With the weather growing chillier and the sky looking a bit grim, it's a great time of year to think about adopting a warm, furry body to cuddle up with you on the sofa on a snowy night. You may have considered what kind of dog or cat would fit best into your household. What age and energy level pet would blend into my home? Will the new family member be the only pet in the home, or are there other furry friends who will be sharing the home turf? You may not have considered the intelligence of your potential adoptee. Well, here are some interesting facts from Dr. Stanley Coren, author of Intelligence of Dogs (you can order it on Amazon.com).
Coren, a neuropsychologist and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, developed an intelligence ranking for dog breeds: at the top include popular pups such as the Border Collie, Rottweiler, German Shepard, Labrador Retriever, and Poodle. Bringing up the rear are the Shih Tzu, Pekingese, Blood Hound, Chow Chow, and Bulldog. What does this mean for you? If you are looking for a highly trainable, obedient dog, you may want to look for the loveable Lab. If the "cuteness" factor is more important, that bright-eyed Pekingese maybe perfect for you.
You may think that a ranking of purebred dogs is not terribly helpful when adopting a shelter dog, which are often mixed-breed pups. However, most of our pets, such as Black Labrador Retriever/mix Alex, clearly show clues of their genetic heritage. Alex, a perfect example of the intelligent Lab, is our featured pet this week and won't disappoint you in how eager he is to learn new things. In addition to being a bright young canine, Alex is affectionate and loves the opportunity to cuddle or just lie by your feet in front of the fireplace. If you rub his furry belly, he will shower you with kisses! How can you resist the twinkle in his big brown eyes?
The next time you visit the shelter to explore the addition of a dog into your home, take some time to learn what you can about their breeding and the shelter's staffs opinion of their intelligence as well as their personality. If you are looking for a friend who will bring you your warm fuzzy slippers on that cold night, you may just find exactly who you are looking for!