A recent article, “Pup's looking at you, kid: Puppies can understand human cues from very young age” stated that certain puppies were capable of taking directions from humans with no prior training involved.
Researchers ran experiments using 375 eight-week-old puppies (Labs, Goldens or a mix of the two).
“In one part of the experiment, the researcher called out "puppy!" in a high-pitched voice and pointed to the cup covering the treat. Amazingly, some of the puppies would march right over to that cup, knock it over and gobble down the treat.”
The intelligence of animals is quite astounding. I have known a few dogs that were impeccable listeners and great at following instruction. I knew dogs that would look straight at you and not understand a word of what you are saying. Regardless, they are all intelligent in their own way.
I have to wonder if the breed of dog makes a difference in active listening and commands. I do believe there are certain breeds that naturally have a more attentive personality, but I also believe all dog breeds can learn anything with proper training!
I hope they do not rule out certain breeds to be trained into service animals based on these studies, because again, any dog can learn new tricks.