What Are the Smartest Dog Breeds?

A List of the Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds...

Since it’s very difficult to measure the intelligence of dogs, other observable traits must stand in as the measure. Dr. Stanley Coren, a University of British Columbia (Canada) psychology professor, wrote a book in 1994 entitled The Intelligence of Dogs that lists the dogs that are the most easily trainable as the smartest. With that criterion the dogs who are not as eager to please, for instance, the terriers, are left out in the cold. Nevertheless, here’s his list from No. 10 to No. 1.

#10 Australian Cattle Dog
--These high-energy dogs need the wide open spaces and a lot of activity to thrive. They do well in agility competitions as well as obedience and herding.

#9 Rottweiler—Rotties are strong and active. They’ve worked as police dogs, herders, service dogs and therapy dogs. Because of their strength they need lots of training, but are devoted to their families.

#8 Papillon—Although considered a toy dog with oversized ears, don’t be fooled. This is one tough cookie who loves the great outdoors, but he’s also a lap dog at home.

#7 Labrador Retriever—One of the most popular breeds in the U.S., the lab of any color (yellow, black and chocolate) works as a guide dog and on search and rescue teams. Sometimes he’s used as a drug-detecting dog.
#6 Shetland Sheepdog—Shelties look like small Collies. They compete in agility and herding courses. They’re happiest on a farm where they can herd livestock, but they can adapt to almost anywhere.

#5 Doberman Pinscher—Beautiful and elegant, the Dobie is still muscular and fast. Police often use him because of his easy trainability. He’s an excellent watchdog and barks at whatever he thinks is a threat.

#4 Golden Retriever—Another of the most popular breeds in the U.S., this working dog excels as a guide dog and on search and rescue teams. As a family dog he’s devoted and outgoing.
#3 German Shepherd—The German Shepherd Dog is the No. 1 police, military and guard dog. He’s also one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. Since he’s so lively, he needs lots of exercise.
#2 Poodle—Poodles aren’t just dim-bulb pretty dogs, they shine at water activities and train very quickly regardless of which size, toy, miniature or standard. The standard size poodle is not as high-strung as the other two choices.
#1 Border Collie—The wonder dog of the herding world, the Border Collie just can’t help himself. If he doesn’t have a herd of sheep to move around, he’ll herd people. These dogs need tons of exercise and, of course, do very well in herding competitions.

And there they are, the smartest dogs, well, at least using the one quality of trainability. There’s always room for argument about which dogs are the smartest, particularly when talking about your dog.