As dog owners, we all want to believe that we have the smartest pup on the planet.
While sometimes it may seem that you have the brightest Dachshund around, you might be surprised to find out where they rank on the canine intelligence list.
All dogs have the potential to be well-trained and behaved. However, not all canine brains work the same.
It takes some breeds longer to pick up on skills and cues, and in this article we’ll discuss where Dachshunds rank in the scheme of things.
Dachshund Intelligence Ranking
In 1994, professor of canine psychology, Stanley Coren, published a book regarding the intelligence of dogs based on a few different factors.
The book explains Coren’s theories on canine intelligence and how it varies from breed to breed.
Coren uses instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence to define the overall intelligence of a dog breed.
As a part of his study, Coren uses information gathered from American Kennel Club (AKC) and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) trial judges to help make assessments and come to scientific conclusions.
Dachshunds are considered “average intelligence” according to Professor Stanley Coren.
With that being said, Stanley Coren ranks the Dachshund as #92 out of 138 on the canine intelligence list.
Dachshunds fall under the “average working/obedience intelligence” category.
According to Coren’s book, dogs who fit into this category will understand new commands in 25-40 repetitions, and obey the very first command about 50% of the time or better.
Owner Experience of Dachshund Intelligence
Studies and research aside, many pet parents tend to view their dog as smarter (or maybe dumber) than their average breed counterpart.
Call it a bias, but perception can make a big difference!
If your Dachshund learns how to perform a trick the very first time you teach it, of course you’ll think that you have the smartest Doxie around!
But if your pup takes 40 repetitions to pick up on a cue, it may seem like you have a slightly less intelligent dog.
In regard to the owner’s experience of intelligence, many witness the following observations:
- Dachshunds are extremely perceptive and aware
- Dachshunds demonstrate the ability to problem-solve, as they are born hunters
- Dachshunds are great at manipulating both human and canine friends.
- A Dachshund can understand a huge vocabulary (including understanding a word in multiple languages if taught), plus gestures and mannerisms
- Dachshunds can easily be trained with consistency and dedication
- Dachshunds can often pick up on your emotions and needs
- Dachshunds know how to ask for (or demand) what they want.
Training some cues or tricks may take longer to train with Dachshunds than with other dog breeds. Even if a Dachshund, knows how to do something, they may need occasional reminders.
Examples of common issues that often require training repetition are:
As with any living being, intelligence levels can vary from Dachshund to Dachshund.
There is no evidence that intelligence varies between miniature and standard Dachshunds, as they are the same breed with different physical characteristics.
Are Dachshunds Smart?
Yes Dachshunds are smart, but as we discussed in the prior section, pet parents often perceive their dogs to be smarter than they truly are.
If we look back at the ranking as #92 on the canine intelligence ranking list, that’s more than halfway down the list.
However this doesn’t mean your Dachshund isn’t smart!
Any dog breed that is trained properly and given a stable lifestyle may seem smarter than an untrained or neglected dog.
According to Professor Coren, 51% of a dog’s intelligence stems from its genes while 49% is based on environmental circumstances.
On top of that, Dachshunds are hunting dogs, which may lead some to believe they are smarter than they are.
Dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors performing tasks, work, or activities may be viewed as more intelligent by humans.
Dachshunds are commonly perceived to be difficult to train when it comes to potty training or other necessary cues.
Often, it’s because they are very cunning and use their intelligence to try and get out of doing what you are asking them to do (they try to figure out how they can get the reward without having to do the work).
If you are looking for proof that Dachshunds are hard to train, Stanley Coren’s research supports this.
His paper states that dogs that ranked from #63 to #104 on the intelligence scale may require up to 40 repetitions to learn a new skill.
So what about the Dachshunds that can learn a new trick or command within minutes?
Dachshunds, and other breeds in the average intelligence category, typically obey first commands 50% of the time, or better.
In other words, an average intelligence ranking suggests that there is a 50% chance your Dachshund will pick up a new command the first time but it’s not uncommon to have to work on training certain things for a while.
Dogs who are left to their own devices without training or guidance may seem “dumb.”
While dogs do have their own individual capabilities, owners can use effective training methods to essentially increase their companion’s intelligence.
The more you train your Dachshund, the smarter they will seem.
Other than that, Dachshunds are of average level intelligence.
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.