The 10 most intelligent dog breeds, according to scientific study
Undoubtedly, there is an element of bias that comes into play when discussing the smartest breed of dog, but there is actually scientific evidence that prevents heated arguments among passionate owners.
The Intelligence of Dogs by psychologist Stanley Coren was first published in the early 1990s.
Within the dog-related tome, Coren examines breeds through three forms of intelligence – instinctively, as in what they were originally bred for; adaptable, refers to the ability to solve problems on your own; and obedience, which relates to how well they handle information from people.
It may come as no surprise that the book hit the headlines when it was released and sparked much debate among dog lovers as to whether or not they agreed with the rankings, but three decades later, it is now considered an indispensable guide for breeds.
Always worth revisiting, especially now that so many people have become new dog owners from the lockdown or are considering getting a dog now as life is back to normal.
So, here are the top 10 breeds in order of their intelligence …
(Image: Alan Tunnicliffe Photography / GettyImages)
1. Border collie
Most people associate the Border Collie with sheep herding, and it’s remarkable to watch them at work and watch how they respond to commands, so it should come as no surprise that this bright-eyed breed takes the lead.
The Poodle can be easy to overlook as they are often viewed as a well-groomed, pampered breed, but that does them a disservice as they are incredibly smart, patient, and able to learn all sorts of commands.
3. German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd is valued as it is hard-working dogs that were originally bred for herding, but are now widely used as part of the police and the military. They are also extremely loyal so you don’t have to worry about home intruders.
(Image: JustinPaget / GettyImages)
4. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are popular family dogs because they are trustworthy, dependable, adaptable, and smarter than some attribute to them. They are also interested in pleasing and retain a puppy-like curiosity throughout their lives.
5. Doberman Pinscher
The impressive-looking Doberman Pinscher is a powerful breed that boasts brains and muscle strength. Like the German Shepherd, this dog is often recruited as a form of protection because of its good perception.
6. Shetland sheepdog
Active as well as intelligent, the Shetland dog really blooms when given tasks. Like the border collie, these dogs are super active and need a lot of stimulation.
Are you team dogs?
7. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers have canine eyes and a sweet temperament that make them one of the most popular dogs in the country, but they also have a lot of brain power which is why they are often trained to be guide dogs.
Don’t be fooled by the tiny Papillon breed. These sociable little dogs are smart, sociable, and enjoy relaxing as well as running around.
(Image: RichLegg / GettyImages)
The Rottweiler has suffered from negative headlines over the years, but these commanding dogs are loyal and protective, as well as intelligent, so they make notable watch dogs.
10. Australian cattle dog
As the name suggests, the Australian Cattle Dog has been used as a herding animal for years, and with great success. They enjoy structure in their lives and learn new commands, which is why they group the ten best intelligent races together.