Beagles Intelligence – Are Beagles Smart or Dumb?

If you’ve had a beagle for a while or are thinking about getting one, you’ve probably wondered how intelligent your furry friend is, or the breed is as a whole.

You’re not alone if you have.

Beagles are one of the most adorable dog breeds and are a fan favorite among dog lovers.

Whether you currently have a beagle or are looking into adopting, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the beagle’s level of intelligence.

Beagles Intelligence – Are Beagles Smart?

So, the million-dollar question. Are beagles smart?

The simple answer to this question is No and Yes. Based on Stanley Coren’s assessment, the Beagles are not smart.

However, performing your IQ test on your beagle can help you determine if they are. Every dog is different and will have a different level of intelligence.

Beagles are also very intelligent in their own ways. They’re absolutely brilliant when it comes to sniffing out prey for their hunting companion or other scents, and if you consider determination a qualifying factor, they have that too.

It’s important to keep in mind that the IQ test used to gauge a dog’s intelligence has a variety of tasks, but you know your beagle best.

If you think they’re intelligent in ways that the test does not look for, then that’s what matters.

Characteristics of Beagles

Beagles are a popular small dog breed. Most beagles end up weighing anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds when they reach adulthood. They’re also relatively short at usually a maximum of 15 inches tall.

This breed is known to be incredibly friendly with humans and other animals. They’re also curious creatures and will explore and possibly get into mischief if allowed.

Their small size makes them perfect family pets and hunting companions.

Throughout the history of our country, we have commonly used Beagles as hunting companions. In fact, we still use them for this purpose to this very day!

However, due to their smaller size, we only typically use them for hunting small games, such as rabbits and gophers.

Beagles are naturally determined dogs. This attribute makes them incredible hunting dogs.

They’re able to stay focused on the hunt and help their owner catch whatever it is they’re hunting.

Along with their determination, beagles have an impeccable sense of smell.

They’re one of the best “scent” dogs out there. Their strong sense of smell can help them while hunting with a companion and even lead to them discovering things on their own.

How Can You Tell if Your Beagle Is Smart?

If you find yourself wondering if your furry friend is bright, there are a few ways to determine if they are.

Many people base their dog intelligence on how well they follow various commands or how quickly they can learn the orders. For example, teaching your dog to sit is a reasonably easy command.

But others such as rollover or play dead may be more difficult and can show you how smart your dog is.

Other people determine how smart their dog is based on if they believe the dog understands what they’re saying to them. You may tell your dog to get on the bed without pointing to the bed or showing them what to do.

If they do so, we may believe they’re more intelligent than they are. There is no way to prove if the dog actually understands us, though.

Beagles as a breed aren’t considered a very brilliant breed. This is mainly based on Stanley Coren’s intelligence test for dogs. In fact, they rank 131st among the other 138 breeds that were evaluated.

While Stanley Coren’s test ranks beagles in the bottom ten, every dog is different. You may have two beagles, and one seems more intelligent than the other. If you’re interested in giving your dog this intelligence test at home, you can do so.

What Is Stanley Coren’s Intelligence Test?

Before you begin, you may want to know who Stanley Coren is and why people use his criteria for dog intelligence.

Stanley is a psychology professor who has dedicated his life to understanding the bond between dogs and humans.

Through his canine intelligence test, there are three types of intelligence you’re searching for. The three types are adaptive, instinctive, working, and obedience.

To further elaborate on Stanley’s assessment of beagles, they did rank low, but they specifically ranked low for working and obedience intelligence. There’s not much more information regarding where they fell on the spectrum with adaptive and instinctive intelligence.

Adaptive intelligence for dogs means they’re able to fend for themselves. They can assess their environment and determine what they need to do with their situation.

Instinctive intelligence generally comes from the dog’s breed. Some dogs, such as beagles, are going to use their instincts over other forms of intelligence.

For example, it’s an instinct for beagles to sniff out their prey or anything else. This is similar to how guard dogs will instinctively protect their owner.

Last but not least, working and obedience intelligence is how well the dog can learn new commands or tricks. This has a lot to do with repetition and how many times you have to repeat the command before the dog will perform the order.

The IQ Test For Beagles

Just like humans, every dog is different.

Just because the breed as a whole has been ranked low in intelligence doesn’t mean your furry best friend is unintelligent.

It’s essential to remember to reward your beagle with a treat regardless of how they score. If you want to test your dog yourself, here’s how.

Task One

For this first task, you’ll need a blanket or a towel. You’ll want to make sure your dog is comfortable with the blanket or towel before beginning.

Once they’re comfortable, you’ll place it over your dog’s head and see how long it takes him or her to free themself. If they can do this in under 15 seconds, they get three points.

They get two points if they can free themself between 15 and 30 seconds and then one point if it takes longer than 30 seconds.

Task Two

For the next task, you can use the same towel or blanket from the first one. You’ll place a treat on the floor and then cover it with a towel or blanket.

You’ll then time how long it takes your dog to get to the treat.

They will get three points if it takes less than 15 seconds, two points if it takes between 15 and 60 seconds, and anything over 60 seconds gets one point.

Task Three

The third task requires three cups and treats.

Place a treat under one of the cups while your pet is watching, and then begin to move them around. This test will determine their ability to retain information.

If your dog goes to the container with the treat on the first move, they get three points.

Two points are awarded if they guess a wrong container and then the correct one, and one point if he gets it right on the third cup.

Task Four

Place a treat under a piece of furniture that only your dog’s paw can fit under. You’re trying to assess their problem-solving skills with this task.

Your dog gets three points if they can get to the treat in under a minute, two points if they try to use their head, nose, and paws to get to the treat, and one point if they cannot do it or give up.

Task Five

Task five is a little more complex but can be fun for both you and your dog. You’ll need a cardboard box or something similar that you can use as a barricade and something your dog cannot jump into.

Next, you’ll have to cut out a hole that your dog can walk into and a slit to show them a treat from.

Show your dog the treat through the slit in the box and encourage them to walk through the barricade to get to the treat.

Give your dog three points if they can get to the treat in 30 seconds or less, two points if it takes more than 30 seconds, and one point if they try to bulldoze the barricade.


Now, the last thing to do is tally your dog’s points. If your dog scored 13-15 points, they’re probably brilliant.

If they got 9-12 points, they’re still reasonably intelligent but not the smartest. If they scored 5-8 points, they have potential, and less than that, they’re not clever.

Final Thoughts

According to the standard IQ criteria for testing dog intelligence, beagles aren’t that smart.

However, there are different levels of individual brilliance, and beagles show their smarts in their own, unique way.

They may not be the easiest to train to sit or rollover, but they’re intelligent in other ways.

They’re absolutely adept at sniffing out different scents. Every dog is unique, and every breed is different, so determining intelligence is really a case-by-case basis.

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