Smartest dog breeds: how smart is your Morkie?

Smartest dog breeds: how smart is your Morkie?

Ever wonder, ‘how smart are dogs?’ And are Morkies and their parents among the smartest dog breeds?  Most Morkie owners would tell you, when it comes to intelligence, my Morkie is Genius! but let’s find out.

Dogs are very smart, say experts. But each in their own way.

Canine Intelligence is measured on 3 dimensions

Instinctive intelligence

or a dog’s ability to perform the tasks it was bred for, such as herding, pointing, fetching, guarding, or supplying companionship. Yes, snuggling counts.

Adaptive intelligence

means a dog’s ability to solve problems on his own. In other words, the dog’s ability to independently problem solve and learn from previous experiences.

Working and obedience intelligence

refers to a dog’s ability to learn from humans. How well does he do when taught by a human? How much does he remember?

So just how smart are MORKIES?

A lot depends on how much Yorkie is in your Morkie, versus Maltese.

Yorkies originated in the terrier family. They tend to be more aggressive than many other dogs. They also tend to be smarter, more loyal and yes, louder! Terriers were bred to think and to work. It’s part of their heritage.

Yorkshire terriers may not be the Einsteins of the canine world, but they are intelligent. Very intelligent, actually, according to the Official Yorkie Guide. Tracy Barr and Peter F. Veling agree in “Yorkshire Terriers for Dummies,” saying that while they’re not up there with the smartest of the smart dogs like border collies and poodles, Yorkies’ intelligence is well above average.

from The Nest: Pets

Maltese, on the other hand, are not terriers, and so don’t have that same strong, instinctive intelligence. They were bred as lapdogs, not to work. So intelligence – obeying commands, performing tasks – just wasn’t as important in developing the breed.

morkie kissing a yorkie

However…

If smart is defined as doing what the dog is taught, then a good argument can be made that the so-called super smart dogs, like German Shepherds, aren’t necessarily SMART, but they’re GOOD at doing what they’re told.

“Dumb” may really be independence or stubbornness, even aloofness.

Here’s how dogs compare, breed by breed. 

In his groundbreaking book, The Intelligence of Dogs, Dr. Stanley Coren, a professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, helps us understand dog brainpower.

Through extensive testing based on the 3 dimensions of canine intelligence, he was able to rank 132 registered breeds on a smart scale.

Since his work, updated in 2006, other assessment methods have been developed. They are aligned to what Dr. Coren discovered.

The Border Collie is generally accepted as the smartest dog, across all 3 components of canine intelligence.

Yorkies rank quite high – #27 out of the 132 breeds tested. That puts him in the top 20%. 

Maltese are just about midway, ranking 59th smartest dog.

Someone has to be last 🙁  That’s the beautiful Afghan Hound, ranked at #132.

Top 10 Smartest Breeds

Border Collie
Poodle
German Shepherd Dog
Golden Retriever
Doberman Pinscher
Shetland Sheepdog
Labrador Retriever
Papillon
Rottweiler
Australian Cattle Dog

10 Least Smart Breeds

Basset Hound
Mastiff
Beagle
Pekingese
Bloodhound
Borzoi
Chow Chow
Bulldog
Basenji
Afghan Hound

Want to test your Morkie’s smarts?

WikiHow shows you how to conduct some standard tests that help rate your dog’s IQ. Read more about dog intelligence testing here.

The Greatest Gift

The Greatest Gift

As we approach the Christmas season, let’s take a moment to be thankful for one of our greatest gifts, our dogs. There’s simply no other animal on earth that we love as much.

Dogs are unique, in the position they’ve taken in our hearts and minds. From that mythical wolf club thousands of years ago, who captured the imagination of that Neanderthal by the fire, dogs have grown to be an integral part of our lives. And for that gift, we’re truly thankful.

He’s the funniest little guy I’ve ever met. The way he picks up random objects and tries to hide them, physically sits on a kitchen chair and eventually makes his way up to sitting on the table. He just does the funniest things.

Humans domesticated dogs and dogs domesticated humans.

Rock art depicting man hunting with dogs. Tadrart Acacus, Libya. An early cave painting in Libya of dogs chasing a deer in the Akakus Mountains. Photo courtesy of Peter Boekamp and the Bradshaw Foundation.

Why are humans and dogs so good at living together?

According to Psychology Today, dogs have a special chemistry with humans that goes back many tens of thousands of years. Researchers investigated this special evolutionary relationship from a number of different angles. Their results are surprising.

Domestic dogs are descended from wolves so recently that they remain wolves in all biological essentials, including their social behavior. Wolf packs have some intriguing parallels with human families:

They are territorial.

They hunt cooperatively.

Pack members are emotionally bonded and greet each other enthusiastically after they have been separated.

Dogs are extraordinarily attentive and have an uncanny ability to predict what their owners will do, whether getting the dog a meal or preparing to go on a walk. Experiments show that dogs and wolves can be astute readers of human body language using the direction of our gaze to locate hidden food a problem that is beyond chimps.

Dogs also seem attuned to the emotional state of their masters and express contrition when the owner is annoyed, for example. Otherwise, the capacity to express affection – unconditionally – makes the dog a valued “family member.”

Dogs acted as human’s alarm systems, trackers, and hunting aides, garbage disposal facilities, hot water bottles, and children’s guardians and playmates. Humans provided dogs with food and security. The relationship was stable over 100,000 years or so.

I have never felt forever love like this before. He makes me feel like his favorite person in the world every single day. Just the look in his eyes and his excitement when he sees me always makes my heart happy.

When humans pet dogs, their bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with not only happiness, but bonding and affection as well.

  • from a study conducted by J.S.J Odendaal in 2003

10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me – it is crucial to my well being.

4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.

5. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.

6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.

7. Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.

8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.

9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.

10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I cannot bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death. Remember that I love you.

Your Morkie’s amazing nose

Your Morkie’s amazing nose

A dog’s sense of smell is amazing. Dogs have 300 million scent receptors compared to our 6 million, and can smell early stages of cancer, a diabetic attack, even 1 bedbug deep in a mattress.  There’s only one word to describe a dog’s sense of smell:

amazing

It’s hard to picture just how powerful a dog’s sense of smell can be: anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 better than ours!

Picture 2,000,000 barrels of apples. Your Morkie could snuff out ONE BAD APPLE from the 2 million barrels!

 

rotten apple

Who smelled it better?

OK, to recap: the number of receptor cells that make up a dog’s sense of smell: 300,000,000. In people, 6,000,000.  A dog’s ability to process that sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more efficient than ours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times bigger.

Keep your Morkie’s nose in good shape – read more.

Just look at what Morkies can snuff out!

  • bedbugs – even just one, deep in a mattress
  • early stage cancer in small samples of human urine, saliva or expelled breath
  • the spikes and drops in human blood sugar that is diabetes
  • dogs can smell fear, anxiety, even sadness
  • adrenaline, so they know if someone’s about to run
  • a dog can detect CDs and DVDs (layers of ‘polycarbonate plastic) in bags and packages, inside a truck. These dogs alert police to large stashes of pirated movies
  • narcolepsy service dogs can detect a subtle biochemical change in the form of an odour when an attack is coming on
  • migraines – dogs can alert sufferers up to 2 hours ahead, that a headache is on its way

We come home and smell beef stew cooking. Your Morkie can smell each and every spice, ingredient and liquid — separately. According to author (“Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know”) and dog expert Alexandra Horowitz, while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth. Another dog scientist explains that dogs smell in 3-D; each nostril can register different scents separately.

Nose to nose who wins out?

Dogs – 1 zillion

People – 7

Happy Morkie Valentine’s Day!

Happy Morkie Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day Morkie fans! A couple of reminders for the day to keep your Morkie safe….

Chocolate can literally kill your Morkie!

It’s the Theobromine in chocolate that can poison your Morkie.  The darker the chocolate, the more deadly. Just a single square of Baker’s Chocolate can be enough to cause serious illness and even death, according to Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Typical early symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, bloated stomach and restlessness. This usually happens 1 to 4 hours after the dog has eaten chocolate. Without treatment, seizures and muscle spasms follow, then cardiac failure (coma) and death. If you suspect your Morkie has had chocolate, get him to the Vet or emergency clinic right away.

 

 

Dogs can’t eat candy

 

Morkies are sweet enough! Even if the candy doesn’t have chocolate in it, high levels of sugar can send your Morkie into a mild diabetic coma. Plus, getting him used to sweet treats sets the stage for annoying begging, tooth decay and overweight. Remember, no Porkie Morkies 🙂

 

Artificial sweetener can be deadly for dogs

Xylitol is a next-generation sweetener that is in a lot of foods and treats. And it’s very toxic for pets. Although Xylitol is found naturally in berries, plums, etc. even small amounts of Xylitol in the manufactured form, can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or death in dogs.

 

 

6 more things that can make your Morkie very sick

  1. alcohol of any kind – wine, beer, liquor
  2. grapes and raisins – experts don’t really know why, just that only a couple of grapes or raisins can lead to seizures, coma and death
  3. Macadamia nuts can bring on vomiting, tremors, joint pain and diarrhea. They’re extremely toxic for dogs.
  4. Garlic and onions are surprisingly toxic to dogs and cats. That’s because they contain chemicals that damage red blood cells in some animals, to the point where the cells can’t carry oxygen throughout the body. Cooking these foods does not make them any safer.
  5. Avocado, especially the pit, will bring on severe diarrhea and vomiting in your Morkie.
  6. Cellophane, ribbons and glittery stuff that chocolates and gifts are wrapped in, can get lodged in your dog’s intestine, making expensive emergency surgery necessary to save his life. Keep all wrappings out of harm’s way.
Should you breed your Morkie?

Should you breed your Morkie?

The short answer is No, and here’s why.

Ethical breeding isn’t a hobby. People who work hard to breed purebred dogs, or in this case, cross breeds of two purebreds, have invested a lot of learning, money and effort into what they do. And once the puppies are born, can you devote at least 8 solid weeks to the puppies’ care, night and day? Do you have buyers for the pups?  Dog breeding is very complex, and it can be very expensive too.

 

Over population.  There are waaaaay too many dogs and puppies in shelters… adding your own litter means fewer of those dogs have a chance.

The ASPCA  estimates that in U.S. Animal Shelters alone, 3 to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year, simply because there’s no room for them. That’s more than 7 pets every minute, every day. 

 

 

 

Your pet should be spayed or neutered for health’s sake. 

 

Females that haven’t been spayed have a 25% greater chance of dying of cancer. Females that haven’t been spayed can quickly develop Pyometra, a deadly uterine infection.  (http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/)

Male dogs who have been neutered live, on average, 40% longer. Plus they can’t of course, get testicular cancer.

 

“But I want my kids to see the miracle of birth.”

Sure, the birth part is a miracle. But what about the life after birth? If the puppies don’t land in a good home, or if you sell them to people you don’t know and have not screened, then that’s a hard lesson learned for the dogs. And it might even teach kids that life is cheap. There are lots of great videos on birth and some shelters have live webcams of birthing.

 

This sums it up.

 

The #1 Cause of Dog Poisoning

The #1 Cause of Dog Poisoning

Dogs can be poisoned in the blink of an eye — getting into antifreeze in the garage, eating mouse poison, digging through your cleaning closet….

But by far, the #1 cause of poisoning in dogs:

 

people medications

 

 Nationwide pet insurance (formerly known as VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, has analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to find the sources behind the hundreds of poisoning claims submitted to Nationwide pet insurance every month.

Precautions

people meds can kill pets

  • always keep your medicines – both prescription and over-the-counter, far away from your dog’s access
  • if you a drop a pill, FIND IT!
  • watch when you’re packing to travel – pills are often temporarily left where they could be nabbed

Read more and protect your dog

How to make your dog vomit

If you suspect your Morkie has eaten something poisonous, call your Vet or local poison center right away. They may encourage you to get your dog to throw up with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water.

Click to download how to make an anti-poisoning kit at home and keep it handy.

When you should NOT get your dog to vomit

  • your dog is unconscious or is having trouble breathing
  • he is exhibiting signs of serious distress or shock
  • you suspect he ingested corrosives or caustic — which include:
    • strong acids, drain cleaner, bleach, dishwashing machine powder, rat and rodent poison, antifreeze, perfume, mouthwash, or anything made from petroleum products — paint thinner, paint.

People food and plants poisonous to dogs

Read more about protecting your Morkie from:

Download this list of people food that’s poisonous or just not so great, for your dog.

And note a new danger – sugar free chewing gum. Most of it is made with XYLITOL, which is highly toxic to dogs. If it says sugar-free, don’t buy it!

sugar free gum

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