Looking for the smartest dog breeds? Dogs are just perfect. Well, with their cute, fuzzy faces and wagging tails, they seem fine. Often it can feel like having another kid that never gets older, and that’s double what we love them for. Without the wet nose in the frame, the family portrait wouldn’t be the same.
We strongly recommend it if you’re considering adoption. There are so many animals that need homes, and most shelters are free to throw in vaccines, chips, or other necessities. The only serious drawback is the uncertainty of your new pal’s exact background. Knowing your dog’s breed can indicate many things about what to expect or how to react to their behavior; not all breeds are equal.
Dogs have been bred for millennia for a variety of reasons—nearly all of which had to do with helping humans in some way. As it turns out, working dogs are considered to be among the smartest of their species.1 This doesn’t always mean that they are perfect for families—it depends on your lifestyle. Hunting breeds must be active, or they may become too mischievous for their own good.
We’ve rounded up the 15 smartest dog breeds according to The Intelligence of Dogs Author Stanley Coren. Keep on reading to be sure to do your own research to find the perfect pooch for your family.
Smartest Dog Breeds
Bred to be a herd of sheep, Border Collie has earned the honor of number one of the smartest dog breeds. They love to work and always have a lot of energy, so it’s best not to keep them co-opted for a long time.
We know Poudles for their extravagant coats, but they’re more than just a gorgeous fur puff. They are qualified to pick things up from the water, making them another active group.
German Shepherds are known to be great family dogs, especially children, because of their gentleness. That said, they are also often trained to accompany law enforcement and the military to prove their discipline.
Golden Retrievers were originally meant to be hunting companions, and today they are frequently used in search-and-rescue operations and as guide dogs for people with blindness or other diseases. They are very obedient and therefore relatively easy to train.
Dobermans have tried to lose their reputation as vicious animals, even though they have historically been bred as guardians and protectors. Modern iterations of the breed are intensely loyal and far less aggressive than was originally thought.
Historically, Shetland Sheepdog and Border Collie are very similar, both of which have been bred for herding. The main difference between them is the size, where the Shetland could be called pocket-sized.
The Labrador Retriever is a gentle dog whose intelligence has been enhanced to do work such as therapy work, canine water rescue, and dog assistance training, to name a few. It is known as a family-friendly breed, which may be why it is also the most popular dog breed in the country.
Belgian Shepherd Dog
When it comes to the smartest dog breeds, we can’t miss Belgian Shepherd Dog. The Tervuren, also known as the Belgian Shepherd Dog, is a clever workaholic. Sometimes these factors don’t mesh well, as they may be prone to tricking their owners if they’re bored.
Toy breeds are not commonly known for their smarts, but the Papillon is different. This tiny pooch loves physical activity, especially in the form of dog sports such as agility classes.
Rottweilers are also suffering from bad reputations, more recently in the media as Game of Thrones baddie hounds, Ramsay Bolton. But all they really want is to be useful; you may have seen them in roles like a police dog, a herder, or a service dog.
Australian Cattle Dog
Another herder, the Australian Cattle Dog, may have more energy than any other sports dog on this list. It’s excellent with obedience tests and other types of intensive sports.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
This is one of the smartest dog breeds you should consider. Some believe that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the dog that accompanied the Vikings when they settled in Wales and has since been associated with the most western nation in the United Kingdom. They excel in tasks such as clearing grazing areas for cattle, given their keen attention to detail.
It may have a tiny descriptor in its name, but the Miniature Schnauzer is a surprisingly tough breed. They were bred to be farm dogs, in particular, to fend off and kill rats with their powerful jaws. They are tiny, playful, and friendly today.
English Springer Spaniel
This highly intelligent hunting dog breed is one of the most muscular of its kind. Training a Springer Spaniel has a quick reward because they are attentive and they love to please themselves.
The Schipperke is another small breed, but unlike toys, these pups have been bred for hard labor. They’re observant guards, and, like the Miniature Schnauzer, it’s known to kill rats, if you have any.
Most dogs are intelligent but in various ways. But intelligence doesn’t automatically make a good pet. But intelligence doesn’t automatically become a good pet. To highlight a dog’s natural intelligence, you must study the breed, spend the time necessary to train and understand its natural traits, such as fast or slow learning and stability.
Hopefully, this list of smartest and best dog breeds will help you find a suitable pooch for your family. Want to add extra smartest dog breeds? Let us know in the comment below.