June 1, 2007, Newsletter Issue #187: The Intelligence of a Boxer

Tip of the Week

Stanley Coren, a neuropsychologist and author of the book, The Intelligence of Dogs, has written on the subject of dog intelligence. According to Coren, there are three types of intelligence: adaptive, instinctive, and working/obedience.

Adaptive intelligence pertains to a canine's ability to learn and problem-solve new situations and relationships. Instinctive intelligence encompasses traits that are innate to a dog's breed like herding or hunting. And working/obedience intelligence places merit on how well a canine responds to commands.

Under Coren's criteria, a Boxer has an average rank in working/obedience. So even though the Boxer may be considered intuitively smart by some, instincts have no bearing on his ability to follow a command. Inherent traits like stubbornness and dominance all come into play in preventing a dog from responding to a command.

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