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Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

The term “mental retardation” is outdated and is no longer used in the fields of psychology and medicine. Instead, the preferred terminology is “intellectual disability” or “intellectual developmental disorder.”

Regarding dogs, it’s essential to note that the concept of intellectual disability is traditionally applied to humans. While dogs can certainly exhibit varying levels of cognitive abilities, it may not be accurate or appropriate to use the term “mental retardation” in the context of dogs.

Dogs, like other animals, have different levels of intelligence and can learn various tasks and behaviors. Their cognitive abilities can be affected by factors such as breed, genetics, training, and individual differences. Some dogs may excel in certain tasks or have a high level of problem-solving ability, while others may not perform as well in those areas.

If you have concerns about your dog’s behavior, learning abilities, or cognitive function, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian or an animal behaviorist. They can assess your dog’s individual needs and provide guidance on training, enrichment activities, and potential interventions to support their well-being. Do dogs have mental retardation?

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Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

There are some dogs less smart than others; I had a Great Dane/Mastiff cross that was as dumb as a stick. He learned the basics, but as you could see, he couldn’t put two and two together. I didn’t help that my other dog was a cattle dog, so he did indeed seem a little slow.

Some dogs can excel in intelligence, some less so. Fortunately, what we require most of them for is companionship, and all dogs excel there.

Dogs, like humans, can have certain cognitive and developmental challenges that may affect their abilities in various ways. However, the term “mental retardation” is outdated and is no longer used in medical or scientific contexts. The more appropriate and commonly used term is “intellectual disability.”

Dogs can have intellectual disabilities due to various reasons, including genetics, environmental factors, or brain injuries. Some signs that a dog may have an intellectual disability include difficulty learning, memory problems, a slow response to commands, and problems with problem-solving or decision-making. These signs can vary in severity, and some dogs may have a milder or more severe form of intellectual disability than others.

It is important to note that intellectual disability in dogs is not necessarily the same as mental illness or behavioral issues. Dogs with intellectual disabilities can still live happy and fulfilling lives with proper care and training. If you suspect that your dog may have an intellectual disability, it is best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for proper evaluation and management. Do dogs have mental retardation?

Why don’t we see mentally challenged animals?

dogs are retarded

Meet Gal, the sweetest cat ever. Yet, we came to realize she’s not entirely “there” with her mind.

When we took her in last September, she was so small I could hold her in my hand; her fur was infested by fleas, and her eye was completely closed. When my grandmother — 80 and more years of experience with any sort of animal — saw her, she simply said: “that cat won’t survive.”

She wouldn’t eat, almost as if she couldn’t recognize the smell of food, even though our other cat was there enjoying his meal; even if she was past the time of breastfeeding, I had to feed her milk with a syringe. And Gal would spit out most of it—beware, she didn’t throw up; she just refused to be fed!

How she survived those first weeks is a mystery.

Then we found out her eye problem was permanent: due to a genetic malformation or an injury in her early life, one of the membranes of her left eye wasn’t retractile anymore. So now we have to clean her from time to time; otherwise, she can’t open the eye due to the mucus.

There’s a lot of other little things that prove Gal is a strange cat: she has no concrete idea of her surroundings (the other day we found her wondering around the garden; it’s a miracle the dog didn’t smell and attack her!). But she was totally okay with trespassing his territory), she seems incapable of running in a straight line (she often ends up falling because she can’t balance her weight—it’s a partly hilarious and partly heartbreaking scene to see), and she “forgets” things.

If she’s, for example, catching a ball and the ball goes under the couch (or in any other place she can’t see it), she stops, looking around with a lost attitude… And then he goes on catching something else, usually our other cat’s tail. But she’s also sweet, loving, and beautiful in her own way. We’ll never regret taking her in!

Do animals other than humans have mental retardation?

Trisomies are one cause of mental retardation; one of the most well-known is Trisomy-21, Down syndrome. Trisomies happens when, instead of having two chromosomes as a pair (humans have 23 pairs, 46 chromosomes), a third copy will appear.

Here’s a rather famous example: Kenny, a white tiger with Down Syndrome

kenny white tiger

Let it be noted that Kenny was inbred. Inbreeding increases the chance that the offspring will have mental or physical mutations or retardations. Do dogs have mental retardation?

How can you tell if a dog is mentally challenged?

My “angel dog,” Juli, experienced difficulties in problem solving, learning through repetition, and generalization.

Juli couldn’t “back up” if she found herself in a corner or between pieces of furniture. Not tight spaces, just spaces where her path was blocked. When I heard her whimper from another room, I usually knew that she was “stuck” again and needed my help to switch gears in reverse. Once, she got stuck between our Christmas tree and the wall (not a corner).

Juli was fascinated with squirrels and watched them intently through the back door. We had a fenced yard, so when I opened the door, the chase was on! The squirrel took the same route every time—running across the top of the fence and jumping on a specific tree. Juli would tear out the door, chasing the squirrel at full speed, running square into the fence at the spot where the squirrel jumped to the tree.

This must have happened hundreds of times, but Juli never gave up and never came up with a new strategy. I believe the squirrel knew it, because it would come right up to the door where Juli was intensely watching—nose to nose—then turn its back and shake his rear end and tail! Sort of a squirrel’s version of “mooning”!

Rain was puzzling for Juli, too. If she wanted to go outside while it was raining, I would open the door for her. Oh, no! It’s raining out there; she didn’t want to go outside. She would promptly walk over to another outside door (20 feet away) and indicate that she wanted to go outside. I open that second door for her. Oh, no!! It’s raining out there, too!! She would repeat this several times. I finally started taking her outside to potty while I held an umbrella! Darn that pesky rain.

Juli was a sweet dog, loyal, and a real cuddle bunny. Thankfully, I had her companionship and love for 15 years. Juli’s little idiosyncrasies are now treasured memories. Do dogs have mental retardation?

Why don’t we see mentally challenged animals?

Originally Answered: How come we don’t see mentally retarded animals?

Mental Retardation is a disability which can occur for numerous reasons, like lack of nutrition before and after birth (either human or animal), pre-mature birth, delayed developmental milestones, etc.

Yes, I can understand that all these factors are important in humans, but it can be true with animals as well. When a dog can catch diseases and get ill, it is possible to have mental retardation as well. Every living thing on earth takes birth, lives, and then dies, which is inevitable and part of the natural process.

We can easily tell when a person is mentally retarded or challenged by observing the unusual behaviour pattern, which is not age-appropriate. Similarly, when we notice the unusual behaviour of an animal that is not age-appropriate, we know that something is not right. Do dogs have mental retardation?

Mental health issues are not limited to humans.

I’m going to guess you’ve seen many, many mentally retarded animals. Here’s one:

Do dogs have mental retardation

I know I’m going to piss off a lot of animal lovers by saying that, so let me make it clear that I’m not insulting your pet. I’m sure your dog is very smart.

But the fact is, domesticated animals are generally developmentally disabled by canine standards. They never develop certain characteristics that dogs need to survive in the wild, or at least have them in a very diminished form. They have to be that way to live around humans.

Let me back up. Back in the 1950’s, a Russian scientist attempted to recreate the process of animal domestication by creating a breed of tame foxes. Foxes, being wild animals, generally make terrible pets because their wild instincts are too ingrained to be trained out of them. So, he found the most docile, least aggressive foxes he could and bred them together. Do dogs have mental retardation?

How can you tell if a dog is mentally challenged?

I had a cat once that was mentally challenged, and I suppose the same signs would be true of dogs. I once found four abandoned kittens by a gas station. The poor things were so filthy that you couldn’t even tell what color they were at first; they were starving and absolutely covered in fleas.

While three of the kittens were perfectly fine after a few baths and good food, the runt of the litter struggled. I think she suffered a mild form of mental retardation as a result of the malnutrition. She had difficulty with coordination. While the other kittens would leap on things, she tended to go splat and fall to the floor. Even as an adult, she would frequently aim for a counter or the top of a sofa and do the cartoon splat routine. She had difficulty batting a string with her paw compared to the other kittens.

She also had a hard time with social cues. The other kittens were always hissing at her, as she seemed to give off contradictory signals and was just always doing things at the wrong times. Her older sister liked to constantly harass her by playing pranks on her, like shoving her in the bathtub when it was full of water (more than once) and splashing her whenever she came near the water dish, and she never seemed to learn from these. She just never seemed to have the usual bright-eyed, curious kitten stare, investigating everything.

But she was a very sweet and loving cat. She slept under the covers with me every night and stayed near me wherever I was at all times. She finally died of old age at the age of 20, so she had a long life in spite of her bad start.

So I think the things to look for in a dog are physical coordination, general alertness, and curiosity. How quickly they learn tricks could be a sign of intelligence, but failure to do so could also just mean you have an intelligent, stubborn, independent-minded dog, or it could just be a reflection on the ability of the trainer. I had a dog that was very good at doing tricks but, frankly, was as dumb as a doorknob. He actually fell down a manhole in the street once, which kind of shows his mental capacity.

Is it true that dogs can be mentally retarded, and if so, what are the signs?

We received the dog from a previous owner who no longer could care for him. We have tried for 2 years to love this dog, but he will not let you love him and barely hold him. However, there have been times that he would sit in the chair with me, and the next day he may bite me if I try to get him to sit there. Sometimes he will sleep beside me, and two days later, if I try to help him in bed to lay beside me, he will bite me.

He will not let you groom him, comb his hair, give him a bath, or clip his nails; you would almost have to have him unconscious to be able to do any of the above. I do not understand. Sometimes he will let my husband pet him; the next day he will attempt to bite him; and the same is true of my son, who is 13 years old.

He has received star treatment and care at my home, and there is no reason for him to act this way. I have had pets before, but this is a first for me. Also, he has started urinating on everything in the house. Why should we have him put to sleep if the problem is grief, retardation, or whatever?

I have multiple sclerosis, and this would be hard, but I would not want any other person to go through this and end up hurt. The last time he bit me, it was serious; he bit me in the face, and his teeth bit the inside of my nose and always through to the outside, and I bled a lot. He barely missed my right eye, and all I was doing was petting him.

Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

Each generation, he’d evaluate each pup for specific characteristics of domestication (willingness to approach humans, lack of aggression, etc.) and aggressively cull all but the most domesticated foxes (as in, he’d remove 90% of each generation and only keep the most suitable 10%).

After doing this for a few generations, he found that the offspring started acting like domesticated dogs. He also noticed that they started changing physically: floppy ears, more delicate features, and white patches on their fur. He wasn’t selecting for any of those, but they emerged.

What’s interesting is that many of the incidental features are those that you’d find in juvenile foxes. In other words, one could at least argue that the process of domestication at least partially involves selecting for animals that never mature completely, and remain arrested in a pseudo-childlike state. In humans, we would call that mental retardation. For pets, that’s exactly what we want. Playfulness and docility are exactly what we want Fido to have.

In the animal kingdom, chasing a ball instead of an elk and treating human children like family members instead of food would be considered a mental disability. Living in a human house, those are necessary characteristics for survival.

Can dogs be retarded?

Probably. I knew a cat that was retarded. Maybe having their air cut off during birth or something in the womb would definitely cause the animal to be different than they would have been had it not happened.

The kitty that I knew was retarded, Buddy, was still deeply lovable. A little different, yes, but very sweet. And he was able to eat and use the litter box just fine.

He would want to be petted, but when you did, he would hiss and growl like you were hurting him. But when you stopped, he would put his head under your hand, indicating that he wanted to be pet!

And he would bump into you like you weren’t there, but he wasn’t blind. He was very affectionate to his brothers from the same litter. They were all normal kitties.

Are there mentally challenged dogs and cats?

It depends on how you look at it. Mental retardation implies that humans mental status is significantly lower than average. For dogs, this is less of a case. There is a difference in intelligence between different breeds and individuals. But overall, they are all fairly similar. If compared to that of humans, though, yeah.

All creatures on earth besides humans, and possibly certain primates, would be classified as mentally retarded. A dog has the mental capacity of a young child when it is fully mature. This is why you can’t explain to a dog what it’s doing wrong and expect it to understand. It needs simple tasks and simple commands that elicit a reward. And quick punishment so that they can associate it with the action. So yea. Anyone who has owned or trained a dog would likely be able to use many of those same tactics to train a child with a 70 IQ.

Intellectual disabilities in dogs are very rare, although they do happen. Most of the time, it’s caused by inbreeding, which means they breed two dogs from the same family. Usually, they’ll breed the dogs with their own parents or siblings in order for the resulting pup to have certain traits that the breeders desire.

However, it’s also the reason why most mastiffs have short faces, rolled skin, and, as a result, breathing problems, and it’s also why German Shepherds these days stand up in a permanent slouching position with their knees crouched down to the ground, as inbreeding can also cause joint deformities such as this.

There have been a few cases in which a puppy was born with mental retardation or some other form of intellectual impairment as a result of incestuous breeding.

Yes, there definitely are!

My current cat, Sapphire, falls into this category. She’s lovable and sweet most of the time, but she’s definitely not all there. When she was younger, she would run full-tilt into walls and doors. I’m not sure if that caused her current mental state or was a result of it, but she’s definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

She is also very unlike most cats in that when she’s afraid of someone, she’ll seek them out and try to hurt them. When we took her to the vet to get shots, she chased the vet around the room! We ended up having to get her completely knocked out so the vet could examine her. When we had a plumber over, she chased that poor plumber all around, hissing and clawing at him, until we shut her in a room.

She also sometimes forgets that we’re home. I’ll be sitting on the couch reading and hear a pitiful yowl from another room. If I let this continue, she’ll work herself up into a frenzy of self-pity. However, if I go find her, she’ll give a startled little yelp and come running over to get pets.

I’m not sure if this is related, but she’s definitely a runt of a cat. She’s about half or 2/3 the size of a normal cat, and she’s definitely stopped growing. I have no idea if those genetics are intertwined with her dumbassery, but it’s just another way this cat is different.

So, in conclusion, yes, cats can be mentally challenged! Luckily, they don’t need to be smart to fulfill their role as adorable companions.

Do dogs have mental retardation

Bonus pictures of Sapphire!

Note: My family has a running joke where we call her BOP—short for Brains of Poo!

Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

Dogs, like humans, can have cognitive or intellectual disabilities, but the term “mental retardation” is not typically used in veterinary medicine. Instead, veterinarians may use other terms to describe cognitive impairments or developmental issues in dogs.

Some dogs may have cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which is a condition similar to dementia in humans. CDS can affect older dogs and may lead to cognitive impairments, including memory loss, disorientation, and changes in behavior. It’s not the same as mental retardation, but it does involve cognitive decline.

Additionally, some dogs may be born with developmental or genetic issues that can affect their cognitive abilities. These issues can manifest as learning disabilities or behavioral challenges.

If you suspect that your dog may be experiencing cognitive issues, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian who can evaluate your dog’s condition and provide guidance on appropriate care and management. In some cases, medication or behavioral interventions may help improve a dog’s cognitive function or manage related behavioral problems.

Can dogs have a learning disability?

There are many disabilities a dog can have, such as attention deficit, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxieties, fears, and health issues that can affect learning. They can also be blind, deaf, or have life-threatening conditions that need special care.

Can dogs be autistic?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, some research suggests that dogs can exhibit behaviors that are similar to those seen in humans with autism. For example, dogs with autism-like symptoms may have difficulty with social interaction, display repetitive behaviors, and have sensory sensitivities.

Why do dogs sniff human private areas?

Dogs rely heavily on their noses and have a much more sensitive sense of smell than humans, so they’re naturally more attracted to sweaty parts of the body, like the groin area. A dog will sniff your crotch simply because they are curious about you and want to learn more about your age, sex, and mood.


The term “mental retardation” refers to a specific medical condition in humans, indicative of certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills. It’s a bit outdated and has been replaced more accurately with “intellectual disability.” But when we start trying to slap human labels onto animals, we end up venturing into some murky waters.

Let’s refocus the question. Can dogs have cognitive or developmental issues? Absolutely. They can experience a wide range of cognitive impairments that might resemble what humans with intellectual disabilities experience. But to label a dog with “mental retardation” is to anthropomorphize them in a misleading way.

In dogs, these challenges might be due to congenital problems or injuries, or they could be breed-related. For instance, some breeds are prone to conditions like hydrocephalus, where fluid builds up in the brain, causing a range of neurological issues. There’s also Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which is akin to dementia in humans and is typically seen in older dogs.

Diagnosis in dogs, however, centers more around behavior and less around their ability to understand or perform specific tasks, as it might with humans. If you’ve met some dogs, you’ll know they’re aware, energetic, have memory, can be trained, etc. But a vet might peg certain ongoing issues in behavior or development as signs there’s something more going on.

Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?

Now, if you’ve been around dogs long enough, you’ll know each has its own personality. Some are quick learners, while others might take a while to figure out that the sliding glass door is indeed closed. That’s not a mental defect; it’s just a quirk. Dogs, much like people, come with a range of smarts and idiosyncrasies.

Responsible breeders and owners will often mitigate problems through health screenings and attentive care. But, as with any living creature, there are no guarantees. Each pup comes with its own set of genetic dice that get rolled.

If you’re worried your dog might have a developmental issue, it’s key to consult with a vet. They’re able to run tests and observe behavior from a standpoint that’s educated on what’s a medical concern versus what’s a personality trait.

Just love your dog, quirks and all. Whether they’re Mensa-level or not, dogs don’t really care how smart they are. They’re too busy loving us unconditionally for that.

Do dogs have mental retardation or are retarded?