10 Most Intelligent Dogs

Posted by on Jul 7th, 2009 and filed under Pets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

What are the smartest dog breeds in the world?  We all love our dogs, and most of us believe our own dog must be the smartest ever. But is your dog’s breed known as one of the smartest? We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most intelligent dogs ever.  If your dog isn’t on this list, don’t despair. Because sometimes, having a dog with very high intelligence can have its drawbacks.  For example, if a highly intelligent dog is left at home alone all day, they can get bored and become destructive and/or neurotic.  On the other hand, a dog with limited intelligence can be left at home all day, and not even realize you’re gone until a few minutes before you arrive home!  Note: This list should not be confused with the top 10 easiest to train dog breeds.


10. Australian Cattle Dog

australian_cattle_dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a very active breed.  They need to be exercised on a regular basis, both mentally and physically.  As they were originally bred to herd in cattle in Australia (hence the name), they are freethinking, resourceful, and very protective of their property, including people!

9. Rottweiler

rottweiler

The Rottweiler, #9 on our list, has a fearsome reputation that is largely undeserved.  The Rotti is only average in intensity, and make a great family dog.  Not only is the Rottweiler intelligent, but extremely courageous (one of the best guard dogs) and reliable.

8. The Papillon

papillon

Does this dog scare you at all?  Well it should, because Papillons are actually a lot tougher than they look!  Some would characterize Papillons as a little moody and aggressive, but they are simply very possessive of their masters and “home turf”.  It may surprise some that the Papillon is considered one of the most affectionate dogs.  Another very intelligent dog, and very easy to train.

7. Labrador Retriever

labrador-retriever

An extremely loving, affectionate, and patient dog, the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world.  They love to work, and need a lot of exercise.  Without proper exercise, Labs have been known to develop weight problems.  Because of their good nature, and love of children and other dogs, they are a very popular family dog.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

shetland-sheepdog

Many Shetland owners swear that their dog has nearly human intelligence!  Shelties were originally bred to herd hundreds of sheep and cattle, requiring great concentration and, of course, intelligence.  They can be a little wary of strangers and children, but are very loyal and affectionate within their own family.  In fact, the Sheltie very much craves human companionship.

5. Doberman Pinscher

doberman-pinscher

Dobermans are an extremely loyal, assertive, and fearless breed.  They have incredible stamina, and love to work (they are one of the top 10 best guard dog breeds)  Although known as a dominant breed, Dobermans can vary greatly as far as temperament goes.  Some can be quite docile, and even work as therapy dogs in hospitals!  Dobermans can be great family dogs too, if trained properly from an early age.  Although not vicious, you can count on a Doberman to aggressively protect its master if necessary.

4. Golden Retriever

golden-retriever

Consistently ranked as the most popular breed of dog, the Golden Retriever personifies everything we love about dogs-loyal, loving, patient, great with children and eager to please.  With such great intelligence, it’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers excel in obedience competitions and at performing tricks.  It should be no surprise that the Golden ranks highly on our list of top 10 most affectionate dogs.

3. German Shepherd

german_shepherd

German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, courageous, and have a very strong protective instinct (they are one of the best guard dogs).  As long as they are trained in obedience from an early age by a loving but firm hand, they can be great family dogs, and excellent with children.  Because of their intelligence, a German Shepherd needs a purpose or job in life to be truly happy. This intelligence, coupled with their courageous nature make German Shepherds excellent police and search dogs.

2. Poodle

poodle

Yes, the Poodle is at number two.  The standard Poodle is highly intelligent and one of the easiest breeds to train.  They love to be around people, and really hate to be left alone.  Some standard Poodles are good guard dogs, and some can even be trained as hunters!  Overall, Poodles are a sensitive, pleasant and happy breed.

1. Border Collie

border-collie

Like many intelligent breeds, the Border Collie needs a job to do.  If they don’t have a purpose in life or some kind of job, they will not be happy.  Border Collies should  definitely not be left at home alone all day, and if they are, they can become quite destructive. They need constant companionship, praise, and extensive exercise.  So if you work and live in the city, a Border Collie probably isn’t the dog for you!  Because of their legendary intelligence, Border Collies set the standard in competitions for such skills as agility, obedience, and of course, sheepdog trials.

Also Read: The 10 Least Intelligent Dogs

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28 Responses for “10 Most Intelligent Dogs”

  1. adam says:

    I hope you checked out catahulas. I have owned a few dogs on your list and known many of the ones that I have not owned and by far the catahula is number one.

  2. Mel says:

    I agree with Adam – Catahulas are prime! Revise the list!

  3. adams retarded says:

    Adam i can’t believe you even try bringing that argument to the table,
    go to the corner and be ashamed

  4. Susannah says:

    The rottie that I owned has been by FAR the most intelligent dog of the bunch – and I’ve had quite a few! They’re wonderful, but suspect to some life threatening illnesses :(

  5. Cris Waller says:

    This is NOT the same as problem-solving intelligence; it’s how trainable the dogs are.

  6. Chris says:

    I just feel compeled to ask, What criteria do these breeds( not including German Shepard) meet, what testing , what breeding and testing criteria to evaluate the the intelligence or any ability or skill for that matter.
    Well I know of another breed of german dog, that in my opinion, should be at the top of the list and can back it up with generation after generation after generation of strick breeding programs backed by hunt tests, tracking, obedience, cooperation, desire and conformation. these tests all had a minimun requirments to even to be considered to breed. The Deutch Kurzaar or Deutch Drathaar. since their existence( which relatively yougs as far breeds go have been breed to do a wide variety of tasks and do them well. Loyal fearless in world War I they were trained by the Germans to enter to search and track wounded delerious shell shocked soldiers, they were taught to tear the insignia off the victim run back to his handler and lead him back to the wounded.. So tell me what records or realistic data to back some of these other breeds. So do”nt let your ” Fido” do your taxes. Beitia Idaho

  7. BBmG says:

    I think huskies or malamutes should be on here somewhere. They’re very cleaver dogs.

  8. Paul Doorman says:

    Nice list, although it seems you have missed out on rare breeds. Check out a Dokhyi, that rather old and rare breed displays intelligence ranking much higher than German Shepherds etc. Another thing I’d like to mention is not to confuse stubbornness of some breeds with lack of intelligence. In our cultivated society, we have unfortunately come to use command responsivness as a scale for intelligence. Not true in case of soldiers, not true in case of dogs.As I said, check out a Dokhyi, definitely NOT an ordinary dog.

  9. Chantel says:

    In response to Adam: I agree, catahoulas are an intelligent dog, but they’re a member of the cur family, meaning mongrel or mixed breed dog. They’re not recognized by the AKC, so perhaps that is why curs have been left off the list. Enjoyed the list!

  10. Sharon says:

    Hey…Yorkshire Terriers are very smart! Have you ever owned one? Even though these guys are tiny, they pack a big punch. As a matter of fact, when you talk to them, they bark back…They do understand.

  11. Alber says:

    i thinks the best dog is the akita if you train him well

  12. dog luvr says:

    I think it’s funny how everyone thinks their dog is the smartest. I’ve had a papillon, and can attest to the fact that the breed is eerily intelligent. Probably the smartest dog I’ve ever had. He was an a$$****, tho. I’d never have another. I don’t think labs are particulary smart. I currently have a Pit bull, and she is average dog intelligence, I’d say…but adorable and the most lovable of all animals I’ve had.

  13. Grey says:

    Greyhounds should be on there somewhere! My 4 are too smart for their own good!

  14. CattleDogRescue says:

    I agree with Dog luvr! IMHO Heelers are the best breed ever!! (although not for everyone!) Please keep in mind there are breed specific rescues, so opt to adopt!!

  15. Phil says:

    I believe Akitas are incredibly intelligent I would definately rate their level of understanding and memorization above dobermans and Rotti’s. Hard headed yes but worth it!

  16. Johan Svensson says:

    I think that this list is absolute nonsense. I am interested in shepperds and can confirm that the australian dog, the No.10 on this list is one of the dumbest dogs I have ever seen. And the best dog I have ever seen is not even mentioned. It is a shar-planinac breed from ex-Jugoslavia (Montenegro-Serbia). The dog treats the eldest male in the house as his equal. The rest of the family is just a herd for the dog to protect. It does not learn tricks because it is fiercely independent (much like the people there) . In many respects it is almost like a cat. It comes and it goes if it feels like it. It does not take the orders yet it knows exactly what is expected from it. And it has the way to communicate with the people from the family with whom it lives…Fascinating breed. Absolutely astounding dog. Pity it looks plain.

  17. sydney says:

    hey papillons r way smarter than that! i looked up another list and they came 2nd
    whats up with that?

  18. dimaks says:

    i am not a pet lover but knowing this kind of information is just stunning. thanks for sharing them.

  19. Gene says:

    One of the most intelligent breeds ever is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

  20. Tom says:

    Several of the breeds on this list live in the neighborhood I am in, and they are dumb as a box of rocks. I have a Jack Russell Terrier and he can run rings around the dogs on this list. He is extremely intelligent, well trained and disciplined and is refered to as “Lord of the neighborhood” by more than one of my dog loving neighbors. You really need to reevaluate this list and revise it with Jack Russell Terrier on it and in the top five!!

  21. Kerry Tarpey says:

    Good post, thanks a lot!

  22. R.Malm says:

    For all the ppl who protest this list, I think they are stating breeds with the most train ability, all dogs have their own personalities and are intelligent in their own way, but the 10 dogs shown here are highly trainable and will learn with not much effort.

  23. Aldrich says:

    I’m concerned that the Pit bull desires a unique sort of operator…these dogs, no matter how ‘sensitive’ still have teeth, are still animals without moral concepts and when they DO bite, won’t allow go. As in all animals…some often be far more suseptable to instinctual behavior and time and time again, this breed tends to do just that.

  24. Temijuin says:

    I do not know how this list is compiled so cannot comment on the rating of a dog’s intelligence. But I do think that some do not take into consideration the amount of time spent to train dogs when they compare their own with another. Probably the smartest dog in the world would be dumb as a box of rocks in comparison to any other dog if no one had taken the time and effort to train it. So the time it takes to train a dog is probably one key. Another key is the intelligence of the trainer and his/her knowledge of how to train a dog. If a person does not know how to train a dog then the training becomes ineffective.

    The most intelligent dog I have personally known was a small pit bull. She was smart as a whip, but the owners were constantly teaching her, praising, rewarding and spending time with her. In my mind that went a long way towards the dogs “intelligence”.

  25. Soren says:

    Two words: Hungarian Puli.

    They even have a sense of humor.

  26. Jez says:

    Fabulous list, BUT..it seems that for a dog to be listed as intelligent it has to do exactly what someone asked it to do first time. That’s being obeident not intelligent! My friends border collie is clever and wont move a muscle without its owner telling it so, it also will run & fetch a ball for 8 hours straight. My Jack Russell knows what I ask of him, he will only actaully do it if he sees I have a treat in return – won’t do it for nothing & that’s clever! He’ll fetch the ball a few times then gets bored of it. That seems pretty smart too! Surely Jack Russells need to be on this top 10 list?!!

  27. Trekie says:

    http://www.reasonpad.com/2009/07/10-most-intelligent-dogs/

    Please remove offensive racist remark and its author which has no place here!

    This is the item to be removed:
    niggerhater says:
    June 6, 2010 at 10:40 am Niggers make the best togs

  28. Jay says:

    I have a border collie. ^_^ It only takes her a couple of minutes to learn a new trick… and she steals the food off the table…

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