Is the Miniature Schnauzer the smartest dog?

Did you know that a Miniature Schnauzer won a silver medal at the Olympic Games? Not the people Olympics, of course. But the doggy Olympics – the famous agility courses that have dogs running through tunnels, leaping over bars, and bounding through hoops. Tikki, the Miniature Schnauzer, was a superstar. She could race through an agility course in the same time it takes a human to tie their shoelaces!

Just by looking at Tikki, you wouldn’t suspect she had such incredible skills. Miniature Schnauzers aren’t like Border Collies or Golden Retrievers, dogs that are famous for their smarts. Instead, the Miniature Schnauzer looks like the model dog – charming, adorable, and sometimes a little goofy with their long eyelashes, bushy eyebrows, and beard. But appearances can be deceptive.

These good lookers are often underestimated when it comes to brains. Their intelligence is on par with some of the smartest breeds in the world. So, why does the Miniature Schnauzer get overlooked as one of the smartest dogs?

The answer to this question might surprise you and it’s all about the different ways that dog intelligence is measured. When people think of a ‘smart dog,’ they usually think about how easily a dog can be trained. Border Collies, German Shepherds, Dobermans, and other working or herding breeds are often associated with intelligence because they’re easy to train and eager to work.

But, there’s a lot more to dog intelligence than just being easy to train. For instance, problem-solving skills, obedience, memory, agility, and even emotional intelligence.

So where do Miniature Schnauzers fall?

Well, according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studied the intelligence of dog breeds, they rank 12th overall. That’s out of 138 breeds – pretty impressive, right?

The Miniature Schnauzer is actually smarter than the average dog in terms of obedience and working intelligence. They’re quick to understand new commands (usually in less than five repetitions), and they obey the first command 85% of the time or better. Oh, and did we mention they’re some of the best problem-solvers among dog breeds? Remember our agility superstar, Tikki? She wasn’t just running around a course. She was solving the puzzle of the most efficient path to follow.

In terms of instinctive intelligence, which relates to the skills a breed was originally developed for, the Miniature Schnauzer also scores highly. They were bred to hunt and kill vermin – a task that requires superior problem-solving skills and adaptability.

On top of this, Miniature Schnauzers possess another type of intelligence that’s not talked about often: emotional intelligence. Miniature Schnauzers have an uncanny knack for picking up on their owner’s emotions. If their owner is sad, they’ll be there providing comfort. If their owner is stressed, the Miniature Schnauzer will know just the right time to bring over a toy or initiate a cuddle to help bring their stress levels down.

So, the next time you have a showdown with your Miniature Schnauzer about whether it’s bath time or not, just remember – you’re dealing with an Olympian level mind here. That cute fur-face could be outwitting you before you even realize what’s happening.

To get the best out of your Miniature Schnauzer’s intelligence, here’s some advice: keep things interesting. Changing up their training routine, introducing new toys, and stimulating their minds with games will make them not only a happy dog but also a smart dog.

Also, try to utilize their natural instincts. Even in a home environment, there are plenty of ways to put their problem-solving skills and hunting instincts to use. For example, playing hide and seek with their treats or toys, or even set up an agility course in your backyard, just like Tikki’s.

The intelligence of a Miniature Schnauzer is truly a marvel to behold. They’re not just cute and fluffy companions; they’re clever, agile, and intuitive. So, next time you see a Miniature Schnauzer, remember – behind that furry face is a mind that’s nimble, quick, and always ready for a challenge.