Are Labrador retrievers smart? (Answer Revealed)


Are Labrador retrievers smart? As Labrador retriever owners, we feel like our Lab is very smart and wonderful dog ever to live. All together, Labradors are smart, easy to please and fast learners, which means they are highly trainable.

When they’ve learned the basics, Labs will love to continue learning new tricks to have their mind energetic and watchful. But how do you realize how smart our dog really is? Are your Labradors as smart as you think? Labradors are very smart—in reality, in a study completed with 199 dogs to measure intelligence in dogs, Labs came at 7.

Research says that Dogs possess the same cognitive skills as other species, but due to their proximity to and dependence on humans, they acquire exquisite sensitivity to human actions.

How to Measure Dog Intelligence?

Although practicing commands as well as playing puzzle games with your Lab puppy is an excellent approach to know his mind works, there are many ways to measure a dog’s mental abilities. Dog psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren done a famous research to govern how to measure a dog’s intelligence.

This canine test is centered on specific principles and trials performed on thousands of dogs with around 200 obedience judges. It turned into one of the most widespread animal-related researches ever done in the USA.

Here’s a look at the process and testing considered in the study and what they say about dog intelligence.

Step #1: The Procedure – How Is Dog Intelligence Ranked?

As discussed in The Intelligence of Dogs, written by Dr. Stanley Coren, the study discovered that three main kinds of intelligence can be utilized to measure a dog’s intellectual abilities: adaptive, instinctive, as well as working, plus obedience intelligence.

  • Adaptive intelligence is a dog’s capability to learn from its surroundings to solve problems individually.
  • Instinctive intelligence is a dog’s ability to do the tasks it was developed to do, like herding, fetching, and guarding.
  • Working and obedience intelligence is a dog’s ability to pick up skills from humans and how rapidly they learn.

Together, these characteristics helped scientists assess each breed’s problem-solving skills, social skills, obedience, memory, and observation skills.

Step #2: The Trials – How Is Dog Intelligence Measured?

Dr. Coren’s research was published in 1994, with a 2nd edition published in 2006. Then, it contained above 100 dog breeds — comprising a Labrador retriever — with assessments by many AKC and CKC obedience trial judges.

  • The research utilized the following tests to rate dog intelligence:
  • The number of repetitions required for a dog to learn a new command
  • The rate that a pooch will follow a recognized command on the first try

Dr. Coren’s tests discovered that the most intelligent dogs need a few repetitions to learn new commands. Likewise, the higher the achievement rate of commands on the initial effort, the smarter the dog is.

Step #3: The Outcomes: How Smart Are Labradors? (Are Labrador retrievers smart?)

The intelligence outcomes for a Labrador were positive, Labs constantly ranked as one of the top 10 smartest dogs, ranking as the 7th best-performing dog behind Border Collies, German Shepherds, Poodles, Golden Retrievers, Doberman Pinschers, as well as Shetland Sheepdogs.

The “brightest dogs” section just contains 10 breeds that can do particular tasks:

  • They needed fewer than 5 repetitions once learning new commands
  • They followed the primary command 95% of the time or even better

On average, smart dog breeds can learn a new command with around 25-40 repetitions, but findings indicated that a Labrador retriever is five times quicker at learning new commands! It’s true that Labradors are very intelligent.

Dr. Coren also predicts that the average pooch is more intelligent compared to most toddlers, with capacities close to human kids aged 2-2 ½ years old. Although there is no precise data on how Labs rank associated with human intelligence, they have the intelligence ability of a 3-4 year-old kid.

How to Measure a Labrador’s Intelligence?


Because of Dr. Coren’s extensive research over the years, it is concluded that Labrador Retrievers are among the obedient dog breeds worldwide.

But at the same time, you might be doubting how can you measure your Labrador’s intelligence. All together, no two canines are the same. You can learn where your dog ranks through study and test games.

1.      Step #1: Research your Labrador Breeder

If you want to adopt a Labrador puppy, you have to do so from a trustworthy breeder who can assure its genetics and pedigree and give paperwork on its general health.

A responsible breeder:

  • Should be registered with the AKC
  • Should be devoted to raising happy as well as healthy dogs
  • Is careful regarding their breeding practices
  • Is keen to interview potential owners
  • Allows outsiders to tour the facility
  • Raises their pups in-home
  • Gives reviews, plus testimonials
  • Inspires spaying as well as neutering upon adoption

Studies have discovered that 51% of a dog’s intelligence comes from genes, whereas 49% comes from surroundings. Thus breeding does matter. Working with a trustworthy dog breeder, you’re more expected to have an open way of communication, even after bringing your puppy home.

2.      Step #2: Perform Your Own Intelligence Tests

Dognition Method

The Dognition process is an interactive and fun approach to test your lab’s intelligence. It was discovered by Dr. Brian Hare, a writer of The Genius of Dogs.

Dognition has 20 tests produced by a team of trainers, experts, and behavioral professionals. You can do the tests from Dognition at your home with common household items. Dog owners can record their lab’s progress online.

When you’ve finished the 20 games, you’ll get a complete, 10-15 page report explaining your dog’s intelligence and which profile your pooch falls under.

Practice Commands


One more simple approach to test your Lab’s intelligence is by teaching your dog new commands. Begin with basic commands. After that, your puppy can move onto further complex parts down the line.

You can start with some easiest basic commands which include:

  • Sit
  • Lie down
  • Heel
  • Drop it
  • Come

The average dog needs around six corrections to know a new command, whereas a bright dog will recognize it after only 2 to 3 corrections. Dogs of any age can understand new commands — what you have to do is patience, steadiness, and the training procedure that your pooch will respond to.

At-Home Brain Games also called Enrichment

There are so several fun brain games to start at your home with your dog that aid test all of its intelligences. Treat-based games are excellent for nose work, whereas puzzles are outstanding for mental inspiration. Take your best — or better and try them all and find out what works best for your dog!

The “Which Cup?” Game: This game supports you know how well your Labrador retains information. Show your puppy a treat and hide it below one of three cups within his view. Take some seconds to confuse your puppy by walking nearby the cups or giving him another toy. Then let him to find out the treat on his own. If he discovers the treat instantly, then his memory skills are remarkable!

Food-Dispensing Toys: These toys need your puppy to do some work, such as push a button or lever to give out the treat. You can teach your Lab what to do by representing with his paw. After that, note how many times he learns how to activate the treat himself.

Dog Puzzles: Puzzles improve your Lab’s memory as well as problem-solving skills. IQ balls, snuffle mats, plus additional collaborating, mentally-stimulating dog toys are excellent for increasing your puppy’s intelligence skills over time.

3.     Step #3: Improve Your Lab’s Intelligence

From the day you take your Lab  home, you can start working on improving your dog’s cognitive training by simple, every day activities as well as games, like:

  • Teaching a new trick
  • Playing with interactive toys
  • Running shops with your dog
  • Giving your pooch a job to do
  • Familiarizing your dog to new faces
  • Providing them with new toys and spinning out the old ones

And don’t bother, whether through training your dog, going for a walk, or involving in some toy time, playing with your lab is the best approach to improve your bond with your Labrador retriever!

Does a Coat Color Affect Labrador retriever Intelligence?


Several people fallaciously trust that a Lab’s fur color affects its intelligence. But, there’s no scientific evidence about this fact. While several declare that Chocolate Labradors are more hyperactive as well as aggressive compared to black or yellow counterparts, this claim hasn’t withstood any experimental testing.

In a research by Diane van Rooy as well as Claire M. Wade, Chocolate Labradors are less aggressive compared to other Labs. However, they are not easily trainable, signifying that Chocolate Labrador retriever is more difficult to train instead of other Labs.

This study based its assumptions on a combination of noticeable coat color as well as genotypes. Most excitingly, canines with the yellow genotype and fur color had higher degree of “familiar dog aggression” instead of other Labradors.


Which Labrador Color is the Smartest?

Is there a Labrador retriever coloration that regulates how smart a dog will be? No. A dog’s intelligence depends upon breeding, not coat color.

What rank is a Lab smartness?

Labrador Retriever is 7th most intelligent dog breed.

Which is the number 1 smartest dog?

The border collie is the smartest dog.


A Labrador Retriever is among the smartest dog breeds all over the world, as it is at 7th on the list of most smartest dogs in Stanley Coren’s study. There are numerous aspects of dog intelligence to be measured, comprising adaptive, obedience, working, plus inborn intelligence—and you can check all on your own dog by following methods mentioned above! Doesn’t matter where your Lab ends up on the intelligence scale, however, they will still be the perfect dog in the world.

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