Here Are The 5 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

Dogs are undoubtedly quite intelligent creatures. There aren't many animals that you can train to learn the complex sequence of actions and events that should happen after you give them a command. Think about it for a second. Even though your dog doesn't have the language processing capabilities to know what the word "sit" means, they have enough hearing to understand this word's sound and perform an action after. And, once they learn a trick, their powerful memory means that you won't have to teach them over and over again. Smarter dogs are definitely the easiest to train.

As you might expect, though, some dog breeds are smarter than others (meaning these breeds can learn commands faster than others). If you want one of the most intelligent dog breeds - the smartest of the smart - read on to see which five top that list of most intelligent dog breeds!

The Most Intelligent Dog Breed: Border Collie

Border collies are arguably the most intelligent dog breed. They can learn a new command in less than five repetitions more than 95% of the time. Border collies also have a strong instinct and herding intelligence, making them "smart" not just in terms of doing tricks but overall functioning throughout life. 

As a fun fact, the title of the world's most intelligent dog goes to a border collie who understood over 1,000 nouns. It's hard to imagine many other dogs being able to understand 1,000 words! While it might not be much for a human to know what 1,000 nouns mean, it truly is a remarkable feat for a dog of reasonably limited exposure to the English language.


Aside from being one of the best dogs for cats, Poodles are also incredibly smart! With distinctive looks and lovely coat of fur, poodles are amongst the most loyal and intelligent dog breeds. You can show a poodle a trick, and in less than five repetitions, they'll learn and perform the trick 95% of the time. 

Poodles are also beautiful dogs to have in general. They are great small dogs for families and are incredibly excellent for those with children. If you're looking to get a dog, you'd be hard-pressed to find a breed better than a poodle!

Golden Retriever

The venerable golden retriever makes the list of most intelligent dog breeds. These dogs are famous for a few reasons, one of which is its intelligence. Golden retrievers tend to be easy to train and low maintenance, in general. It's one of America's most popular dog breeds because of how friendly and devoted they are. Most people find them easy to train and eager to please, all of which are excellent characteristics!

When it comes to caring for your pet, these dogs are relatively low maintenance and work well with children. Their intelligence makes them relatively easy to train, so if you're looking for an awesome dog that doesn't require a lot of upkeep, a golden retriever might be for you!

German Shepherd

If you're looking for another one of the most intelligent dog breeds, look no further than the German shepherd, the second most popular dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. German shepherds are incredibly popular dogs, in part because of their intelligence. These dogs are notoriously easy to train, and they want to be a part of the family, making them the perfect pet for many households.

This dog's intelligence is a big reason why you'll see this breed in many working roles. German shepherds are seeing-eye dogs, they work in police forces, and they are therapy dogs.

They're also one of the best guard dog breeds. With a friendly demeanor and a broad skill set, these dogs work well on any profession's front lines.

Labrador Retriever

The most popular dog breed in America is also one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Labrador retrievers are eager to learn and show off their tricks. Labs love to play, run, and explore their environment in a friendly way. These dogs can socialize with their immediate family, other dogs, and the neighbors.

Labrador retrievers have high energy, so they'll frequently be receptive to learning a new trick. If you have kids, the kids and the lab can happily run around for hours!

Intelligence and Friendliness: These Five Most Intelligent Dog Breeds Deliver

All five of the dog breeds on this list are intelligent and friendly. They work well with kids and have their unique characteristics. If you're looking for one of the loyal and intelligent dog breeds, look no further than the border collie, poodle, golden retriever, German shepherd, and the Labrador retriever.

Are all dog breeds intelligent?

All dog breeds have some intelligence (just like humans do), but not all dog breeds would be considered "intelligent." Some of the least intelligent dog breeds include the Beagle, Mastiff, and bulldog. Please note that, although these dogs may be at the bottom of the intelligence rankings, they are still fantastic pets. The Beagle still ranks as one of America's favorite dogs. If you are looking for a pet that can perform tasks or one that is incredibly easy to train, then dog intelligence can matter quite a bit. If not, then you can focus on other areas when selecting a dog to take home. Intelligence is fantastic, but it's not the only trait that matters in a dog!

Do different dog breeds have different levels of intelligence?

Yes, virtually every dog breed has a different level of intelligence than the others. Furthermore, even dogs within a particular breed will display a varying level of intelligence. You may get a brilliant dog from a less intelligent breed. Conversely, you may get a less-than-intelligent dog from a breed consistently ranked high in brightness. Every dog is different.

What are the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds?

The top 10 most intelligent breeds are: Border collie, Poodle, Golden retriever, German shepherd, Labrador retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Shetland Sheepdog, Papillion, Rottweiler, and Australian cattle Dog. Please note that this is not a scientific list that orders the top 10 in any way (that is, a poodle is not necessarily more intelligent than a German shepherd). It's merely a list of the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds.

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Written by Leo Roux


Any puppies for sale

Aida Camacho on Jan 12, 2021

My experience with Akitas’ put them up as remarkably intelligent. They are easily trained despite their strong will. They ignore people and other dogs until they are introduced or let to get to know them at their pace. They are also very patient and observant.

Dave Pesheck on Jan 12, 2021

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