Top of the Class: The 10 Smartest Dog Breeds in the World

Posted by Katherine Ripley
scott1346/Flickr

If you want an intelligent companion, get one of these breeds.

Dogs are about as smart as the average two-year-old, but there is a range of intelligence across different breeds. From learning new commands to just knowing what you are thinking, these intelligent dogs will win you over with their smarts.

Here are the 10 smartest dog breeds:

1. Border Collie

Corinne Benavides/Flickr
Corinne Benavides/Flickr

Border Collies are so smart that they need to have a job to keep them occupied. They make excellent herding dogs, and as family pets they are happy to help around the house. Australian Cattle Dogs and Australian Shepherds also fall into this category.

2. Poodle

drburtoni/Flickr
drburtoni/Flickr

Poodles are usually associated with canine fashion, but they are also highly intelligent. They were originally bred for bird hunting and water retrieving, and have been trained to bring supplies to soldiers wounded in battle.

3. German Shepherd

Ronoli/Flickr
Ronoli/Flickr

German Shepherds make great police, military, and security guard dogs. They’re trained to sniff out bombs, drugs, and people, and they’re extremely loyal to and protective of their masters. Belgian Malinois and Belgian Tervuren also fall into this same vein.

4. Golden Retriever

danibelle2906/Flickr
danibelle2906/Flickr

Golden Retrievers make fantastic family pets, and their intelligence makes them well-suited to be service dogs. English Setters can also be put in the smart retriever category.

5. Doberman Pinscher

smartest dog breeds
pato garza/Flickr

The Doberman Pinscher was originally bred to be a guardian by a tax collector who wanted protection while making his rounds. Dobermans also make great police dogs and military dogs.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

SheltieBoy/Flickr
SheltieBoy/Flickr

Herding dogs like the Sheltie tend to be highly intelligent. These working dogs make great family pets and can be easily trained to perform in agility competitions. Obedience judges love Shelties!

7. Labrador Retriever

smartest dog breeds
Golden Retriever – Labrador/Flickr

Friendly and intelligent, Labs have been the most popular dog breed in the U.S. for two decades and make wonderful family dogs. Labs are great hunting dogs, and they are also frequently used for water dog rescue, as therapy dogs, and as assistance dogs, such as seeing eye dogs.

8. Papillon

Furbychan/Flickr
Furbychan/Flickr

At only 11 inches high, the Papillon is the smartest of the toy dog breeds. They’re highly active and highly trainable little dogs.

9. Rottweiler

rottweiler
Lorraine Yeung/Flickr

Rottweilers can get a bad reputation, but they are actually very affectionate when they are raised with love. They are extremely loyal to their families and don’t hesitate to defend them.

10. Bloodhound

smartest dog breeds
M J/Flickr

The Bloodhound is known for its powerful sense of smell. They can be easily trained to help the police find fugitives or missing persons.

It’s only when these smart dogs start outsmarting their owners does trouble ensue. Learn how to teach the most basic commands here.

Which of these popular breeds do you have? Tell us in the comments!

WATCH NOW: 5 Best Herding Dog Breeds


Top of the Class: The 10 Smartest Dog Breeds in the World