Top 30 Smartest Dogs in the World
For centuries, dogs have been lauded for their skill and ability to help their human companions with difficult tasks. Of course, some dogs are simply a cute face and a friend to snuggle with, and that’s just fine. But others have a beauty and brains.
Used data from University of British Columbia psychology professor Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs , to identify and rank the 30 smartest dogs.
According to Coren, the top 10 most intelligent dogs need fewer than five repetitions to understand a new command, and obey the first command 95 percent of the time (or better). The second tier of dogs, which he names “excellent working dogs,” understand new commands after five to 15 repetitions and obey the first command 85 percent of the time (or better). The third tier, which he names “above average working dogs,” understand new commands after 15 to 25 repetitions and obey first commands 70 percent of the time (or better).
The dogs on the list will be ordered according to intelligence tiers, and then ranked alphabetically within that tier.
#1 - Border CollieTier: Brightest Dogs
Border collies make newspaper titles frequently with their heroic acts and incredible abilities. This breed is easy to train and is great around kids.
#2 - PoodleTier: Brightest Dogs
Not only is the poodle extremely smart but it is also easy to train. Poodles, along with German shepherds and border collies, have even been found to be as smart as an average two-and-a-half-year old.
#3 - German ShepherdTier: Brightest Dogs
The common face of police dogs, German shepherds are extremely loyal and protective. They are commonly used in sniffing out narcotics and lost persons.
#4 - Golden RetrieverTier: Brightest Dogs
The Golden retriever is a bright and loving breed. These dogs respond well to basic and advanced training, and they excel in hunting and search and rescue.
#5 - Doberman PinscherTier: Brightest Dogs
#6 - Shetland SheepdogTier: Brightest Dogs
Commonly called miniature collies, Shetland sheepdogs are so smart that training is a breeze. They are also an energetic dog, so expect them to be active.
#7 - Labrador RetrieverTier: Brightest Dogs
The Labrador retriever has an amazing ability to learn. Even new and inexperienced dog owners will be able to teach this breed.
#8 - PapillonTier: Brightest Dogs
Papillons are a gorgeous breed with their butterfly-like ears and silky fur. The breed is so smart that they can be trained to win competitive agility trials at the sport’s highest levels.
#9 - RottweilerTier: Brightest Dogs
The Rottweiler is a strong and fearless breed from Germany. These dogs are very smart and are inclined to obey their owners on command.
#10 - Australian Cattle DogTier: Brightest Dogs
Australian cattle dogs require regular exercise to maintain their health, but owners will be rewarded with a very smart herder. Even though they are commonly used on ranches, this breed also makes a great service dog.
#11 - Pembroke Welsh CorgiTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Pembroke Welsh corgi and its cousin, the Cardigan Welsh corgi are both highly intelligent breeds. With a smart companion like the corgi, owners won’t need to spend too much time on training.
#12 - Miniature SchnauzerTier: Excellent Working Dogs
Not only are Miniature schnauzers excellent learners, but they also can hear frequency levels twice as high as humans.
#13 - English Springer SpanielTier: Excellent Working Dogs
What many dog owners love about the English springer spaniel is its talents and ability to complete many tasks. The breed excels at tracking, agility training, hunting and more.
#14 - Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)Tier: Excellent Working Dogs
In Belgium, Tervurens work as trained police dogs. This breed is loved for their intelligence and high levels of trainability.
#15 - SchipperkeTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Schipperkes are naturally curious and confident. This breed makes a great watchdog and it is suitable for families with children.
#16 - Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendael)Tier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Belgian sheepdogs participate in a variety of tasks, from competitive obedience to search and rescue. To avoid boredom, owners need to add a lot of variety to their training routine.
#17 - CollieTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Collie is a large purebred known for its friendly, intelligent and social disposition. Most call this breed the "Lassie dog" due to the popular fictional collie known for its heroic acts.
#18 - KeeshondTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The keeshond performs well in obedience and agility competitions due to its ability to be trained easily and quickly.
#19 - German Shorthaired PointerTier: Excellent Working Dogs
This versatile hunting dog is smart and willing to please its owner. German shorthaired pointers are gifted hunters and gun dogs.
#20 - Flat-Coated RetrieverTier: Excellent Working Dogs
While the Flat-coated retriever is similar to a Labrador retriever, the breed can be more aggressive. This breed makes an excellent working dog and it is known for being multi-talented.
#21 - English Cocker SpanielTier: Excellent Working Dogs
It won’t take long training sessions to see results with an English cocker spaniel pup. This breed regularly competes in obedience activities due to easy training.
#22 - Standard SchnauzerTier: Excellent Working Dogs
There is no doubt about it: Schnauzers are smart breeds, since the miniature, giant and standard breeds all made the list. The Standard schnauzer needs plenty of physical and mental exercise to keep it from growing restless.
#23 - BrittanyTier: Excellent Working Dogs
#24 - Cocker SpanielTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Cocker spaniel’s easy demeanor makes it a great companion and therapy dog. The breed is also easy to train for show competitions.
#25 - WeimaranerTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Weimaraners are large purebreds from Germany. These dogs participate in a wide variety of activities, from pointing and retrieving to search and rescue.
#26 - Bernese Mountain DogTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Bernese mountain dog has an innate desire to work. This giant purebred is not just smart, but it is also strong. It can pull up to 1,000 pounds, although owners should be careful not to overexert their dogs.
#27 - PomeranianTier: Excellent Working Dogs
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the Pomeranian’s high levels of intelligence make it easy to train. The breed desires to please its owner, making this adorable canine a agreeable companion.
#28 - Irish Water SpanielTier: Excellent Working Dogs
Don’t confuse this smart and enthusiastic dog with a poodle. The Irish water spaniel excels at water retrieving and obedience training, but there are only around 1,500 remaining in the world.
#29 - VizslaTier: Excellent Working Dogs
#30 - Cardigan Welsh CorgiTier: Excellent Working Dogs
The Cardigan Welsh corgis have more tenacity than their Pembroke brother. One bright Cardigan Welsh corgi named King Tut saved his diabetic owner’s life several times.