May 05, 2021 2 min read

Dogs in general are smart animals, but certain breeds stand out from the pack in their abilities to perform jobs, natural instincts, and trainability. While being intelligent doesn’t necessarily make them better pets, these smart breeds are quick to learn new things.

What makes a dog “smart?”

There are many different kinds of intelligence among dog breeds and many ways to measure how “smart” a dog might be. Some breeds may be better at learning how to perform new tricks, while others use their natural instincts and abilities to perform jobs. Other dogs are eager to please and more motivated to perform well for their owners. While intelligence may be relative, there are specific dog breeds that are considered some of the smartest.

What are the smartest dog breeds?

These are some of the smartest dog breeds, though it is important to know that this list is not in a particular order, as there is no official “IQ” for dogs.

  • Border Collie

The Border Collie is considered to be one of the smartest breeds of dogs. Border Collies are great at herding sheep, using critical thinking skills to accomplish the task. Border Collies are quick to learn tasks and are known for being alert and energetic. These dogs require mental stimulation and are eager to please their owner and do well when they have a job to perform or a task to accomplish, such as herding or obedience work.

  • Poodle

The Poodle is another smart dog breed. They are active and mentally alert, and are considered to be one of the best breeds for working intelligence. Poodles are good at learning tricks and make excellent show dogs. Another reason to love poodles is their hypoallergenic coat – which is great for people with allergies!

  • Golden Retriever

One of the most well-known dog breeds is also one of the smartest! Golden Retrievers are known to be very friendly but also diligent workers. Many Golden Retrievers work as seeing-eye dogs, hunting companions, and search-and-rescue dogs. These smart dogs can be trained to properly guide and perform tasks for people with visual impairments, identify people that need help during disasters, and take part in obedience competitions.

  • German Shepherd

Another famous working dog is the German Shepherd. Known as being great police dogs, German Shepherds have keen senses and are obedient which makes them helpful in a variety of situations. German Shepherds can also work as seeing-eye dogs, medical assistance dogs, and therapy dogs. Intelligent and protective, this breed is considered to be one of the smartest.

  • Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are known to make great guard dogs due to their intelligence, trainability, and protective personality. They can also work as service dogs and in the police force. This breed is loyal and fearless, and use their intelligence to protect their owners or handlers. Doberman Pinschers require more mental stimulation than most dogs and will grow bored or restless if this need is not met.

These are just some of the many intelligent breeds of dogs. Each dog is unique in its own way, and proper care, training, and mental stimulation is needed to bring out any dog’s natural smarts.

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Check out our blog for health tips, tricks, and stories—including this post about Search and Rescue Dogs.


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