What Dog Is the Smartest?

What Dog Is the Smartest

One of the most common characteristics that most people look for in dogs is intelligence. Unlike many animal species, canines are usually one of the most intelligent.

Most people think that the best breeds of dogs are the most intelligent, but that should not be the case.


Although intelligent canines indeed have more abilities and chances of success in different jobs and activities such as hunting, herding, pointing, etc.

You must not forget that a good breed will adapt to your family and show you love and loyalty regardless of intelligence. In fact, unintelligent dogs can also excel in many activities as long as they are trained correctly.

Before knowing the smartest dog breed, it is essential to understand the aspects that make a dog categorized as “intelligent.”

What Criteria Are Taken Into Account to Determine How Intelligent a Dog Is?

The ranking of intelligent dogs could be determined thanks to Stanley Coren, a psychologist who specialized in studying the intelligence of these animals. Stanley wrote a book called “The Intelligence of Dogs,” which explains the different types of intelligence that these animals can present.

The criteria that Stanley used to determine canine intelligence are:

  • Smarter dogs will learn new commands in fewer repetitions
  • The smartest dogs are those that have a high success rate in obeying a known command on the first try

The Smartest Dog Breed

According to Stanley Coren and many dog ​​owners, the Border Collie is the smartest dog. To get an idea of ​​how intelligent this breed is, let’s understand the following:

An average dog can understand approximately 160 words, while an intelligent canine can understand 250 words or more. The Border Collie is capable of understanding up to 1,000 words. It is the most successful dog when it comes to herding.

Border Collies are descendants of European herding dogs that have been used throughout their history for this activity, making them the best to carry out this type of work.

Many Border Collie owners consider these dogs to be workaholics. Apart from their high level of intelligence, they are affectionate, cheerful, and loyal.

They love to learn new things and will have no problem doing so as they are the fastest learning animals in the world, taking fewer repetitions to understand new commands. They are so cunning that they will devise a plan to get what they want from their owners.

Dogs as intelligent as the Border Collie need to be physically and mentally stimulated; otherwise, this canine could become destructive.

Top 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

The Border Collie is the smartest dog in the world in every way possible. However, there are other breeds of canines that also have a very high level of intelligence, not only to carry out various activities but also to understand people’s emotions.

In the following table, we will indicate the top 10 of the most intelligent dogs in the world, including the Border Collie:

#Breed
1Border Collie
2Poodle
3German Shepherd
4Golden Retriever
5Doberman Pinscher
6Shetland Sheepdog
7Labrador Retriever
8Papillon
9Rottweiler
10Australian Cattle Dog
10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds Table
  • Poodle: The Poodle is one of the most intelligent, elegant, and popular dogs out there. This breed stands out for having excellent cognitive and emotional intelligence. Any type of Poodle (Toy, miniature, or standard) is capable of learning complicated tricks and commands quickly. These dogs love challenging activities like sports, agility training, hunting, etc.
  • German Shepherd: The German Shepherd is among the most popular and highly recognized police dogs due to its excellent skills. It is difficult to find a more loyal and protective breed than this one. Its high energy level and incredible intelligence make it one of the most versatile canines in the world, capable of performing various tasks and learning new things quickly.
  • Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever is one of the easiest breeds to train due to its high intelligence and desire to learn new things. The strength of its intelligence lies in its willingness to learn and carry out the orders its owners give.
  • Doberman Pinscher: Apart from the strength, speed, endurance, and size of these dogs, intelligence is also another of their distinctive characteristics. It is a relatively easy animal to train, so if you want a well-rounded dog, the Doberman Pinscher is an excellent choice.
  • Shetland Sheepdog: The Shetland Sheepdog is characterized by being very observant of its surroundings and easily understanding people’s emotions. It is a canine designed for people who love to teach their pets new tricks. It has a quick learning ability, so you won’t have any trouble training it.
  • Labrador Retriever: The Labrador Retriever is the most common breed in the United States, and that is because it is a very gentle and affectionate dog. However, its extraordinary intelligence makes it even more desired by many dog ​​lovers. Unlike many other breeds, the Labrador Retriever excels at learning things from humans on their own by either observing or imitating them.
  • Papillon: This is the most intelligent small-sized dog breed. The Papillon takes advantage of its own intelligence to learn new tricks quickly. This canine can be trained to perform any type of activity not only because of its intelligence but also because of its desire to please its owners.
  • Rottweiler: This dog stands out for having to read people through facial signals and body language. Its keen perception and awareness make it ideal as a police, search, rescue, and guard dog. It is one of the most intelligent large dog breeds willing to please.
  • Australian Cattle Dog: It is one of the most intelligent cattle herding dogs. It needs to be physically and mentally stimulated every day, as if it gets bored, it could become destructive. Like other breeds we have mentioned, the Australian Cattle Dog is good at reading people and knowing what they are feeling.