While each dog breed is trainable and intelligent, some tend to possess more intellect to grasp and recall the commands provided during their training. The smart nature of some dogs also allows their trainer to teach them tricks and behavioral aspects that just wouldn’t be possible with dogs who are slow learners. With that said, if you have the patience to train, any dog can become smart.
Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds in the World
1. Border Collie
In the past, keeping livestock was a norm, and while there were plenty of dogs that could herd in the lowlands, not many dogs were present that could guard livestock on uneven terrain in the late 18th century, and that’s when Border Collie was created. These dogs have a strong work ethic, are extremely loyal, and are considered the smartest dogs in the world. Not only does this breed follow commands like it understands our language but these dogs also possess an intuitive intelligence, which makes them excellent work dogs. Along with providing them strenuous exercise, you’d need to also keep their minds stimulated because these pooches easily get bored from regular play.
Synonymous with dog shows, this dog breed is often deemed as just the looks without any real use, but Poodles are smart pooches with great athleticism. At their core, Poodles are gun dogs, meaning they were used to retrieve the hunt, and these needed to make quick decisions to capture the shot game on tricky terrain. This quick thinking made these pooches quite smart, and they can learn just about any trick. Plus, Poodles is the national dog of France.
3. German Shepherd
It doesn’t matter what list you look into, you’ll always find this dog breed on it. German Shepherds are renowned for their high trainability, you can teach this dog to do just about anything, from guarding your property to even hunting. These hounds obey commands exceptionally well and even remember them. Moreover, it is easy to train these pooches as long as you know what you’re doing. If it wasn’t for Border Collies, these would’ve been the smartest dogs in the world. That’s the reason why they are the top picks for police and military service.
4. Golden Retriever
While previously mentioned breeds possess an instinctive intelligence, Golden Retrievers also have emotional intelligence which makes them an ideal assistance dog. Due to this, Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, and they are truly affectionate pooches. Moreover, these were also used as game retrievers in the Scottish Highlands, and they had to make quick decisions on the go.
5. Doberman Pinscher
If there’s one breed that can take the position of German Shepherd, it is the Doberman Pinscher, who’s also German. These possess strength, endurance, and most importantly, intelligence to be trained for special operations. Originally, these were bred to be used as guard dogs, and to this day, they have that guarding instinct in them, and they take their guarding duties very seriously.
6. Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdog is another herding breed that also has high intelligence because these were used for pretty much all the farm work. These long-coated pooches are great working dogs, and they have a playful mindset with a constant eagerness to learn new tricks. Some people even claim them as miniature Collies. They are also loyal and affectionate, though they may not like strangers so much.
7. Labrador Retriever
The most popular dog breed in the United States, and the one that led to developing Golden Retriever, Labradors are amazing and affectionate pooches that love to be around family. These were also used as game retrievers in the past; however, their smart mind led them to be working as assistance and rescue dogs. They have a strong desire to please their pack leader, which makes them an ideal family dog.
The only toy breed on the list, Papillons are adorable pooches that are known for their buttery-winged ears. These are alert, joyous, and friendly dogs, these get along with each member of the family and even other pets because they understand that they are part of the family. Moreover, Papillon is a smart breed, and it excels at obedience training. Also, their size makes them a great companion for travels as well.
Now, this is a breed that has been deemed both a smart dog breed and a dumb dog breed. According to experts, it comes down to the litter and how they were raised. These are loyal, independent, and loving dogs with the right owner. Rottweilers had done numerous types of jobs from cattle herding to guarding, and these do great with such tasks, which is enough to tell us that this isn’t a dumb breed, and why they are considered among the smartest breeds.
These dogs have very distinct faces with wrinkly skin and droopy ears. Bloodhounds are known for their extraordinary sense of smell, as these dogs possess about 300 million olfactory receptors, and once they are fixated on a smell, they won’t leave the trail until they reach the source. For this particular reason, they do great at search and rescue operations. Although it makes this breed difficult with obedience training, once their nose is utilized, they do exceptionally well. Unfortunately, for similar reasons to Rottweiler, this breed is also labeled as dumb sometimes.