Smartest Dog in the World?

They may not be ready to beat you in a game of chess, but these brainy dogs are easy to train and generally anxious to please you. Here are 15 breeds with notable smarts.

So if you’re looking for dogs who can follow your commands with precision, or just an affable family pet who can roll over for a treat, here’s a list of the breeds who will probably be easiest to train . With perhaps the greatest combination of size, athleticism, and intelligence in the entire dog kingdom, the German shepherd is prized for everything from show competitions to home protection to military and police work.

Bearing a close resemblance to their larger cousin, the collie , the Sheltie has been a consistent champion in obedience competitions almost since the moment of their recognition by the AKC in 1911. Perhaps one of the more surprising entries on this list, the Rottweiler has been a popular protection and guard dog for decades, but perhaps without the same reputation for intellect as the German shepherd. One of the most popular cattle-herding dogs in the world, the diminutive Pembroke Welsh corgi shoves a big ol’ brain into that little fuzzy body.

Like the other herding dogs on this list, the Pembroke is smart enough to learn a routine, understand which things are “his,” and to be left to his own devices for long periods of time. At home, these friendly little dogs are happy to turn that intelligence towards learning tricks, playing games , and participating in agility coursework. Another dog that’s equally at home on the farm or in an apartment , the miniature schnauzer is an adaptable, friendly, quick-learning companion who is highly trainable and able to handle a variety of tasks.

Which is the most intelligent dog?

German shepherd. ….Golden retriever. ….Doberman pinscher. ….Shetland sheepdog. Shetland sheepdog © iStock. ….Labrador retriever. Labrador retriever © iStock. ….Papillon. Papillon © iStock. ….Rottweiler. Rottweiler © iStock. ….Australian cattle dog. Australian cattle dog © iStock.

What is the number 1 smartest dog in the world?

1. Border Collie : A workaholic, this breed is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct, and working ability. 2. Poodle: Exceptionally smart and active.

What is the dumbest dog?

Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound is the “dumbest” dog. ….Basenji. Basenjis also make the list of dumbest dog breeds. ….Bulldog. Bulldogs are known for their stubbornness. ….Chow Chow. Chow Chows can also be difficult to train. ….Borzoi. ….Bloodhound. ….Pekingese. ….Beagle.

Who is no 1 dog in world?

(CBS News) — The Labrador Retriever is still the most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. The AKC released its Most Popular Dog Breeds list on May 1, 2020. It’s based on 2019 AKC registration statistics.

Animals Pets 10 of the Smartest Dogs in the World By Mary Jo DiLonardo Mary Jo DiLonardo LinkedIn Twitter Senior Writer University of Cincinnati Mary Jo DiLonardo has worked in print, online, and broadcast journalism for 25 years and covers nature, health, science, and animals. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 22, 2021 Kurt Pas / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species Many dogs can sit and stay. But in terms of smarts, what breeds are top of the pack? Neuropsychologist Stanley Coren, Ph.D., sought to answer that question in his book “The Intelligence of Dogs.” In it, Coren theorized different types of dog intelligence, using one type called “working and obedience intelligence” to assess and compare breeds. Coren asked 199 professional dog obedience judges to score 110 breeds based on working and obedience tests. The consensus was clear; according to him, “The degree of agreement among judges was amazingly high.” In order, here are the 10 dog breeds deemed the smartest because of how well they learn. Millions of pets (including many purebreds) are available to be adopted from shelters. We always recommend adoption as a first choice. If you’ve decided to buy a pet from a breeder, be sure to choose a responsible breeder, and always avoid puppy mills. 1 of 10 Border Collie Robert Pickett / Getty Images The title for smartest dog was given to the border collie almost unanimously190 of the 199 judge respondents ranked this breed in the top 10. Herding dogs by nature, border collies are always looking for a job to do. Their highly active minds are why it’s essential to always keep one of these dogs both mentally and physically stimulated. If you let border collies get bored, they are known to find their own hobbies at the expense of your furniture. But when you combine their keen intelligence with peak athleticism and innate trainability, these herders excel at all sorts of competitions, from agility to obedience to flyball. 2 of 10 Poodle ivanastar / Getty Images Known for their elegance, poodles are whip-smart. They come in three sizesstandard, miniature, and toyand each has the same big brain to go with its famously good looks. Poodles were bred as gun dogs, specifically water retrievers because of their swimming ability. In fact, their name comes from the German pudel, which means to splash in water. When you add their impressive agility to their intelligence, you get a dog breed that loves to play and is quick to learn. Unfortunately, these qualities are also why poodles have historically been chosen and forced to perform in circus shows. 3 of 10 German Shepherd Savin Madeleine/EyeEm / Getty Images As a breed, German shepherds stand out because of their personalitiesthey are fiercely loyal, protective, and, of course, intelligent. These dogs are highly trainable and easily understand instructions. Because of this, German shepherds have become true all-purpose workers. They are desirable as guard dogs, K-9s, and search and rescue dogs. That’s not to say they are not loveable, however. German shepherds form close bonds with their families. They are gentle and loving companions, as well as dedicated guardians. 4 of 10 Golden Retriever Mario Forcherio/EyeEm / Getty Images A trademark American breed, golden retrievers are as playful and fun as they are smart. Known for being friendly and gentle, they are also quick to learn commands. Because golden retrievers were bred as hunting dogs, they desire a job. They are one of the most popular breeds to serve as guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired. Members of this breed are also highly sensitive to human emotions, which makes them popular emotional support dogs as well. 5 of 10 Doberman Pinscher JamesBrey / Getty Images Muscular, athletic, and smart, the doberman pinscher is one of the best protection and guard dogs out there. Known for its unmistakenly noble appearance, this breed is attentive to its surroundings and a fast learner. Like many of the smartest dogs, dobermans excel in activities like obedience, tracking, and agility. However, their high intelligence can make them pushy or overly suspicious of strangers, so proper socialization and consistent training are essential. 6 of 10 Shetland Sheepdog Henri Karppinen / Getty Images The Shetland sheepdog, or Sheltie, is another herding dog with lots of drive and work ethic. A miniature version of their collie cousin, they are intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train and successful in obedience competition. Additionally, they can pick up on the emotions of the people around them. Shelties do tend to bark, especially when they are feeling excited, bored, or scared, or if something seems amiss. The good news is that they are smart enough that with proper training, they can learn to control it. 7 of 10 Labrador Retriever Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images For decades, the Labrador retriever has been the most popular dog breed in America, and its intelligence may be part of the reason. When you combine its smarts, gentle nature, friendliness, and high activity level, labs are the perfect family pet. Those qualitiesespecially the smarts and energymake the Labrador retriever thrive in both sport and service. These dogs excel in agility and competition, and (with golden retrievers) they are one of the most popular breeds employed as service dogs for the blind and visually impaired. Like other quick-learning dogs with active brains, labs need to stay stimulated or they can become bored and destructive. 8 of 10 Papillon Kisa_Markiza / Getty Images This tiny dog with the butterfly ears is considered one of the smartest of the toy breeds. Although papillons look dainty, they are actually very athletic. They are a favorite of agility trainers who want all the brains and physical potential in a small package. Outside of sport, papillons excel as therapy dogs because of their ability to bond with humans. Even in the home, this breed needs to keep both its body and brain active, so playing games is a must. They are quite gutsy as well, so perhaps the only intellectual shortcoming of the papillon is that they tend to think they’re bigger and mightier than they are. 9 of 10 Rottweiler Tara Gregg/EyeEm / Getty Images Affectionately called “rotties,” rottweilers are powerful dogs with a history of service. Today, they are often used as guard dogs and employed for police work. This breed might have an intimidating appearance to outsiders, but in reality, they can be playful and loving. Rottweilers are fast learners and excel in obedience, herding, and tracking. They are easy to train, but they have to be trained correctlyearly, firm, and experienced instruction is essential. Their intelligence and innate protectiveness must be honed to ensure that the dog uses those characteristics in the right way. 10 of 10 Australian Cattle Dog Madelein_Wolf / Getty Images The Australian cattle dog was bred to keep cattle in line, so it thrives when it has tasks to complete. This breed is high-energy, agile, and smart, and they are known to create strong bonds with their owners. In addition to physical activity, Australian cattle dogs must be challenged mentally. Food puzzles and scent games are good options for intellectual stimulation. Barking can be a sign of boredom for these dogs, so if yours is getting vocal, they may need something to give their attention to.

While all dogs make for best friends, some are, um, more lovably clueless than others. But when it comes to working intelligence (i.e. following commands), certain dog breeds stand out from the pack. After surveying almost 200 dog-obedience judges, psychologist Stanley Coren named these breeds as the most intelligent of the bunch in his book The Intelligence of Dogs. The book was published in 1994 and updated in 2006, and remains the landmark piece of literature on the subject.

Dobermans got their start in the late 19th century, when a German tax collector named Louis Dobermann wanted a medium-sized pet to act as both a guard dog and companion. Consequently, Shelties do tend to bark, chase, and herd, but their affectionate nature and love for cuddles will erase any hard feelings.

The 5-pound wonders often take home top prizes at competitive agility trials, according to the American Kennel Club . Rottweilers likely descended from drover dogs in Ancient Rome, with the rugged, dependable temperament to boot. An engaged Rottweiler owner will take care to train and exercise their pooch thoroughly with the reward of a loving and loyal friend.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Coren evaluated breeds’ levels of intelligence based on instincts, obedience, and ability to adapt.

Does your dog ever amaze you by her ability to understand commands? To learn new tricks quickly? Experts measure intelligence in dogs in a few ways, and the smartest dog breeds might surprise you. If your dog didnt make the top ten list, but youre convinced of her superior intellect, dont despairresearch shows that most dogs are much smarter than we give them credit for.

These beautiful dogs are a unique crossbreed of blue merle shepherds imported from England and the native Australian dingo. High energy and hard-working, these smart dogs thrive in an active home doing intensive sports like agility , rally obedience, herding trials, and flyball.

Ancient Roman cattle herders, cart pullers, and guardians, rottweilers are renowned for gentleness with family and friends, and strength and bravery in defending them. Royal portraiture shows small spaniels resembling the Papillon as far back as the 16th century! Papillons are frequent winners at agility competitions and have a reputation for being highly trainable, even by less experienced owners.

The most popular dog breed in the U.S. , the Labrador retriever is named for the cold waters off Newfoundland where they were first bred. A short thick coat, webbed feet, and a heavy tail help this intelligent dog swim long distances in cold water. In addition to their hunting prowess, Labs are popular favorites for canine water rescue, therapy work, and assistance dog training.

Playful and energetic, the sheltie is equally at home working on the farm or in the burbs, showing off in agility, flyball, and obedience. The Doberman pinscher was originally bred by a German tax collector for protection on his rounds. In WWII, they were trained to guard sleeping troops, lead soldiers through the jungle, and give warning barks if there were enemies hiding close by.

Modern Dobermans are far less aggressive and make wonderful family dogs that love to play. Originally hailing from Scotland, this popular dog breed was started in 1865 from a lone yellow pup in a litter of black wavy-coated retrievers, crossbred with a local water spaniel by Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan . The German shepherd was standardized by breeder Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1889 with a goal of utility and intelligence. The modern German shepherd dog is well-known for its ability to learn commands for many different taskswhich is one reason why these beloved dogs rate so high in intelligence.

More than just a foofoo haircut, poodles consistently land on the list of smartest dog breeds. This intelligent dog was originally bred in Germany for bird hunting and water retrieving. Their storied history includes many occupations and locales, from herding sheep to crossing the battlefield to bring supplies to the wounded to the performing arts.

These hunting dogs are remarkable for their loving nature, trainable intelligence, and sense of humor. The standard, miniature, and toy poodle are all highly athletic, intelligent, and trainable dogs.

15 of the Smartest Dog Breeds

They may not be ready to beat you in a game of chess, but these brainy dogs are easy to train and generally anxious to please you. Here are 15 breeds with notable smarts.Growing up, just about everyone dreams of having a dog they can teach tricks to. Regardless of whether that’s still your aim, or if you’re looking for a dog who can compete in competitions, or just want a family pet who will know not to tear up the furniture and jump on strangers, how smart your dog is will determine how quickly she can learn.”As with any other trait, intelligence is going to vary from dog to dog, depending on family tree and other factors,” says Dennis Riordan, DVM, of the Riordan Pet Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. “But generally speaking, ‘intelligence’ is measured in dogs based on how many repetitions of a command it takes for them to figure out what you want them to do, and how often they follow learned commands the first or second time you say it. So if you’re teaching them a trick, or kennel training, or anything that involves their memory and recall, some breeds have been fairly consistently shown to do those things faster and more consistently than others.”The smartest dog breeds, regardless of size or origin, all have that one thing in common: how quickly they can understand commands and how quickly they follow them. In the very smartest of dog breeds, hand signals and verbal commands can be trained simultaneously and used interchangeably, usually with no difference in response time. So if you’re looking for dogs who can follow your commands with precision, or just an affable family pet who can roll over for a treat, here’s a list of the breeds who will probably be easiest to train.

Border Collie

If you’re looking for a dog that can just about do it all, you’re looking for a border collie. These brilliant herding dogs have been keeping flocks of sheep safe throughout Scotland and Wales for centuries, and shepherds often refer to them as “the perfect shepherding dog.” In addition to learning cues quickly, these dogs are smart enough to learn and understand routines, and can be trained to handle daily tasks without much supervision. Nimble, athletic, and observant, border collies have continually done well in agility competitions, dominating competitions like the prestigious Crufts International in their native UK.

Poodle

Don’t let the fluffy hairdo fool you: Poodles are adept hunters, effective water dogs, and some of the brightest dogs you’re going to come across. Poodles of all sizes carry a high degree of intelligence, but the standard is the one best equipped to utilize those smarts, thanks to his greater size and strength. Underneath all those curls, the standard poodle sports a strong, slender body that makes him a great swimmer and excellent at retrieving.

German Shepherd

They’re the second most popular dog breed in the United States for a reason. With perhaps the greatest combination of size, athleticism, and intelligence in the entire dog kingdom, the German shepherd is prized for everything from show competitions to home protection to military and police work. Deeply loyal and eager to please, well-trained German shepherds make excellent family pets as well. The first genuine canine movie star—Rin Tin Tin—was a German shepherd, and that’s not a coincidence. They learn and retain new skills with alarming speed and consistency, and they have the physical gifts to accomplish truly astonishing feats.”German Shepherds, especially American-born purebreds, tend to have pretty serious issues with hip dysplasia as they age,” Riordan says. “So a lot of people who buy them as pups, they’ll see them slow down dramatically around age 8.”

Golden Retriever

Coming in just behind the German shepherd in popularity in the U.S., golden retrievers are beloved for their affable, people-pleasing, joyous nature. But in addition to being some of the friendliest dogs alive, they’re also among the smartest. This has helped make them excellent choices for service and therapy dogs, as well as working as search and rescue dogs, hunting dogs, and champion field and obedience competition animals as well.

Doberman Pinscher

Long one of the world‘s premier protection dogs, the Doberman pinscher is a physical specimen almost without equal. Though they are fast, agile, and strong, these dogs’ greatest feature is their intelligence, which enables them to learn a variety of commands and tasks quickly, and allows owners to trust that they’ll follow commands unerringly.

Shetland Sheepdog

Bearing a close resemblance to their larger cousin, the collie, the Sheltie has been a consistent champion in obedience competitions almost since the moment of their recognition by the AKC in 1911. Much like their collie relatives, the Shetland sheepdog is a remarkably intelligent breed as a matter of necessity. As herders, they were required to keep track of a large number of wandering animals for long periods of time, often without supervision. This has created a small, nimble dog who is keenly observant and thrives on having a job to do.

Labrador Retriever

The most popular breed in the United States every year since 1991, these gregarious, hardworking hunting dogs are no slouches when it comes to brains, either. Not actually

Papillon

Looks and brains! These adorable little dogs have long been a favorite among royalty and aristocracy thanks to their regal appearance and charming personalities. But inside those tiny, plumed heads is a first-rate mind! Papillons delight in learning tricks and performing for people. Being the center of attention and making people smile is practically the papillon’s

Rottweiler

Perhaps one of the more surprising entries on this list, the Rottweiler has been a popular protection and guard dog for decades, but perhaps without the same reputation for intellect as the German shepherd. But make no mistake, these guys are as quick on the pickup as anyone. Don’t underestimate your Rottie’s ability to learn a few tricks!

Australian Cattle Dog

Related to Australia’s famously devious feral dog, the dingo, the Australian cattle dog was custom bred by British settlers specifically to handle Australia’s intense heat, rough terrain, and wide open spaces. Some of the finest herding dogs you’re apt to find, Australian cattle dogs are a highly intelligent breed, capable of following herds for great distances and keeping their flocks in line for days at a time without supervision. On the homefront, this translates to a quick-learning, observant family pet with a wry sense of humor and a penchant for mischief. Keep in mind that, even though they adapt well to city life, the Australian cattle dog is always going to be happiest with a job to do, so consider agility, herding, or flyball competitions to keep him happy and engaged!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

One of the most popular cattle-herding dogs in the world, the diminutive Pembroke Welsh corgi shoves a big ol’ brain into that little fuzzy body. Like the other herding dogs on this list, the Pembroke is smart enough to learn a routine, understand which things are “his,” and to be left to his own devices for long periods of time. It’s a skill that requires improvisation and critical thinking skills that are in high demand among farm dogs of all stripes, and that intelligence has been purpose-bred into the Pembroke’s DNA. At home, these friendly little dogs are happy to turn that intelligence towards learning tricks, playing games, and participating in agility coursework.

Miniature Schnauzer

Another dog that’s equally at home on the farm or in an apartment, the miniature schnauzer is an adaptable, friendly, quick-learning companion who is highly trainable and able to handle a variety of tasks. These dogs love to hunt and are long-time favorites on the agility course, where their keen observation skills and pattern recognition comes in especially handy!

English Springer Spaniel

English springer spaniels make some of the most hardworking hunters you’ll find. They’ve been bred specifically for working with humans in the field, so they take especially well to learning tasks required for flushing (“springing”) game birds, as well as retrieving game. They can be trained to work off a boat, and become adapted to the sound of gunfire remarkably quickly as well. An important skill for hunting dogs is the ability to train to a whistle, and English springers have long shown a particular adaptability to understanding nonverbal commands.

Belgian Tervuren

Tervs were bred by Belgian farmers to be both a herding dog and guard dog. The Terv is happiest when he’s got a taxing job to do, and if you don’t have the means to keep him active and thinking every day, you might want to look elsewhere for a pet. Hunters, farmers, and people who live very active lifestyles will find the Terv best to their liking. Because of their need for a job to focus on, bored Tervs are smart enough to start looking for ways to amuse themselves, which will often mean finding ways to outsmart their human companions. But owners who can keep them engaged and learning will be rewarded to see the dog‘s genuine delight when they master a new task or job.

What makes a dog “smart?”

Coren evaluated breeds’ levels of intelligence based on instincts, obedience, and ability to adapt. But pet behavior specialist Sarah Hodgson says it’s all relative. “Some are social and emotionally dependent on people, so they are easier to train and far more receptive to our vision of what they should do,” she says. “But they have little intuitive smarts.”One example is a hound, because although they’re not receptive, they have superior senses of sight and smell. Similarly, terriers might not take direction well, but they have excellent hearing.

Do dogs have an IQ?

Not exactly. Like Hodgson explained, “IQ” really depends on the quality you’re observing. In Coren’s book, you can have your dog take an IQ test he created based on his analyses. For example, if your dog can learn a new command in fewer than five repetitions, you can consider him among the Einsteins of pups.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

There’s a reason that people are devoted to this breed! These beautiful dogs are a unique crossbreed of blue merle shepherds imported from England and the native Australian dingo. High energy and hard-working, these smart dogs thrive in an active home doing intensive sports like agility, rally obedience, herding trials, and flyball.These dogs are known for an incredible work drive—so much so that experts recommend owners ensure their dog is engaged in work, sport, or exercise as they can be mischievous. They’re famous for their intelligence and are even known to outsmart their owners on occasion!

9. Rottweiler

Ancient Roman cattle herders, cart pullers, and guardians, rottweilers are renowned for gentleness with family and friends, and strength and bravery in defending them. These dogs can be quite silly and playful, despite their size.They were one of the first breeds used as guide dogs and are still used in some search and rescue missions. Thorough training and socialization is an absolute must for puppies to mature into solid canine citizens.

8. Papillon

The Papillon is named for its graceful feathered ears. Royal portraiture shows small spaniels resembling the Papillon as far back as the 16th century! This toy breed is active, athletic, and companionable—the smartest of the toy dog breeds. Papillons are frequent winners at agility competitions and have a reputation for being highly trainable, even by less experienced owners.

7. Labrador Retriever

The most popular dog breed in the U.S., the Labrador retriever is named for the cold waters off Newfoundland where they were first bred. A short thick coat, webbed feet, and a heavy tail help this intelligent dog swim long distances in cold water.In addition to their hunting prowess, Labs are popular favorites for canine water rescue, therapy work, and assistance dog training. Labs excel in the canine sport of dock jumping.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland sheepdog may look just like a miniature collie, but they started out as a local variant of the Icelandic sheepdog found in the Shetland Islands. These small dogs were then bred to rough collies to create this unique breed.Playful and energetic, the sheltie is equally at home working on the farm or in the ‘burbs, showing off in agility, flyball, and obedience. These dogs are well-known for their intelligence and skill at herding but are also good guard dogs as they bark and are wary of strangers.

5. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman pinscher was originally bred by a German tax collector for protection on his rounds. In WWII, they were trained to guard sleeping troops, lead soldiers through the jungle, and give warning barks if there were enemies hiding close by.Modern Dobermans are far less aggressive and make wonderful family dogs that love to play. Muscular in build, they’re renown for their loyalty and fearlessness and are one of the most recognized guard dogs.

4. Golden Retriever

Originally hailing from Scotland, this popular dog breed was started in 1865 from a lone yellow pup in a litter of black wavy-coated retrievers, crossbred with a local water spaniel by Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan.This gorgeous, friendly dog still excels in retrieving, as well as agility and obedience, and as service dogs. But their favorite job is being the family pet. Americans love this dog breed because they’re highly trainable and have a loving personality.

3. German Shepherd

The German shepherd was standardized by breeder Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1889 with a goal of “utility and intelligence.” The modern German shepherd dog is well-known for its ability to learn commands for many different tasks—which is one reason why these beloved dogs rate so high in intelligence.Known for athleticism, loyalty, and confidence, German shepherds can be wonderful family dogs as well as skilled herders, military canines, and assistance dogs.

2. Poodle

More than just a foofoo haircut, poodles consistently land on the list of smartest dog breeds. This intelligent dog was originally bred in Germany for bird hunting and water retrieving.Their storied history includes many occupations and locales, from herding sheep to crossing the battlefield to bring supplies to the wounded to the performing arts. These hunting dogs are remarkable for their loving nature, trainable intelligence, and sense of humor. The standard, miniature, and toy poodle are all highly athletic, intelligent, and trainable dogs.

1. Border Collie

And finally, no list of smartest dog breeds would be complete without a mention of this handsome dog. Originally known as the “Scotch sheepdog,” the border collie hails from the highland border of England and Scotland.Bred to think independently and at long distances from human shepherds, they have the problem-solving intelligence and strong working drive to maintain control of the flock. Chaser, the dog who knows 1,022 toys by name, is an amazing example of the intelligence of her breed.

Learn more about your dog

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