Considered man´s best friends, dogs are known for their loyalty, desire to please; and of course, high intelligence. As valued members of our families, dog owners know that dogs are indeed intelligent, after all, they can be taught to do so many things! However, there are some striking differences among individual dog breeds when it comes to their level of intelligence. As you can probably imagine, measuring canine intelligence is very difficult but there is an internationally recognized study that has done just that. Published by Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the book is called “The Intelligence of Dogs” and based on this study, Coren also published a list ranking individual dog breeds by their level intelligence. This ranking is now generally accepted as a valid description of the differences among dog breeds in terms of the trainability aspect of dog intelligence. So now, is your pooch one of the smartest dogs in the world? There is only one way to find out. Read on to discover the 25 smartest dog breeds ever!
If you like our 25 smartest dog breeds list, you may also enjoy these 25 incredible dogs that have done extraordinary things.
Originating in Hungary, the Vizsla is a medium size dog bred for hunting fowl and game. They are Known for having an excellent sense of smell and as you can probably imagine are easy to train.
Irish Water Spaniel
A sturdy, medium size dog, the Irish Water Spaniel is native to Ireland where it was used to fetch game and fowl. A willing and energetic companion, the Irish Water Spaniel is sometimes referred to as the clown of the Spaniel family.
Commonly known as Pom or Pom Pom, the Pomeranian is a small dog breed of the Spitz type. Weighing up to 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds) and standing 13 – 28 cm (5–11 inches) high at the withers, the Pomeranian is a smart dog, especially popular among British royalty.
Malinois / Bernese Mountain Dog
The Malinois and the Bernese Mountain Dog are tied for 22nd place. The Malinois is a medium size dog used for tasks including the detection of explosives and narcotics, search and rescue missions etc. while the Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed native to Swiss Alps where it was used to help local herders.
Originating in Germany, the Weimaraner is a short-coated dog bred for hunting large game. They are very lively and energetic dogs notable for their unusually light, grey or blue eyes. Highly athletic and trainable, the Weimaraner excels in a variety of dog sports.
Originally bred as a hunting dog in the United Kingdom, the Cocker Spaniel is a long-coated small to medium size dog of the Spaniel family. Currently, there are two different breeds of this dog type – the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel.
Named after the Brittany, a region in northwestern France where the dog originated, the Brittany is a breed of gun dog bred primarily for bird hunting. When well socialized and trained, the Brittanies are all around sound dogs, excelling as companions, family pets and field dogs.
Flat-Coated Retriever / Standard Schnauzer
The flat coated retriever and the standard schnauzer are tied for the 18th spot. Developed as a retriever in the UK, the Flat-Coated Retriever is an active, multi-talented dog with a strong desire to please people. The Standard Schnauzer on the other hand is a robust, squarely built very smart, working or utility dog that is easy to train.
German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a medium to large sized dog breed developed in the 19th century in Germany for hunting. Usually very good with children, the GSP is an intelligent, bold, boisterous, eccentric, cooperative and easy-to-train dog.
Collie / Keeshond
Battle-ling it out for the 16th spot comes the Collie and the Keeshound, a pair of fury and lovable dogs. Originating in Scotland and Northern England, the Collie is a medium-sized, very active breed kept as a working dog, sporting dog or family pet. The Keeshond is also a medium-sized dog with a plush two-layer coat of silver and black fur with a ruff and a curled tail.
Schipperke / Belgian Sheepdog
Originating in Belgium in the early 16th century, the Schipperke is a small dog that was bred to serve as a shepherd. Recognized by its distinctive black coat, the Belgian Sheepdog is a medium-sized, active, loyal and smart dog that loves children.
Also known as the Belgian Shepherd Dog, the Tervuren is another long-coated Belgian dog originally bred for herding. Tervurens are highly energetic, intelligent dogs who require a job to keep them occupied. They also love competing in dog agility trials and obedience events.
English Springer Spaniel
Originating in England in the 18th century, the ESS is a breed of gun dog in the Spaniel family traditionally used for flushing and retrieving game. With an average lifespan of up to 15 years, this Spaniel is always eager to please, quick to learn and willing to obey.
Bred as a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and one or more smaller breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer is a German breed used as a ratting dog. Thanks to its high intelligence and good temperament, it is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Favored by British royalty for more than 70 years, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the smallest herding dogs. Easily recognizable by its distinctive large erect ears, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to be a part of a family and is always eager to learn and train.
Australian Cattle Dog
Another breed of a herding dog, the Australian Cattle Dog was developed in Australia for droving cattle over long distances. Known for its endurance, active mind and easy trainability, the Australian Cattle Dog ranks as the world´s 10th most intelligent dog.
Originating in Germany, the Rottweiler is a large, robust and muscular dog that was once used to pull loaded carts. These days, thanks to its good nature, outstanding intelligence and eagerness to work, the Rottweiler is often used as a rescue, guide or police dog.
Easily recognizable by its characteristic butterfly-like look of the long and fringed hair on the ears, the Papillon is a dog of the toy Spaniel family. Originating in France, the Papillon is a popular pet dog known for its smartness and a happy and friendly temperament.
Often known just as Labrador or Lab, the Labrador Retriever is a large, playful dog native to Canada where it has been the most popular breed for decades. Notable for its intelligent and friendly nature, the Labrador is often trained as a guide dog and a therapy dog.
Commonly known as the Sheltie, the Shetland Sheepdog is a small to medium size dog breed developed in Scotland where it was used as a herding and farming dog. The Shelties are lively, excitable and energetic dogs who are always willing to please, train and work hard.
Named after K. F. L. Dobermann, a German tax collector, the Doberman is a medium-sized, short-coated dog. Originally, Dobermans were trained to be intimidating but now, they are known for having a friendly temperament, loyalty, high intelligence, and great trainability.
Named after its excellent ability to retrieve shot birds and game, the Golden Retriever is a large Scottish dog breed. Ranked as the world´s 4th smartest dog, the Retriever can handle various roles such as guiding, hunting, detection, search, rescue etc.
Despite being one of the most popular dogs in the world, the German Shepherd is a relatively new breed. Originally bred for herding, the dog is now used for many types of work, including assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military roles; and even acting.
Originating in Germany and further developed in France, the Poodle is a toy to medium size dog characterized by long, dense and curly coat of various colors. The dog is known as a highly intelligent, energetic, and sociable breed that requires both physical and intellectual activities.
Developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region for herding, the Border Collie is an extremely energetic dog whose outstanding smartness makes it the most intelligent dog breed in the world. A Border Collie was reported to have learned over a thousand words and acted consequently to human citation of those words.