Top 10 Least Intelligent, Hard to Train Dogs


It was inevitable to write this list after we posted the top 10 most intelligent dogs. With good comes bad and with smart comes stupid. With every positive quality comes a negative. Yes, this applies to dog breeds, as silly as it may sound. You have probably seen or heard about how smart some dogs are. These dogs are usually the ones that hog up all of the limelight. Mostly everyone wants an intelligent dog that can be trained to do things that most dogs can’t. On the other hand, some people don’t.

What’s so wrong with a not-so-intelligent dog anyway? It all depends on what you want to do with the dog. If you’re looking for a dog that will herd your cattle, you’ll want one that is on the more intelligent side. If you’re looking for a lap dog to sit and cuddle with day-to-day, you probably aren’t too worried about how smart the dog is. It’s time to steal some of the thunder from those intelligent breeds. Move over Labradors! Here is a list of the top 10 least intelligent dog breeds:

10. Basset Hound

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At the top of the list is the Basset Hound. You can find this breed sporting droopy eyes and long ears that drag on the floor when it walks. These dogs have a very keen sense of smell and can pick up odors most dogs can’t. Though this breed of dog lacks intelligence, they are very gentle dogs and are devoted to their owners. Basset Hounds aren’t the brightest dog in the bunch, but they have great tempers and are great around people. Even though you might be stuck repeating “sit, speak” or other commands to a Basset Hound, this breed of dog is perfect for an owner who is looking for a dog that is well behaved.

9. Beagle

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Another breed of dog that has been proven very challenging to train is the Beagle. Though these dogs are very cute and cuddly, they can easily drive you up the wall, especially when you are trying to train them to do certain things. Beagles can’t be necessarily considered stupid dogs, but they are very independent, which makes training much harder than it is with many other breeds of dog. This breed is always sure to provide its owner love and attention, especially after the long day of learning how to heel. Beagles are generally small to medium sized dogs and are great with children and other breeds of dogs, just not cats.

8. Mastiff

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Does bigger breed always mean bigger brain? Not in this case. The Mastiff is one of the biggest dog breeds available, but they have proven to be extremely stubborn. The Mastiff can weigh up to 130lbs. It’s like you have another person living in your home with you! Though they have always been great guard dogs, training a Mastiff to do certain things is most definitely a task at hand. If you plan to train a Mastiff, you want to have previous dog training experience. You also want to be sure that you speak in a kind, soft voice since these big-bodied dogs are a little on the sensitive side. When training a Mastiff, it is important that the sessions are short and sweet.

7. Pekingese

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What a name, huh? The Pekingese has proven to be a very difficult dog to train. You might be able to blame it on the fact that these breed of dog has so much hair everywhere. Maybe it’s so hard to train because it can’t see or hear properly because of all of the fur! Though this would be a great excuse for the Pekingese, this breed of dog is simply very independent and dominating. Training a Pekingese can be like training a very stubborn child. In order to successfully train this breed of dog, you have to be firm and you have to be consistent. This is the perfect example of a small dog with a big heart. Though ranging from a small to medium sized dog, the Pekingese has always been a great breed to have as a watch dog. They are extremely loyal to their owners, but stubborn at the same time. And with such tiny legs they need a ramp just to get into your vehicle.

6. Bloodhound

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This may come as a surprise. The Bloodhound is #6 on the list. If you’ve heard anything about this breed of dog, you have probably heard about how great of a nose it has. Though not the most intelligent dog, I think it’s safe to say that the keen sense of smell this breed of dog has is enough to reconsider its “low” intelligence. The Bloodhound can track any scent that is needs to. Amazingly, these dogs are able to trace and follow a scent trail that is hundreds of hours old. Could your dog’s nose do that? Probably not! When it comes to training the Bloodhound, you need to be firm and be extremely patient. They are independent and determined dogs, so they kind of follow their nose more than they follow your training commands.

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5. Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound)

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If you have ever had a pet cat, you can relate to owning a Borzoi. This breed of dog is extremely cat-like, especially when it comes to the independent and free-thinking nature of the dog. Though not an extremely popular dog, many people enjoy this breed because of the affection they bring. The Borzoi can be seen as one of those “stuck-up” dogs. As silly as it sounds, these dogs are generally more concerned about themselves than they are their masters. You can probably find a Borzoi cleaning itself. If you are willing to spend hours upon hours training this type of dog, good luck! Again, this dog, despite its hardships when it comes to learning training commands, is a very loyal dog that is extremely affectionate.

4. Chow Chow

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No we’re not talking about food. This is another breed of dog that has a personality that is very similar to a cat.  The Chow Chow demands attention, especially when there is a new visitor at the home. They are a very jealous breed of dog and like to be at the center of everything. Any owner who has a Chow Chow must be firm and strong-willed. This breed of dog is very dominant and can easily take charge of its owner if the owner isn’t firm enough. Again, this dog isn’t stupid, it has proven to be very hard to train because of the nature and personality of the dog. Remember, stubborn doesn’t mean stupid. In any case, the Chow Chow is a great dog to have around the house to snuggle with.

3. Bulldogs

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Despite the name, Bulldogs are one of the most gentle and affectionate breed of dog that you will ever come into contact with. The Bulldog is a very courageous dog that sometimes seems to have a mind of its own. Don’t let the name fool you. Yes a Bulldog can guard, control, and bait a bull, but it takes time and patience in order to train a Bulldog to do so. These dogs are very dependable, but it’s getting past the training part that becomes a hassle. Bulldogs are extremely great dogs when it comes to guarding the home. If you’ve ever seen a Bulldog, you’ve probably noticed that its face isn’t the prettiest one around. Who would want to mess with a dog with such a mean face? Bulldogs are very affectionate and time consuming, especially with training.

2. Basenji

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Another not-so-popular dog, but let’s bring it to the spotlight. The Basenji is known for its bark. It is so unique in the fact that it sometimes can sound like a human being either laughing or crying. If you’ve ever been around a Basenji, you’ve probably looked around for a baby or a chuckling human. This breed of dog is just another breed that has cat-like characteristics. These dogs can spend hours grooming themselves, much like cats. After grooming, you can probably find a Basenji looking out the window, watching everything outside. These dogs have proven to be very temperamental as well as independent. This is what makes the Basenji a hard breed of dog to train.

1. Afghan Hound

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The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs known today. They were around during ancient times and their personalities haven’t changed much. They are affectionate and love being around their owners. They are also extremely sensitive and don’t have a high dominance level. Though these dogs aren’t looking to rule above you, they have an extremely low obedience level. You may need to call for your Afghan Hound a few times before it comes back inside of the house. Many say that the personality of the breed makes up for its lack of intelligence. The Afghan Hound has also been said to be cat-like and prefers to be on its own instead of listening to an owner.

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  1. In the dog world, stubbornness doesn’t always mean dumb. Siberian Husky so are highly intelligent but vmincredibly independent and stubborn. Many dog trainers will describe huskies as “too intelligent”. Just check out YouTube videos of huskies on hidden cameras when their owners aren’t around. They open doors and refrigerators and put together their own stair systems to get on top of the counters. The most obedient dog are smart, but the most stubborn dogs are quite often the most intelligent. But with that said, obedient dogs exist on both ends of the spectrum of intelligence as do stubborn dogs.

  2. Meredith Ambrosiewicz on

    I find this article completely wrong & clearly done by someone without the proper research . Beagles aren’t dumb dogs in a way ! They’re extremely intelligent dogs , who yes are difficult to train , but they’re not dumb in any way . Once they’re trained they’re devoted , loyal , sweet dogs .

  3. Dog intelligence charts are based on ability to learn tricks. Obedience, you might call it. Some hunting dogs fall in the obedient category. Labradors come to mind. Other hunters have the clever, puzzle solving type of intelligence (and they can be very sneaky). The stereotype for bloodhounds is the fox hunt–outsmarting a fox takes more than a sense of smell. Bloodhounds were bred for larger game. Two or three bloodhounds can bring down a deer, and they make a lot of noise. As the (human) hunter, you just get on your horse and keep up (by listening).

    That being said, I taught my bloodhound lots of tricks, most of them in a few months when she was one year old. “Sit,” “down,” and (stand) “up,” with voice commands, or with hand signals only, from across the room, from any position to any other. She knows to sit when we come to a doorway, and to stay on her dog bed when I’m cooking or eating, without being told. When I whistle, she comes like a bolt of lightning. She knows “Go that way” (I point), “shake shake” (shake off water or slobber, before I let her in). We are working on “wipe your feet” (because it will be cute). Not much progress on that one yet, but it will happen. “P-p, p-p,” or “hurry up” (very useful. The latter is better in public). Ringing a a bell when she wants out was easy to teach, and useful.

    She is allowed on two sofas, not on the leather ones, and she knows the difference. She never gets on the ones she isn’t allowed on, not even when no one is around. It would be easy to tell if she did, btw.

    I’ve specifically taught her not to shake hands. That’s an easy one to teach–natural behavior–but I don’t like dogs pawing at me or my guests.

    She also knows “pick up your toy.” I’m working on “put your toys away” (different voice inflection). It’s a work in progress. I’m not talking about giving the command and expecting the living room to be cleaned up when I come back, btw. If anyone has a dog that does that, let me know.

  4. My English Mastiff does no tricks, he isn’t that smart but that is good. He comes to work 8 hrs day, commutes 3 hrs and does not get bored. He has never torn anything up. Does not try to runaway to discover new stuff.He is mellow and funny.
    Wouldn’t have another dog.
    He weights 180 and he is small for a Mastiff, but he is going to live longer. 8yrs old and in top shape, walks 5-6 miles per day split up into 5 walks.

  5. You really need to do more research before typing things up. The dogs you have listed are one of the most intelligent dogs. Its just that people with not enough intelligence and patience cannot train them. Not the dogs mistake.

  6. When it comes to the Bulldog, I think they’re mistaking sheer will for lack of intelligence. The simple fact is most Bulldogs won’t do as they’re told because they don’t see the sense in what you’re wanting them to do. I’ve owned two bulldogs and they were/are the most intelligent dogs I’ve ever seen.. just damn stubborn.. and wonderful.. ^_^

  7. Obviously written by someone to fill a page and get click. Most of these dogs score quite well given any reasonable standard. Hounds in particular are some of the smarter breeds scoring quite high in problem solving, short and long term memory, and language comprehension. The author can’t bothered to do a bit of research on the subject and instead chose the lazy trainability = intelligence angle.
    tl;dr Useless clickbait article

  8. I have a French Bulldog. He’s smart in his own right. He’s loving, a character and very fun. BUT… he has his own personality and when he doesn’t want to do something, he won’t do it. Potty training has been a nightmare with him, but we’re getting better once I found he loves liver treats. He’s a great dog and very excellent with my 2 young kids. My son and him are thick as thieves and do everything together. I can’t say he’s dumb, he just only likes to do stuff on his own time. He’s “bull-headed.”

  9. Tonya Rdrgz-Smmns on

    I have a basset hound, she is extremely clever. If it involves getting food her problem solving is through the roof. She’s a touch stubborn which makes training a total pain in the ass, but she’s not dense, she’s just not going to say “how high” when you ask her to jump.

  10. Lol… This is not list of least intelligent dogs, this is a list of dogs aren’t going to be your little rag doll and do whatever you want. It is called having a personality of there own and not just a molded animal that does everything when you snap your fingers. Basenjis are EXTREMELY intelligent, no not just mine, almost all. There are a lot of people that do not understand how to work with hounds in general. Do your research a little before you rank one of the smartest dogs who manage to live in the wild in Africa to this day. If you actually researched a little more than one article you found on Google you will learn of the Amazing intelligence these hounds have. I also own a poodle and a an American Eskimo. The Basenji is the smartest of them all naturally despite the poodle high intelligence ranking. My Basenji learns all his commands the first week we brought him home at 11 weeks old. Will he do them for me if I don’t have treats, sometimes but mostly not. He will get bored and snort air and head bang his head if you try to make him do the same trick twice in one sitting. Its independence not stupidity. My poodle on the other hand bounces around all cute but will do anything I tell him to no matter what, treat or not. Which dog sounds smarter? The one who acts as a slave or the one who says what’s in it for me?

  11. The ease of training is definitely not a sign of intelligence. I am owned by a Bloodhound, and she KNOWS about every command you can think of, whether or not she chooses to do that command is another story, but she knows what we expect her to do. Have you ever not followed the rules or instruction, or maybe did something to benefit no one else but you? That must make you a bumbling idiot, by your gauging.
    I can only speak of Bloodhounds, but a large factor on the reasons she may choose to ignore a command is that she has picked up a scent that has her attention more than appeasing her human.
    Bloodhounds are more intelligent than allot of humans, and apparently the “writer” of said article is in the lesser intelligent grouping. Try researching what you attempt to write about next time.

  12. I think it should be clarified there are different types of intelligence in dogs, just like humans. This is a measure of working intelligence, meaning how well is the dog going to listen to commands and how quickly do they learn them. Some of these breeds may understand what you’re telling them to do but not care to listen, it’s hard to tell sometimes. That may mean they aren’t very eager to please and a lot more stubborn. They also may excel in other types of intelligence. The hound breeds for instance, like the Beagle or Bloodhound are better than other breeds at tracking. Some breeds have more emotional intelligence while others are capable of more abstract thought. Working intelligence isn’t the only kind and it doesn’t mean your dog is bad at everything. However, the people commenting saying they have a dog on this list and how smart their dog is… Your dog may be smart or you just may have worked with them well, but this list is saying on average these breeds are at the bottom compared to others. It doesn’t mean an individual dog can’t be an anomaly or they can’t be trained well, it just means you may need to work harder than you would if you got another breed.

    • That makes complete sense. I have the French Bulldog. Sometimes getting him to listen is about as useful as talking to a doorknob. He just cocks his head and looks at me like I’m growing an arm out of my forehead. But, we’re working on him and will continue training him. If nothing else, at least get him 100% potty trained.

  13. I have a Basenji : ) I can’t teach her anything, but she once made a trail of peanuts into the house, hid beside the sofa, and caught a squirrel. Both of them were shocked, so Rosey just let it go? INDEPENDENT? Everyday I spend with her is two days off my life, but I would sell my soul for her!!!!!

    • I think most of us would say this about our spouses, “Everyday I spend with her is two days off my life, but I would sell my soul for her!”

  14. Afghans are not dumb-western people think
    They are because they have no value in the dogs eyes…

    Afghans are Ancient dogs. They were created by GOD not human testing….

    My friend has an afghan service dog and boy let me tell you, they are extremely intelligent. One must remember they have been out of Afghanistan only for a few years

  15. Beagles don’t like cats? I have a beagle who lives with eight cats and likes them just fine…he even sleeps with the cats.

    Traits such as stubbornness and independence have nothing to do with intelligence level. This list should have been titled Top 10 Most Stubborn and Independent dogs instead.

  16. I have never observed stupidity in any animal, I do however, seriously question the intelligence of the author of this article.

    • You must come and watch my jack russell terrier then. He will go the wrong way around a pole, while being walked, and make the chain shorter and tighter as he continues to walk the wrong way and then panic himself into doing it faster. He seems gung-ho to choke himself.

  17. Aimee Wiedrich on

    I have a beagle and we call her stupid, she thinks her name is Holly-no-bad-dog-ouch. She will go outside and howl like crazy and there is nothing out there. “Yeah Holly, I know its dark outside.” Also, “Yes Holly, I know your standing in a corner facing the wall. She destroys EVERYTHING! She tries to get in fights with out yellow Labrador Boz on purpose. She also HATES our cat Smokey, absolutely HATES him. She attacks him and bites him and tackles him. Today you hardly ever see him around the house during the day because of that dog! so when I read that they are not good with cats I was like “WOW, that explains ALOT!

  18. I have a Bassett Hound and he the smartest dog Ive ever come in contact with and ive had lots. He understands conversations people are having and would interject if he could. His audible vocabulary is ridiculously high and surprises everyone the is around him. Best dog Ive ever owned, though he is very unfriendly with strangers.

  19. I DO NOT agree with the Afghan Hound being the least intelligent dog! Absolutely ridiculous…I have grown up with different breeds of dogs since I was born, my Afghan Hound Fallon is by far the smartest and most “human like” dog I have ever had!!!!

    These Dogs are not your typical sit, stay, fetch kind of canine. They are very very human like and only obey humans whom they have RESPECT for. The people taking these tests were absolutely unintelligent themselves; how can a 9,000 year old breed be least intelligent?!

    Come on people….really?…..these dogs have been on earth since before religion was established let alone “commands” lol

    They don’t call the Afghan Hound the King of Dogs for no reason….they truly are one of a kind, God himself created them before religion and legend has it this was the breed saved on Noah’s Arc…..

    The King of Dogs….

  20. penthouse gardening on

    Chihuahuas can be difficult to train. In many countries, Beagles are trained to sniff out drugs.

  21. Soooo…..if being able to roll, fetch, sit and stay qualifies as intelligent and being able to locate a missing child lost for days, dedicated and loyal beyond all reason, kind, gentle and tolerant of all things a family can dish out qualifies as stupid, I’ll take stupid every time…..all dogs should be so “stupid”….sadly so should more people it appears…….

  22. I have a Basenji mix. It’s personality is all Basenji. In 3 and 1/2 years, I have not been able to train it to do anything, but it certainly is not dumb!!!! It strung peanuts from the porch into the house to catch a squirrel. It caught the squirrel but neither knew what the next move was, so Rosey let it go. Because you cant train a dog to sit, stay, roll over, chase a stick, ball, or Frisbee, does not mean they are dumb. With the proper reward you could probably train a Basenji to do complex behaviors, I haven’t found the proper reward : P

  23. They forgot about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. No offense, but my piano teacher and schoolmate have one and my schoolmate says that her dog is pretty stupid. And y piano teacher’s dog, well… he will go up close to me and then when I reach out my hand to pat him, he runs away, then comes up close to me again. My piano teacher has two cats and she claims that her dog thinks that he is a cat as well… =.=”

  24. We just put our beagle to sleep and he was an incredibly intelligent dog. He was not only an incredible people pleaser but could problem solve like crazy. If his path was blocked, he would find a way around. If he wanted at that food on the counter, he would push a chair/box/whatever over so he could reach it. He would do ANYTHING we asked him to do – obedience, tricks and even swim. I always figured maybe he wasn’t a typical beagle. But then we recently got a 6 year old besingi/shiba inu mix. I felt that we were ready for this breed. After a 6 days, Phoenix has overcome his weird coming in from outside behavior (I think he wanted us to chase him), he sits and stays, he comes when instructed (in the house and fenced yard) and, to my absolute pride, he gives us his paws to be wiped. All of my research says that he absolutely wouldn’t do this. He’s fine with the cat although he’s not happy about her eating out of his food bowl – he watches her but isn’t at all agressive. He’s AMAZING with kids and warms up to most people after about an hour – that’s been his average. Are we just really lucky or are we crazy dog whisperers? Has anyone else had this kind of experience with these breeds?

  25. This list is not about stupid dogs, it’s about independent dogs. I have a bloodhound who does whatever he wants 90% of the time not because he doesn’t know what I’m asking, but because he knows what comes three steps later and knows he doesn’t want any part of that. That is the mark of an intelligent dog. It is part of breeding for a lot of working dogs that they don’t look for approval from humans when they are doing their work. Imagine teaching a bloodhound – who has been bred for centuries to follow his nose everywhere while a human follows – to heel on a leash!

  26. I have a Pekingese and he is not a stupid dog at all. He is very independent and extremely loyal to me. He was not that hard to train either. He is stubborn sometimes but I still love him all the same and wouldn’t have him any other way.

  27. Your entire definition of “intelligence” is based SOLELY on the breeds’ ability to follow commands?

    Do you think the same about humans? Really…stretch this line of thinking, please…WOLVES are also known for being highly un-obedient, but if you have ever been around a wolf or wolf-dog, you would know better than to claim that this is due to lack of intelligence!

  28. None of the dogs are stupid. They just have different tempernents. I had a Cocker mix and she was impossible because she didn’t want to obey. She knew the commands but didnt care. It didn’t matter she was a pet. She was sneeky. My other dog is very obedient because she wants to be.

  29. So let’s say you’re on the seventh floor, in a room with an open window, and you have a German Shepherd and a Borzoi.

    You tell the German Shepherd to jump out of the window. Without hesitation, it does and falls to its death.

    You then tell the Borzoi to jump out of the window. It will look at you disapprovingly and not budge.

    Which dog is smarter?

  30. This list might be in order of hardest to train but either way this post is so wrong, beagles are some of the smartest dogs thats why they are hard to train cause they know they don’t have to do things, check dogs 101 for real advice

  31. Hello just quick post about the Chows.

    Look to anyone that says oh the chow is stubborn/independent that is two different things.

    I have had chows for now good over 20 years and counting have one right here right now he is seven years old and i got this one from the pound he is clean blood of chow chow.

    I tell you i’m not getting a chow as my next dog in the future because the dog is very stubborn and the chow can easily just how the author said in this article take over the owner and dominate the household.

    Now the worse part about chows is they are you can debate about this with ME ALL DAY –CHOW CHOWS ARE A AGGRESSIVE dog along with there stubbornness and there dominance they a very risky dog to have in a household.

    For example lets say you start going to work more then you were going before now you take the dog 2 times a day outside and spend 1 hour paying attention/playing with the dog instead of 3 hours now if it was another dog he would adapt to his leader his owner.

    The Chow will do the very opposite he will ether take control of the household as he see’s you are weak and will abuse that and will dominate now if you don’t do something about it fast enough then you got a problem you be delta and the chow will be alpha and to get back to alpha position will not be easy the dog might even bite yeah that’s right Chow chows bite if something is not by there liking if there in the alpha mode.

    How i said i can go on and on with this that chows chows are very aggressive.

    I mean i think the reason why i’m writing this is because i i’m sick now for 2-3 days and my chow wakes me up round 6 am then again at 7 and then again 8 so i right away put my clothes on and go walk the dog i go and guess what he does not go to the bathroom just took 6 times normal piss no poop nothing if i knew that i would of have just put him to the backyard.
    Then i’m talking to myself saying to myself wtf why did the dog do this and damm it was cold outside i hope i wont be sick more because of it and the stress.

    I think i will walk him latter on farther as he does not want to poop in the backyard i might try putting his poop in the backyard well not he is going up and down he wants to poop i mean is he that retarded to take a poop when he needs it and can he feel that i’m sick dam it can’t he adapt to his owner i’m so tired of his dominant attitude.

    I feel like i’m his little bitch literally right now when i’m sick as he does what he wants when he wants he even grr at me i’m really tired of the chow chow breed.

    I know the chow chow breed is a very family/pack orientated got a deep history are very loyal dogs what have a deep love between there owner…But what im tired of is the dogs attitude if you are sick aka tired not in your own skin then the dog chow turns on you and dominates you and every chow does this even if you don’t recognize it.(This applies if you live by yourself but then again the chow takes orders from just ONE owner therefor if you are weak the chow will take over the alpha position for time being.

    PS. I dont want the chow chow no more im going to get some other dog i mean there are just so much better dogs then the chow…..
    Sincerely John

  32. My lab/collie mix only took about 4-5 tries to teach him sit, stay, down, ect. It did not take him days to learn anything and we got him when he was smaller than my teddy bear and he was basically already potty trained! We’ve had a total of maybe 5 accidents the entire time of owning him (he’s almost 2 now). It amazes me when the past comments say it only took 3 days, because Link got it immediately. If it takes your dog that long to learn a simple command of sit, I would have to either question your training or its intelligence.

  33. The part about chows is pretty off. I have one and he is not demanding for attention at all, hes lazy and does not really care when people are over. He was also the easiest to train out of any dog I owned, he is also great at feeding off emotions if I get scared he becomes very protective. The parts on the basenjis are off too, my mother owns one, she is the most needy clingy dog ever not independent at all, she is really smart though and figured out how to open doors, she was not hard to train either she even trained the dog to attack on command and she picked it up fast. Her bark sounds nothing like a human or baby it just sounds weird. The bit on the bulldogs just made me laugh, my friend has an English bulldog, it is a huge attention whore, would be the worlds worst guard dog, but that dog is pretty dumb. There are many types of bulldogs and mastiff breeds. This list is very poorly written and poorly fact checked. I don’t know enough about the other breeds to point out the flaws but I’m sure its wrong on them too.

  34. I find this very silly. All of these breeds are very smart, especially the Beagle! My friend has two Beagles and they are VERY smart. This is very silly because all dogs are smart, and you just have to train them when a puppy to get better results!

  35. “Yes a Bulldog can guard, control, and bait a bull….”

    … Is that a joke? An American Bulldog can, sure… But the photo is of an English bulldog, which most certainly can NOT, in any way shape or form, do any of the above mentioned. Not even remotely. The dogs can barely run or breath, yet alone work.

  36. You should probably change these lists to “Top Ten Dogs Most Easily-Trained/Most Difficult to Train by Novices”. The problem generally isn’t the dogs themselves, but the competence of the trainers. For example, scientists generally agree that in terms of overall raw intelligence, the Spitz breeds (Huskies, Akitas, American Eskimos, Keeshonds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, etc) are at the top of the list primarily due to their proximity to the original ancestor of dogs, the wolf. These breeds are generally not suitable for a novice, inexperienced trainer unfamiliar with the breed tree.

    But it also demands skill. A trainer might be very experienced and capable when it comes to training Labradors, but would be unable to adequately train, for example, a Jindo. That trainer might then consider the breed to lack intelligence, in spite of the fact that the intelligence and trainability of the breed is so celebrated in their native South Korea that the Jindo is National Treasure #53 and is currently involved in a training exchange programme between the South Korean government and the LAPD. Casual owners of Alaskan Malamutes might choose not to engage their dogs with the problem-solving games that are necessary to maintain their natural intelligence, which sometimes results in a “dumb dog”. But those same dogs trained by Inupiat hunters as a sled dog are going to seem far more intelligent.

  37. Alessandra Moretti on

    This is so not true! The Mastiff, the Bulldog, the Bloodhound and the Basset Hound are highly inteligent!

  38. We have had several English Mastiffs – Yep they are really really dumb. They are so dumb it is funnny. Not terribly hard to train though. We never tried to teach them lots of tricks, bit basics like come, sit, stay, and lay down, they pick up fairly quickly. They are super sweet and really long to please. Probably one of the sweetest breeds i have encountered. However they still make great guard dogs. Most people are terrified of them. They do not even have to bark.

    This list is way way off on their size though. 130 pounds is a baby mastiff. Ours ranged around 170 – 190 pounds. We have seen many in the 225-250 range. The largest ever was 343 pounds. this was the biggest dog ever recorded. One male we had was so tall, he could rest his head on a table without even lifting it up. He had a bad habit of counter surfing for left overs. Not sure where you got 130. Maybe at 1 year old, before they fill out they average around 130. Maybe you confused them with bullmastiffs, which are smaller. Lots of people make that mistake.

  39. I hav a beagle, she is 1 of the most beautiful and eligant creatures I’ve seen, she was easy t train. Very good guard dog, instead of biting a robbr wud just want a fuss… Bless her:/ didn’t think she was part of a dumb breed though

  40. What a silly article. A breed is a group of domestic dogs with a homogeneous appearance, behavior, and other characteristics that distinguish it from other of the same species. This article demonstrates little expertise in Canine Studies.

  41. Basset Hound unintelligent? what a croc….they are stubborn and are extortionists of treats :-), which i would say is a sign of intelligence.

  42. I don’t know, but maybe it is THE dog, not the breed, but we have a (5 month old) Chihuahua and, boy, is this little thing stupid! He can’t figure out where to do his business and we’ve been training him for the last three months. I can’t stand looking at him anymore and will probably get rid of him. My husband loves him, but I think men have a tendency of liking little helpless things. The Chi will go in the end!

    • No dog is “stupid”, but Chihuahuas can be difficult to train. Did you first start him out on potty pads? It can also be difficult to wean a dog or puppy after training them on potty pads. Do not give a dog away just because it is difficult to work with!

  43. LOL…have you actually ever been around any of these breeds?? I have 4 English Mastiffs and 1 Akita currently, the Akita is extremely hard to train as they are very instinct driven and independent dogs. Now, the Mastiffs are actually very easy to train. But, I will say that with their size (which you are way off on, you should say the average weight of a well bred dog is 190 lbs, although I know many in the 220-260 range) I have also owned a Bassett, Beagle, and Bulldog. The first two are obviously instinct driven, hunting dogs, so there-in lies their problems when it comes to training. I will say that the Bulldog was very headstrong and a PIA. But Mastiffs are very relaxed and calm, and extremely tolerant of teasing from other dogs. They have a very forgiving nature and yes are sensitive in their feelings. When it comes to training they are easy breezy, but can have their moments of stubbornness, and sometimes you have to make them do something when they don’t want to…they know their size, and will use it against you so they don’t have to do what you want. lol.

  44. Wow! I feel so disappointed and I will tell you why : I wasted time reading one of the most UNEDUCATED articles in the history of the world !!! Those that wrote and wasted precious time to put together something  like this should feel terrible ! I have first hand experience with ENGLISH MASTIFFS and I wish I could actually speak or chat with the one that came up with this to find out where they got the information or the “study ” because I can tell you one thing … The only thing I agree with is that they are sensitive !  Talk about top ten Uneducated people ! 1. The author of this article . Hey if you want to contact me please feel free ! I would like to hear your story ! And I am positive that you’re 98% wrong about the other breeds on your inaccurate / disinforming / useless article !!! I pray you just don’t have any clue about anything and I hope you are not some type of booksmart / no wisdom / no experience with the topic you chose , person . That’s the study I came up with ! 

  45. I don’t know how Shih Tzu missed the “Not so Intelligent” list. They are about the most brainless dogs I’ve ever seen. Notice how many of the least intelligent dogs look like their head or face is smashed in. They were “dane bramaged” in the “designer dog” process. I think people tend to get dogs that are most like them….which is scary when you see all the phoo phoos out there.

  46. Please at least read a *little * about breeds before you write about them. There’s a difference between stubborn, lazy and stupid. Several breeds you mentioned are lumbering, lazy or slow but are far from unintelligent.
    Oh, you are correct that a Mastiff reaches 130 lbs. They usually do so by the time they’re 6-8 months old. Did you not even read any breed standards before writing this ridiculous fluff?
    Total fail

  47. O.K. I am an English mastiff owner and first of all there are a number of different breeds of Mastiffs, English, Neopolitan, Italian, German, French, etc. They all have different personalities, were bred to do different things and all attain differing weights. Second … we don’t speak in a quiet voice while training and they, are at least my three have been, fairly easy to train and we are first time dog owners, not experienced dog owners as you state you must be. You don’t want to yell at any dog so what you are saying is ridiculous … like we have to whisper to them because they are so sensitive they will quake at a loud voice – seriously, have you met one of these dogs ever? Also, they get up to 130lbs? Yes, if it is a mix or if it is not a good breeder or has health issues. I have a very poorly bred girl, Abby, who is 130lbs and then my 5 year old registered boy, Buddha, is 185lbs, still relatively small and then there is my other registered boy, Patron, who is on track to be approximately 250-260lbs. So whoever did this study clearly knows NOTHING about these breeds and if they are so off on this breed, I am guessing they are off on the other breeds too. I do not claim they are the smartest breed, but you are clearly off the mark on intelligence as well as every other aspect of the breed.

  48. Frodo the English Mastiff on

    You gotta be kidding with “The Mastiff can weigh up to 130lbs.” A Mastiff can be 130 pounds when he’s 6 months old, Mastiffs can reach 230-250 pounds as adults!!!!

  49. Wow… This list is titled wrong… I also believe the many of the dogs on this list are wrong. I have seen some programs on how they have come upon this conclusion, and let me tell you, it is ridiculous! They look at how hard it is to teach a dog how to heel… Uhhh hound dogs are bread to run out front of the human, following which ever scent they have either been told to follow or picked up on them selves… Another great test on a dogs intelligence is the good old “hey let’s throw a towel on the dogs head and see how long it takes for the dog to get it off”… Well I have had a few beagles in my life and every one has loved being covered up… So I don’t know how well I go for that one. My beagle I have now learned every thing he knows extremely quickly, I’m talking a day each trick. He speaks, dies when you say bang bang, gives five, sits, lays, doesn’t dare enter the kitchen when some one is in it, drop foo on the floor he won’t touch it till I say “ok”… I never tried training him to heel, I figured “he’s a hound dog he sniffs”, so I don’t really know how well a beagle would receive that. Dogs were bread to preform certain tasks, I think it’s pretty stupid to even classify them like this. It also depends on the dog even with in the same breed… I will say my beagle is a purebred and I spent good money on him, so maybe there is some thing to that as well. Beagles are used as bomb sniffing dogs, drug sniffing dogs and even cancer sniffing… To elude to the fact that they are one in the top ten hard to train dogs is absolutely crazy to me, but who knows, I could just be partial… Haha, riiiiiight;)

  50. Beagle owner on


    Don’t get me wrong they can be the most frustrating disobedient dogs you come across, but they are highly intelligent.

    Our beagle we got at the age of 2 from a rescue.
    He does anything for treats, I mean anything (apart from coming back once of the lead)
    He can close and open doors on command, he can put clothes that are lying on the floor in the washing basket on command. Honestly he learns anything for treats.

    However he also does a he’ll of a lot of things not on command. Like when he wants on the table he will push the chair out, jump on the chair then onto the table, we didn’t teach him that he was intellegent enough to think of that on his own. He moves objects around so he can jump onto them to get onto places. This dog is a genius.

    So just because this breed is highly independent and stubborn does not mean it’s stupid!

    • We don’t say they are stupid. No dog breed is stupid, some breeds have the aptitude to be more intelligent or be easier to train. We even state, “Beagles can’t be necessarily considered stupid dogs, but they are very independent, which makes training much harder than it is with many other breeds of dog.”

      We are glad you love your dog and think highly of him. The world needs more compassionate pet owners.

    • Yes!!!! That, right there is a beagle… Mine did that exact same thing when he was around 1… That’s why I was shocked at the title of this list. The problem solving skills a beagle has is crazyyyy. He’s older now and knows that stuff doesn’t work out so well in the long run, but every once in a while he will jump on a chair and sneak some thing when no ones around. When I see he has some thing I say his name he walks over and I say drop it and he gives it, no matter how delicious or how much his little dog heart wants it. Now I have seen many, many dogs steal food, or chew on shoes or whatever and very rarely will they walk to you and give it up like that…

  51. Samantha Johnson on

    Who wrote this list. I’ve had Bassets and they were pretty smart. Always know when to play the right cards at the right times. One of them everytime he would get into trouble he would roll over or give the sad eyes. He knew it would get him out of trouble. I have also spent alot of time around some other breeds on this list, al of which were not stupid at all.

  52. Matilda Charlette Van Phillips on

    I am very offended by this claim. These dogs are very intelligent dispite their independence. They may be stubborn or difficult to train but they are extremely intelligent creatures. If you are going to judge them on their disobedience and how hard they are to train, then I beleive a name like ‘Top 10 Toughest Dogs to Train’ would be more appropriate. Please take this into consideration.


  53. I dont think Chows are stupid, nor mastiffs. I have a chow/ lab and he is so adorable, and very smart. He isnt stubborn, or aggressive either. He is extremely laid back, and protective of my family and I. His bark is also far from yappy, it sounds like a Pit bull. He is the cutest dog, and so nice, unless you try to hurt us, then he gets mean. But i wouldnt trade him for any dog, because their is no better dog :3

  54. I agree, most of these dogs would qualify as independent rather then stupid. When I think of a stupid dog, I think of the Cocker Spaniel. I have a Shiba Inu, and I am not sure if he is plain stupid, or just really independant (let him off the leash re just rans off and he thinks that humans are to be avoided at all costs – until he gets hungry hours later then manages to find his way home) and he only obeys commands if he is within arms reach.

    • Paul Hammond on

      Our Cocker was not known for his brains. One intdelligence test I’ve heard of was to throw a blanket or towel over the dog and see how long it takes to get out. Sam (our Cocker) would just remain motionless under the blanket like someone just turned the lights out.

  55. This is the STUPIDEST thing i have ever seen none of these dogs are dumb, it doesnt deppend onj a whole breed it depends on a indevial of that breed :\(sorry about the spelling )….

  56. this list is actuallly vry inaccurate. Actually dogs that are harder to train can actually be more intellegent as they challenge why you’re asking them to do it. Most of the dogs on this list are extremely intellegent especially beagles and basenjis.

  57. I agree the title is misleading. It should have been ’10 most independent dogs’. Many miniature dogs were bred as hunting dogs so they are bound to be restless. Dogs like chow chow, basenji, are genetically closest to wolves so are bound to be more independent. The herder breeds respond more to our commands so we tend to classify them as intelligent. If the list was for humans, certainly independent people who asks questions would be considered intelligent compared to somebody who always does what he’s told to do!

    • Yes, but who is going to want to read a list about the most independent dogs. Checking with Google’s keyword tool, the search term “least intelligent dogs” is searched on 4 times more than “most independent dogs.” At least we avoided the term stupid, which would have been ignorant for us to use. We are not stating any breed is stupid. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. I love my Jack Russell Terrier, but he has many, many weaknesses. Short attention span being his biggest.

  58. This list I must say is highly inaccurate due to the nam “The Top Ten Least Intelligent Dogs” considering the fact that most dogs were bred for a fine purpose. Whether it be the fearless Basenji still used today by the Pygmies in Central Africa to hunt Lions, the Chow Chow used by Chinese merchants and Emperers for hunting, guarding and pulling sleds or like the English Bulldogs used once for bull baiting but now mainly as companions, every dog had a sole purpose for being bred. Just as helpful advice maybe this list would be better off named “The Top Ten Most Stubborn/Independent Dogs” because that would be describing the personality of most of the dogs you’ve listed.

  59. I’m a little confused, what does how hard it is to train a breed have to do with the intelligence of the breed? How do Basenji’s which are known to be thinking dogs and spend have their lives trying to out smart there owners make the less intelligent breed list? I’m thinking the phrase “a poor tradesman blames his tools” applies here. I have two Basenji’s which will heal, sit stay, come all off leash. They can open baby gates, open doors knobs, and hang on every word that you say to them. They are a smart breed that are trainable with positive enforcement only as long as you do your homework as you should with every breed and understand that as long as you keep their training interesting they will cooperate . No they won’t play ball, chase Frisbee they just prefer more stimulating games such as searching, climbing,chasing, hunting or spending time with their human family.

  60. That bit about the Chow chow is such BS!
    ‘Chow Chows are generally small indoor dogs with a yappy bark.’
    The guy writing this obviously has no idea what the hell the’re talking about! Chow Chow’s are very big dogs..
    ‘The Chow Chow demands attention, especially when there is a new visitor at the home.They are a very jealous breed of dog and like to be at the center of everything.’
    My friend has a Chow chow and they’re quite shy and do NOT demand attention but they are extremely loyal to their owners.

  61. Shih tzus should really be on this list. And if this list is about trainability rather than intelligence which it seems to be, Shiba Inus would definatley qualify for this list.

  62. You say in most of the breed descriptions that these dogs are merely stubbornly hard to train, not in fact outright stupid. So why is the list title “Top 10 Least Intelligent Dogs”? Was this written on assignment for a paltry sum, given a once-over by some random would-be editor behind a laptop in a Midwestern state, then thrown on the net to edify us all?

  63. Even though I love my little Beagle puppy, Gator, I have to agree with everything mentioned about them, and a few comments of my own. He is very independant and will only let me hold him when he wants to be held, not whenever I want to. Also, if I light a cigarette while I hold him he knocks it out of my hand and jumps out of my lap. He also love underwear and takes them out of the laundry basket and he loves to unroll the toilet tissue from the holder and drag it all over the house. Also he likes to molest my little kittens and he drags them around like their rag dolls. But other than that I love him to death!!!

    • I wouldn’t want to sit in some ones lap while they are smoking either… Don’t know about the underwear, but everything else sounds like any puppy… Puppies chew, play, and are generally mischievous… Some puppies are worse than others, my beagle I have now didn’t chew on anything while a puppy, but my childhood beagle brother and sister(half beagle half black lab) chewed whatever they could… Right now how you deal with these puppy issues will really matter… Consistent, basic demands, given in a calm tone and manner really is what will make your puppy a great dog…

  64. I guess no one has bothered to mention this yet, but: What credentials does the person who compiled this list have? I’d venture a guess and say, “none.”

    This is all baseless conjecture, and helps to feed human ignorance. Thanks for nothing.

  65. There’s a difference between intelligence and obedience. This post should be called “top ten least obedient dogs”

  66. lol these dogs are actually very smart and can be easy to train if you know how but if they don’t listen to your its more than likely they just don’t like you very much because I’ve trained many dogs and these are very easy to teach compaired to others

  67. I like how this is a list of least intelligent dogs and it counts down 10, 9, 9, 7…..
    Also: a dog’s intelligence is not just determined by how easily they learn tricks.

  68. I adopted my dog Milly about 5 months ago. We got her a DNA test because her breed was such a mystery. It turns out she is basenji/chow chow mix, and MAN, she is SO difficult. I love her to death and she is a very sweet girl when she wants to be, but she is extremely difficult to train. Looking at this list made me laugh, because both descriptions seem so accurate. I am really glad I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I adopted her, because I don’t know if I would have taken her home. But I’m so glad I did. She’s my baby 🙂

  69. The fact that most of these dogs are independent thinkers and don’t like to be pushed around speaks of intelligence in my mind, lol. They are all very sweet dogs, but they just like to do their own thing. What’s wrong with that? 🙂

  70. Severe misnomer. The title should be “Top 10 least trainable dogs”….refusing to be trained easily could be taken as a sign of great intelligence and independence, not stupidity. My aunt/uncle had a Basenji, and that dog was smarter than my cousins. Completely untrainable, much like a cat, very independent, but that =/= stupidity by any means. There were places in their neighborhood nobody could ever figure out how she got into.

    Can’t speak for the other types, but I will say in my personal experience I’ve come across more stupid Boston Terriers in my life than any other breed.

  71. This list is just silly. Independent does not mean stup*d. I’m sorry but what you’re looking for title wise isn’t “the 10 most stup*d dogs.” it’s “the 10 most hard to train dogs.” and then there’s still breeds on here that don’t belong here. But no, not all breeds are good for first time owners, and several of these are more “advanced” breeds. But stup*d? Hardly.

  72. hmm…they are just stubborn. When somebody is stubborn he is extra inteligent and don’t want to be someone sub. They have personality. So…those dogs are more inteligent then other. 🙂

  73. What an unfortunate title and uneducated list !
    Stubbornes and independency should not be confused with stupidity, quite the contrary I would say!
    My bassethound is anything but stupid. You show him a piece of food and he’ll learn a new trick in minutes. Sometimes I wish he wasn’t as smart it would be easier to live with him in the house.

  74. Nice article 🙂 Very cute and entertaining to read about the lesser intelligent ones. xD

    Though, I think you’ve confused the Chow Chow with the pomeranian… if anything, the size seems off. Chow Chows are quite big, and pomeranians are known as the small, yappy, and dominant center-of-attention type.

    Anyway, nice read 🙂

  75. I owned a mastiff and he was very smart as well as protective. we always said that he was like a human in a dog’s body it is all how you train a dog not the breed. a golden retriever can be dumb if not properly trained.

  76. I have to agree with the comments that put these dogs as stubborn, not necessarily stupid.

    Having the Bulldog on this list surprised me. I've owned/trained Bulldogs for years and they are INCREDIBLY smart… just INCREDIBLY stubborn as well and are definitely difficult to train.

    On the flip side – in the "10 Mos Intelligent Dogs" list, I was very surprised not to find the American Pit Bull Terrier on that list. Police, Search and Rescue, Swat, the Military and others have finally recognized the intelligence of this breed and are also now using them in their line of work. Looks like these lists were just thrown up here for fun and to get people commenting. It doesn't seem that any real work was put into researching which breeds are actually intelligent and which breeds aren't. They sure were very fun articles to read!

  77. How do you know it was a guy who did this list, Shannon?

    And, by the way, people almost ALWAYS do lists of the "MOST INTELLIGENT DOGS" with regards to trainability. This list was just a play on that. But I don't see people having a problem with those lists.

  78. It's more a list of the most stubborn and independant breeds, rather than the unintelligent ones. Ease of training has very little to do with the dog's intelligence and more to do with the amount of work required for the training. Wonder if this guy is just too lazy to train a dog?

  79. I def agree w/ most of these comments. This list itself should be posted under "top 10 least intelligent lists about dogs" lol. I myself have owned several beagles and they are definitely not unintelligent, just really stubborn. Obviously when you call people's dogs "unintelligent", you're just asking for negative feedback. Maybe you should've thought of a less offensive title.

    • Maybe it was going for controversial? Not offensive. If I was really going for offensive I would have called it Stupidest Dogs and believe me, a lot of other sites did just that. Least Intelligent was the nicest way I could think to say it. How about, "Not the smartest Dogs"?

  80. I have to agree with ChowChowPapa – I have owned Chows for years. They are very trainable, you just need to know HOW to do it. I also work with rehabilitating other dog breeds that others considered "untrainable", and continue working with them until their "bad" habits are turned around. Often it's a matter of continuing to try different methods until you find one that works for the dog. Usually a lack of ability to train a dog is the fault of the human and not the dog. Not every training method works for every breed of dog. You do not train a Yorkie the same way that you train a Chow. Sometimes you can't even train 2 dogs that are the same breed in the same way.

    If this article is about the "trainability" of a dog, then it should be titled as such, because the "intelligence" and the "trainability" of a dog are two different things.

    The description that was posted of the chow looks more like a Pomeranian than that of a chow. The picture is right, but the description and attitude is exactly like a Pom. I think the author seriously needs to research what they are posting prior to posting incorrect information. The very smallest full grown chow that I have ever seen is 40 lbs, and usually it is much closer to 50 lbs for a petite female. My male was almost 90 lbs, and considered a larger chow. They are not small, and everyone knows that chows are not dogs that bark often, and yappy would definitely NOT describe the sound. It is a deep, chesty *WOOF*, and when you hear it, you go check it out. I had my first chow for 3 weeks before I ever heard it bark, and I didn't know what on earth the sound was.

    Before you adopt ANY breed of dog, you should research it thoroughly, and talk to breeders of the dog to find out as much information about the breed so that you know what you would be getting yourself into before you do it. The chow is no different.

  81. Sadly I feel the need to comment on this ignorant list. I've own Pekingese and they aren't unintelligent. I've commented for years how smart they are and how much easier they were to train than my previous dogs (German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Golden, Spaniels, Huskies, Chihuahuas, Pugs etc.). What's written under the Pekingese on here is that it is stubborn and dominant. This person has obviously never owned a Pekingese, or any dog for that matter. Several of the dumbest are shockers, and several of the smartest are a joke. The dogs that are difficult to train are not dumb, they just require a firm, consistent, and intelligent owner. Also it says that Pekingese are small to medium sized dogs. Wrong again. The largest ones top out at 14 pounds which is toy (small). Many mature to smaller than that. One of mine is 10 pounds.

  82. TorachiKatashi on

    The issue with this is that they are mistaking (or combining) intelligence with trainability, which are two entirely different things. The intelligent dogs are often the hardest to train because they can come up with a million and ten ways to test you and undermine what you say.

    Despite that, this is still silly and irrelevant because intelligence (or lack there of) comes down to the individual dog. I've met dogs of these breeds who were very smart dogs, and I've also met Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers (breeds that are generally listed as being very intelligent) who were dumb as wet sand.

  83. ya you are stupid if you think that beagles are stupid. beagles are very smart. they are hard to train because the are a sent hound. so do not think that the beagle hound is a dumb dog because they are not. TIP:if you having traing probs. with your beagle food if the key because the like smells.

  84. I've seen my beloved chow-chow on several "stupid" lists, now. I generally have pretty thick skin about it because so few people understand the breed; however, the description of the breed in this list is simply inaccurate. Comparing a chow to a cat IS a pretty good analogy. Chows are notoriously independent and aloof; however, contrary to the author's assertion, they couldn't care less about attention from strangers (in fact they are VERY suspicious and stand-offish with strangers) and are only mildly interested in attention from their owner. Not being "attention hounds", they DO NOT suffer from jealousy at all. They keep a keen eye on their owner to ensure no harm is coming to him/her (as their owner is THEIR property), otherwise they have little to no interest in new people. A chow NEVER seeks to be the center of attention. Instead they prefer to leave others alone and be left alone. Chow chows are a MEDIUM to LARGE sized dog and I can assure that anyone who has had one bark at them would NOT describe their bark as "yappy". In fact, far from being "yappy", chows only bark with cause…and it is a VERY foreboding bark. They are a very quiet dog unless riled. If my chow barks, I get up and check, because he doesn't bark to hear the sound of his own voice. Although they look fuzzy and cuddly, most chows do not really enjoy being cuddled and fawned over; though, they will suffer this indignity in moderation from their owner. They do not play fetch, frisbee, come when called, or perform any other "trick" they deem to be beneath their dignity. Stubborn? Oh, HELL YES! Stupid, NO.

  85. hitler owned a afgan.. says alot doesnt it lol

    they are nice dogs, but they are truly a bit doey.

    our next door neighbour owns 2 and 1 ran [literally] into a telegraph pole

    • Actually, the fact Hitler owned an Afghan hound doesn't say anything. Afghan hounds are one of the oldest breeds and loved for their beauty and grace.

    • Hitler owned German Shepherds, I have never read anywhere that he owned Afghans. Even if he did, what would it matter? What does that say anything about the breed? This is about the dumbest comment I have ever read, you should be on this list, maybe right behind the Bulldog. I own a German Shepherd now and I don’t think I would ever get another breed if dog, I just love these dogs. The fact that Hitler owned German Shepherds says nothing about the breed, other than that they and still are extremely popular dogs in Germany, for obvious reasons

  86. I've had a basset hound for over 2 years and when it was a pup it wouldn't listen to anyone unless they bribed her with food(they are like garbage disposals if you ask me). =D but once we said her name enough and used her treats to tell her what to do(she would only listen to the treat) lol. my point is…they are smart enough to do all the tricks you can teach. it's just that sometimes owners don't give them the right motivation. it's different for a lot of different breeds. some like socks some like napkins….usually something they can chew on or eat.

    ERS: puppy's are soo cute!!!

    PS: ERS means Extremely Random Statement

  87. Whoever wrote this list should have done a bit more research and picked a different title. Most of the dogs listed are difficult to train precisely because they are intelligent and can think for themselves. Obviously, this does not make them unintelligent. Also, the descriptions of some of the breeds are inaccurate (eg, as kittyx pointed out regarding Chow Chows). This article is a bit ridiculous.

    • This list is taken from Stanley Coren’s “the intellegence of dogs”, who by his own admission based his list only on trainability, and concedes that many dogs who ranked poorly may in fact be very intellegent, just also very stubborn and/or independent.

      I agree though that whoever wrote the descriptions of the breeds knows little about dogs. As soon as I read the description of the Chow I lost all respect for whoever wrote this, because he obviously had never seen one

    • One thing I disagree about your comment however is that you seem to imply that the harder a dog is to train, the smarter it is because “it thinks for itself.” This is true in some cases but overall is a very simplistic and naive blanket statement. It really depends on what the dog was bred to do. Most herding dogs are very intellegent and very trainable, because they were selected to be smart and respond to their owners. Other dogs, like Siberian Huskies and Malamutes, where bred to be independent and intellegent- their senses are better than humans so they were bred to think independently because if their owner commanded to lead his sled through dangerous conditions they are indepent enough to ignore his command if they feel it will lead them to danger. Toy dogs were bred to be companions and show dogs and thus intellegence was not as important as size and looks. Beagles, Basset Hounds and Bloodhounds were selected for their noses, and for physical features that aided their hunting ability. So you need to look at the breed and what it was bred to do, not just trainibility (or lack there of)

  88. Agreed with kittyx. Chows weigh between 50-70 pounds and were guard and work dogs. I think maybe you were looking for a Chihuahua?

    • I own two chihuahuas and they are the sweetest smartest dogs I’ve ever known. My dogs are able to respond to RUSSIAN are you even able to say 10 words in Russian? Bi-lingual chihuahua owners unite!!!!

    • Yeah I saw that too and was going to comment on it. Chow’s are anything but small. They are quite big and extremely stocky. The chow, as well as the basengi, are among the oldest breeds around, and like other primative breeds they are harder to train and are more independent. I had a purebred Siberian Husky, another primitive breed, and though extremely intellegent they can also be very stubborn, independent and harder to train. My current dog is a german shepherd/husky mix and is much easier to train than a pure husky would be.
      This list is taken from Stanley Coren’s “intellegence of dogs” and he measured only trainability, not problem-solving or other quantifiable measures to guage intellegence. Some of the dogs on this list, like bulldogs, are probably truly among the least intellegent dogs-probably because they weren’t selectively bred for intellegence the way herding or working would be, but instead were selected for their stocky bodies and pushed in, braceocephalic (sp?) faces. Whenever a breed is bred specificly for looks their intellegence will suffer. This is why working lines of dogs like Border Collies and German Shepherds are among the smartest dogs (#1 and #3 on Coren’s list respectively) while their show lines counterparts are not as smart.

      • yes they are husky and can be big I have 2 one is 2 years old and the other is a 14 week old

        pup my dog are very socialized from the start when I got them at the age of 8 weeks old. my

        2 year old one has changed her personalilt sence i got the pup she snubs you and don’t want

        nothing to do with you after you have gave the pup any attention the 2 year old know tricks

        and does like people before the pup came. now there is some people that she growls at never

        did beforeany suggestions to help with the problem I am having.

  89. Uhm. Well, the least intelligent? Not true. It depends on the trainer. They may be hard to train, and a little stubborn, but that doesn't make them the least intelligent. Just the hardest to train. Ugh, if you make a list, make it non offensive please.

  90. i have say it, basset hounds are very unintellegent, my friend owns 1 and they are so clumsy, but at the same time are the 1 of the most cuttest dogs i have ever seen

  91. So you should have titled the list "most difficult dogs to train."

    Intelligence and ability to train do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. If that were the case, it could be argued that Saluki's are the most unintelligent dogs. That is FAR from truth.

  92. Basenji's have successfully survived in Africa since ancient times. They are technically semi domesticated and therefore should not be on the list, they have only been around western culture for a little while. In fact they are prized in africa for their intelligence because they are still used by the tribespeople of the Congo. They are extremely independent and find no use in followin orders since they have survived on their own for such a long time. Dumb list.

  93. To call any of these dogs un-intelligent is a bit much. I have worked with several chow chows through my volunteer work and I have not found any of them to be unintelligent. I had a friend who owned a Beagle and her dog was very smart. Many of this breeds simple take a bit longer to train not because they are stupid but often because they can be very independent and stubborn. The list of the smartest dogs is all dogs that just learn more quickly and pick things up faster. Those breeds are often not as independent and stubborn as some breeds can be. The truth is you really have to base dog by dog. You can even have a dog on the smart list who is not that smart. It does not take rocket scientist that if someone wants a herding dog they are going to pick a breed that has been bred for that specific job.

    This is a Dog IQ test â?? It tests a dogs "adaptive intelligence- the ability to solve problems, understand language and learn social cues, like responding to a human smile."

    • Nice, so I did the test, thank you for posting that, I have seen a few of these (the can and towel) on different television programs and thought how dumb the towel one is… But to see it laid out like it is in the test, I get it… I have a beagle and I thought, he loves to be under covers, so he’s going to flunk that one for sure! He surprised me though and backed up and shook it right off… The ones with treats are a no brainer, nothing motivates like bacon strips, haha… The one where you test how they do with expressions I had a feeling he’d do great because I have to say, my beagle is so keen with being emotionally responsive to body language, tones of voices and expressions. He is so sweet when any one he loves is down, he won’t leave them alone until they are better. Surprisingly enough he got over 25 points. So I have to say, I don’t think it has everything to do with breed as much as the dog… I watched through the wormhole on the science channel and this expert said beagles are 7 on the least intelligent list, so this bench is easier to train than a beagle(something to that effect). Then it shows him putting a treat under a cup and the beagle not tipping it over… My beagle tipped it in 3 seconds… I’m not saying all beagles are genius dogs or easy to train, I’m saying it depends on the dog it’s self and partially the training it gets early on. I also think researching how the parents are and others litters have turned out. Make sure you get your dog from a reputable source. This is if you’re getting a puppy of course… There are plenty of shelter dogs that need homes and that info is just not available… Each breed is bred to have certain skills and traits, I certainly wouldn’t put a lot of these breeds on this list… Perhaps the dogs that were bred with out a purpose other than looks, should be on this list…

  94. I had a basenji a long, long time ago who was extremely easy for me to train… but very willful. She was a regular Houdini. You couldn't keep her penned for anything.

    Also, I want to know why dalmatians aren't on this list. I've never known a good, even-tempered, smart dalmatian. Maybe that's just me?

  95. Milly,

    That WOULD be cool, but hard to imagine how it'd even be administered.

    I believe in a sense that all dogs are smart. All breeds are made to do a certain thing, therefore a dog can be smart in a certain action, like retrieving, or herding.

    As for Beagles, I've done my research on them because I wanted one, and yes they are smart, but they are extremely stubborn and don't always stay focused. They often get sidetracked by scents, which again, isn't the dog's fault, just the breed.

  96. Ashley,

    But it'd be pretty cool if there WAS an IQ test for dogs…

    Watch this space, I think I'm onto something!

    PS: Someone once told me that Beagles were really smart.. :S

    God Bless,


  97. I found my ex's basenji to be extremely intelligent. She could climb anything to destroy it. She ate through, destroyed or busted: walls, floors, a bookcase, two couches, four or five chairs, a table, two of my winter coats (stored in a closet), two pairs of my glasses, countless groceries (even those on the top shelves of a cabinet with doors), a couple of dozen books, a car seat, a cordless drill, an electric screwdriver, and many, many, many other items. However, she never learned any obedience commands. Nor did she recognize her name, unless you were holding food. Never again.

  98. beagles are so hard to train because of how intelligent they are not how unintelligent they are… I have a beagle and she is smarter than most people i know

  99. Aussie Lover,

    Again, this list is not based on how "dumb" a dog is. There's no IQ test for a dog to determine it's intelligence. The list is based on how trainable a breed of dog is. I understand all that you said, but let's not read into the list title so much.

    • Then the list shouldn’t have been named ‘Top 10 Least Intelligent Dogs’. I have had beagles (my family bred them for over 30 years), bloodhounds, a kelpie/border collie cross (brilliant working dog, dumb as a door nail otherwise), jack russells, a lhasa apso and a cross bred terrier. To say beagles and bloodhounds are not intelligent is a bit silly, they are brilliant at what they have been bred for years to do, ie follow a scent, and make wonderful pets too IF you train them as puppies (as you should with any dog). Not one single breed of dog on this list is unintelligent in any way. Most of them are stubborn yes, shows their intelligence in that they have THEIR way and it takes time and patience to teach them what you want them to do. Basenjis have actually been proven to be extremely intelligent dogs. You really should have chosen a better name for your list (telling people not to read too much into the name of the list is a cop out) or tried to find some breeds of dogs that are actually unintelligent… good luck with that.

  100. Will all I have to say about the last comment is do some history because Beagles are not stupid that is what they where breed to do. If you do your history you will find that all dogs have a past that can help to explain why they do what they do. So this hole stupid dog thing is stupid. i think they should of named it misunderstood dogs instead. : ) o one more thing, all dogs have their own personality just like people so yea you can end up with a stubborn dog, that is just personality and it doesn't have to do with the breed.

  101. Bulldogs aren't stupid,per say, they just don't like to please humans. My parents bred bulldogs,and they are deffinitely stubbon dogs,if they have a place on the couch,don't expect them to move. Beagels,now,are stupid dogs. My boyfriend has one and the thing never shuts up.Also,setters are pretty stupid.Amazing dogs,so nice, but stupid.Like get stuck on the roof in a blizzard stupid.

  102. Katherine, that is what the whole list is based upon, how easily you can train a dog. No dogs are exactly "stupid," but notice the Basset Hound is at #10 on the list? That's because they ARE stubborn. The list wasn't made to call any dog stupid or not smart, just to point out that some dogs are much more trainable than others.

    Thanks for reading my list, comments are appreciated.

    • then you need to renaim the title of this article to: top 10 least trainable, not least intelligent

      the title is clearly misleading and will lead to people arguing a type of dog being on the list as katherine did

  103. I disagree with Basset Hounds being on this list. I've had bassets all of my life and they are very intelligent dogs. Most people confuse stupidity with being stubborn. They are quick to pick up on things at an early age and once they are trained right, they will do anything for you. They aren't dumb, just independent and sport the greatest personality.

  104. i had an american bulldog that was 3 months old i was walkin him when a bigger dog ran by and scared him away atleast a mile from my home, i thought for sure he was gone and id never see him again and when i cam back home he was laying down on the porch bulldogs are VERY INTELLIGENT

      • My 6 month old English Bulldog is very hard to train as well, he’s very “bull headed” and stubborn

    • They are exstreamly loyal and will protect u with their lives. They are super smart also but can have crazy triggers. Like seeing a flock of birds and having the energy to chase them for miles down the road. They are also hard to potty train. Really hard. Books have been written on the subject! But the love and loyalty they give back are so worth it. I’ve had 3 of them and their all same. Females are dominate while males are happy go lucky. Love them.

  105. i disagree about the chow being a stupid dog. my aunt has one and he has to be one of the most intelligent dogs ive ever seen, its pretty remarkable. ill put a video on youtube of him to prove it

  106. I think one very important dog was left off the list. The Yorkie, I find those dogs to be the dumbest, most annoying, most hyper dog on the planet. I have a Shepard and the brains on him are incredible but Yorkies o man!

    • They really are annoying, like most of the toy breads are.

      I don´t like tiny dogs…It’s not just the low intelligence, most of them r just mean, selfish and bad with kids!

      • Ha silly people, Yorkies aren't part of the top breeds, they are hunting dogs and the reason there hyper is because they are smart and need something to do, just like poodles. Both have been bread for hunting, and then converted in to fashion pieces.

        Sigh, any dog can be a brilliant friend, or a horrible nightmare. The "dumbest" dog can learn up to 50 commands (words or gestures) the average dog owner only teaches five. sit, stay, down, come, and leave it.

        I think we need more people education 🙂

  107. This isn't really a list of stupid dogs, but a list of stubborn or independent dogs. I think it's the individual dog that can be stupid. One of my dogs is very smart, and the other one has no common sense whatsoever.

    • Tok Padang Jeringau on

      I agree with Lee. Even the writer kept emphasizing how stubborn or independent they are, how they prefer to listen to themselves. Being stubborn or independent doesn’t equate being unintelligent. I have no idea how someone could confuse between the two.

      • I wouldn’t want a stubborn OR a stupid dog. But I would say that there is a difference between a dog that “chooses” not to listen or obey, as opposed to one that didn’t have a clue what you said in the first place. Neither are positive attributes in my opinion, but neither trait reflects intelligence either……

  108. beagles are not stupid just stubborn. i have had 2 at the same time one was older and he used to go scratch at the back door to go outside then when you got p to let him out he ran to your seat and glared at you if you tried to move him. my other dog was 1and a half when we got here and she had 2 litters of puppies already but she was pretty smart. we could let her out in the front yard and she would never run off and we could walk here without a lesh. but we had to put both of them down the girl most recently. but i really love beagles and want another one

    • Exactly, beagles remain childish for about two years, while other dogs get mature in one year or so. They just like to play, I don´t think they are that slow …

  109. My boyfriend has a German Shepard and let me tell you I wish we had an unintelligent dog. I swear to you all, the dog understands every single English word. He knows too much and he dominates everyone. Not to mention, he is only loyal to his master (my boyfriend) and pays no attention to anyone else in the house. I think I want a beagle as our next dog. There so cute just like Uno, who won last years dog show =)

    • German Shepard's are definitely one of the most intelligent and loyal dogs around, however going to beagle is quite a step down. Beagles, if trained well can be obedient and intelligent but generally not that smart. I had two growing up, both were constant calamities in terms of injuries, but hilarious to watch and play with.

      • i have a beagle, German Shepherd and 2 Australian Cattle Dogs. I have to agree — I love my beagle and she is very loveable but she isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. My parents had poodles and except for the first one we had, they weren’t exactly “smart”; they learned tricks but were not good at “problem solving”. By comparison, my female heeler can figure out solutions when problems/obstacles are presented (ex: hide treat behind object or inside a deep box — poodles would give up and whine while my heeler will work at it until she gets it; another ex: closing and opening doors — I have never been able to teach a poodle to do this but the heelers learned quickly). I had a black lab who was extremely intelligent and loyal. I guess the less intelligent dogs are given other gifts, like beagles having great noses and good temperaments which make them good as contraband/drug detectors in airports, etc. My beagle’s “job” is house mouser — if a mouse gets in the house, she WILL get it.

        • The problem with the word “Smart” is that its being used in relation to obedience. Under that definition a horse is smarter than a person.
          The issue with beagles is that the are harder to train because they ofter understand whats expected of them but choose not to obey at times. A Lab is a smart dog as well however they aim to please over their own objections.

  110. The pics are great. Although the Basenji (#2) looks quite thoughtful. Chows definitely deserve to be on this list, but they are beautiful to see.

  111. Really? No comments? I guess no one wants to admit they have one of these breeds. Well, my brother had a bulldog and he was a great dog and so much fun to play with. Intelligence can be a detriment at times. The smarter the dog the more destructive they can be as they can get bored very easily.

    • I find this list a little silly…I have a Basset Hound and he was extremely easy to train. I read allot on Basset Hounds and was shocked how wrong they were on how hard they are to train. It's the owners that don't know how to train their dogs that have problems. My dog Chip has surpassed my belief in him. The longest time it took him to learn a trick was 3 days and that was putting a treat on his nose. I don't do that trick anymore because I decided it was a little mean to him LOL. But all the other tricks I taught him only took a day or a day and a half. I admit every animal is differnt and you can't train them all the same way but I know Basset hounds should never even been put on this list and I'm sure many people who know them would agree.

      • Ridiculous to say Bassets are not inteligent, ive owned 3 over a period of 40 years and each dog had its own character, they dont train easily but thats only because they are very wilfull and know their own mind not because they are stupid.
        As for being gentle yes most probably are but my last dog DUKE was a full on hooligan and was in many a fight but was very loyal but he had a temper as well.
        They need a strong owner and plenty of exercise and attention, get one if you are prepared to put in the effort but they are not the easiest dog to keep, but I love them and would never buy another breed.

        • I have a Basset Hound that is 5 years old…I have had him since he was 6 weeks…he is a GREAT dog!! Very smart!! Never, ever potties in the house…he sits on command, rolls over, gives me “Five” and gives kisses….he know lots of words…..In fact I have to spell them out….it just depends on how much time you spend with these dogs….they are not dumb by any means….I love my BASSET HOUND!! 🙂

        • We have had a Basset mix rescue dog for 3 years now and I regard him as a very intelligent dog. My wife and I used to raise and train German Shepards so we do have some idea of what we are talking about regarding canine intelligence. The issue with the Basset hound is that although they are very gentle and love their “humans”, they are also a bit stubborn and are independent thinkers on occasion. Most hunting dogs such as hounds were bred that way as they have to make some decisions on their own during a hunt. They are also major “squirrel chasers” when it comes to interesting scents. So, they best thing is to keep them on a leash when walking them in the woods or the neighborhood and things will be fine 🙂

      • I think so too! Basset hounds r intelligent n so are beagles!!! I have a beagle n he can learn any trick super fast!

      • I completely agree with Jeff on this one..Bassets are extremely intelligent dogs,and they have a mind of their own and that might be the reason that many find them difficult to train,but that sure isn’t a sign that the dog is dumb.
        My Bassett Bobo was given a dog biscuit everytime he used to go out to take a leak,all he had to do was bark in front of the door and someone would open the door for him,he would go out,take a leak and get rewarded with a biscuit.He soon found a way around it,he used to go and bark infront of the door and upon opening just take a stroll outside and collect his reward and he used to do it 7-8 times a day,whenever he had the urge for a small treat.
        So,this clearly suggests that it is one hell of an intelligent dog breed

    • I have a beagle and English pointer mix and u can tell him to talk to you and he will whine and bark. He understands body and verbal language. I’m 15 and I trained him. You just have to start at a puppy. So my dog I’m sure isn’t unintelligent no offense to your research.

    • I can’t believe how wrong this post is. How can I not reply. Chow Chows are big dogs with a deep bark- can’t believe they said small dogs. Do they mean Pomeranian because that’s a totally different breed.

    • I can only comment on the Beagle. I’ve had 10 dogs, 5 breeds and one dog/wolf mix. The mix was smartest, a Dalmatian took first place in obedience trial(another breed considered intractable). My first Beagle was second only to the dog/wolf mix. My trainer said he was the best dog she was training at the time. This Beagle doesn’t always do as I ask, he’s very independent, but learned obedience with lightening speed. Two more Beagles I have we’re rescued at 3 and 4 years. They are also very smart, and learned most from the first Beagle. Have never been able to teach them manners on leash in wilderness. The first Beagle we got at 12 weeks and would stay with us off leash in wilderness. We don’t do that anymore, as he is small and we live in Wild West where it is dangerous.
      All there of my Beagles are therapy dogs at the VA, and the first is also my service dog, goes on airplanes, to restaurants without begging, and to many restaurants and stores..
      There are many kinds of dog intelligence, trainability not being a good criteria. Cohen seems all wet when

      There are many kinds of dog intelligence, and as an avid dog lover/owner I don’t think trainability is a the best criteria. Coren, the supposed expert, is all wet.

    • Michael Caudill on

      You really don’t know much about dogs or genetics. Intelligence is a characteristic based on genetics. Look at the blood line of the dog. Look at the parents. I’ve seen dogs from your list that have been incredibly intelligent. I’ve also scene Australian shepards and border collies that have been dumb as a box of rocks. It all depends on the blood line.