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

Posted by Katherine Ripley
two labrador retriever dog

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If you want an intelligent companion, get one of these popular breeds. Dogs are about as smart as the average two-year-old, but there is a range of dog 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. If only their barks could talk! If you have any of these breeds, ensure they never stop learning new tricks or going through obedience trials!

1. Border Collie

Border collie

Border Collies are so smart that they need to have a job to keep them occupied. These high-energy pups 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




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

German Shepherd Dog Laying On Grass

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

purebred golden retriever jumping in a training of agility

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
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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


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

Labrador retriever with leash is waiting for walk.

Friendly and intelligent, Labs have been the most popular AKC (American Kennel Club) 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.

Labs are all-around a good dog!

8. Papillon


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

9. 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

Beautiful puppies Bloodhound on a light background. Four bloodhound puppy

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

Other intelligent breeds include the Pembroke Welsh Corgis, German Shorthaired Pointers, English Springer Spaniels, Afghan Hounds, Belgian Sheepdogs, Great Danes, and the Miniature Schnauzers.

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 dog breeds do you have? Do you think these are the smartest breeds in the world? Tell us in the comments!

WATCH NOW: 5 Best Herding Dog Breeds

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