Doggy Dan’s Dog Training Tips: Why Smart Dogs Need Smart Owners


Out of all the animals in the world, dogs appear to be one of the smartest.

Think about it for a minute…

Your dog knows when you’re sad, angry or happy.

He knows when it’s mealtime without being able to read a clock.

He can sense danger when a stranger knocks at the door.

And if your dog is really clever, he can probably even open latches to let himself out of his crate or knows how to use those sad eyes to trick you into giving him a bite of your food.

Amazing, isn’t it?

On top of brain smarts, dogs are also more advanced than humans in other ways.

They have an amazing sense of smell that puts our human noses to shame. The same goes for hearing–they can hear things from up to a quarter a mile away…sometimes even further!

To top it all off, dogs have an incredible ability to pick up on energies. Like we mentioned before, they somehow know how we’re feeling or if a person has good intentions or bad intentions.

There’s no science right now to back up why dogs have the ability to do that, but I know from experience that dog’s have the brainpower to pick up on different energies and things we humans can’t.

In fact, I am so fascinated by this topic I decided to share with you a story that truly convinced me there is more to it than a dog reading just the body language of a person.

Can a dog tell if a person is a good person? Listen to this story.

How smart are dogs?

I also wrote an entire blog post on the topic just recently where I share another even more amazing story about my dear dog Peanut. You can check that one out here.

The bottom line is that dogs are super intelligent. But, just because a dog is super smart doesn’t mean that he is going to be perfect or be able to do everything you want him to do.

You see, dogs are not humans or robots. They are intelligent in their own way. And in order to see that intelligence shine through, you sometimes have to think like a dog. You need to see the world through a dog’s eyes where a $100 bill has no value and a dirty old bone is worth a million bucks!

I promise, the more you understand about your dog, the more you will love and respect him for his differences and his unique abilities.

I know I have.

In fact, I have such a fascination with how intelligent our canine counterparts are that I wrote an entire chapter about dog intelligence (and why smart dogs need smart owners) in my book What the Dogs Taught Me About Being a Parent.

I think it’s an important read for dog owners, so today I’m giving you access to an audio version of the chapter completely free!

Listen to the chapter now…

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”Smart Dogs” artist=”Doggy Dan” image=”” social=”false” ]

Love what you heard and want more? No problem.

You can purchase the entire audio book here.

Or, if you would prefer to actually read the book, you can download a copy for your Kindle (or other electronic device) from Amazon here.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your stories about how smart your dog is.

Please share your stories in the comments below. I can’t wait to read about all of your dog’s adventures!

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~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

12 Responses

  1. Last year we were travelling and stopped in a small town in the US. Our dog was happily walking with us, paying no attention to most people we walked by. However, she stopped and then started barking at one person sitting on the steps beside the bank. We realized that the person was on drugs, strung out and our pup didn’t like it. Dogs are smart – absolutely. I always wonder about people that dogs don’t like!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Dogs are really perceptive and can pick up on even the smallest details, especially when it comes to how human’s are behaving. I guess it’s their survival instinct trying to identify a potentially dangerous situation, but it’s amazing none the less. Thanks for sharing! All the best…Doggy Dan

  2. Yes my dog Layla is a very smart pup, she is only 5 months old and will sit, stay, down, wait, heal, bark on command, go on her mat, won’t touch her food until I give the command. Still working on the barking at people. I have used your online training and has been a great help. Thanks Dan.

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      It sounds like you do have a very intelligent puppy in Layla. Some puppy’s do pick up commands very easily and a large part of this is no doubt your ability to provide clear and consistent instruction about what behaviour you want Layla to perform, so well done to you too! Thanks for the feedback about our online program…it really is a very useful guide to helping raise happy and well behaved puppies. Keep up the great work! Best, Doggy Dan

  3. We have a 10-month old Boxer/Pit Bull cross, possibly other breeds in her as well. She was rescued from a reserve when she was 4 months old, found abandoned and freezing. She was given to us about 2 months ago because the people who rescued her moved away. She seems scared of almost everyone, even shows aggression sometimes with the hair on her back standing up and growling and barking. She seems to be more frightened of men than women. We are having a tough time with her in two areas especially; walking nicely because she lunges at other dogs behind fences and pulls terribly and the other is leaving her alone. She destroys everything she can and even got out of the yard, her kennel and went through the screen in our garage. I’m grateful for your videos and blogs. Hopefully we will all learn as we go. She really is very sweet.

    1. Hi Karen,
      It sounds like your dog had a pretty rough start to life and so patience may be required to help her start to trust people if she has been given a reason to fear them in her past. The behaviours you mention are common and if you have a look back through some of my other Blogs I do cover these issues and you may mind it helpful. I will post the link to my Blogs below. Also, my website covers these behaviours in detail…maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

  4. Me and Popcorn, an english cocker spaniel were walking into the barns yard when he, out of nothing and for my amusement, became angry, very angry. VERY angry, as he had never been before and never again he had been after, until he left us. We were all by ourselves. I heard no sound, felt no smell, I could’n say what was that about. It wash not on me and it would never quit. 100 meters of that angry walk up to the pen and there was this boy iniciating a young horse. He lacked better knowledge, so I suggested him to do that in other way. He quit beating the horse, who finally relaxed and began to work well. At the same time, and only then, Popcorn relaxed and became himself again. It was amazing!
    Wherever you are, dear Popcorn, take care. I will always love you!

    1. Hi Paulo,
      I’m sure there is a great story behind the name Popcorn! Animals do have incredible senses, in fact it’s how they survive in the wild, and no doubt Popcorn felt something was a little out of the ordinary hence his reaction. It sounds like he was very much loved. Best, Doggy Dan

  5. We have a very high strung 4 year old female german shepherd who is scary smart. However, we continue to have a problem when walking her and other dogs bark at her. She knows where they live and gets severe anxiety when walking by. She pulls us and I am small and she is 90 pounds of muscle. We do not have any idea how to control this and have her become more relaxed knowing everyone is ok. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Essie,
      Dogs misbehaving on the walk is a common issue and the best way to start to calm things down is to look at what happens from the moment you even think about taking your dog out for a walk. If she gets overly excited before you even leave the house then this can have a flow-on effect to how she behaves when out on the walk. I have posted a link to another of my Blogs that teaches owners how to start to get control of the walk, but maybe take a look at my website as it also shows you very clearly how to achieve this…maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

  6. Iam disappoints on me for not understand a dog, my situation is this: a friend gives me a dog from his son. My husband is a dog person this will be my fists dog, my husband pick up the dog and put them inside the dog was sad, but eat perfectly then she ( is a female) move to the patio to me was fine, then I knowledge the she just running a way from me, is I going somewhere she just move a round i do everything for her i talk to her, I feed her, give her toys, but one day we cleaning the patio and she run a way but stay in the neighborhood, we left the doors wide open, she’s just walk bye but don’t not enter a night we close the gate, i when around with food and sitting calling a her and she moved a way look a me turn her face and walk a way cross the street. She got me worry because she’s a big dog( German Shepperd female) I know the neighbor will call animal control is they see her around. I wish I know how to make her get back i even put food in the gate door for her to eat and avoid her going somewhere else some people say just wait until she get to know you but is to late, how is she’s not given me the oportunity my husband says the she have problems, but again what kind a problem a dog have the she’s not whant to be loved, I want a dog or my life but i just have my house is my first dog, I don’t care is she need time or love i want her to be with me until she pass a way. But every one says the something wrong on her.

    1. Hi Judith,
      Moving into a new home with a new family can be a very traumatic time for some dogs. Everything is unfamiliar and they feel completely out of their comfort zone and overwhelmed, which can lead to them feeling quite scared. My advice is to give your new dog a little space, make sure you attend yo her basic needs but after that just go about your day as if she is not even there. I know this sounds odd but, especially when you want to try and build a bond with her, but it sounds like she is not ready for that just yet and she needs a little space and time. Make sure you do keep her in a secure yard as she will be trying to escape to get back to her previous home. It really is all about not being too pushy with affection until she is ready to accept it. When she is calm and relaxed in your presence then try calling her to you with a treat, avoid approaching her, and see if she is ready to interact with you. If she refuses to come then don;t try to force her, she’s just showing you she needs more time to trust you. Try to remain patient and very calm and you will make progress. My website will also be helpful…maybe take a quick look…its a $1 trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

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