Last Updated : December 1, 2022

Are beagles smart

If you are thinking of getting a beagle, the first thing that might pop in your mind is “are beagles intelligent?” Beagles are friendly and affectionate dogs that tend to get into some troubles every now and then. But, this doesn’t mean they are not smart. These dogs have so many things to bring to the table that make them well-loved by many dog owners all over the world.

Are beagles intelligent

Beagles actually rank 131st on the list of the smartest dog breeds for working and obedience intelligence. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are dumb at all. Instead, these canines have different motivators that do not fit with the standardized criteria of the test that measures a dog’s intelligence.

Are beagles smart

What makes beagles smart is the fact that they have instinctive IQ in finding scents. This is the reason why they are among the best tracking dogs in the world.

If you are familiar with how these dogs operate, the truth is that they are extremely intelligent dogs with very specialized set of skills. For instance, they are among the world’s best scent hounds, if not the best.

Why do beagles have low rank in terms of dog intelligence

Why do beagles have low rank in terms of dog intelligence

The famous psychologist Stanley Coren conducted a smart breeds ranking. But, while this is a great starting point to measure the intelligence of a dog, it doesn’t necessarily tell the entire story.

Coren’s list of intelligent breeds of dogs is based on only a single component of intelligence of dogs and this is working and obedience IQ. But, there is still so much more to the intelligence of a dog than obedience and working IQ alone. This is the reason why Coren’s test has clear flaws.

What makes beagles smart

Beagles are not considered as smart dogs based on regular standardized dog intelligence test. But, intelligence actually comes from more than their level of obedience and how hardworking they are. Although it is the easiest and fastest way of determining intelligence, this is not the only way.

Are beagles smart in hunting

Yes, beagles are smart as far as hunting is concerned. Beagles are amazing hunters, making them higher in terms of instinctive intelligence. Beagles were originally bred for them to use only their noses when hunting. 

These dogs are even assumed to have the best nose out of all the other dog breeds out there. Beagles have a remarkable number of scent receptors found in their nose. Humans have approximately 5 million scent receptors but these are nothing compared to the 220 million found in the nose of beagles.

It means that their smell is around is up to 44 times better than yours is. Since they have such an amazing nose, it is only expected that their nose is what makes these dogs curious about almost everything.

Every time there is a new smell around them, they will be want to figure out and try what this is smell is right away and where it comes from. If you will consider all the distractions that come with having such an amazing nose, you might have a hard time to make them focus on their learning obedience. Beagles are more inclined to try hunting down the smell compared to learning how to rollover or sit. It is what makes them among the world’s best hunting canines.

Are beagles adaptive

Beagles have been considered to have the so-called adaptive intelligence as well. It means that they have this ability of learning things on their own instead of having someone teach them. Beagles are amazing problem solvers.

These dogs can realize every time they make mistakes and learn from these. They will also change their actions to rectify the mistake. Beagles can also communicate with people well. Reading their owners is also easy for them and they learn how to inform their owners know the things they want even with no words. These canines can communicate effectively with their owners.

Three types of canine intelligence

Adaptive, working, and intelligence are the three types of canine intelligence. Working intelligence is the focus of standard dog intelligence test. However, there is still more to level of intelligence than how easy it is to train dogs to be obedient.

What is adaptive intelligence

When you speak of adaptive intelligence, this refers to how fast a dog learns and picks up various social cues during a training session. Adaptiveness enters the picture if you ask your dog to perform several commands in a single performance.

It will be easier to train a dog how to perform a job if he is adaptive. This is what makes beagles excellent hunters. Beagles have adaptive intelligence that let them communicate with their owners and answer issues throughout the process.

What is instinctive intelligence

For instinctive intelligence, this is what a dog breed was bred to do. Beagles, for instance, were originally bred for hunting using their nose. All dogs have different forms of instinctive intelligence. A dog bred to serve as a protector will watch over people or things by nature. Meanwhile, retriever dogs will fetch naturally.

Every dog has one form of instinctive intelligence or another, even when it doesn’t seem like it. For example, Chihuahuas have been bred to serve as companions. The instinctive intelligence of these dogs is to stay close to the owners and ensure that they are never lonely.

What is working intelligence

Canines are usually tested for their working intelligence. It tells you how obedient the dog is as well as how easy it is to train them. This refers to what the dog will be able to learn to do and if they will listen well to instructions from their owners.

Dogs with high working intelligence have excellent agility and also act as service dogs. German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are two of the most common service animals because of their ability to behave and be trained well.

How do the intelligence of beagles compare to that of other dogs

Like most terriers and hounds, the beagle has pretty low ranking in terms of intelligence compared to other breeds. Beagles are in the bottom ten breeds of dogs for intelligence. There are claims stating that they need to hear a command for 80 up to 100 times before they can learn its meaning.

Since it is not likely for beagles to obey, it tanks them really low unlike more obedient breeds. It seems that obedience refers to how dogs get tested to identify their intelligence and those dogs that are unlikely to obey are often found at the list’s bottom part.

How to tell if your beagle is dumb or smart

There are many signs that will let you determine the intelligence of your beagle. Below is a simple list that will help you know if your beagle is dumb or clever. If your beagle does most of these things, consider yourself lucky because you got yourself an intelligent dog there.

  • They are great escape artists.
  • They recall demands with no practice.
  • They can solve those puzzle toys.
  • They will give you hug if you feel disturbed.
  • They can master new tricks with ease.
  • They know how to remain safe.
  • They know how to capture your attention.
  • They know when you are going away.

How to make a beagle smarter

Here are some simple ideas you can follow to make your beagle smarter and more intelligent:

  • Perform physical adjustment with your beagle daily. It is more important if you have a younger puppy. But, routine handling will make your pet accept change better and learn brand new commands.
  • Teach new tricks and commands on a regular basis. All canines have the ability of mastering new tricks so be sure to continue looking for new things to train your pet.
  • Give your pup plenty of appreciation and maybe even treats every time they show smart behavior.
  • Socialize your dog, preferably at an early age. It will help their intelligence if you take him out more often and expose him to various situations and surroundings.
  • Provide constant exposure to obstacles and problems. You can buy food bowls that will make your beagle use his intelligence to eat.
  • Start training your beagle right from puppyhood. In fact, training should begin as soon as you bring your new dog home. It will boost his brainpower and make your pet more trainable.

How smart are beagles compared to humans

According to most experts in dog behavior, the mental abilities of beagles can be compared to a human child aged 2 to 2.5 years old. Below are several interesting facts you should know about beagles compared to humans.

  1. You need to teach an average beagle about 165 words including signals.
  2. Beagles can just count up to 4 or 5.
  3. Beagles throughout play have a capacity of deliberately outwitting people and other dogs to get benefits.

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