Can A Dog Be Too Smart?
The Importance of Training
The dog I grew up with was a Chow Chow. Known for being stubborn but trainable and 76th on the smart list. His name was Chubbers and he acted more like a cat than a dog.
He demanded nothing, eagerly greeted you at the door and never fetched a ball in his life; and I loved him.
Goldendoodles/Poodles are not THAT kind of dog.
They outsmart you by escaping the crate, opening the treat cabinet, pulling down the crockpot cooking beef roast (ok, maybe that’s just my dog)... That's when you realize there is a lot going on upstairs in that brain!
You have officially been outsmarted.
Word of advice. The MICROWAVE is a safe place and we use it all the time for countertop goodies.
Most of us didn’t know what we were getting into when we bought a goldendoodle or poodle.
But we should’ve.
The poodle is the second smartest dog out of all the breeds. When you have a smart dog they need to be well trained. Add in the DHA, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids we give our puppies while there are in-utero and after birth, you have one smart dog! Government funded studies of bomb detection dog breeding and training found a 75% increase in problem solving capabilities for dogs taking omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids compared to litters without. We like the benefits of fish oils omega-3 fatty acids often recommended for management of clinical problems including cancer, dermatologic disease, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal disease, and orthopedic disease .
Can a dog be too smart?
I don’t think so (unless you are looking for a Chubbers of your own). But owning a smart dog DEFINITELY means you will have your work cut out for you!
There are programs to set you up for success, starting from when your dog comes home.
If you have a reputable breeder, they will I have already started this process for you- but it is imperative that the training continues.
Many online programs such as Baxter and Bella offer week by week training guides to train
your puppy. They also offer a path to obtain a canine good Citizen certification through the American kennel club. This is a certification that shows your dog knows basic commands it will behave itself in public.
Another option is a Board & train where you send your dog for extended period of time to a professional trainer. It is one of the most important parts of training it could easily be missed due to life’s busyness or distractions. Often times multiple dogs in the house make this challenging as well so you may need to reach out to a professional for help.
Sometimes there are other issues besides learning obedience and commands.
Sometimes your dog deals with anxiety or behavioral problems such as fear of strangers, aggression or extreme submissiveness.
If this is the case for your dog, you may need to seek an animal behaviorist and not just a dog trainer. A dog behaviorist will work with your dog to desensitize them to issues that they are facing or having trouble overcoming. It’s a slow process that takes months sometimes a year but can be well worth it to have your dog feel comfortable leash walking or meeting new visitors to your house.
I want to emphasize that although temperament plays a role in your dog’s behavior, socialization is crucial in that first 12-week period. If this does not happen, your dog can start out behind because they haven’t had the opportunities to integrate new experiences during the time when they are most open to learn and practice these behaviors.
An important part to our breeding program is the Puppy Culture our puppies are raised with. Behind the scenes, 3 day old puppies start with early neurological stimulation; which has been shown in literature to help dogs develop important coping and physiological adaptation through small and safe amounts of external stress. Once the puppies are introduced to puppy mush at 3 weeks old, simple barriers are added to feeding or a training session that allow the puppy to experience temporary frustration while trying figure out a way over or around the object to get their food.
Around weeks 4 we teach the "manding" behavior where the puppies are rewarded for sitting and making eye contact. A clicker marks the behavior so they know what got them the reward and through positive reinforcement, they learn that THEY can so something that results in an outcome.
This is then advanced to desensitizing of sounds, people, objects and textures. They learn that new things are good and because they haven't established a fear response yet, their are willing participants! Their incredibly smart brains sort the information while they nap, making the follow up training even more productive.
Once the 12-week mark has passed, any new experiences are no longer welcomed.
These experiences and objects are now approached with hesitation and fear. It is still important to provide these experiences in safe ways, but the cues your puppy gives you lets you know if they need to take a break or step back.
Anxiety has increased with all the dogs that were purchased during the pandemic, when people were not going outside in public and socializing with family and friends like before. Well respected Dr. Marty Greer published a book titled Your Pandemic Puppy that helps owners understand how COVID-19 pandemic has affect their dog and help owners with the transition back to working outside the home.
Don’t feel bad if your dog needs a little help!
The great thing about having a very smart dog is that they are trainable. It takes either lots of time or money to pay someone else for their time. Do you want to enjoy your pet for the rest of your life and their life? If so you, owe it to yourself to get the training the dog needs to be obedient member of your family.
Potential Adverse Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Dogs and Cats (2013), Lenox, C.E. & Bauer, J.E. Journal of Veterinarian Medicine (27)2. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.12033
Smartest Dogs Ranked.Dog Intelligence Ranking: The Complete List (137 Breeds) https://www.dogbreedslist.info/smartest-dog-breeds/
Research Analysis by Dr. Battaglia of Canine Chronicle- Kelley*, AJ Lepine, MR Shyan-Norwalt. JR Burr, and GA Reinhart, Impact of Maternal and Post-Weaning Nutrition on Puppy Trainability. The Iams Company, 6571 State Route 503N, Lewisburg, OH 45338. Retrieved on November 10, 2022 at https://breedingbetterdogs.com/article/nutrition-and-dha