Smartest Dog Breeds

Although you may not want them completing your taxes, recent research has indicated that dogs are considerably more intelligent than they are given credit for. According to the consensus of several behavioral measures, studies demonstrate that dogs have mental abilities that are similar to a human child between the ages of two to two-and-a-half years old.

Not only can dogs count, most breeds can also understand upwards of 150 words and intentionally participate in deception to get rewarded with treats. In fact, renowned canine researcher Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia concludes that dogs have the ability to exhibit problem solving skills more like humans and other higher primates than previously believed.

Image Breed Breed Group Size Color Overview
Border Collie Border Collie Herding Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds

Considered the workaholic in the dog world, the Border Collie is a premier sheep herder that is prized around the globe for its extraordinary intelligence, natural instincts, and strong working abilities. Ranked as the number one most intelligent&

Poodle Poodle Toy Dog Breeds Non-Sporting Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Blue Dog Breeds Gray Dog Breeds

Poodles are formal dog breeds that come in s

Golden Retriever Golden Retriever Hunting Dog Breeds Large Dog Breeds Gold Dog Breeds

With its intelligence and grace, the Golden Retriever is undoubtedly one of the most popular breeds today in the United States. Not only as a loyal companion to many families, the breed’s working abilities has made the Golden Retriever an id

Doberman Pinscher Doberman Pinscher Working Dog Breeds Large Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

The noble Doberman pincher is a member of th

Labrador Retriever Labrador Retriever Hunting Dog Breeds Large Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds

Affectionately referred to simply as “Labs” by their loyal owners, Labrador Retrievers are excellent family dogs with a gentle, intelligent, and loving disposition. Largely considered the most popular breed in the world taking the top&

Papillon Papillon Toy Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Brown Dog Breeds

The Papillon, pronounced (PAP ee yon) is a v

Rottweiler Rottweiler Working Dog Breeds Giant Dog Breeds

Robust and powerful with a substantial medium-large build, Rottweilers, also referred to as Rotties, are often a popular breed for its ability to guard and protect. With an astounding level of intelligence, endurance, and willingness to work, the&

Australian Cattle Dog Australian Cattle Dog Herding Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds Blue Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

The Australian Cattle Dog was developed in A

Italian Greyhound Italian Greyhound Toy Dog Breeds Small Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Blue Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds Gray Dog Breeds

Classified in the Toy Group, The Italian Gre

Australian Shepherd Australian Shepherd Herding Dog Breeds Medium Dog Breeds White Dog Breeds Black Dog Breeds Red Dog Breeds

Affectionately nicknamed the “Aussie,” the Australian Shepherd is an animated and active breed with a great deal of stamina for agility, obedience, and even herding livestock. As a loyal, devoted, and wholeheartedly loving dog breed, A

As with humans, not all dogs are on the same level of intelligence though. While the average dog can learn around 165 words and signals, the most intelligent dogs that are ranked within the top 20 percent for dog intelligence can actually learn an average of 250 words and understand basic arithmetic.

So, which are the smartest dog breeds that reign in canine academia? First published in 1994 and updated in 2006, "The Intelligence of Dogs" by Stanley Coren ranks dogs by their different intelligence levels to demonstrate that are among the smartest dog breeds. Completely based on scientific measurements, smartness in dogs is typically measured in three aspects, which are instinctive, adaptive, and working or obedience intelligence.

With the book's results focused on working and obedience intelligence for the dogs' ability to learn from training, Coren compiled a full ranking system based on surveys completed by dog trainers from specified norms. Capable of understanding new commands with fewer than five repetitions, the smartest dog breeds that were among the easiest dogs to train include the Border Collie, Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and Doberman Pinscher. On the flip side, the dog breeds that consistently have ranked at the lower spectrum of intelligence are the Afghan Hound, Basenji, Bulldog, Chow Chow, and Borzoi.

Overall, as with human intelligence, dog intelligence comes in multiple forms that are determined by the breed's inherent abilities and characteristics. If a dog is bred to retrieve, herd, or hunt, it is most likely that the breed will be quick to learn, eager to work hard, and strive to please you. If a dog is bred to be a guard dog or a scent hound, there is a good chance that the breed will be rather dense and very easily distracted.

It is important for prospective dog owners to remember that the smartest dog breeds may not necessarily make the best companions for everyone. Instead of dwelling on intelligence level, it is wisest to find a dog breed that suits your lifestyle and bring out the best in the dog with training.