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What Dog Breeds are the Smartest?

By Max. D Gray. Updated: February 16, 2017
What Dog Breeds are the Smartest?

We already know that dogs are very intelligent pets but among the dozens of breeds there are some that stand out more than others for their quick response, attention levels and obedience. These characteristics, which have to do with the abilities of the animal, make certain dogs really bright and always ready to surprise their owners. Want to know what they are? At OneHowTo we reveal what dog breeds are the smartest and the most cunning.

You may also be interested in: What are the easiest breeds of dogs to train

How can we tell what dog breeds are the smartest?

Just as some dog breeds are faster, better hunters or more obedient than others, there are also breeds that stand out for their intelligence, and they are ideal dogs that can be trained quickly as a companion or even for carrying out rescue missions. Not many animals can do all this, and at OneHowto we reveal the 10 smartest dog breeds in the world, which have been considered as exemplary pets for their many abilities according to the canine intelligence specialist Stanley Coren.

Border collie, the smartest of them all

The Border Collie, originally a dog breed used in farming, is today an exceptional animal companion, being the smartest dog breed according to Coren. A Collie is an obedient animal, always willing to follow orders, active, intelligent and loves sports and physical activity. Training them is a real pleasure, as they are able to learn tricks and obey orders with impressive speed.

However, to have a border collie at home you should have plenty of time to take them out and exercise with them, because these dogs require a lot of activity to be healthy.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - Border collie, the smartest of them all

The Poodle, comes in all different sizes

The Poodle comes in many different sizes, from very large to toy sized, and is considered the second smartest dog in the world. This animal, perfect for owners both young and old, is used in both hunting and rescue missions. It is a fast animal, attentive to training and home protection, which it picks it up quickly.

No doubt they make a perfect companion due to their size, which makes them ideal for domestic life.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Poodle, comes in all different sizes

The German Shepherd, a great guard dog to train

Between smartest dog breeds we can't forget one of the most faithful guards in the animal world: the German Shepherd. Not only are they loving and very protective of their owners, but they are also a tremendously courageous breed, which can trained as a rescue dog and used in special task forces such as the police or army. This is a dog capable of learning quickly and following instructions precisely. Even as a domestic dog they require attention and exercise to stay in good health.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The German Shepherd, a great guard dog to train

The Golden Retriever, sweet and playful

We cannot deny that the Golden Retriever looks more like an adorable stuffed teddy bear more than a pet, but this is precisely the charm of this brilliant dog. Famous for their obedience and their ability to learn new tricks, they are one of the breeds most commonly used as guide dogs to help people with disabilities, being an animal with a calm and very loyal temperament.

The Golden Retriever is also a dog who loves being around children, and because it is playful and patient, it is the ideal pet for the whole family. However, they require proper care, daily exercise and good nutrition to control their tendency to become overweight.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Golden Retriever, sweet and playful

The Doberman, don't be intimidated by their appearance

The Doberman is an animal that has a tough and intimidating appearance, with a history as a watchdog that has given them their reputation of being somewhat aggressive. However, they are a very good animal to train due to their intelligence and willingness to take orders.

They are affectionate and faithful, but we must not forget that they have difficulty being around other dog breeds and strangers, so it is important to address this tendency when they are a puppy to encourage appropriate social behavior. By doing this, they can become a unique pet: both a loving dog and a powerful guard dog.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Doberman, don't be intimidated by their appearance

The Shetland Sheepdog, the brilliant Scot

Between the smartest dogs we can find the farming breeds, not just the Border Collie, but also the Shetland Sheepdog, a dog of Scottish origin that is the ideal companion, being an excellent guard and a loyal and loving pet.

They are a very good breed to train and give orders to as they can learn all sorts of tricks while being playful with the whole family at home, keeping watch over the home or having fun keeping our garden free of unwanted animals. This makes them a good breed for large properties. However, like the Doberman, they should be socialized from when they are young to lessen their reserved and sometimes untrusting behaviour.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Shetland Sheepdog, the brilliant Scot

The Labrador Retriever, friendly and clever

Like its cousin the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever is a lovely and friendly dog that turns out to be a perfect animal for rescue missions and to guide and help disabled people. As if this were not enough, they are also an excellent companion for children as they are always ready to play and have fun. Besides this, they are an animal that can learn all sorts of tricks and commands quickly with minimal training.

This animal needs a lot of daily exercise and a healthy diet, they also have a tendency to become overweight over the years.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Labrador Retriever, friendly and clever

The Papillon, small but highly intelligent

Attentive, alert, quick reactions and an adorable appearance, the Papillon may be small but their intelligence is so great that they are listed as the eighth most intelligent dog breed. This animal is great at obeying orders, learning quickly and adapting easily to living in a relatively small space like an apartment.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Papillon, small but highly intelligent

The Rottweiler, a stunning and clever breed

Don't let its enormous size or strength scare you, despite its appearance, the rottweiler is not only one of the smartest breeds, but also one of the most loving and docile dogs big or small. They are a balanced pet with a rational character, however, they can also be a powerful guard dog.

If this dog is properly trained, with love, exercise and attention, it will never be a danger to anyone because it is a very safe dog that can restrain its behaviour.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Rottweiler, a stunning and clever breed

The Australian Cattle Dog, alert and active

The last breed out of the 10 smartest dogs is not so common in these parts of the world, however, they are stand out for their energy and ability to learn. The Australian Cattle Dog is an animal that requires a lot of physical activity, and learning new things and tricks to stay healthy and happy.

This pet, which should preferably be raised and kept in open spaces, is playful and likes to have fun with their owners and family members, but is very reserved around other people and new animals, so it is also a good guard dog.

What Dog Breeds are the Smartest? - The Australian Cattle Dog, alert and active

Other intelligent dog breeds

These are the 10 smartest dogs, however, there are other breeds also worth noting:

  • The Miniature Schanauzer and also the regular size
  • The Cocker Spaniel
  • The Pomerania
  • The Border Terrier
  • The Samoyed

For more on this subject, we recommend reading our article: The easiest breeds of dogs to train.

If you want to read similar articles to What Dog Breeds are the Smartest?, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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Deborah
I know this is an article about intelligence and you do mention some dogs need special early year training and make powerful guard dogs (missed for German Shepherd), I think you should mention that (probably the same breeds) are not good for people who are unable to control it when on a lead and it gets excited/aggressive. I'm a 5 foot 1 female that grew up with German shepherds and rottweilers, beautiful animals but as an adult, I wouldn't dream of owning one as it could overpower me in the above situation.

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