Dog experts say that dogs are as smart as a 2-year-old child. They are basically a furry toddler. Dogs certainly share some traits with toddlers: curious, stubborn, unable to verbally communicate. Unlike toddlers, the intelligence of dogs doesn’t expand past that stage. But that doesn’t make dogs stupid.
However, just like people, some dogs are smarter than others. Interestingly, most of the ‘smartest’ dog breeds are also working dogs. Dogs that have the instincts of their canine ancestors who herded livestock or helped hunters by retrieving birds and other downed prey.
Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds
When creating a list of smartest dogs, experts consider how easy the breed is to train. Some dogs have it ingrained in their DNA to follow commands after thousands of years of working dog experience.
Watch: Top Ten Smartest Dogs
Experts aren’t sure why some dogs are more intelligent than others. However, some dog owners believe healthy nutrition and proper training can help a dog reach its highest potential.
Here is our list of 10 most intelligent dog breeds
#1 Border Collie
Border Collies are famous for their herding skills and considered THE most intelligent dog breed. Originally bred to herd sheep, the Border Collies got their name from their close proximity to the Scottish border. The highly trainable dogs are also excellent at agility courses.
Poodles get a bad rap as hoity-toity dogs. They are actually very intelligent, which means they are also super stubborn. The moisture-resistant fur of Poodles made them excellent retrievers for duck hunting. While Poodles are more commonly pets or show dogs these days, they are sometimes still used in hunting trials.
#3 German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherds are most recognized as police or military dogs. Originally bred to herd sheep, the breed’s strength and intelligence make them one of the most popular working dog breeds today.
#4 Golden Retriever
The lovable, goofy breed originated as a hunting dog in Scotland. Golden Retrievers often take to water sports like, well, a fish. The outer part of their double-coats repels water while the inner coat provides warmth.
#5 Doberman Pinscher
The muscular and smart Doberman Pinscher is still used as a guard dog, as they were originally bred for in Germany. The breed’s intimidating features belies their loving and loyal qualities.
#6 Shetland Sheepdog
Another dog breed that traces its history back to the sheepherding days in Scotland. Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties, are known to be quite possessive of their ‘flock,’ be it humans or animals. Their eagerness to please makes them easy to train.
#7 Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the U.S. for 29 years straight. While the dogs were commonly used as hunting retrievers, they are now found as pets or guide dogs for the blind.
The only toy breed on the list, the Papillon was a frequent companion of European royalty. Now the breed is considered a “lap dog,” but being an accessory hasn’t dulled the Papillon’s intelligence.
Rottweilers have a long history of working dogs. Not only were they bred to herd livestock, but the large breed was also used to pull carts. Rotties are now popular choices for guard dogs due to their size and appearance.
#10 Australian Cattle Dog
As their name suggests, Australian Cattle Dogs, originally served as cattle herders, tasked with moving cattle long distances across Australia. The breed is frequently entered into agility contests due to their speed and ease of training. They can make good pets, but their herding instincts can make them unsuitable around small children.
If you want to find out more information about the remaining breeds on this list, Let’s take a look at this infographic from CyberPet!