These Are the Smartest Purebred Dogs in the World!

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?

Dog wearing glasses reading a book

Psychologist Stanley Coren performed rigorous testing to better understand canine intelligence.

He is the author of The Intelligence of Dogsthe 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

Border collies are the smartest dog in the world

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!

2. Poodle

white poodle second smartest dog in the world

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

German Shepherd the 3rd smartest dog in the world

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

Golden Retriever 4th Smartest Dog

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

Doberman Pinscher 5th smartest dog in the world

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

Gold lab looking nice

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.

8. Papillon

Papillon dog is the 8th smartest dog in the world

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!

9. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are the worlds 9th smartest dog breed

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 

Australian cattle dog the 10th smartest dog in the world

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.


11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

12. Miniature Schnauzer

13. English Springer Spaniel

14. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)

15. Schipperke

16. Belgian Sheepdog

17. Collie

18. Keeshond

19. German Shorthaired Pointer

20. Flat-Coated Retriever

21. English Cocker Spaniel

22. Standard Schnauzer

23. Brittany

24. Cocker Spaniel

25. Weimaraner

26. Belgian Malinois

27. Bernese Mountain Dog

28. Pomeranian

29. Irish Water Spaniel

30. Vizsla

31. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

32. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

33. Puli

34. Yorkshire Terrier

35. Giant Schnauzer

36. Portuguese Water Dog

37. Airedale Terrier

38. Bouvier des Flandres

39. Border Terrier

40. Briard

41. Welsh Springer Spaniel

42. Australian Shepherd

43. Manchester Terrier

44. Samoyed

45. Field Spaniel

46. Newfoundland

47. Australian Terrier

48. American Staffordshire Terrier

49. Gordon Setter

50. Bearded Collie

51. Cairn Terrier

52. Kerry Blue Terrier

53. Irish Setter

54. Norwegian Elkhound

55. Affenpinscher

56. Australian Silky Terrier

57. Miniature Pinscher

58. English Setter

59. Pharaoh Hound

60. Clumber Spaniel

61. Norwich Terrier

62. Dalmatian

63. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier

64. Bedlington Terrier

65. Smooth Fox Terrier

66. Curly Coated Retriever

67. Irish Wolfhound

68. Kuvasz

69. Australian Shepherd

70. Saluki

71. Finnish Spitz

72. Pointer

73. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

74. German Wirehaired Pointer

75. Black and Tan Coonhound

76. American Water Spaniel

77. Siberian Husky

78. Bichon Frise

79. Havanese

80. King Charles Spaniel

81. Tibetan Spaniel

82. English Foxhound

83. Otterhound

84.Jack Russell Terrier

85. American Foxhound

86. Greyhound

87. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

88. West Highland White Terrier

89. Scottish Deerhound

90. Boxer

91. Great Dane

92. Dachshund

93. Shiba Inu

94. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

95. Alaskan Malamute

96. Whippet

97. Chinese Shar Pei

98. Wire Fox Terrier

99. Rhodesian Ridgeback

100. Ibizan Hound