What Dogs Are Smart?

Generally, dogs are smart. They have their own way to prove it, and at the same time, their owners have their own way to judge it.

So when dog owners are asked “what dogs are smart”, they would probably mention the breed of their pet dog. And this sometimes results to arguments or disagreements. So, in this article, we are going to name the smartest dogs and what factors qualified them to be in the list.

How is dogs’ intelligence gauge?

According to canine psychologist, Stanley Coren, determining dog intelligence vary on different elements. As every breed is unique to one another, it is impossible and unfair to focus only on one thing. In his book, which he wrote in the 90s, he mentioned the factors to determine how intelligent a dog is – instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working obedience intelligence.

1. Instinctive Intelligence discusses to the dog’s hereditary character, or the ability it is raised for. Different dogs are bred for herding, guarding, fetching, hunting and so on. For example, a dog bred for hunting is born with the ability to track down animals, root out, retrieve, etc. while a guard dog has the natural ability to watch over things.   How to Get Rid of Dog Smell in the HousePlay Video

2. Adaptive Intelligence refers to the dog’s ability to learn and respond accordingly to their environment by themselves. Their daily instances and experiences help them relate and solve problems on their own. For example, they learn how to open or close a door on their own.

3. Obedience and Working Intelligence is the dog’s ability to understand commands and performing them in accordance with it. This is the most important factor when you are training your dog. You can gauge it through how fast they can understand and perform a command.

10 Smartest Dogs

Using these criteria, Coren administered a survey to registered judges of dog obedience in North America, and it gave rise to the result which he included in his book. The top 10 dogs included in the list are the smartest working dogs which are said to obey command at least 95% percent of the time. They can also learn new commands in less than 5 tries.

1. Border Collie

This dog belongs to the working and herding breed. It’s a medium size dog with an intelligent expression. Its” herding eye” is famous among this breed. They are known as the most agile in the canine kingdom. Their intelligence, obedience and trainability make them stand out.

2. Poodle

Poodles are also among the most intelligent dogs. They are easy to train and they carry out most of the given task quite well and this can be proven by the many best in show awards they have received. They are also characterized by their elegance and loving temperament.

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherd is one of the large-sized working dogs and they are considered the finest. What makes them stand out among the rest is their agility, loyalty, courage, confidence and their ability to learn commands in only a short period of time. They can also be great family pets and guardians.

4. Golden Retriever

As gun dogs, golden retriever excels at sniffing, tracking and retrieving something for hunters. Their nose helps them remember things, so they are sometimes used in sniffing out contraband. They are also fairly easy to train and are agile.

5. Doberman Pinscher

Muscular, powerful, fast, and intelligent, it’s how this dog breed is known. They are also fearless and vigilant, making them one of the best guard dogs. Their energy and wit also helps them do well in military and police work.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

A dog that do well in herding, guarding and tracking. Shetland Sheepdog can be vigilant and agile, and loyal and loving at the same time. They have an above average intelligence and trainability, so it is not impossible to make them do what you train them to do.

7. Labrador Retriever

America’s most popular breed in known for its sweet face, outgoing and friendly temperament, Labrador Retriever makes a great pet.They are also high-spirited and very affectionate, not to mention intelligent. As they are bred as one of the working dogs, teaching them things is quite easy.

8. Papillon

Papillon, also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel is one of the toy breeds characterized by their unusual ear shape. Their size corresponds to their being active and alert.  They are also overly smart. They can learn tricks and steps which can qualify them to sports or dance competition.

9. Rottweiler

Rottweiler is a domestic dog known for its great strength. It is also a loving companion and an assertive guardian. As they are one of the earliest police dogs, you can already assume how smart they can be.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

This herding dog is an active and sturdy dog. Moreover, it is highly intelligent. Having a job to do is what makes it happy and you can easily train them what you want them to do. They are also a loving family pet. They remain loyal and they protect their family with their lives.


Before bringing home one of these dogs, make sure you completely understand everything about them. Remember, smartest isn’t always the best.

You should still consider a few things like their adaptability, your style and the environment. Choose the one that suits you, and unleash each other’s possibilities.


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