Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but we often look at them as our companions who don’t have that much going on upstairs. It turns out we were wrong, as dogs are highly intelligent creatures and some more than others.
If you’ve got a dog yourself, you might be wondering just how they fare in the smarts department. We’ve got your answer right here with the list of the top 10 smartest dogs in the world, and some of the breeds might surprise you.
#10: Australian Cattle Dog
For our first clever dog, we head to the land down under and find the Australian Cattle Dog. These amazing dogs have a very serious job, and if you haven’t guessed by their name it’s droving cattle. They’re used to tough conditions in the outback and are highly energetic with an independent streak.
The cattle dog is known for being extremely organized which you’ll notice as they often put their toys away once they’re done playing with them. They’re agile, like a lot of exercise, and may occasionally nip running children, so you might want to keep them away. They form strong attachments to their owners and love to be groomed and played with but be careful not to let them get bored or you’ll surely know about it.
Although this tiny, fluffy dog might not look like much, they’re actually extremely intelligent. The Continental Toy Spaniel has large ears that make it look almost comical, but they’re not to be laughed at. Papillons are known for mastering new tricks easily and will find most average dog tasks so simple that they might bore of them.
The Papillon is more of a people person and doesn’t really get along well with cats and other animals, and they like to get most of the attention. They’re known for being great watchdogs and are attentive of their owners and environment. These dogs need plenty of exercise but they also love laying around with their owners and being involved in all of the laid back fun.
When you hear the word ‘rottweiler’ you immediately think of a ferocious and vicious beast, which is how they are commonly portrayed in the media. That may be true in some situations of abuse and neglect, but mostly the Rottweiler is an incredibly smart creature. They were originally bred to be search dogs and used to herd livestock and pull carts of meat for butchers, but today are better as police dogs or search and rescue dogs.
They are steady and self-assured, and as such require a calm and confident owner. However, with the right care, they will be loyal, intelligent, and exceptionally good at searching for things or taking directions. Although they are not aggressive unless provoked or abused, their strength is something to take into consideration.
We all know that the Bloodhound is the dog to look to when you want something to be found, but did you know they also have the smarts to back it up? They are known as being determined and intelligent, and when combined with their powerful scenting power they’re extremely useful. We often see the bloodhound in cartoons being portrayed as dopey, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Bloodhound is known for being the ideal family pet as they are gentle and affectionate. They can be a little stubborn when it comes to training and will need to be supervised around children due to their size, but it would be out of character for them to ever harm a human. These dogs prove that you should never judge a book by its cover, especially as they are always judged as being dopey in cartoons.
#6: Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher was first bred as a guard dog in Germany, and they certainly do a good job of it. However, they are also quite smart and tuned in which is why they’re commonly used as police dogs or for other serious matters. They have a sleek look which can seem intimidating, but if you ask those families who have one they’ll tell you they’re anything but.
The Doberman is quite large in size which can be good for guarding work, and they are known as a loyal companion. They are incredibly switched on to their environment and will notice any changes immediately. Be sure to keep them active and entertained or they will get busy finding their own trouble to get into.
#5: Shetland Sheepdog
Sheepdogs are certainly great for herding sheep, but it seems their talents are being wasted here. These dogs are super smart and any family that owns one will know just what we mean. They are a proud and animated dog that looks and feels amazing, with a huge fluffy coat that you’ll just want to lay on.
The Shetland Sheepdog is a very excitable dog and will often greet you with some conversation. They pick up tricks incredibly fast, love attention, and will do pretty much anything their owner wants to do. Sometimes referred to as ‘shadows’, it’s easy to see that this dog loves to be attached to the family.
#4: German Shepherd
German Shepherds are a popular breed in America (2nd most registered breed to be exact), and they’re known for their cunning wit. This is one of the more curious dogs out there and they’ll constantly need something to keep them busy, so be sure to provide it or suffer the consequences. They train very well and respond well to a calm and confident owner.
The German Shepherd is a great career dog who serves the military, police, and other needs quite well. They can herd and hunt with the best of them but have a very strong wit that sets them apart from other dogs. This is definitely not a dog that you can try and fool with silly games, so don’t even bother.
#3: Golden Retriever
They’re certainly one of the most gorgeous and affectionate dogs around, but did you know just how smart the Golden Retriever was as well? These beautiful dogs might seem like they’re all about love but they are actually capable of learning over 200 different commands, provided they have an owner who’s willing to put in the time.
Golden Retrievers can be a little naughty when not given attention so you will need to occupy their mind and body quite well. They’re perfect at home with a loving family as well as the workplace and would appreciate the mix of both worlds when possible. A Golden Retriever will be patient and loyal as long as they live, so they make a top choice for a family pet.
We all have some preconceived notions in our head when we think about poodles, including their yapping and snooty demeanor. However, the poodle is actually highly intelligent and often thought of as the smartest breed on earth. They have sharp minds and are easily trained so you won’t spend months going over and over the same lessons.
Poodles are another breed who will take matters into their own paws when they’re bored, and they can get pretty creative about what they destroy. Known for their high pitched bark, they’re a great guard dog as well and there’s no way you won’t hear them when something goes down. Keep in mind they need grooming and a lot of love, but they will pay you with smarts and loyalty.
#1: Border Collie
Another of the great working and herding dogs and the one to top our list of smartest canines is the Border Collie. You usually think of these dogs as having a rightful place on the farm but they are useful for so much more. They’re some of the better competitors when it comes to dog sports due to their intelligence and when you own one you’ll often feel as though they are one of the humans.
The Border Collie does exceptionally well with children and is a cherished family pet, as well as serious advantage for those with a farm. They have loads of energy and will never refuse a walk or a play down at the park. If you want a dog that will obey whatever you say but also have its own curious and intelligent mind, there’s no doubt that the Border Collie is the best.