in France and England in the 1500s. Their unique physical attributes were purposefully bred for hunting.

Those floppy ears, for instance, are not just for show—a Basset Hound’s oversized ears stir up ground scents while they’re on a trail. Their short legs and heavy body keep them close to the ground, providing optimal sniffing conditions, and their loose skin folds trap the scents, making them one of the premier sniffer dogs!

Surprisingly, despite not being speedy runners, Basset Hounds actually have twice as many olfactory receptor cells as your average dog breed does. In fact, second only to the Bloodhound, Basset Hounds boast one of the most advanced sense of smell in the canine world – capable of picking up a scent trail which is over two weeks old.

Now, let’s talk about Basset Hound intelligence. In terms of trainability, Basset Hounds might pose a few challenges. But it’s not due to lack of intellectual capability – far from it.

Stanley Coren, a renowned professor of canine psychology, conducted a survey where he found Basset Hounds to rate the lowest amongst all breeds for training obedience. Does this mean they’re dumb? Not at all! Basset Hounds are simply independent thinkers, characterized by a distinct stubborn streak.

It’s like they have their own little saying, “I hear you, I can do that, but do I want to? Maybe later.” This is characteristic of a dog that’s been bred for independent work – for centuries, Basset Hounds were expected to follow a scent without human intervention. Therefore, the trait of problem-solving without human help has been strongly ingrained in them.

A Basset Hound requires patient, consistent training methods and usually responds well to positive reinforcement. Food is, in particular, an excellent motivator. Ever heard of the saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? Well, with Basset Hounds, it’s definitely “the way to a Basset’s brain is through its stomach”.

However, be aware of their propensity for obesity and ensure any food-based rewards are balanced out with adequate exercise. While they may strike you as couch potatoes, Basset Hounds require regular moderate exercise to prevent weight gain.

Aside from their scent work, Basset Hounds also excel in tasks benefiting from their ‘low to the ground’ aspect like search and rescue work.

Their social intelligence is also something to note. Basset Hounds are sociable creatures and are known for their loyalty and affection. They enjoy the company of their human family and even get along well with other pets. They are also great around kids, making them an excellent choice as a family pet.

In essence, if you measure a dog’s intelligence based purely on obedience and trainability, then Basset Hounds may not top your list. However, if you consider a dog’s ability to solve problems independently, excel in specialized tasks like scent work, and possess excellent social skills, then Basset Hounds are an impressively intelligent breed.

Their stubborn streak simply adds charm to their quirky personalities, and their strong bond with their human family is a testament to their emotional intelligence. The emotional connection that a Basset Hound forms with its master is a true gauge of their cleverness!

To conclude, if you’re after an obedient dog to perform tricks and impress your friends, then a Basset Hound is probably not the ideal choice. But if you’re after a loyal, loving, and emotionally intelligent companion with unique abilities, then a Basset Hound is just the ticket. You just need to appreciate their unique brand of cleverness, wrapped up in a droopy, cuddly package!