Are pugs smart? Plus 5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Pug

Rumors have it that pugs are considered to be less intelligent. Well, is this true or it’s just a misconception. Are pugs smart? Are they dumb like what some people allege? I guess we are about to find out.Are pugs smart

Pugs are smart enough to hack their way out. They will learn from their mistakes, make changes, and adapt easily. However, they can be very stubborn if you are not patient enough.  

Also, Pugs lacks instinctive intelligence because there isn’t a specific intelligent reason that they are bred for. But this absolutely does not qualify them to be classified as dumb breeds.

As a matter of fact, I think it makes them even more suitable small pooches for families.

Read Also: What are Pugs Bred for?

Are pugs smart?

People who attribute pugs to being dumb clearly don’t know them well. Pugs are easily trained and will quickly learn basic instruction and other stuff like where you dropped their treats. Read this article on how to train your pug.

Intelligence in dogs just like that of humans has various different aspects which we are about to see in a few.

Measuring Pugs Intelligence

The fact is, dog breeds vary in their level of intelligence which ranks pugs as fairly intelligent pooches. Well, that’s according to the famous researcher and professor of canine psychology, Stanly Coren.

Coren conducted research with the help of the North American trial judges manning the American and Canadian Kennel Club. He came up with a formula to categorize dogs’ behavior.

The first criteria were the number of times it took for a dog to learn new commands. Dogs who quickly learned commands were considered smart.

The learning rate at which a dog will pick up a new command especially on the first attempt was another criterion that Coren used. Pooches with higher responding rate were classified as intelligent.

According to his final results, only 138 dogs breeds met the intelligent measure cut. However, he only managed to test breeds recognized by the AKC and CKC.

Pugs met all the qualification and it through both AKC and CKC standards. According to Coren’s, Pugs’ performance was listed on the average intelligent dogs and are the first breeds in that category.

On the category of learning new commands, pugs scooped position 108 out of the 138 dog breeds that participated. However, their performance on adhering to new commands (obedience) on the first attempt met only a 30% success rate.

I don’t consider this as the best method for measuring a dog’s intelligence but it’s good for a head start.

How Smart is A Pug

Truth be told, a dog’s intelligence varies depending on the breed.  Dogs have different strengths and sometimes we humans fail to see that in them.

Dogs intelligence is categorized into three, that is:

  • Instinctive Intelligence- This is can be described as what the dog was bred for. There are dogs bred for security purposes while others for hunting and the list goes on. A dog’s intelligence is revealed on how best they execute the tasks
  • Adaptive Intelligence- This category of intelligence is measured by the ability of a dog to solve a problem with any help. A dog should be able to pick up errors from earlier tasks and learn from them.
  • Working and Obedience Intelligence- This intelligence is basically measured when training the dog to execute some tricks. Dogs who can easily learn tricks such as shaking a paw or fetching items are considered to have this intelligence.

Based on these three categories it’s very unlikely to categorize a dog as dumb. In fact, people who consider some breeds as so have simply not interacted with other dogs to know their strength.

In our case, pugs literally have strong adaptive intelligence. These little fur friends will quickly remember something that happened to them in the past and won’t repeat the same mistakes.

I remember when my pug Buddha was still a puppy, she jumped into a pool to fetch her playing toy and the first experience with water wasn’t that friendly. Since then, she never goes close to pools or large water bodies.

Also, I work from home and I decided to set my phone alarm as a reminder to feed and give Buddha treats.

Over a period of time, I was surprised when the alarm went off, she would start to drool and sprint to her feeding bowl. Here is an article I did to help you learn more on pug’s drool.

She eventually learned that the alarm signified meal time.

Adaptive intelligence is as important to humans as it is to dogs. Pugs adaptive intelligence has been proven to excel making these breeds considered smart dogs.

5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Pug

Here are five reasons why you need to have a pug around your home.

  1. Pugs are natural cuddlers- Pugs are small, calm, and charming dogs which makes them great lap pooches. It’s evident these little fur friends love to sleep more than other dogs and will tend to take a nap next to you as you relax on your couch, bed, etc.
  2. Pugs will learn tricks and commands well- Pugs have a reputable adaptive intelligence thus will learn new tricks well. They enjoy making their owners happy and will do so by ensuring they learn tricks that you teach them.
  3. Pugs adapt quickly to new families- Pugs are known to make great companions hence will fit quickly into any family. They play with kids and are very safe. They will remember what you like to do and try to join you in doing it to make it more fun.
  4. Pugs learn from mistakes- The very famous phrase, “learn from your mistakes” clearly depicts pug’s ways of learning from their past mistakes. Of course, they might not get it from the first try but they won’t repeat the same mistake depending on how you respond to it.
  5. Pugs are easy and cheap to maintain- Pugs don’t bark much which makes them great dogs to have around especially if you are in an apartment.

Why are Pugs Considered as Less Intelligent?

Well, I think referring to pugs as less intelligent or dumb trickles down to an individual experience or opinion. Humans tend to rate intelligence based on the first impression.

Just because you can’t see or hear a pug pull an astonishing impression doesn’t necessarily suggest they are not smart. In a nutshell, you can’t see or experience a pug’s intelligence just from the first visit.

Pugs are a true reflection of adaptive intelligence which involves continuous repetition and patience to reveal a pug’s true intelligence. So, people will who call pugs dumb are just basing their allegation on hearsay.

Also, pug’s physical appearance tends to portray them as more of comical dogs as opposed to winning intelligence look. They may appear less intelligent especially when comparing them to other intelligence breeds like the Border Collie.

Check out this List of The10 Smartest Dogs

  • Border Collie
  • Poodle
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden retriever
  • Doberman pinscher
  • Shetland sheepdog
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Papillion
  • Rottweiler
  • Australian Cattle Dog

Read Also: Best Harness For Pugs

Wrapping Up

Although pugs don’t appear on the top 10 list of the most intelligent dogs in the world does not mean they are less intelligent or dumb. Pugs tops in the list of adaptive intelligence.

Bottom line, if you are a dog lover you’ll agree with me that various breeds vary in levels of intelligence which clearly concludes that no dog is totally unintelligent.

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