11 Signs Your Dog is Smarter Than You Think

Do you ever wonder just how smart your furry friend really is?

Well, you might be surprised to learn that your dog is likely much smarter than you think!

We all know that dogs are loyal, affectionate, and great companions.

But did you know that they’re also capable of some truly remarkable feats of intelligence?

In fact, there are countless stories of dogs doing things that seem almost impossible.

This goes from predicting natural disasters to learning complex tricks in a matter of minutes.

In this article, we’re going to explore 11 of the amazing signs of intelligence in dogs that you might not have noticed before. 

Let’s dive in and discover the surprising signs that your dog is smarter than you think!

Some Dogs Can Count

Studies have shown that certain breeds, like border collies, can understand and remember numbers.

This means that if your pup always knows how many treats they’ve been given, or can keep track of how many toys they have, it might be a sign that they’re pretty darn smart!

In fact, dogs have been found to have a basic sense of numerical value, meaning that they can differentiate between small and large numbers

This skill is thought to have evolved as a survival tactic, allowing dogs to understand the size of a pack, or the number of prey animals in a group.

But counting isn’t the only way dogs show their intelligence.

Did You Know That They Can Also Understand Colors?

While they may not be able to see the same range of colors as humans, dogs can still differentiate between certain shades.

This is because dogs have two types of color-sensitive cells in their eyes, while humans have three.

This means that dogs can see shades of blue and yellow, but have trouble with colors like red and green.

So if your dog always goes for the blue toy, or seems to prefer green treats, they might be showing off their color smarts!

Dogs’ Ability To Tell Time Is Linked To Their Remarkable Sense Of Smell

They use their noses to explore the world around them, to communicate with other dogs, and to detect changes in their environment.

In fact, a dog’s sense of smell is so powerful that they can detect scents that are undetectable to humans, like certain types of cancer or low blood sugar levels.

Dogs’ sense of smell is also responsible for their incredible tracking abilities. 

Certain breeds, like bloodhounds and beagles, are known for their tracking skills.

They’ve been used for centuries to hunt game, track missing people, and even locate buried treasure.

But it’s not just specialized breeds that have a strong sense of smell.

All dogs have a remarkable ability to detect and differentiate between scents, making them an invaluable tool in a wide range of situations.

For example, some dogs have been trained to detect drugs or explosives, while others have been used to sniff out invasive species or even to identify the scents of different types of wines!

Related: 14 Fun Facts About A Dog’s Sense Of Smell

Dogs Are Also Excellent Problem Solvers

They have evolved to be highly adaptable and resourceful, and they’re great at finding solutions to tricky situations.

Whether it’s figuring out how to get to their favorite toy, or finding a way out of a fenced-in area, dogs are always using their brains to solve problems.

Certain dog breeds are recognized for their exceptional problem-solving abilities, such as the Border Collie, which is frequently employed in herding and agility competitions.

One fascinating example of dogs’ problem-solving abilities comes from a study that tested whether dogs could solve a puzzle box.

The box contained a treat that the dog could only access by pressing a lever in a specific sequence.

Surprisingly, the dogs quickly figured out the correct sequence, even when the lever was moved to a different location in the box.

This shows that dogs are not only able to solve problems, but they can also adapt to new situations and learn from their experiences.

They Can Remember A Lot Of Things

Dogs have been shown to have an excellent memory for faces and names. 

This means that if your dog meets someone new, they’re likely to remember that person’s face and associate it with positive or negative experiences.

Dogs are also great at remembering specific commands or cues, and they can even remember complex sequences of actions.

So if your dog always remembers where their favorite toy is hiding, or can recognize someone they haven’t seen in years, it might be a sign that their memory is pretty impressive!

In fact, some dogs are so good at remembering faces that they’ve been used to help solve crimes!

Police departments around the world have employed specially trained dogs to identify suspects based on their scent or the scent of items left at the scene of a crime.

These dogs are able to track scents over long distances and even across different terrain, making them an invaluable tool for law enforcement.

Dogs Are Incredibly Quick Learners When It Comes To Tricks And Commands

They have a natural desire to please their owners, and they respond well to positive reinforcement techniques.

This means that with the right training and encouragement, dogs can learn a wide range of tricks and behaviors, from simple commands like “sit” and “stay,” to more complex tasks like opening doors or fetching specific items.

But it’s not just about learning specific tricks – dogs are also great problem-solvers, and they’re able to use their intelligence to adapt to new situations and challenges.

For example, if your dog can’t reach their favorite toy, they might use a nearby object to push it closer, or they might figure out a way to climb up and retrieve it.

This type of creative problem-solving is a sign of high intelligence, and it’s one of the reasons why dogs have been able to thrive alongside humans for thousands of years.

Dogs Have Incredibly Sharp Hearing

They can detect sounds at frequencies that are well beyond our human range, and they can hear things from much further away.

This is why dogs are often used in search and rescue operations – their sensitive hearing allows them to detect faint sounds, like a person calling for help or the sound of someone trapped under debris.

Dogs’ hearing is so acute that they can even distinguish between different sounds and recognize patterns.

For example, if you have a particular whistle or call that you use to signal your dog, they’ll learn to associate that sound with your presence and come running when they hear it.

Some dogs are even able to differentiate between different types of music or the sound of specific words or phrases, which is a testament to their remarkable auditory abilities.

Dogs Understand Basic Grammar Rules

While they may not be able to speak in full sentences, dogs can still pick up on cues like tone of voice and body language.

Your dog understands what you mean when you say “sit” or “stay”!

Dogs have evolved to read human body language and voice signals to communicate and cooperate with humans.

Dogs can understand words and language patterns.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Dogs Can Tell Time

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they thrive on routine.

They quickly learn when it’s time to eat, go for a walk, or snuggle up on the couch.

But it’s not just about routine – studies have shown that dogs are capable of understanding the passage of time.

In fact, dogs can even anticipate future events based on the time of day or the length of time that has passed.

Because they can tell time, your dog may get enthusiastic about supper or their daily walk.

Remarkable Night Vision

This is because their eyes have a higher concentration of light-sensitive cells called rods.

This enables them to see in low-light conditions.

In addition, dogs have a reflective layer in the back of their eyes called the tapetum lucidum.

This helps to reflect light back through the retina, giving them better visibility in the dark.

Dogs’ exceptional night vision is one of the reasons why they’re able to navigate through the world so well, even in the absence of light.

It also makes them better hunters, as they’re able to detect prey in low-light conditions.

In fact, some dog breeds, like the Norwegian Elkhound, have been specifically bred for their ability to hunt in the dark.

Able To Predict Natural Disasters Before They Occur

In the days before an earthquake, tsunami, or major storm, dogs behave strangely in many countries.

Scientists aren’t entirely sure how dogs are able to detect these natural phenomena.

Nonetheless, other hypotheses believe they may be able to detect minor changes in barometric pressure, electromagnetic fields, or even the smell of ozone before a natural disaster.

Dogs have been known to warn their owners of imminent disasters, possibly sparing their lives.

One famous example of this phenomenon occurred in the days leading up to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

In the town of Aonae in Japan, a dog named Tama was observed barking persistently and refusing to leave the beach.

The owner, sensing that something was wrong, followed the dog back to their home and turned on the television to discover news of the impending tsunami.

Thanks to Tama’s warning, the owner was able to evacuate the area before the disaster struck.

So there you have it – just a few of the many signs that your dog is smarter than you think!

Whether they’re counting treats, picking out their favorite colors, or responding to basic grammar rules, our furry friends have a lot more going on upstairs than we may realize.

And while dogs may not be able to speak or write, they have their own unique ways of communicating and understanding the world around them.

Before You Go…

You now know the signs your dog is smarter than you think.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.