All dogs are intelligent, they are one of the smartest animals you can find, though have you ever wondered where your dog ranks amongst the other breeds?
Psychologist Stanley Coren performed rigorous testing to better understand canine intelligence.
He is the author of The Intelligence of Dogs, the famous book that ranked over 100 dog breeds based on their smarts.
Coren categorized Dog Intelligence into 3 categories:
1) Instinctive Intelligence
2) Adaptive Intelligence
3) Working Intelligence and Obedience
Instinctive and Adaptive Intelligence are independent to each dog whereas Working Intelligence and Obedience is more reflective of the breed.
For This List:
Dogs that rank high on this list are considered the best at both learning and listening to commands.
Just because a dog ranked poorly or is dubbed by some as ‘dumb’, doesn’t mean it is. Dogs like humans have selective hearing and can be intelligent but simply choose not to listen because they would rather prioritize their own interests.
Perhaps you have the Einstein of Bulldogs or the Jack Ma of the Chow chows!
1. Border Collie
The gold medalist! Border Collies were specifically bred for obedience and intelligence, and that they are. They are also hard workers used to herd livestock. These dogs can win the brain games and the athletic games too.
Check out Fame’s winning run at the Masters Agility Championship!
The Poodle comes in 3 distinct sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. All of which are very smart and athletic (incredible jumpers), and of course they are a popular choice for dog shows. Originally, the Poodle was bred to be a water retrieving hunting dog. This is where its thick coat comes from!
3. German Shepherd
Rounding out the Top 3 is the ever popular German Shepherd. Intelligent, confident and a more than capable working dog. The German Shepherd’s versatility allows for it to effectively help police in drug detection, search & rescues and chase down felons. They are also a top tier choice for a guide dog.
4. Golden Retriever
Historically the name stems from its ability to ‘Retrieve’ shot game, popular because of its soft mouth which would leave the game undamaged. Like all the dogs at the top of this list they are also highly intelligent. Loyal and beautiful are other traits that come to mind with the Golden Retriever.
5. Doberman Pinscher
The instantly recognizable Doberman Pinscher was developed primarily from Germany as a guard dog. Suited to use its intelligence best for Military and Police work these dogs also check the boxes as a companion and family guardian.
6. Shetland Sheepdog
The name matches their job description. Shetland Sheepdogs were employed by Shetland Farmers to protect their gardens from hungry birds and sheep! Today they make for great family companions and frequently top the charts in dog sports.
7. Labrador Retriever
Bred to be both the perfect companion and a useful working dog. They share many similar characteristics to the Golden Retriever. Experts claim that the most successful guide dogs for the blind are Labradors crossed with Golden Retrievers.
Around since the 16th century the Papillon which means butterfly in French, describes their unique ear shape. Outgoing, energetic, and intelligent, there’s a lot of punch packed into that little 4-9lb frame!
One of the earliest used police dogs, but the Rottweiler was initially used to herd cattle. Powerful and large they will provide great protection and love for your family. Incapable owners have unfortunately been the cause of prejudices this dog faces.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is the winning formula from many years of experimentation to create the perfect herding dog! They’re sturdy with an athletic build, extremely intelligent and will also find success in a variety of canine sports.
16. Belgian Sheepdog
24. Cocker Spaniel
26. Belgian Malinois
35. Giant Schnauzer
37. Airedale Terrier
39. Border Terrier
45. Field Spaniel
49. Gordon Setter
50. Bearded Collie
51. Cairn Terrier
53. Irish Setter
58. English Setter
59. Pharaoh Hound
60. Clumber Spaniel
61. Norwich Terrier
67. Irish Wolfhound
71. Finnish Spitz
77. Siberian Husky
78. Bichon Frise
81. Tibetan Spaniel
82. English Foxhound
91. Great Dane
93. Shiba Inu
95. Alaskan Malamute
97. Chinese Shar Pei
98. Wire Fox Terrier
100. Ibizan Hound