If your dog seems to be dumb, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be dumb and what you can do to make it be smarter.

So, why is my dog so dumb? Possible reasons why your dog is so dumb are that it is a less intelligent breed, it didn’t socialize as a puppy, you haven’t trained it or you have trained it incorrectly or you might have been negatively reinforcing the behavior.

There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog is dumb. Once you have a good idea of why it is the case, it will be easier for you to get it to be smarter.

Why your dog is dumb

Each of the different reasons why your dog is dumb will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might be the case and what would make them more likely.

Nature

There are some things that dogs will naturally do that seem stupid to us such as to eat dirt. However, there are often reasons that they do it.

For example, many experts think that dogs sometimes eat dirt since it can contain nutrients that they need or so that they make themselves throw up.

If your dog seems to be doing certain things that are dumb then it is likely that other dogs have done it in the past and you might be able to find an explanation for it online.

It could also be that your dog is a less intelligent breed. If it is then it is likely that you will need to give it more training by starting with the basics in order to get it to follow your command.

Related: Why does my dog walk in front of me?

It didn’t socialize much as a puppy

If your dog did not socialize as a puppy then it might be the case that it did not learn how it is supposed to interact with people and other dogs. In this case, it would help to give it lots of training and to let it socialize where possible.

Related: Why is my puppy lazy?

You haven’t trained it

The reason that it is dumb could be that it hasn’t been given any training. If you have not given your dog any training then it will not know how it is supposed to act. If this is the case then it would help to start giving it training by starting with the basics such as to sit and stay.

You trained it the wrong way

If you did give it training then it might be the case that your training method was at fault. Personally, I would recommend that you use the positive reinforcement training method which is where you reward it when it does things right or shows signs of doing things right.

You haven’t trained it in multiple locations

Sometimes dogs will struggle to follow commands when they are in a new environment. This is often because there are a lot of things going on around it that are distracting it.

When training your dog, it would help to start out by training it somewhere where there are not many distractions and then to build up to training it in more distracting environments.

It needs more exercise

Dogs will generally need a lot of exercise daily. If your dog is not getting the amount recommended for its breed then it would help to make sure that it does. It could be the case that a lack of exercise is causing it to be hyperactive and to struggle to keep its focus on you.

You have been negatively reinforcing the behavior

It could also be the case that you have been inadvertently rewarding it for being dumb. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things that it wants when it does dumb things.

Instead, of rewarding it when it does things that are dumb, it would help to train it to act the way that you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it is dumb.

Things to consider

Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog is dumb. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.

Consider how your dog is dumb

It would help to consider the way in which it is dumb.

For example, It is normal for dogs to bark at things that don’t move. Whereas, if it is dumb in that it doesn’t follow your command then it would be more likely that you need to train it more.

If your dog became dumb suddenly

If your dog started being dumb suddenly then it would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started being dumb.

If you can’t figure out why it has been being dumb then it would help to take it to a vet.

How old your dog is

The age of your dog would also be something to consider.

If it is still a puppy then it will not have learned how it is meant to behave and it will be naturally more curious about things.

Whereas, if it is an adult then it would be more likely that it either has not gotten enough training, it has been negatively reinforced or it needs to be trained in more environments.

How to get your dog to be less dumb

There are a number of things that you can do about your dog being stupid. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.

Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.

Train it using positive reinforcement training

A very popular training method used by dog trainers is positive reinforcement training which is where you reward your dog for behaving the way that it should or for show signs of behaving the way that it should.

I have written about how you can use positive reinforcement training to train your dog to stay here.

You can see more about positive reinforcement training in the video below.

Avoid reinforcing bad behaviors

It would also help to avoid negative reinforcement training which is where you inadvertently reward bad behaviors. If you tend to give your dog things that it wants, when it is dumb, then it would help to avoid doing so and to train it to behave the way that you want it to.

Ensure that you are feeding it correctly

It could be the case that there is something wrong with its diet that is causing it to behave differently. You can look here to see what foods you should and should not be giving your dog.

Ensure that it is getting enough exercise

As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise. You can give your dog exercise by walking it, playing fetch with it or getting a dog walker to do it for you.

Take it to a vet

If you can’t figure out why your dog is being dumb, you can’t get it to stop or it has started doing it suddenly for no apparent reason then it would help to take it to a vet.

This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

Most Recommended For Dogs

Best Dog Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program - If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link.

Best Fresh Dog Food

Our favorite: Ollie pets - it's good because it tailors the food to your dog's specific needs Get 50% off your first order with this link.

Best Dog Treats

Our favorites: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring (on Amazon) - Great for puppies. American Journey Dog Treats (on Amazon) - Great for adult dogs.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.