Top 10 Smartest Dogs

FurryTips is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Top 10 Smartest Dogs

The most intelligent dog breeds mean that they will have a higher ability to learn new commands but they will also grow bored much faster than others so they require more attention. Here are the top 10 smartest dogs and some facts you should know about them.

Before we start it is important to know that intelligence can have many forms and this applies to dog intelligence as well. Any breed can learn the basic commands of sitting and staying but some of them will do it faster than others. Dogs that were bred for hunting, herding or retrieving are more adept at taking commands but that doesn’t mean they will also love you more or offer you more attention.

The book released by the neuropsychologist Stanley Coren, PhD called The Intelligence of Dogs set the standard for this discussion as he did a lot of work on how trainability is a marker for intelligence. Some dogs learned new commands after repeating them only five times and here are the smartest breeds according to that study:

Australian Cattle Dog

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

These working dogs are traditionally oriented toward herding cattle. They stand out through their resourcefulness, alertness and their high intelligence. They are loyal and very protective of their property, agile and always looking for new experiences. They do get bored easily and if when they do they will find something to mess so that they will attract your attention. They like to know where everything is and are very organized, a rare trait with dogs.


Top 10 Smartest Dogs

A working dog as well, the Rottweilers were bred as companions to aid in the labors of the Germans and even today they are used as guard dogs or as police dogs. They look very scary but are very smart, highly perceptive, courageous and loyal. These qualities make them ideal pets and you will be surprised by their care and affection if you live with one long enough.


Top 10 Smartest Dogs

These dogs are really cute and highly energetic. They are small but are much tougher and stronger than they look. Their stamina means that they can go for long walks and they are great as watchdogs. They are really protective about the things they consider to be theirs and they adapt easily to any situation as they are really smart.

Labrador Retriever

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

This is the most popular breed chosen by families as they are affectionate, patient, gentle and intelligent. They can be trained easily and for this reason they are used in police work, to assist disabled persons or for search and rescue operations. They like to observe the behavior of human beings and repeat it so they will learn things you might not have wanted them to copy. This will be of great use in emergency situations and one other reason why they are used in so many tasks.

Shetland Sheepdog

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

This herding dog will act really efficiently and fast in any situation. They learn everything quickly and will show a lot of devotion to their family. They adapt to living anywhere and they will always try to protect their family, making sure everyone is safe. This comes from their herding training which is continued in the home as well, – his family is his “herd” and they have to be comfortable and well. With this attitude it is no wonder why they are so loved and appreciated.

Doberman Pinscher

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

As they seem to be fearless and very brave, this breed is ideal for guard duty. They are smart and can adapt easily to new environments so they are trained very quickly. In the past they were used in wars and as police dogs but they can be very gentle as well. They are loyal and if learned to be docile from an early age they will be a wonderful family member.

Golden Retriever

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

They can learn over 200 commands and they are also really affectionate so it is no wonder that they are highly appreciated as companions. They are used in work situations and at home as they are loyal, patient and show a lot of love. Always trying to please and enjoying to learn new things, they are always a trusty companion.

German Shepherd

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

These dogs have been specifically bred to be really smart and thus it is no wonder to find them on this list. They are brave and protective so you can always depend on a German Shepherd. You only have to repeat something a few times for them to learn it and they are always eager to be taught new tasks since they love to have a purpose. Due to this way of looking at things, they have been often used as guard dogs, police dogs, herding or for search and rescue operations. Basically there isn’t anything these dogs cannot do and they have even been trained to jump with a parachute in the army!


Top 10 Smartest Dogs

They are very easy to train and love to be in the company of human beings. They were originally bred in Germany to hunt birds or to retrieve water and if you can imagine a dog with a sense of humor that dog would be a Poodle. They love to play and they are often used as circus performers since that combines interaction with humans and playtime. If left alone Poodles will become bored so they will look for ways to entertain themselves, some of which might not be very constructive for your home.

Border Collie

Top 10 Smartest Dogs

The Einstein of the dog world is the Border Collie as their intelligence is unmatched. They also have a lot of energy and this means that they can be a handful until you get used to one another. They must always have a purpose and an occupation and they create intense links with humans so they are ideal for home and for work. You need to be energetic yourself to handle such a dog so they might not be for everyone. They were bred originally at the border between England and Scotland to think independently and at long distances from the shepherds so they had to adapt to any situation in order to herd the flock.

Leave a Comment