Dogs are probably one of the smartest creatures in the world. Sometimes, they surprise us with acts that we never imagined they could do. They are gifted with a few aspects like their ability to smell, sense, and well, make you laugh. We have brought you a list of the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world, not necessarily in order.
These attributes combined with cross-breeding and a little training have resulted in further development of their brains which has helped humans in numerous ways as we are taking the help of our furry friends in a lot of ways.
You might know about service dogs, therapy dogs, dogs in search and rescue operations, bomb squads, herders, or guards. Dogs have really proved themselves efficient and helpful.
Here, in this article, we have brought you a list of the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world, not necessarily in order. Keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive. Dogs have more to offer than the human mind can calculate.
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The Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds
1. Poodle – The Waterfowl Hunter
Our extremely cute poodle, famous for its adorable looks, is often ignored in their brains. Poodles deserve mention here in this list for their intelligence too.
They are one of the top most-ranked breeds of dogs when it comes to intelligence.
They are very smart and gentle. What makes them special is their loyalty, along with their smart brains.
Poodles are known to be quick learners when it comes to learning. It is often surprising how human-like they are.
They are easy to train, agile, and love challenging activities that sharpen their brains further.
2. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are known to be family dogs, the major reason being their extreme easiness of training. What makes them different and special is that they love to obey their humans.
Their zeal to obey makes them quick learners. Maybe that is why we use retrievers in services like rescue, search, and therapy.
The bonus point is that they are huge and adorable, furry too if you forgot.
3. Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland is a very small breed of dogs if you look at them that way but they are very alert and active. They are hyper-conscious of their surroundings and are quick with activities.
All these abilities have made them perfect for cattle herding. They are amazingly intelligent when it comes to following directions and routes and are huge assets on trips and excavations. What do they demand in return? A good, long-duration cuddle.
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Famous for its big ears, Papillon is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. The exact data is not available, but experts trace their origin 700 years back.
These many years into the world have made them one of the smartest dog breeds. They are famous for trick training, smart learning, and mind-boggling activities. They are very good at them and enjoy them to the fullest.
5. Australian Cattle Dog
Known for their tough herding abilities, Australian Cattle dogs are pretty independent and know how to solve problems they encounter.
They love to learn and if offered rewards, they learn faster. These dogs are exceptionally good at flyball and frisbee and love to learn new things as long as they enjoy the activities.
You can train them by including an element of fun in whatever you teach them and don’t forget to pamper them with rewards when they behave well during training. Who doesn’t love a good pat, or better, a good treat?
6. Miniature Schnauzer
This breed of dog excels at sports and loves to get challenged. They are competitive, agile, and fast and love to please humans and fairly succeed at that.
They are full of energy and love to run and play around. These dogs are gifted with the ability to play professional sports.
If you see a Schnauzer at a competition, you had better take your name out of the contest.
7. Belgian Tervuren
They are three different breeds of dogs if you look at them that way but all three of them have descended from the same ancestor, the Belgian sheepdog.
Considering their common ancestry, it is appropriate to count them as ‘one’ for this top 20 smartest dog breeds list.
They love to play professional sports and are good herders, are intelligent and smart at tricks, and are amazing at being police and military dogs.
All three of them have a good work ethic, are efficient, and do not like to laze around. These qualities make them reliable in crisis situations and make them natural leaders.
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The breed rose to fame in the famous film named Lassie. The movie was released in 1943. Collies have an amazing capability to rescue and protect.
They specialize in water rescue operations as they are good swimmers. They have the gift of intuition to detect when someone is in danger and the physical capability to take action to protect them, especially out of the water.
9. German Shorthaired Pointer
The traditional culture says that german shorthaired pointers have been used in bird hunting and the evidence is found of it to be true. They are very active in houses and are very good at locating prey with amazing self-control.
This ability was probably the reason why they were fit for a task like bird hunting. These dogs are smart and agile and their exceptional focus grants them a place in the top 20 smartest dog breeds list.
With a commendable sense of smell, even in the dog world, they are perfect when it comes to searching, rescuing, and hunting.
Bloodhounds’ capability to smell is three million times better than that of humans. They have intelligent brains with a smelling capability which makes them perfect for search operations.
It is a well-known fact that bloodhounds’ ability to smell is so accurate that it has legitimacy even in the court of the law. They are naturally more efficient than any other dog in this aspect and deserve a place here.
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11. Flat-Coated Retriever
They come from the same family as the Labrador Retriever and are highly energetic and exceptional hunters.
Flat-coated Retrievers are also famous for being amazing therapy dogs. Their emotional quotient is higher than an average dog breed which makes them fit for the therapy services.
They love human company and that makes them faithful and emotional companions.
Keeshonds are medium-sized dogs who at one point in history, were called the Dutch barge dogs.
Just like every other dog on this list, they are fast learners and require committed training to learn things.
Once they learn, which they do really fast, they become an expert at it and there won’t be a need to retrain them. Their intelligence retains as they have a good memory.
This is one brainy Belgian dog who is curious and clever. Schipperkes are quite brave and excellent watchers.
Their name comes from their history of the boat watching as the ‘ship’ is the Flemish word for boat. They were used to guard ships as they are very attentive and active.
This breed is perfect for guarding purposes and nowadays, it guards many things other than just boats.
14. English Springer Spaniel
A perfect combination of brains, energy, and stamina, English Springer Spaniels are known for their comparatively long ears and good looks.
They look very well and polished and their cute face is the cherry on the top. Their intelligence grants them a favour in the dog world and they occupy a rightful place in the top 20 smartest dog breeds.
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15. Pembroke Welsch Corgi
If one can define them in two words, Pembroke Welsch Corgis are a happy and small breed of dogs.
They have an amazing capability to participate in activities with their family members and they love to do things along with humans. It’s better if you assign them a job, they will give their best and make themselves happy doing it. They like to be occupied with tasks and do not like sitting quietly in one place.
Their origin lies in the Roman Empire, where Rottweilers were used to herd livestock. Centuries later, Rottweilers have turned out to be one of the smartest dog breeds.
They are aware and conscious and this makes them good at guarding. Rottweilers work really well as service dogs.
This makes their demand high in these sectors and makes their intelligence known in the human world.
17. Labrador Retriever
Labradors are known to be family dogs and are quite preferred as pets. One thing which many don’t know about them is the fact that they are very brave. The cuddly Labradors have the ability of good judgment about a situation.
This ability helps them in becoming the perfect dogs for differently-abled people. They have high emotional intelligence. Even a newbie can train them to work efficiently because of their quick learning ability and their eagerness to please.
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18. Doberman Pinscher
To oversimplify, they are perfect working dogs who do not like to procrastinate and are very efficient. They are in huge demand as pets because of their intelligence.
Doberman Pinscher is easy to train and has a protective personality. They are demanded particularly as service dogs. Dobermans have active brains which help the police, army, and rescue operations.
Dog experts say that their mental capacity is such that they get bored without good intellectual stimulation. So, to make them further efficient, you need to make them face challenges.
19. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are famous for their alertness. This is the reason why you would often see them with the police and the army’s dog squad.
They are very efficient when it comes to search and rescue operations as they are capable of working independently and taking decisions according to the situation by evaluating the best course of action.
20. Border Collie
The name of Border Collie in the top 20 smartest dog breeds list is no surprise, in fact, it is a perfect fit here. This breed was bred to be a herder as they are intelligent, quick, and alert.
Border Collies are eager to learn and try to learn faster in order to please their humans. It makes them perfect for the list as they have an adorable disposition along with their brains. They are all lovey-dovey and intelligent. Isn’t that all that one desires in a pet?
Mentioned above are the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world but obviously, this list is not exhaustive. Considering the cross-breeding of dogs happening for centuries, there are many more breeds of dogs today than ever.
Talking about just 20 is not enough. There are many more who didn’t make it to the list. But the ones mentioned above are definitely the smartest ones.
Generally, dogs are really smart and intelligent creatures. They understand human emotions more than any other creature, sometimes even without training.
If you’re looking for a smart dog, get just any, except maybe an Afghan Hound. The pooch is more of a silly companion than a smart one, though exceptionally adorable.