How Smart is a Chihuahua Compared to Me?


By Bernie on 01 Mar 2013

stoopid chihuahua

Whenever I write anything about Chihuahuas, or as I call them chiWAWAs (see my Chihuahua articles here), some doink will leave a comment belittling my intelligence while elevating the IQ of the whiny, shaking little pests to levels reserved for Nobel Laureates.

Case in point: in response to my article Are Chihuahuas Smart Dogs or Plain Stupid, a reader from Sydney, Australia wrote:

The person who wrote this post must really have no idea how the mechanics of any being works. Does it not make sense that a small creature would indeed have a small brain?? It doesn't entirely mean because it has a small brain it lacks intelligence. You have proven that even with a bigger brain you lack intelligence. I'd more so be looking in comparison to body size. So chihuahua's actually have a large brain when you compare there body size to the size of there brain. I've have never been a fan of the breed but after having an abandoned one become apart of my family I learnt one thing for sure!! Any puppy at 13 weeks old that can sit, wait, kiss, wave hello and come all on command and walk by my side without a leash (and be taught all this in a month) can't really be that stupid. I can guarantee this chiuhaha learnt more than you did by this age.


When I wrote that Chihuahuas are stupid because their brains are tiny, that is true. A Chihuahua's brain weighs about 5 grams and generally is no larger than a walnut. However the opposite is not always true. While tiny brains do equate to less intelligence, a large brain size does not necessarily lead to great intelligence. For example, although a Mastiff has a brain size that is many times larger and heavier than a Chihuahua's, the Mastiff is even dumber than a Chihuahua, see list below.

As for comparison to body size, that also does not yield high intelligence. For example, mice have the exact same brain to body mass as humans, 1 to 40 [Source], yet mice are just as dumb as Chihuahuas, which among dogs have the largest brain to body mass of any breed.

It is not my purpose here to explain all the science regarding what properties of the brain lead to high intelligence; the following list will be enough to prove my assertion that Chihuahuas are perhaps the dumbest dogs on this planet:

The Intelligence of Dogs is a book on dog intelligence by Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The book explains Coren's theories about the differences in intelligence between different breeds of dogs.

According to the professor, there are 118 breeds of dogs more intelligent than Chihuahuas (starting with the smartest):

Border Collie
Poodle
German Shepherd
Golden Retriever
Doberman Pinscher
Shetland Sheepdog
Labrador Retriever
Papillon
Rottweiler
Australian Cattle Dog
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Miniature Schnauzer
English Springer Spaniel
Belgian Shepherd Tervuren
Schipperke
Belgian Sheepdog
Collie
Keeshond
German Shorthaired Pointer
Flat-Coated Retriever
English Cocker Spaniel
Standard Schnauzer
Brittany
Cocker Spaniel
Weimaraner
Belgian Malinois
Bernese Mountain Dog
Pomeranian
Irish Water Spaniel
Vizsla
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Puli
Yorkshire Terrier
Giant Schnauzer
Airedale Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Border Terrier
Briard
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Manchester Terrier
Samoyed
Field Spaniel
Newfoundland
Australian Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Gordon Setter
Bearded Collie
Cairn Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier
Irish Setter
Norwegian Elkhound
Affenpinscher
Silky Terrier
Miniature Pinscher
English Setter
Pharaoh Hound
Clumber Spaniel
Norwich Terrier
Dalmatian
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Bedlington Terrier
Fox Terrier (Smooth)
Curly Coated Retriever
Irish Wolfhound
Kuvasz
Australian Shepherd
Saluki
Finnish Spitz
Pointer
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
German Wirehaired Pointer
Black and Tan Coonhound
American Water Spaniel
Siberian Husky
Bichon Frise
English Toy Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniel
English Foxhound
Otterhound
American Foxhound
Greyhound
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
West Highland White Terrier
Scottish Deerhound
Boxer
Great Dane
Dachshund
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Alaskan Malamute
Whippet
Chinese Shar Pei
Wire Fox Terrier
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Ibizan Hound
Welsh Terrier
Irish Terrier
Boston Terrier
Akita
Skye Terrier
Norfolk Terrier
Sealyham Terrier
Pug
French Bulldog
Brussels Griffon
Maltese
Italian Greyhound
Chinese Crested
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Tibetan Terrier
Japanese Chin
Lakeland Terrier
Old English Sheepdog
Great Pyrenees
Scottish Terrier
Saint Bernard
Bull Terrier

And only 13 breeds less intelligent than Chihuahuas:

Lhasa Apso
Bullmastiff
Shih Tzu
Basset Hound
Mastiff
Beagle
Pekingese
Bloodhound
Borzoi
Chow Chow
Bulldog
Basenji
Afghan Hound

Q.E.D.











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