When you're this cute, you don't need to be smart!

When you’re this cute, you don’t need to be smart!

In my last post, I wrote about how a dog’s intelligence is determined, and how your Morkie stacks up.

Today, you can have some fun by testing your Morkie yourself. Note: Morkies aren’t as food-driven as some larger dogs like Labs and Goldens, so don’t worry if your Morkie doesn’t do that well. For best results, do these tests when your Morkie doesn’t have a full tummy.

First, get a stopwatch or set one on your smartphone. You’ll also need a lightweight, small towel. Go somewhere in your home with the least distractions, and let’s begin.

1. The Towel over the head

This is a classic test.  In one smooth movement, gently toss a light towel over your Morkie’s head. Now time how long it takes him to get free.

  • less than 30 seconds – very smart
  • 31 seconds to 2 minutes – great!
  • more than 2 minutes – better help your dog
  • doesn’t try to get towel off himself – hmmm

2.  Treat under the towel

This time, put his favorite treat under the light towel – be sure he’s

My Morkie is smarter than your kid

My Morkie is smarter than your kid

watching you hide it there. How long does it take for your Morkie to find the treat?

  • less than 30 seconds – very smart
  • 31 seconds to 2 minutes – great!
  • more than 2 minutes – not really interested in the treat

3.  Get ready to go for a walk

This one tests your Morkie’s memory. At a time or day when you don’t normally go for a walk, start your own preparations to go, as usual (get leash, plastic bag, put on shoes, etc)  How does your Morkie react?

  • gets very excited – smart smart dog!
  • doesn’t get it until you’re at the door – pretty good
  • sits looking puzzled – not a great memory

4. Treat in a Box 

Get a cardboard box and cut a small opening at ground level – small enough that your Morkie can get his paws in, but not his head or muzzle. Show him a favourite treat, and put in in the box.

  • Does he use his paws to get the treat out? If so, he’s very, very smart and good at solving problems.
  • Doesn’t try to get the treat? Fairly passive dog and maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • Cries for YOU to get the treat? He’s got YOU trained, and relies on you to navigate much of his world.

It’s all in fun

These tests can indicate very generally how smart your dog is in various skills, such as memory, social response and problem solving. But then you already know that YOUR Morkie is the smartest dog in the universe, no matter how well he does in these tests!

To read more, check out Dr. Stanley Coran’s groundbreaking book, The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions.  It’s fascinating.

Here are some toys from Amazon.com that people buy to stimulate their dog’s brainpower.