Top Ten Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

Highly intelligent dogs excel in agility competitions

All breeds of dogs are intelligent. Most breed’s brains are equivalent to that of two or three-year-old child and all dogs have the remarkable capabilities to follow instructions, complete tasks, work alongside humans, and can even read their human’s emotions. However, some dog breeds are considered to be more teachable and more trainable than others. The following is a list of dog breeds that are known to excel at implementing their instincts, adapting to their environment and being obedient.

10. Australian Shepherd

Still used on farms and ranches today, Australian Shepherds make superior herding dogs. Their natural instincts to herd are incredibly strong and the breed thrives off of their work. The breed arrived in America in the 1800s and have been using their intelligence to excel at many tasks since, including dog sports and obedience and agility competitions. Besides just being a smart dog, Australian Shepherds are devoted, loving and energetic and can make excellent therapy, guide or search and rescue dogs.

9. Belgian Malinois

Like the German Shepherd, in both intelligence and appearance, Belgian Malinois, or Belgian Shepherd Dogs, are most often used as working dogs for various police and military units. Regarded as active and highly alert, this breed has natural instincts to protect its family and is the happiest when it has a job to focus on. Belgian Malinois are very trainable and are known for their tracking skills. This breed is currently used by the United States’ Secret Service to guard and protect the White House grounds.

8. Bloodhound

Another breed of dog favored by law enforcement is the Bloodhound. The Bloodhounds trailing and tracking abilities are unparalleled by any other breed. Their abilities are so exceptional that a Bloodhound’s mantrailing results are permissible in nearly every court of law. The breed has the ability to track humans for several days over great distances and can even track across water. Bloodhounds are a gentle breed but they can be extremely determined when they are on the trail of a scent.

7. Border Collie

Some people argue that Border Collies are the most intelligent breed of dog. Border Collies were created to be herding dogs so they were specifically bred for their intelligence and their ability to comply. On average, dogs know about 165 words. One famous Border Collie named Chaser however, was able to learn and understand over 1,000 words. Besides being smart, Border Collies are also extremely active and need a daily outlet for all of their energy.

6. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers were once a popular choice of dog to be used for police and military work. Though that is less common today, Dobermans are still regarded as highly intelligent and alert companion dogs. The Doberman’s intimidating appearance is the result of the need for the dogs to be personal protectors and guard dogs. These dogs are easy to train and are often described as watchful, fearless and energetic.

5. Golden Retriever

Eager to please, Golden Retrievers are excellent family dogs known for their intelligence. These dogs also love to work and have made one of the most popular choices for guide and therapy dogs. The breed also remains to be one of the most popular breeds, overall. Besides being an excellent assistant, the Golden Retriever also makes a great hunting companion and an ideal family dog.

4. Labrador Retriever

Yellow, black and chocolate Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed in America today. They make perfect companions for families and their versatility on land and in water make them an excellent breed for almost any dog owner. Bred to be retrievers, this breed excels when it has a job to focus on and is great for an active family. These dogs are easy to train and are ready to please.

3. Papillon

One of the oldest breed of toy Spaniels, the Papillon received its name due to its fringed ear hair that closely resembles a butterfly. Papillons are alert dogs that are not known to be reserved or aggressive like most small breeds, making them great companions for families. These tiny dogs, normally thrive in small apartments but also have the stamina for a home with a large yard. Out of all the toy breeds, the Papillon is highly regarded for its trainability and obedience.

2. Poodle

Though usually regarded for their beauty and not their intelligence, Poodles are actually one of the brainiest breeds of dog to exist. Poodles are a popular breed in America and besides their intelligence the breed is also known to have a sense of humor. Poodles excel in agility and obedience competitions because they love to learn and to please their human.

1. Rottweiler

Another versatile breed, Rottweilers can succeed at a number of different jobs. They were bred to herd and pull carts but since then there intelligence has been implemented by law enforcement and the breed has also been used as guide dogs. Rottweilers pack a lot of power and are always willing to work. This breed is fiercely devoted to its family and can be hesitant towards a stranger until they get to know him or her.

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