Is Brussels Griffon the smartest dog?

There’s an old saying often attributed to Albert Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This might seem like an odd way to begin an article about whether or not the Brussels Griffon is the smartest dog, but bear with me. Intelligence, whether we’re talking about people or pets, is complex. It’s tempting to rank dogs based on IQ, but that doesn’t do justice to their varied skills and strengths. Let’s dive deeper into understanding one specific breed – the Brussels Griffon.

You may know the Brussels Griffon from famous dog shows or may recognize them as the adorable ‘Ewoks’ from Star Wars. Originated from Belgium, the Brussels Griffon catches eyes with its distinctive bushy mustachio, large expressive eyes, and unique haircut. It’s small, it’s quirky, and it’s brimming with personality.

The Brussels Griffon is often defined by its remarkably human-like expressions. Likely, you’ll be captivated by their ‘Griffish’ ways and idiosyncrasies – watch as their brows furrow with curiosity or widen in surprise. Their expressive face speaks volumes about their temperament – alert, curious, and smart. But does that make them the smartest dog breed?

Now, while we’re on the subject, what does it mean when we say a dog is ‘smart’? When we talk about a dog’s intelligence, we’re typically discussing one of three types – Instinctive, Adaptive, and Working & Obedience intelligence. Instinctive intelligence revolves around the tasks they were bred for, such as herding, retrieving, or, in Brussels Griffon’s case, being a fantastic companion.

Adaptive intelligence relates to a dog’s problem-solving skills. Can they figure out how to get to the treats they just saw you hide, or how to open the back door by themselves? The third category, Working & Obedience Intelligence refers to how quickly a dog learns when trained, how well it follows commands, and how adaptive it is to changing circumstances.

The Brussels Griffon was bred to keep stables free from rats and later became desirable companions to coachmen in Brussels (hence their name). By nature, they are innately good at hunting and have a great sense of companionship. These are pointers towards their instinctive intelligence. Many Griffon owners have shared mind-boggling stories of their ‘Griffs’ showing incredible problem-solving skills which point towards their adaptive intelligence.

However, are they obedient? This is where things get a little tricky. Brussels Griffons can be a tad obstinate. They have a strong independent streak, and while they’re capable of learning commands, they’re just as liable to look at you as if to say, “We’ll see,” when you tell them to do something. But don’t lose heart! A little patience and a lot of positive reinforcements will work wonders.

Now coming back to our main question – Is Brussels Griffon the smartest dog? That’s a loaded question. In terms of problem-solving and learning new commands, a Griff may not always top the charts. A Poodle or Border Collie might outperform them. But that doesn’t mean they are any less intelligent.

They do have an impressive ability to understand human emotions. Many Griff owners will tell you how intuitive their companions are, often seeming to know when their human is upset and needing comfort. So, while not traditionally ‘smart,’ they are emotionally intelligent and make fantastic companions.

Moreover, intelligence in dogs, just like in humans, depends a lot on individual genetics and upbringing. The environment in which a dog is raised, the training it receives, and the tasks it does regularly can all contribute to how ‘smart’ the dog appears. Just like us, some are more gifted in certain areas than others.

With their big-hearted courage, cat-like agility, and empathetic nature, Brussels Griffons are truly a unique breed. They may not necessarily ace an obedience or agility course against a Border Collie, but when it comes to companionship, empathy, and personality, a Griff is hard to beat.

Brussels Griffons are smart, but above all, they are charming, lovable, and are filled with personality. They might not be the ‘smartest’ in the traditional sense, but they have their own kind of intelligence that makes them special. Remember, just like Einstein said, we shouldn’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. In essence, every dog is smart in its way, just like a Brussels Griffon, that wins hearts with its enthusiasm for life, emotional intelligence, and ‘Griffish’ ways.

In conclusion, whoever said “the more I know people, the more I love my dog,” probably owned a Brussels Griffon. They might not be top of their classes, but their emotional intelligence coupled with their cheeky, larger-than-life personalities make them one of the brightest stars in the canine world. And isn’t that a fantastic kind of smarts all on its own?