Australia, blogging

Dogs with High Intelligence

Many people claim their animals understand them: both the words they speak to their dogs and their meaning. It is claimed that Schnauzer Dogs are so intelligent, they may have a vocabulary of over 50 words!

Schnauzer dogs

However softly I say to the Moth, “Shall we go for a walk now?” – the Schnauzers will hear this and come running from the furthest reaches of the house, signalling their excitement and concurrence, with short high-pitched barks of excitement, the older one ballerina dancing on her hind legs then executing a quick Downward Dog Stretch any Yoga teacher would be proud of, as if to say – “I am ready to go too!”


The Schnauzer is Emotionally close to its Owners

Not only would I propose my Schnauzer is in synch with my body’s biorhythms, but the Schnauzers have extraordinary hearing.

Even though her doggie bed is located in the neighbouring room, she hears when I roll over in bed to wake up, even before I have opened my eyes! I have said nothing, done nothing and she hears all!

How does she know I am awake?

She hears me inhale a deep breath as I begin to wake up!

The Miniature Schnauzer

As soon as I take that breath, I hear scratching at her door a millisecond later! This dog is linked so closely to me she knows that I am awake and scratches at the door telling me she wants to come and say ‘Good Morning. Of course, it must be time for her Breakfast.

They KNOW Every move you MAKE, every Breath you take…you know the rest…

Schnauzers are renowned for being food-obsessed and I see no evidence to dispute that claim.

Standard Schnauzer’s Instinctive Intelligence

The Standard Schnauzer may have the highest instinctive intelligence out of the three [sizes of Schnauzer]. That’s because they were bred for many things, making them some of the most versatile working dogs you can find! They really did it all. ›

There is no doubt pets bring a special element to your life, but a schnauzer, is so human-like, it even regards itself as human.

I had a Standard Schnauzer some years back. That Dog could tell the time.

When I was working on the desktop computer, writing a post on my blog, and the clock passed 4.59 pm, she would enter the study, put her head underneath my arm, (which was invariably positioned on the computer’s mouse), and flick my hand off the computer mouse, with her powerful neck muscles.

She was letting me know it was time to start arranging or cooking dinner for the evening. Until I cooked my own dinner, she would not get hers, so there was a definite incentive for her to assist in this timely reminder!


dog on computer
A Schnauzer Working from Home

In the early years, she would be in the habit to get up from her slumber and come and tell me it was 2.40 pm which meant it was time to down tools and go and pick the kids up from school. Without fail!

What is it about pets that can turn the most unemotional, stoically, clinical person into a blubbering, child-like swooner full of soft and fuzzy ga-ga baby talk?

I have not worked out what their magic is, but I know that I was infected with this obsessional ‘bug’, the moment I laid eyes on a schnauzer.

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53 thoughts on “Dogs with High Intelligence”

  1. I shall be forgiving of your wild drooling, Amanda, because I understand that all committed pet-owners are ever thus. 😀
    Not a dog person me, but I do like ’em.
    My cats, one after the other, have had much the same brain-softening effect on me.
    It’s all to do with who we are, what kind of people we are.
    ‘Nuff said.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Brain-drooling is right, but nevertheless that dog knows what is happening in my body!
      I think there is a twain between hard-core cat and hard core dog owners. Those that dislike any pet are people that one might have cause to be wary of. Agreed?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DEFINITELY. Every time my friends have taken me to the Drysdale plant markets of a Sunday, I’ve had the loveliest time smooching on all the dogs there – especially the staffies, ’cause I LOVE staffies ! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Do you, M-R? Having been through an attack on not one but two of my dogs by a violent Staffy, I can’t say I like them or trust them. But, I have seen one Staffy that was well trained so it is possible to find a calm one. The trouble with them is they are often bred by non-reputable backyard breeders and they are immune to pain when they in attack mode. I find that scary. In the midst of the dog attack, the Staffy would not release its jaws from around the neck of our dog, no matter what we did to it. It only let go when it was good and ready. That is worrisome in a powerful dog.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! That is funny, Janis. I can imagine your Mum saying, Can you wash up the Asian cooking device?” Australian shepherds are I think the smartest in certain dog intelligence tests. They have a very strong drive to herd, don’t they?


        1. I didn’t even notice you had misspelt it, Janis! I just wrote my comment in response! Now I see it. All good.
          I often misspell something through making a typo and always see them after I hit send! When it is a comment on someone else’s blog, you can’t do anything about it! I should proofread my comments better.
          So the dog used to herd you? Would it bite at your heels?


    1. Thanks, Ineke. We are a little bit blind to other dog breeds but I don’t think people quite realize the bond a Schnauzer will create within hearts! They win over the toughest cat lovers and dog haters!
      Give Trompie a pat from me and Heidi. Tell him we said hi!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My dog is now very deaf and relies on my hand gestures to indicate what might come next. He too indicates with his body what he desires .Licking his mouth is ; I want food and I am hungry. Looking at he door; I want to go outside. A wave of my hand and he goes upstairs.
    I would not like to live without my dear Jack Russell. I think they are the most intelligent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post made me sentimental, as I still mourn the loss of my own miniature schnauzer nearly 4 years ago. Like the German shepherd I had in my youth, he was extremely intelligent and sentient. But that seems to hold true for all canines. I don’t know what it is about dogs, but they endear themselves to so many people and are an ingrained part of just about every culture.

    As for their intelligence, consider this: they seem to comprehend many words that we humans utter. How much of their vocalizations do we understand? It may be that they just learn to match the sound of a certain word to a particular object or activity. But that still requires some level of mental acuity.

    Along with their intelligence, dogs have been proven to keep people calm. Documented studies have shown people’s heart rates slow when they are in the mere presence of a dog – or most any animal for that matter. I think even cats and horses can have the same effect. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats, and horses are just too distant for me right now. They’re also far more expensive to keep. Thus I will stick with dogs.

    I consider myself a canine expert, having done years of extensive research on them. They originated in North America between 38 and 26 million years ago as a species called Hesperocyon. They then progressed from there through eons of evolution, eventually resulting in a species called Eucyon about 9 million years ago. Eucyon migrated across the Bering Strait some 6 to 4 million years ago into northeastern Asia and evolved into Canis lupus (the gray wolf), which migrated throughout Asia and into Europe and Africa where it metamorphosed into a large variety of wolf-like animals. That’s why zoologists declare that all dogs descend from wolves.

    It’s also one reason why I named my schnauzer Wolfgang and told people I honestly believed he was actually a previously-unidentified species of canine: a miniature wolf. My own love for dogs is represented by a wolf’s head tattoo on my upper right shoulder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Alejandro! Thanks ever so much for teaching me about the history of the dog. It is so interesting that they migrated from North American back to Asia!
      I am sure dogs domesticated us not the other way around. Whilst they are subservient to us, it is always in their interests to be so. They appear to have learnt that if they are their needs will be best met. Plus they identify and search for a pack leader. They can’t operate in a democracy! Which I also find interesting.
      I can understand you still mourn your Schnauzer and I hope one day, another Schnauzer finds you. I do belive dogs find their owners in some ethereal way. Not the other way around! Wolfgang is rightly honoured by your tattoo. I am sure he was a wonderful companion.
      The horse has proved to be another valuable companion to humans and appears to have a level of understanding of our behaviour that most people don’t credit them for, however, as you pointed out, they are very expensive to keep and the skills needed to maintain a horse are not always understood. In years gone by, they must have been excellent companions to people on rural properties who would not have rural interactions with other people for weeks on end?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When Eucyon migrated across the Bering Strait, a number of large animals followed them: felines, equines, bears, etc. From what I understand the ancestors of all those animals first appeared in North America. Interestingly, Eucyon was the only mammal known to move back across the Bering into North America.

        When and where dogs were first domesticated – that is, when wolves became dogs – is unknown. But it’s likely it occurred several times over centuries in places all over the globe, which only proves that humans realized something special about these animals.

        Dogs, indeed, have highly-refined hearing; another characteristic of evolution that helped them become top predators. Their olfactory senses did the same. Generally, humans have about 5 million scent receptors; dogs have about 65 million. Early canines also developed an extra bone in the back of their necks, which scientists now realize allowed them the ability to thrash the neck upon ripping into other animals’ flesh. That’s why dogs’ heads can rotate pretty widely.

        I don’t know if I’ll ever adopt another miniature schnauzer. Just like with that German shepherd we used to have, I’m afraid I’ll end up comparing the new puppy to the old one. I’m not in a position right now to adopt another dog, even though I feel one would be good for my soul. Someday though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Interesting fact about the neck and having seen my old schnauzer kill a feral kitten by shaking it with it in her mouth (not good) – I can imagine there was quite some force exerted on her own neck.
          Some day I hope you will be tempted to adopt another dog, Alejandro. There is no doubt that one does compare new dogs to old, but in a good way. Their personalities are each so very different that it is like the slate has been wiped clean for me and it does not bring me heartache, only joy when I think of what my old Schnauzer would do in the same situation. My daughter’s new puppy is like a firecracker on speed and I haven’t had that in a dog before so a new personality to reckon with! It is a lot of fun. Never a dull moment. Do you think she might settle down as she matures?


          1. Each dog has its own personality. I adopted Wolfgang from a former friend/roommate who had bought him after he was forced to put down his older mini schnauzer in 2002. When the friend and I parted ways at the start of the following year, he said he’d be forced to give up the new puppy. I had already grown attached to him by then, and we agreed I’d take him. I hadn’t planned on getting a dog and wasn’t truly prepared for it. But, as difficult as it was in those early days, taking Wolfgang remains one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my 50+ years on Earth. My friend left me with about USD 700 debt, but I got the dog!

            I don’t think your daughter’s new puppy will easily change personalities. Like human personalities, animal personas seem to be set at birth. Wolfgang was considerably more rambunctious and vocal than my friend’s older dog – and not just because he was a puppy. Wolfgang remained loud and downright mean until the day he died. He was even noisier than the German shepherd we had! I keep thinking, if those 2 dogs are together with my parents in the Great Beyond, Joshua is looking at Wolfgang and saying, ‘Who the hell are you and why are you so damned loud?’

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Haha. Lol at Joshua’s comment to Wolfgang in the hereafter. I guess I had better get used to the high pitched bark and the growling that sure sounds like the human word No, when I try to move Athena off the sofa! Still, my daughter is on the quiet side so I think it is great that her dog is so extraverted. Our current Schnauzer on the other hand is very quiet and withdrawn since she was attacked. I think she suffers from PTSD as she was much more confident prior to the dog attack.


  4. Methinks all of us who find it difficult to live without canine company have a multitude of memories which make us smile years later. As it happened, whilst my two daughters were growing from babyhood to teenage, we shared home with a supposedly ‘miniature’ black-and-white gourmet dachshund paired with an incorrigible caramel-and-white almost twice-his-size Pembroke corgi. Sir Tobias Slurp (well, Toby !) the dachsie, was not only the boss of Charlie but the whole house. That look ! That imperious bark ! We seemed to bake a lot of duck and pork in those days . . . those two could be on another floor . . . the moment the baking tray was loaded into the oven one could hear Toby’s command to Charlie – they would sit, side by side, not moving an inch in front of the wall oven and look at the window too high for them naturally , , , for two, three hours one literally had to step over that pair ! Absolutely no movement, just that look ! I guess they deserved their part of the ‘family dinner; first . . . I can ‘see’ them now . . .


    1. That is an amazing story of perserverance on behalf of the dogs waiting for a slice of the roast dinner. Would they receive some for their determination?
      That story reminds me of my former standard schnauzer who would sit like this in the garden if she spied a possum or cat that had entered or might be likely to enter her territory. She would sit on guard for hours making sure that she either caught the invading animal or that she kept it out of our yard! Her dedication and focus was always inpiring!


      1. What do you think ? !! Don’t think my girls would have sat down to dinner before they had fed ‘the best bits’ to the boys . . . Well, they learnt to share . . . Perhaps the less, or perchance more, funny story one remembers has to do with the pups having their baskets in our bedroom . . . and Charlie becoming somewhat interested in nocturnal activities there when the house fell quiet ! A little awkward when two of the male species seek participation , , , 🙂 ! Some cold winter night hours for both on the verandah I am afraid . . .


        1. “Dogs behaving badly whilst owners sleep.” That would make a good headline. What antics would they get up to? I have always had my dogs sleep in a neighbouring room – laundry, bathroom etc. If I have them in the same room as me, they invariably wake me up in the middle of the night, many times! Either directly licking my hand or snoring! It is lovely to have them there but they disturb me too much. Many Schnauzer owners have to share the bed with their dogs! So persistent are the little devils!


    1. Hello, fellow Schnauzer lover, Lekkervurigeaffere. So glad to meet another kindred spirit that understands my love for this breed. Only last night I was throwing one of the puppy’s soft toys down the hallway, teaching her to retrieve and drop the retrieved object which was a stuffed llama. I found myself saying, ” Taa for Llama,” much the way I would speak to a human baby or toddler!! She of course responded!


  5. I loved this post, I have three and I miss them a lot while I am living for a while in Qazaqstan. They would have come, but then my son offered to look after them due to the long flights they would have to take. Holidays in SA we are, as always, inseperatable.


    1. Three Schnauzers? How adorable, Christa. I can imagine it was difficult saying goodbye to them when you left to go overseas. Did they all get along together? Did one stay more dominant over the others?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A fascinating post, Amanda. Your description about softly saying “shall we go for a walk now?” and how your dogs express their excitement made me smile. Like you say, the Schnauzer is particularly in synch with your body’s biorhythms. You remind me how if I were to live my life over again, I would make sure to learn more about the breed of the dog we adopt. After reading your post, a schnauzer would be high on my list. I especially like the photos you have added. Thank you for sharing an entertaining and informative post.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for such a comprehensive and thoughtful comment, Eric/ka. I am a little Schnauzer obsessed and we do spend a lot of time with our dogs. But the dogs have given back to us more than they take, and in bucketloads. We have a raft of new friends and activities, (when Covid is done), to attend that we have met via the dogs. The Schnauzers are, one could say, breed snobs. They do get on so well with other schnauzers but can be aloof with other breeds! After having several other breeds of dog, I would not look at anything other than a Schnauzer! They envelop one’s heart with their endearing nature and antics.
      What kind of dogs have you had in the past, if any?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Amanda, We had a terrier/poodle mix for 17 years. My husband brought her home from work one day. We also had very young children. Many challenges along the way. Something along the lines of hindsight is 20/20. I love reading about your Schnauzers and the love you have for them, leaps from the page.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 17 years is a good age for a dog. In that time, they become an entrenched part of one’s family – almost like an arm or a leg. They are always there for us. That is why it is so heartbreaking when they leave us; it feels like we have lost a part of ourselves. But then another little soul comes along to take its place. So you don’t have a pet at the moment, was that because your previous dog was a handful to manage?

          Liked by 1 person

  7. One popular dog magazine gave schnauzers the centerfold with the caption, “The dog with the human brain.” How accurate. I’m on my 4th, and can never be without a wonderful schnauzerina for long. They are the loves of my life, even if I have to stay on my toes so they don’t “get one” over on me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I am so glad to meet another Schnauzer lover. You are so right – they do act like they are human beings. They are notoriously happy and excitable but can also sulk and give you the disappointed stink – eye. I love them to bits too and would never consider another breed. They have won over my heart. I am on my 3rd and do not want to see the day when I am without one. They complete me!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I can never emphasize how smart schnauzers are. I’ve only had a miniature schnauzer, so I can’t attest to the giant and standard versions. But I know all dogs bear some high level of intelligence and sensibility. I feel, though, you are a better person than me in that I could never have another miniature schnauzer in my life again. For the same reason I could never have another German shepherd, I would probably constantly comparing to the new dog to the old one and I don’t feel that would be fair.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I understand, Alejandro. I gave myself a year before losing my heart dog (schnauzer) and was determined to find the wonder in my new puppy, never to compare her. That would only be bad for us both. Even though, after 4 years, I still grieve my Lexi, Xena constantly amazes me and fills me with love.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Still missing my standard Schnauzer form four years ago. But now have my daughters puppy and my mini Schnauzer to love but they will never be the same as Tiffany. Every dog is different and they do help a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

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