Smartest Dog Breeds – List and Qualities


Every owner expects and thinks that their pooches are among the smartest dog breeds out there, and we don’t blame you. But, there indeed are some breeds of dogs that are considered smartest dog breeds in the world.

The breeds that holds a higher ranking in intelligence list organized by the AKC, are the ones that are considered the smartest dog breeds. However, definition of ‘smartest’ changes according to the owner and their lifestyle. Few think that, dogs with higher intelligence level are independent, highly active & tough to train, while many think that they are easy to train and are much more obedient.

Abilities Of An Intelligence/A Smart Dog

A dog is known to be intelligent if they have the ability to learn new things easily, and such breeds are also known as smartest dog breeds. Humans measures the canine intelligence level in human terms.

It is also said that a dog has an intelligence level same as that of a 2-3 years old toddler. While tracking the intelligence or smartness level of a canine, we consider few abilities such as:

  • Word command: How many words your dog is able to grasp. The more word grasping ability they have, the smarter they are, with higher intelligence ranking.
  • Problem-solving capabilities: With how much of ease, your dog is able to crack things (not objects!).
  • Responsiveness towards training: How they are responding towards the given training.
  • Memory: For how long your dog can memorize commands and training.
  • Ability to understand human behavior: How much they understand human emotion and changes in tone.

10 Smartest Dog Breeds – The List

Everybody loves a dog, don’t they? And a dog with mannerism and behaviour is considered the perfect kind of dog. Such dogs must come with the qualities like easy learning and loyalty and are usually used as service dogs or watchdogs. Here, is a list of top 10 smartest dog breeds :

Border Collie

With a ranking of 35th in terms of popularity and 1st in terms of intelligence, Border collie is a highly dynamic sheep dog. Collies can perform almost every task you give them. In fact, if you fail to constantly challenge them every day, they can make a total mess out of your home and are usually not recommended for first time or trainee owners. Yikes!

Breed Overview:

  • Border collie temperament: Affectionate, smart, energetic.
  • Border collie height: 19-22 inches (male), 18-21 (female)
  • Border collie weight: 30-55 pounds.
  • Intelligence rank: 1st out of 137
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 35th out of 195

 Australian Shepherd

One of the smartest dog breeds, Australian Shepherd were bred as sheepdogs and are highly active and friendly, too. It is advised to keep this champ give regular mental and physical stimulation, or they may get bored or frustrated. Aussie also enjoy any athletic activities.

 Breed Overview:

  • Australian shepherd temperament: Smart, focused and exuberant.
  • Australian shepherd height: 20-23 inches (male), 18-21 (female).
  • Australian shepherd weight: 50-65 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female).
  • Intelligence rank: 42nd out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: 25- 40 repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 17th out of 195.


Poodles are one finest example of beauty with brains! Originated as hunting dogs, poodles are very dynamic and easily trainable companion dog. They’ve been gifted with best brainstorming power out there. They are also, performing dogs. One can teach poodles to balance on a rope or balance a ball on their nose!

Breed Overview:

  • Poodle temperament: Active, smart and proud.
  • Poodle height: Over 15 inches.
  • Poodle weight: 60-70 pounds (male), 40-50 (female).
  • Intelligence rank: 2nd out of 137
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than five.
  • Popularity rank: 7th out of 195

Australian Cattle Dog

An extremely focused and driven breed of dog. Australian cattle dogs share a close bond with their owners and make sure everything is going smoothly. They are so smart that they often interpret your next move! They were bred for herding cattle, hence the name, Australian Cattle dog.

Breed Overview:

  • Australian cattle dog temperament: Alert, curious and pleasant.
  • Australian cattle dog height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female).
  • Australian cattle dog weight: 35-50 pounds.
  • Intelligence rank: 10th out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 55th out of 195.

German Shepherd

German shepherd breed of dog is highly energetic and superbly intelligent, so much that sometimes they may come to us as anxious. The majority of the time, they are used as either watchdogs or service dogs for their loyal quality. They need mental and physical stimulation activities and tasks, such as keeping an eye on the kids, to keep them well-behaved and happy.

Belgian Malinois is a similar-looking dog with almost the same features, but is not suitable for many owners as they are insanely energetic.

Breed Overview:

  • German shepherd temperament: Confident, gutsy and smart.
  • German shepherd height: 24-26 inches (male), 22-24 inches (female).
  • German shepherd weight: 65-90 pounds (male), 50-70 pounds (female).
  • Intelligence rank: 3rd out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than five repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 2nd out of 195.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs are playful and are a sucker for learning new things every now and then. They are often mistaken as an aloof dog but are not. Originating from Scotland, they are often called as miniature Collie because of the resemblance.

Breed Overview:

  • Shetland sheepdog temperament: Playful, dynamic and bright.
  • Shetland sheepdog height: 13-16 inches.
  • Shetland sheepdog weight: 16-25 pounds.
  • Intelligence rank: 6th out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than five repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 25th out of 195.


Papillon is a toy breed of dog. They may be small, but are energetic and has an equal amount of brain. In fact, they are considered to be the most intelligent toy breed dog. They are social, active and vigilant. Papillons are more than just lapdogs. They need involvement in fun activities and, like other small dogs, have mild stubbornness.

Breed Overview:

  • Papillon temperament: Friendly, alert and joyful.
  • Papillon height: 8-11 inches.
  • Papillon weight: 5-10 pounds.
  • Intelligence rank: 8th out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 54th out of 195.


Rottweiler is great as a watch and service dogs, because of their loyal nature and robust physique. They have great strength and can pull off any work given to them. They show different sides of their personalities in front of people. To the trusted family members, they are friendly, playful and affectionate, whereas, aloof towards strangers. They are very good at understanding human gestures and behaviors.

Breed Overview:

  • Rottweiler temperament: Loyal, loving and confident.
  • Rottweiler height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female).
  • Rottweiler weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female).
  • Intelligence rank: 9th out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than five repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 8th out of 195.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell terrier may have missed out on a lot of intelligence lists but are very smart and their speed is too fast to notice! They have resemblance with the breed Parson Russell Terrier and are agile, sharp and energetic entities. Just like many small dogs, they are stubborn and it can be a little challenging to train but appreciation and treat giving always works for them!

Suggested: Best Dog Treats.

Breed Overview:

  • Jack Russell terrier temperament: Fearless, curious and energetic.
  • Jack Russell terrier height: 10-12 inches.
  • Jack Russell terrier weight: 13-17 pounds.
  • Intelligence rank: 46th out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: 25- 40 repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 82nd out of 195.

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are one of the most globally loved and adored dog. Along with being a perfect family dog, they’ve also got brains and are able to learn just about anything. These goofy champs are the perfect dog for both service and companion purposes, for their learning and mingling skills.

Breed Overview:

  • Golden retriever temperament: Sociable, devoted and bright.
  • Golden retriever height: 23-24 inches (male), 21-22.5 inches (female).
  • Golden retriever weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female).
  • Intelligence rank: 4th out of 137.
  • Repetitions required to learn new commands: Fewer than five repetitions.
  • Popularity rank: 3rd out of 195.

Howdy-do, reader!

You are all caught up with some of the top smartest breeds of dog out there. Thank you for investing your precious time in reading this piece. We hope you find it worthy.

Do you or anyone from your neighbor have one or multiple of these breeds? Feel free to use the comment section below for sharing stories or asking questions, which will mean a lot!

Happy Petting To You Fellas!


  1. How is the Labrador Retriever not on the list?! I know a labrador and they can do (i had a tons of them)
    -say i love you
    -bring you beer, ice pack, stuff like that
    -sit, stay, leave it, shake paw, lay down, play dead, keep a treat on its nose (heres a story my moms dog libby kept a treat on her nose for an hour! My mom put a treat on her nose and forgot to give it to her when she was watching young and the restless and forgot about the treat and Libby was just sitting there still having the treat on her nose! And my dog Tundra saved me from a wolf once! Like how are Labradors not one of the smartest not breeds and my labrador likes to herd chickens and that and helps with the farm!)
    -Labradors can retrieve things they are very good hunting dogs sometimes they think they are herding dogs
    -they can be protectors
    Like.. how are they not the smartest dog breed?!


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