The first test is simple. At a time when you would not normally take your dog for a walk, grab your keys, leash or whatever you normally snatch on your way out for a stroll. Make sure your dog is watching, and take note of her reaction. If she gets excited, give her three points. If it takes her until you get to the door, give her two points. If she ignores you, looks confused or goes back to sleep, give her one point — or tell yourself that she is too independent to care. Your dog gets two bonus points if she tells you when to go for a walk.
The second test gets trickier. Put your dog in a different room and rearrange the furniture. If she goes right to her favorite spot, she scores three points. If she investigates and finds her spot in under 20 seconds, two points. If she settles for a new spot with a huff, one measly point.
The 3rd test: Grab a large towel or blanket and gently throw it over your dog’s head. If she gets out of this predicament in one to 15 seconds, give her three points. If it takes 15 to 30 seconds, two points. If she is still sitting there hours later wandering around with a cape, you either have a dog with the patience of a saint or she gets one lousy point.
The 4th test: Grab a treat, call your dog, and put the treat under a chair or piece of furniture low enough so that your dog can only fit a paw but not her head. If she snatches it with her paw in under a minute, give her three points. If she resorts to using her muzzle and paw, give her two points. If she only uses her muzzle and gives up, it’s one point. On the other hand, if your dog makes no effort to get the treat and stares at you, then at the treat, then back at you with an expression of disdain, give her five points and get that treat out for her.
16-plus points: Put a freeze on your credit cards and change the locks, because your dog is probably way smarter than you are. Who knows? Maybe this whole test was her idea.
13 to 16: I’m not saying your dog is a genius, but she is way above average.
9 to 12: Brains aren’t everything. After all, smart dogs require a lot more mental stimulation and tend to get into more trouble without regular training and exercise, so consider yourself lucky. Average is good.
5 to 8: Love can’t be measured by numbers or intelligence. Being below average is just fine, and besides, the test was probably rigged anyway, right?
1 to 4: Your pup isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box, but who cares? You love her and she loves you.