Whats the Smartest Dog Breed?

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.

What is the number 1 smartest dog breed?

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.

Which dog has highest IQ?

Border Collie. As you may know, Border Collies are widely regarded as the most intelligent dog in the world. ….Poodle. Poodles are not only small and adorable but energetic too. ….German Shepherd. Are you familiar with why the German Shepherd is called an “Alsation” in the UK? ….Golden Retriever. ….Shetland Sheepdog. ….Doberman.

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.

You might think your beagle is the smartest canine on the block, but they have got the dubious honor of being among the least trainable of dog breeds. The snarling Doberman next door? They are a quick study.

And although the best in any breed can be nurtured by owners willing to put in the time and effort, there are fixed realities when it comes to your animal’s inherent qualities. If it’s bred to hunt, herd, or retrieve, the dog is more likely to be quick on its feet, eager to work, to move, and to please you.

If it’s bred to be a livestock guard dog or a scent hound, it may seem distracted and just a bit dense. Your job is to find a breed that suits your lifestyle and to focus on bringing out the best in your dog. Border Collie: A workaholic, this breed is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct, and working ability.

German Shepherd: The world’s leading police, guard, and military dog — and a loving family companion and herder. Australian Cattle Dog: Happiest doing a job like herding, obedience, or agility. Continued Veterinarian Sophia Yin, an animal behaviorist in Davis, Calif., tells people to seriously evaluate the amount of energy they have compared to the breed they want to get.

Training will require more patience and the right kind of motivation, whether it’s praise, petting, or treats . Her Jack Russell terrier, a high-energy breed that didn’t make the smart list, has to be rewarded lickety-split with a treat or he’ll lose interest in learning. And the bulldog, which scored well below average on obedience tests, can learn quickly — as long as they don’t feel pushed around or punished.

The number of intelligent dogs I have met has been on the increase over the years because the better trainer I become, the smarter I see they are,” Redenbach says. Sources Stanley Coren, PhD, pyschology professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

As canine psychologist Stanley Coren wrote back in the ’90s, there’s adaptive intelligence (i.e., figuring stuff out), working intelligence (i.e. following orders), and instinctive intelligence (i.e. innate talent) – not to mention spatial intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and more.

The responses, he said, were remarkably consistent; however, he noted that many judges pointed out that there are exceptions in every breed and that a lot comes down to training. Top tier – the brightest working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in less than five exposures and obey at least 95 percent of the time.

Second tier – excellent working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in five to 15 exposures and obey at least 85 percent of the time. Flat-coated retriever, English cocker spaniel, Standard schnauzer Cocker spaniel, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever

Belgian Malinois, Bernese mountain dog Third tier – above-average working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 15 to 25 repetitions and obey at least 70 percent of the time. Chesapeake Bay retriever, Puli, Yorkshire terrier

Giant schnauzer, Portuguese water dog Field spaniel, Newfoundland, Australian terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Gordon setter, Bearded collie American Eskimo dog, Cairn terrier, Kerry blue terrier, Irish setter

Affenpinscher, Silky terrier, Miniature pinscher, English setter, Pharaoh hound, Clumber spaniel Fourth tier – average working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 25 to 40 repetitions and obey at least 50 percent of the time. Vadim Petrakov (Shutter Stock )

Saluki, Finnish Spitz, Pointer Cavalier King Charles spaniel, German wirehaired pointer, Black-and-tan coonhound, American water spaniel Siberian husky, Bichon Frise, English toy spaniel

Tibetan spaniel, English foxhound, Otterhound, American foxhound, Greyhound, Harrier, Parson Russel terrier, Wirehaired pointing griffon West Highland white terrier, Havanese, Scottish deerhound Dachshund, Staffordshire bull terrier, Shiba Inu

Whippet, Chinese shar-pei, Wirehaired fox terrier Fifth tier – fair working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 40 to 80 repetitions and respond about 40 percent of the time. Brussels griffon, Maltese terrier

Scottish terrier, Saint Bernard Bull terrier, Petite Basset Griffon, Vendeen Sixth tier – the least effective working dogs, who may learn a new trick after more than 100 repetitions and obey around 30 percent of the time.

Capture Light (Shutter Stock ) Coren talks in his book about a trainer who managed to win obedience competitions with multiple Staffordshire bull terriers (#49). Coren tells us about a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (#20) he owned that was in some ways too smart for competitions.

“He was so bright and attentive that he read my every motion, head turn, and even the direction that I was looking with my eyes, as a command,” he writes by email.

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.

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.

Top Dogs

In his bestselling book,The University of British Columbia psychology professor relied on the assessments of 110 breeds by more than 200 professional dog obedience judges who scored breeds based on working/obedience tests.The top dogs absorbed commands in less than five repetitions and obeyed them 95% of the time or better. Here’s the list along with a breed description by the American Kennel Club:

Do Smart Dogs Make Better Pets?

You might think a smart dog will do what you want it to do. Not necessarily.”Smart doesn’t mean easy,” Coren says.”A Doberman is going to get bored and destroy your sofa and vase collection if you’re out of the house for 8 to 10 hours a day, while an English bulldog may take 8 hours to figure out you’re gone,” Coren says. “You’ll come home and he’ll greet you and your pottery is still on the shelf.”A border collie is bred to work all day, so if it doesn’t have an opportunity to work or exercise, it will be miserable, says Chris Redenbach, an Atlanta-based dog trainer who runs The Balanced Dog training program. “Typically, it’ll come out in other areas, like destructiveness, running away, nipping at kids.”Having a smart dog “is like having a very smart kid,” Redenbach says. “They’re always into something and will get into trouble if they’re bored.Coren says his beloved beagle, a breed that scored low in obedience tests, is perfect around Coren’s nine grandchildren because they don’t seem to mind — or remember — them pulling on their ears.

Continued

Veterinarian Sophia Yin, an animal behaviorist in Davis, Calif., tells people to seriously evaluate the amount of energy they have compared to the breed they want to get.”Are they the type of person who can exercise it a few hours a day? How much time are they willing to invest in training the dog, because the more energetic the dog is, the more training he might need,” she says. “When they think they want a smart dog, it’s a huge misconception. They don’t need smart; they need attentive.”

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The next 10 dog breeds are pretty darn smart too: