Are Chihuahuas Smart? The Hidden Truth

Stanley Coren, a canine psychologist, states that Chihuahuas ranks 125th out of all dog breeds in terms of IQ, meaning they are not thought to be very intelligent canines.

But to call them “dumb dogs” would be unfair. Although they might not be the best at obedience or working intellect, Chihuahuas are remarkably good at understanding human emotions.

Put another way, Chihuahuas have excellent communication skills.


For example, when a treat is included, they pick up new tricks rapidly. More significantly, though, is that they are highly sensitive to their owner’s emotions and can tell the difference between grief, happiness, and anxiety.

Although they might not be considered the smartest canines, Chihuahuas are undoubtedly among the most observant.

How the Intelligence of Chihuahuas is Measured

Stanley Coren’s criteria for dog intelligence

Dr. Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, evaluated the IQ of Chihuahuas. He accomplished this by asking canine obedience trainers to rank the working intelligence of more than a hundred different breeds in a survey.

In the study, the Chihuahua was placed 89th out of 100 breeds. Working intelligence was described by Dr. Coren as “the mental ability to learn new commands and obey existing ones.

This is not the same as adaptive intelligence, which is the capacity to come up with solutions on one’s own.

According to their ranking on the list, Chihuahuas are not very good at learning new skills or following instructions, but they might be more adept at solving problems than certain other breeds.

Emotional intelligence is crucial

According to a recent study that was written in the journal Animal Cognition, Chihuahuas are canines that are intelligent. In this study, a battery of tests measuring emotional intelligence was administered to thirty Chihuahuas. The experiments were based on earlier studies conducted on children of humans and other animals, including apes.

According to the study’s findings, Chihuahuas did better on the emotional intelligence tests than any other dog breed. Put differently, their ability to recognize and react to emotions surpasses that of other canines.

Do certain dog breeds have more intelligence than others?

Did you know that determining a dog’s level of intelligence can be difficult? Although IQ tests such as the Stanford-Binet and Wechsler Adult Intellect Scale (WAIS) are used to measure human intellect, there isn’t an IQ test that is accepted by all of our animal friends.

But there’s still more! It was discovered through an intriguing study conducted by experts at the University of Helsinki in Finland that some dog breeds are more intelligent than others. After putting 13 well-known breeds through smartDOG cognitive and behavior tests, they found “significant differences” in five of the seven assessments.

In the inhibitory control test, for instance, the Border Collie did better than the Malinois. Conversely, the Australian Shepherd outperformed the Golden Retriever in the intractable task test. Even though the Chihuahua was excluded from this specific study, the results nevertheless point to differences in intellect between breeds.

Surprisingly, the short-term memory and reasoning tests revealed no differences across the breeds. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

What about other dogs? How smart are Chihuahuas?

Chihuahuas are the tiniest dog breeds, but they are also one of the best. Compared to other dogs, Chihuahuas’ cerebral cortex has more neurons, which is what makes it possible for them to do many higher-order thinking tasks.

Chihuahuas can learn new orders and tricks faster than other breeds because of this. Additionally, Chihuahuas remember things better than most dogs do, and they can keep track of commands and chores for a long time. Because of this, many people think Chihuahuas are one of the best dog breeds.

What is the real impact of intelligence level?

A Chihuahua can exhibit many different forms of intelligence, each involving a variety of traits. Chihuahuas are quite good at recalling details and can recognize spoken and physical cues from people, including pointing.

Chihuahuas can be rather difficult to train because of their obstinate nature. therefore they might not immediately comply with your orders. However, this does not imply that they lack intelligence.

According to research, Chihuahuas can learn to accept directions if they receive the appropriate training and have the correct “approach.” This demonstrates that, like other dogs, they respond effectively to positive reinforcement.

There is variation in Chihuahua intelligence scores. Every dog may have a distinct ability for learning, and some may perform better than others. A dog’s degree of intelligence is greatly influenced by its breeding, genetics, experiences interacting with people and other dogs, and training.

Never forget to never coerce your Chihuahua into doing or not doing anything. Force or punishment will not be well received by a Chihuahua. The secret is to be persistent and patient. This alone demonstrates how clever and intelligent Chihuahuas can be!

What is the intelligence level of your chihuahua?

Chihuahuas like it when things are done their way. They may be very stubborn and refuse to do what you tell them to do. They are able to be firm and have their own plan. The person who owns a Chihuahua will need to be patient and use firm but friendly language when giving commands.

The chihuahua doesn’t like being scared. This trait can help them, though, because they can be great guard dogs. They love to run around and are full of energy. Because they show dedication, they are very loving dogs.

The person who owns a Chihuahua will need to be patient and use firm but friendly language when giving commands.

Here’s an easy way to find out how smart your Chihuahua is:

  • Can your Chihuahua do things that you haven’t told it to do in a month?
  • Does your Chihuahua know when you’re mad?
  • What kind of games does your Chihuahua like to start?
  •  Is it possible to teach them something new?
  • Can your Chihuahua find its way around places it knows?
  • Can your Chihuahua find toys or treats that are hidden?

1. Chihuahuas understand Human language

People who have dogs talk to them and give them different instructions. Chihuahuas can understand around 160 words. They are also very good at reading their owners’ body language and reacting to it. They look happy when their owners are happy with them and sorry when they have done something wrong.

When we consider that dogs have a very good sense of smell and a very good sense of hearing, we can agree that the Chihuahua is much smarter than we humans would like to think.

By watching how a dog’s ears move, we can get a sense of what it is thinking and feeling.

2. Chihuahuas are very good at reading the Owner’s emotions

People say that the Chihuahua has a lot of emotional sense. In other words, they can sense how their owners are feeling. When you are sick or upset, your pet will lick your face or curl up next to you.

There are things about Chihuahuas that make them loved by their family. They love to run around and are full of energy. Because they show dedication, they are very loving dogs.

The Chihuahua is very smart when it comes to being able to deal with different people and events. This helps train them because they learn to behave the way their owner tells them to. They make good pets for seniors and sick people who need a friend. As bed dogs, they make great friends for people who need company.

3. Chihuahuas are Great Watchdogs

Chihuahuas are naturally good watchdogs because they are so alert. Always ready to sound the warning at the first sign of trouble, they are on high alert. Your trusty Chihuahua will let you know if something is wrong, whether it’s a sneaky animal in your yard, a shadowy figure looking in your window, or even an unexpected kitchen fire.

The Chihuahua has won its place at the top of the list of great watchdogs. In “The Intelligence of Dogs,” Coren put them as the sixth-best breed for being a guard.

Coren asked dog experts, like experienced trainers and police dog masters, for their opinions before making this list. When everything was taken into account, Rottweilers came out on top. Our little friends came in at number six.

Like any other job, being a good guardian takes some smarts. These watchful dogs need to have sharp senses, a loud bark, and the ability to tell the difference between normal and abnormal. Sure, Chihuahuas’ small size might not scare off thieves, but don’t let that fool you—they are great at keeping an eye on things.

4. The Chihuahua shows desire

Chihuahuas are very smart dogs that their owners and families can enjoy. Because they are so active, friendly, and affectionate, they can be a great addition to the family. Chihuahua owners have noticed that their dogs will follow your instructions if you give them the right kind of motivation.

We only need to watch movies, dog shows, and dog sports events to believe that Chihuahuas can be trained to very high levels.

To teach their Chihuahua, their owner needs to make sure the dog knows who is in charge. If they don’t, the dog will try to stay in charge, which will make training the dog harder. You can train your Chihuahua and help bring out their smarts with the right training and lots of good reinforcement!

5. They Have Big Brain

Chihuahuas are the smartest dogs in the world, did you know that? Based on their body size, these tiny puppies have the biggest brains. Their brains are about 2.25 to 2.5 inches across. Their brains are about the size of a dime and weigh about 1.94 grams.

Some dog types may have bigger brains, but the Chihuahua’s brain-to-body ratio is still very good.

When it comes to dogs, the brain is about 125th the size of the body. But Chihuahuas are different.

When compared to their tiny bodies, their brains are much bigger, which makes them even smarter. When you see a Chihuahua, know that little dogs can grow up to be big dogs.

Last Word

The Chihuahua is one of the many dog breeds that can provide you with all you need and so much more. Never choose a breed of dog based solely on intelligence. Also, don’t listen to these “experts” when they say your dog is smart.

There’s no doubt that all dogs can give their people what they need. Any dog can learn how to use the bathroom and follow simple orders. Instead, you should choose a dog breed based on how they act and behave.

There is no doubt that Chihuahuas are very faithful dogs. They are very serious about being a real friend. And the Chihuahua is the best dog for you if you want a great lap dog and a very rare chance to become best friends for life.


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