The smartest dog breeds – Top 10
Although many people believe that they have the smartest dog in the world, this is not true. There are many breeds of dogs, and each of them has different character traits. Intelligence and obedience are qualities which nature has unevenly endowed dog breeds.
Dr. Stanley Coren in his book The Intelligence of Dogs, considered the gold standard for determining a dog’s intelligence.
Coren defines three aspects of dog intelligence:
- adaptive intelligence
- working and obedience intelligence.
Instinctive intelligence refers to a dog’s ability to perform the tasks it was bred for, such as herding, pointing, fetching, guarding, or supplying companionship. Adaptive intelligence refers to a dog’s ability to solve problems on its own. Working and obedience intelligence refers to a dog’s ability to learn from humans.
Below is a Top 10 list containing the brightest dogs, which understanding new commands in fewer than 5 repetitions and obey the first command 95% of the time or better.
Check if your dog is one of the smartest breeds in the world.
The smartest dogs – Top 10
10. Australian Cattle Dog
A real soldier among dogs, that with its stubbornness, charisma, and endurance can tame even the most disobedient livestock. It can be equally stubborn in relation to human, but with the good approach of an owner, it turns out to be a devoted, loving companion and protector of the human herd…more
Its strong personality can only be tamed by an equally strong personality of an owner and a trainer. A two-faced dog: it can love children, but it can also attack a stranger. Despite appearances, the Rottweiler is very demanding – however, patience will be rewarded with a devoted and loving giant… more
One of the oldest European breeds, loved by the aristocracy. These dogs have ears that resemble the wings of a butterfly. Over decades, these dogs have been the favorites of women of nobility – it has been proven in many paintings. It is said that Marie Antoinette herself – the queen of France – went to her execution with a Papillion in her hands. What is so charming about Papillions today?… more
7. Labrador Retriever
Neither a dog, nor an otter, one might want to say. But there is a little truth in this saying, when it comes to Labradors – the personality of these dogs is compatible with their love for the water, a tail of an otter, and fin-like paws. As you can see, a Labrador is an animal born not only to be hugged and loved, but also to experience adventures… more
6. Shetland Sheepdog
Although it has its roots in the North European Shetland, it is a rarity there nowadays. Despite a huge resemblance to the Rough Collie, it is not closely related to it originally. So it turns out, that the Shetland Sheepdog is a mysterious breed, full of contraries, but also fascinating and incredibly cute…more
5. Doberman Pinscher
An animal with a noble appearance and distinguished behavior, that is at the same time an effective “bodyguard” of his owner’s property. In many films it is portrayed as a fierce protector with an aggressive attitude, that won’t hesitate to attack an aggressor. How much truth is in these depictions?… more
4. Golden Retriever
For many people, the golden retriever is the most beautiful and friendliest dog in the world. It loves its owner with all its heart, and it is itself quicksilver (although it’s “golden”). Despite resembling the Labrador, it has more delicate stature and longer hair. Swimming skills and high intelligence make golden retrievers appreciated in many areas of human life, from lifesaving, to field trials, to dock jumping and flyball… more
3. German Shepherd
Famous K-9 or Inspector Rex is not, in fact, a fantasy of their creators – the German Shepherd shows a number of behaviors thanks to which it is great as a disciplinarian, but also as a friend… more
Many people cultivate the stereotype that poodles are delicate, even jaded, dogs. However, the fact is that they belong to the most intelligent and friendliest dogs, which may be not indicated by their graceful walking and quite noble hair… more
1. Border Collie – the most intelligent dog
All it takes to fall in love with these dogs, at first sight, is to watch at least one video on the Internet presenting the skills of this breed. Infinite energy, great charm, and huge intelligence make the Border Collie a unique dog, but at the same time – despite appearances – a very demanding one… more
The smartest dogs – Top 100
We hope that over 130 dog breeds classified on our list will help many future owners evaluate which breed will be the best for them, if they want to have a dog that is not only nice, but also incredibly clever and learns fast.
|10||10||Australian Cattle Dog (ACD)|
|11||11||Pembroke Welsh Corgi|
|13||13||English Springer Spaniel|
|14||14||Belgian Shepherd Tervuren|
|19||17||German Shorthaired Pointer|
|21||18||English Cocker Spaniel|
|27||22||Bernese Mountain Dog|
|29||24||Irish Water Spaniel|
|31||26||Cardigan Welsh Corgi|
|32||27||Chesapeake Bay Retriever|
|37||29||Bouvier des Flandres|
|40||31||Welsh Springer Spaniel|
|46||34||American Staffordshire Terrier|
|50||35||Kerry Blue Terrier|
|54||37||Australian Silky Terrier|
|61||40||Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier|
|63||40||Smooth Fox Terrier|
|64||41||Curly Coated Retriever|
|71||44||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel|
|72||44||German Wirehaired Pointer|
|73||44||Black and Tan Coonhound|
|74||44||American Water Spaniel|
|77||45||King Charles Spaniel|
|83||46||Wirehaired Pointing Griffon|
|84||47||West Highland Terrier|
|89||49||Staffordshire Bull Terrier|
|93||51||Wire Haired Fox Terrier|
|109||62||Dandie Dinmont Terrier|
|110||62||Petit Basset Griffon VendĂ©en|
|111||62||Tibetan Terrier Japanese Chin|
|113||63||Old English Sheepdog|
Why has the Jack Russell Terrier been omitted from the list of smartest dogs. As noted by one of your articles, it is considered one of the smartest/intelligent dogs available.
The Jack Russell Terrier dogs did not participate in these tests and therefore they are not included in this list.
See, a ‘smartest dog’ list is not complete without a Xoloitzcuintli in the #1 spot. No one ever takes this breed into consideration and it’s such a shame. I’ve known many people who’ve had Border Collies and Xolos and every one of them has said the Xolos are miles ahead of the Border Collies in the brains department. I do imagine it’s hard to get enough Xolos for any kind of study or test.
Stanley Coren did not test with Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog). However, any records related to the understanding of e.g. words refer to the Border Collie breed.