Breed Tips

Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds

Experts have found that the average IQ amongst dogs is about 100, which is the same as a 2-year-old human baby. The level of intelligence however differs from breed to breed. The intelligence per se is categorized into 3 different kinds, viz. instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working and obedience intelligence. These include the dog being able to perform the task it was bred for such has herding, hunting, fetching, guarding, etc., its ability to solve problems on its own and the ability to learn from humans. 

All dogs possess some other kind of intelligence at various levels. Sooner or later most of dogs will learn what they are meant to do, just for some it will take more time than others. We have hence filtered the top 10 smartest dogs based on the following factors –

  • Figuring things out quickly

  • Communicating

  • Getting into trouble 

  • Conquering toys

  • Dognition (Cognition among dogs)

  • Finding hidden stuff

  • Problem-solving

Based on the above factors, the top 10 breeds are – 

10. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog
  • Average Weight: 35 to 50 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  18 to 20 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

  • Origin – Australia

Nicknamed the ‘Blue Heeler’ or the ‘Red Heeler’ due its appearance, the Australian Cattle Dog or Cattle dog is another working breed or dogs, originally used for walking live-stock over long distances. 

9. Rottweilers

  • Average Weight: 110 to 130 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  24 to 27 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

  • Origin – Germany

Mainly used for herding livestock and pull carts filled with butchered meat, Rottweilers are also known as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers’ dogs in Germany, their origin. Their intelligence has been helpful to Police departments across the globe.

8. Papillon

  • Average Weight: 8 to 10 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  8 to 11 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

Also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, is easily identified because of its butterfly-like looking ears. Papillon is an intelligent and self-assured breed that will learn new tricks in no time. Not just smart, they are loving and sociable with humans and other pets. They are also called ‘Dwarf Spaniels’ because of their height.

7. Labrador Retriever 

Labrador Retriver
  • Average Weight: 65 to 80 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  20 to 22 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • Origin – UK 

One of the most popular pets, the Labrador Retriever is a British breed that got its name from a colony in Newfoundland. Known for its loyalty, playfulness, obedience, and energy, it is often used as a guide or assistance dog and even for rescue and therapy work.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog
  • Average Weight: 10 to 25 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  16 to 16 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 18 years

  • Origin – Scotland

Also called the Sheltie, Shetland Sheepdog, as the name suggests, is a herding dog. It was bred in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Agile and sturdy, these miniature Rough Collies are alert and loyal at all times.

5. Golden Retriever 

Golden Retriever
  • Average Weight: 55 to 75 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  22 to 24 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

The Scottish breed, Golden Retriever is amongst the most popular dog pets in the world. The traits it has very well support this fact as these are loving, affectionate, obedient and very eager to please giving ease to humans to train them. But along with all these, they are a very intelligent breed.

4. Doberman Pinschers 

Doberman Pinscher
  • Average Weight: 2 to 7 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  6 to 9 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

This large breed developed by Louis Dobermann in Germany is among the most intelligent, tenacious, energetic guard dogs. Often used by the Police, Doberman Pinschers can be very aggressive if not trained properly, especially against strangers. It finds applications with the world’s Police and related departments in various search operations. You may also be interested in Miniature Pinscher.

3. German Shepherds

German Shepherd
  • Average Weight: 66 to 88 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 13 years

Also known as the Alsatians, the German Shepherds are the working dogs of Germany. Primarily used for herding, disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police work, and warfare, they are intimidated by their looks itself. Their protective nature makes them aggressive. It is as intelligent as obedient and hence the most used Police dog around the world.  

2. Poodle

  • Average Weight: 45 to 70 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  18 to 25 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

Called the Pudel in German and the Caniche in French, its origins are debated between both these countries. Highly intelligent, obedient, and athletic, the Poodles have been employed at various circuses across France. All these characteristics and which is why a 1994 study by Stanley Corey ranked them second out of 110 breeds in intelligence. Know more about what's the price of a poodle today! You may also be interested in Schnoodle.

1. Border Collie

Border Collie
  • Average Weight: 31 to 55 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  20 to 24 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 16 years

An Anglo-Scottish breed, the Border Collie is recognized as the smartest dog breed out there. Extremely energetic, acrobatic, and athletic, these dogs have a very high success rate in competitive dog sports such as obedience shows, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and sheepdog trials and herding events. The winning rate is so high that there are now competitions that are conducted with special ‘No Entry’ for Collies. They are called ‘ABCs or Anything but Collies’. Not just sports, they also do well in dog dancing competitions. The most intelligent breed for a reason for sure. 

This doesn’t mean that there is a very high difference between the intelligence levels of these breeds and the other. Almost all dog breeds are born with a good amount of intelligence and energy. The nature of dogs actually depends mainly on the reason why they were bred in the first place. Because of that, they are trained in a certain way and evolution helps them become the version they are today. It also depends on how well they are taken care of and trained professionally to stimulate their brains and physical abilities.

I’m sure the above 10 breeds are more intelligent than most of the humans out there.  


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