mental exercise for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
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Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels smart or dumb?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are generally considered lap dogs, bred specifically to be a playmate, bed warmer, and companions. Thus, the breed does not have a specific job such as hunting, retrieving, or guarding. They love to cuddle and be petted. At the same time, does this mean that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not smart? Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels smart or rather not?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is considered intelligent, cuddly, and fond of children. According to the method of Stanley Coren (PhD from the University of British Columbia), the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is averagely intelligent and ranks 44th place. It is thus ahead of breeds such as the Pug, the French Bulldog, or the Beagle.

Criteria for measuring the intelligence of dogs

Before determining whether a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is smart or intelligent, we must first look at the method Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia used to determine intelligence in dogs.

In his evaluation, he received support from the American and Canadian Kennel Club (AKC) judges.

Criteria for evaluating intelligence in dogs:

#1 How fast a dog can learn a new command

How many repetitions does a dog need to learn a new command, e.g., “down”? According to this method, the dogs with the fewest repetitions are the more intelligent ones.

#2 Success rate with which a dog performs a known command safely

How often does your dog safely perform a known command, for example, “down,” on the first try?

According to this method, the Border Collie, the Poodle, the German Shepherd, and the Golden Retriever occupied rankings 1 to 4.

On the one hand, it is undoubtedly a good method to determine how intelligent a dog is. On the other hand, the stubbornness factor is not included.

Just because a dog won’t sit right down for a treat doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less intelligent than a dog that will do anything for treats.

For some breeds, sitting down for a piece of cheese doesn’t make sense. They are more stubborn in that case and don’t see the point in being eager to please you. These breeds are just more challenging to “train.”

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels smart or dumb?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is generally considered to be intelligent. Even measured by Stanley Coren’s method, he does not do badly.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ranks 44th and thus falls into the moderately intelligent category.

Specifically, this means that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel learns a new command after 25 to 40 repetitions.

A known command he has executed 50% or more the first time. This puts the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the same category as the Australian Shepherd (42), Siberian Husky (45), or Rhodesian Ridgeback (52).

Compared to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, let’s look at the top 3.

In 1st to 3rd place are the Border Collie, the Poodle, and the German Shepherd, which must repeat a new command less than five times to learn it.

Also, the success rate of executing a known command on the first attempt lies at over 95%.

These are impressive numbers, which of course, have something to do with the extreme eagerness to please in these breeds.

are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels dumb
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Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels easy to train?

The method and evaluation of Stanley Coren are, in my opinion, good indicators to determine if Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are easy to train.

Of course, there is always room for improvement, but if a dog has learned a new command after about 25 repetitions and then executes it with a success rate of 50% – 70%, it is a relatively easy dog to train, in my opinion.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is considered intelligent and easy to train. For this reason, it is also an ideal dog for first-time owners.

We have 2 Mastiff-type-breeds (Molosser) that I consider intelligent on the one hand but, on the other hand, are sometimes incredibly stubborn.

They sometimes want to get their way and do not immediately do what they want. They learn a command relatively quickly but tend to ignore me from time to time completely. Then the often-described loving consequence is needed. They are simply Molossers.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have to be smart?

Before considering how smart or intelligent a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is, you should first ask yourself if he must be smart.

Typically all dog breeds are intelligent well to meet our needs. Whether I train a command five times with my Golden Retriever or 25 times with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is irrelevant. There are maybe 20 minutes in between until both dogs have learned a new command.

Much more important are other aspects that need to be correct. Knowing how much exercise a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs or if a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be left alone when you are working is essential.

Grooming can also be a challenge. It is essential to know if a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sheds heavily or if a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel smells.

Conclusion: Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels intelligent?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are considered intelligent and cuddly. According to Stanley Coren’s method, they rank 44th and are thus of average intelligence. A known command he performs 50-70% confidently the first time. For a new command, they need between 25 and 40 repetitions to learn it.

@ Carmelka-depositphotos.com (contribution picture)

I am Marco with my Cane Corso and my Broholmer

Marco

I am Marco, and I am very lucky to live with 3 big Mastiff-type dogs. In this blog, I want to share all my experiences and knowledge about dogs.

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