Are Golden Retrievers Smart?

Are Golden Retrievers Smart?

Among the several other attributes of Golden Retrievers, their intelligence is the prominent reason behind their popularity. Furthermore, due to their smartness and higher IQ, it easy to train these dogs. Moreover, although these doges repeatedly proved their intelligence, people frequently raise the question, whether Golden Retrievers are smart or not?

Are Golden Retrievers smart? Undoubtedly, Golden Retrievers are very smart and hold the position of fourth smartest dog breed. Besides this, the IQ of these breeds resembles the two- to the three-year-old baby. Therefore, these dogs can learn more than a hundred words with ease. 

Moreover, being family dogs, Golden Retrievers learned to show expressions. Along with this, these dogs can even identify emotions by analyzing people’s body language.

However, when it fails to cope with the training, you might question the intelligence of your pal. Are you facing a similar problem?

Don’t worry. I will be disclosing some ideas to check the intelligence of your Golden Retriever along with some methods to enhance their smartness further in this article. But before digging into Golden Retriever, let me list the smartest dog breeds first.

What Are The Top 10 Smartest Dogs In The World?

After researching for years, Dr. Coren listed the dog breeds according to their smartness. And thus, the top ten intelligent dog breeds in the world are:

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Austrian Cattle Dog

Furthermore, by analyzing this list, you can know that Golden Retrievers are way smarter than Labrador and Rottweiler. However, Border Collie and Poodle still hold the first two positions in smartness.

Are Golden Retrievers Smart?

Usually, Golden Retrievers inherit intelligent and smart attributes in their genes. And even though, smartness has a deeper meaning than just ease in training. Yet, most owners relate their pets’ lack of response in training with lesser intelligence.

Until Golden Retrievers are healthy and fit, they are smart. And due to their intelligence, these dogs can learn 165 words and show expression. In addition, these breeds can analyze human emotions through body language.

How To Evaluate Golden Retriever’s Intelligence?

Since your pet’s intelligence is always a question, Stanley Coren discovered some ways to detect it. After some research and hard work, this Ph.D. holder canine psychologist conducted his intelligence trials based on two factors. And they are:

  1. Number of repetitions to learn the commands
  2. The dogs that respond to the command in the first attempt have a higher success rate. And they are the most intelligent ones.

Moreover, based on the types of Golden Retrievers, the intelligence of dogs also varies.

How Smart Are Golden Retrievers And Other Dogs?

According to a study, Golden Retrievers were the 4th intelligent dog breeds among 138 other dogs. Hence, they are undeniably the most intelligent dog you can own. Furthermore, the researcher tried comparing these breeds with others and found that:

  • Golden Retrievers are very obedient. And nearly 95% of Retrievers are more likely to respond to their owner’s command on the first try.
  • These dogs can learn commands in lesser time. Hence, you can make your pet familiar with several orders in less than five repetitions. But other dog breeds need about 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new sign.
  • Other dog breeds with average intelligence are five times slower in responding to their owner’s command.

Besides this, there is more than 50% possibility for successful obedience training in Golden Retrievers on the first try.

Furthermore, if you have a Golden Retriever, you may want to know how smart is it. Don’t you?

How To Know How Smart Are Golden Retrievers?

Like humans, you can use different types of tests to check the intelligence of Golden Retrievers. Usually, these tests are easy to perform and accurately detect your pet’s IQ.

Further, there are eight specific tests to know how your pal responds in different conditions. Along with this, every test gives your pal some scores that calculate how smart Golden Retrievers are in the end. Now, let us dig into all eight steps.:

First Test

You can test the speed and thinking ability of your Golden Retriever from this test. And the steps involved in this test are:

  1. Grab a towel and stopwatch.
  2. Cover your Golden Retriever’s head with the towel.
  3. Ensure that the head of your pet is completely covered.
  4. Start the stopwatch simultaneously.
  5. Record the time that your pet takes to free itself.

Along with this, give the score to your pal using the following guide:

Time to free themselves in seconds Score
30 or less 3 points
30-120 2 points
More than 120 1 point

However, when your Golden Retriever fails to free itself, it doesn’t get any point.

Second Test

This test checks the memory of your Golden Retriever through games. Therefore, prepare yourself with treats and some plastic cups before starting.

After you have all the things you need, follow the following steps:

  1. Put a treat in one of the cups. And lift the cup to show your pal.
  2. Repeat the lifting and showing a process for few times.
  3. Then, arrange three plastic cups in an upside-down position.
  4. And place the treat underneath only one cup.
  5. Take your pal for a walk for about 30 secs.
  6. Finally, command your pet to find the treat.

Furthermore, observe the action of your pal and give sores accordingly.:

Action Points
Finds the treat in the first attempt 2
Takes more than two minds to get the right cup 1
Doesn’t detect the treat 0

Third Test

The third test is a little complex one that needs few things like books, bricks, a wide plank, and toys. And you can follow the following steps for this test:

  1. Arrange four bricks, one above the other. And repeat this process to make two blocks of bricks.
  2. Then, keep the wide plank on the top of each brick block.
  3. Put your pal’s favorite treat below the blocks.
  4. Ensure that you have your Golden Retriever’s attention when you keep the treat.
  5. Put a muzzle on your pal.
  6. Command your pal to get their treat.
  7. Note the time your pet takes to retrieve its treat.

More to this, you can also use a couch in place of brick blocks. However, to give point use the guide:

Time to get the treat using their paws Points
Within 2 minutes 4
Within 3 minutes 3
Doesn’t get the treat in the first three minutes 2
Can’t get their treat with the muzzle 1

Furthermore, some dogs don’t even try to get the treat. Hence, they don’t get any points.

Fourth Test

For the fourth test, you need to put in some time and effort. And the steps are:

  1. Take a piece of cardboard as tall as your pal and five feet wide. And attach the ends of the cardboard with a big box that can hold your pet.
  2. Cut three inches wide rectangle in the center of the above cardboard.
  3. Ensure that the rectangular hole is in between the cardboard. That is four inches below the top and four inches above the bottom of the cardboard.
  4. Keep your pal’s favorite treat behind this barrier.
  5. And allow the treat to fall from the window into the cut of the cardboard.
  6. Then, record the time your pal requires to get their treats.

Usually, you can follow the following guidelines while giving points to your pet.

Time to walk through the barrier and get the treat Points
Takes less than 30 secs. 3
Walks to the treat within one minute 2
When its head gets stuck while trying to get the treat 1
Doesn’t even try to get the treat 0


Fifth Test

Generally, this test is the easiest and fastest of all. Furthermore, it requires very little material. And the steps of this test are:

  • Allure your pet by showing the treats.
  • Keep one of the treats on the floor.
  • Cover it with a towel.
  • Command your pet to get it.
  • Note the time your Golden Retriever takes to grab the treats.

And give your pal points using the following guide.:

Time to get the treat Points
Less than 30 seconds 3
Between 30 to 60 seconds 2
Takes longer than 60 seconds. 1

But if your Golden Retriever doesn’t even try to get the treat, it doesn’t get any point.

Sixth Test

The sixth test checks the instinct of your Golden Retriever. Since these dogs are needy breeds, they always want to be around their owner. Hence, using this test, you can know your pal’s possessiveness.

Besides this, this test determines whether your pal is conscious of the change in behavior or not. For this, just grab your keys. And leave the house at an unusual time.

Then, wait for your pal’s reaction. Finally, use a stopwatch to record the time. Moreover, to give point follow the following guide:

The reaction of your Golden Retriever Points
Immediate excitation 3
If your pal reacts only after you reach the door. 2
When your pet shows no reaction and feels confused. 1


Seventh Test

To perform the seventh test, you need to give your Golden Retriever enough time. Further, you need to work a little harder for this test. However, the steps include:

  1. Ask your family or friends to take your pet out for a walk or play.
  2. Then, start rearranging the furniture in your room.
  3. Note the reaction of your pal when it returns to the room.

Further, to give points, you can use:

The reaction of your Golden Retriever Points
Immediately spots its favorite spot 3
Take about 30 seconds to find its favorite spot. 2
Walks-around and starts to sit anywhere. 1

Eighth Test

For this test, find an enclosed space that can only fit the paws of your Golden Retriever. Then, keep your pal’s favorite toy in that place. And finally, note the time that it takes to get the treat.

However, to give points, use:

Time to get the treat Points
Less than a minute 3
Tries getting the treat by pawing or with the nose 2
Cannot get the treat 1
When It doesn’t try to get the treat 0


After you perform all these tests, add all the points that your pal gets. And then, check how smart your Golden Retriever, using the final score.

Total score How smart is your Golden Retriever?
0 Your pal might be sick or sleeping.
1-8 Although your Golden Retriever is a friendly dog, it doesn’t like responding fast or thinks less.
9-12 Your Golden Retriever may be more of a happy and funny dog than a thinker.
13-16 Your pal is intelligent enough and can respond fast in critical circumstances.
16 or more Your pal received an adequate amount of training that makes them obedient, smart, and quick.

Furthermore, Golden Retrievers have different types of intelligence that make them the kids and elders.

What Are Types Of Intelligence in Golden Retrievers?

Owing to their intelligence, Golden Retriever can detect human emotions through their body language. Therefore, your pet hugs, licks, and cuddles with you when they feel you are sad.

Undoubtedly, Golden Retrievers’ contagious smile can enlighten your mood. But do you know your pal has three types of intelligence? 

Depending on nature, training, and smartness, your dog several types of intelligence.:

Instinctive Intelligence

Golden Retriever naturally has this intelligence. Further, based on the objective of your pal’s breeding. It has instinctive knowledge to do the work.

Usually, the purpose of creating Golden Retrievers was to hunt. Thus, they automatically chase the birds and insects to get the prey.

Adaptive Intelligence

Although Golden Retrievers prefer moderate temperature, they can cope with almost all extreme environments due to their denser skin coat. Besides this, these breeds learn to solve problems and defend themselves through the surrounding.

Hence, adaptive intelligence helps your pal to live a trouble-free life.

Working Or Obedience Intelligence

Usually, working or obedience intelligence depends on your effort. And your pet gets this intelligence through training. Therefore, the more you train your pal, the more intelligent it becomes.

Were you familiar with these terms? 

Don’t you feel like giving more time for training your pal?

Why Are Golden Retrievers Smart?

Although there is no doubt in the intelligence of Golden Retrievers, most owners still wonder why Golden Retrievers are smart? 

Therefore, I have some attributes of Golden Retriever that make them smart.:

Golden Retrievers Are Energetic.

As we know, Golden Retrievers are the perfect playing companion for kids. Thus, they have a high energy level. So, these dogs can play all day long.

Furthermore, this energetic dog breed is quick to respond in different dangerous situations. Besides this, these dogs utilize their energy in playing various games to enhance their thinking ability. As a result, Golden Retrievers become smart.

Golden Retrievers Are Excellent Hunters.

When we visit the history of these dogs, breeders created Golden Retrievers for hunting on land and water. Further, to excel in the skill of hunting, these dogs must be sharp, quick, and smart.

Do you think a dumb pet can catch prey or hunt? The answer for sure will be no.

Therefore, intelligence comes genetically to these breeds.

Golden Retrievers Are Easy To Train.

Golden Retrievers are very easy to train. And you can teach them a command in lesser time. Thus, these dogs quickly respond and follow orders.

Besides this, you can also give behavioral train for your pet like potty trainingaggression control trainingtraining to stop them from barking, and bite inhibition training. Furthermore, all these training sessions increase the adaptive intelligence of your pal. Thus, Golden Retrievers will be smart.

Golden Retrievers Understand Their Owners.

Undoubtedly, Owners are the favorite person of Golden Retrievers. And after spending enough time, these dogs develop a strong bond with their owners. Hence, they can analyze the mood of their owners through body language.

Further, these attributes teach emotions that make Golden Retrievers smart.

Golden Retrievers Can Defend In Critical Situation.

Although, Golden Retrievers are friendly most of the time. Yet, they are also quick to show aggression in a critical situation. As soon as your pal suspect threat or danger, it starts barkinggruntingpawing, or even attacks the people.

In addition, Golden Retrievers love their caregivers. So, they work tactfully to protect their owners and save them from danger.

Golden Retrievers Are Instinctive

Owing to the impeccable smelling ability, Golden Retrievers are instinctive. Besides this, they can smell and detect the threat or danger that isn’t visible yet.

Apart from this, the smelling ability of these breeds helps to detect the fluctuation in the health condition of their owners like rising blood pressure, fall of the sugar level, etc. And if you give assistance training to your pet, it can even save lives.

I hope now you know why these breeds are the best dogs.

Is It Easy To Train Golden Retriever?

Training a Golden Retriever requires a lot of time and effort. But after completion of the training, the results will be very satisfying. Further, since Golden Retrievers are too smart, training these breeds isn’t so problematic.

Usually, you can teach your pal new commands within a week. Furthermore, for advanced training like crate training, behavioral training, etc., these dogs take only two to three weeks.

Apart from this, you can also teach your pal different sports and games within a short period. Hence, training Golden Retriever is comparatively easy.

However, sometimes diseases like cancer, joint problems, ear infections, thyroid disorders, constipation, hip dysplasia, or eye diseases can halt the training process. So, regularly take your pet for a health checkup. Apart from this, for success in training, you should always remain calm and consistent during training.

Further, I have some tips to enhance the intelligence of your pal.

How To Nourish Golden Retriever’s Intelligence?

Although Golden Retrievers are naturally intelligent, you should enhance their intelligence with little effort and consideration. Therefore, few tips to promote your pal’s intelligence are:

I hope all these tips are helpful for your pet.

Summing up, when you buy a Golden Retriever, you promise to take all its responsibility. Thus, it becomes your duty to ensure a longer and healthier lifespan for your pet.

Furthermore, while parenting, you may face several problems. And since Golden Retrievers are pets, they can be very needy and mischievous sometimes besides their intelligence. But don’t panic in such conditions.

Remember that through adequate training, your pet will be more intelligent and obedient. So, be cautious about your pal’s training sessions.

Do you think your pal is smart? How smart is it?

If you have any suggestions or queries, please comment them down.

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