Is there a quick way to test for a dog’s smartness?
Yep, you can easily test his problem-solving ability:
Put a cookie under the sofa and see if he tries more than one way to get at it. Does he twist his head around? Twist his body? Use his paws to try and reach it? Run to you for assistance? If he tries multiple strategies when the first one doesn’t work, he’s a good problem solver.
Another way is simply to observe how fast your dog “gets it.” How many repetitions does it take him to learn behaviors such as sit, lie down, stay, tricks, fetch Mr. Squeaky Carrot, etc.? Dogs will fall in a bell curve, all things held equal (such as the trainer’s skill and how easy the dog is to motivate), so the quicker he picks up what you’re asking him to do, the smarter he probably is.