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21 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds. Did Yours Make The List?

21 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds. Did Yours Make The List?

While browsing the internet yesterday I came across an interesting article. It was the current list of the most intelligent dog breeds. Most of them I already knew about, but some just blew my mind. Can you list the 21 most intelligent dog breeds without looking at the list? Once you have made your list go ahead and read the story below. I would say that you did quite well if you listed 8 of the most intelligent dog breeds.



Dogs have long been our companion animals. They stay at our sides, providing us with comfort and happiness. People around the world have long relied on dogs to do certain things. A dog can be trained to do all sorts of amazing tasks. Some dogs guide blind people while others may be trained to sniff out chemicals or help provide much welcomed therapy for people with chronic illnesses. Many researchers have investigated the idea of doggy intelligence and set up certain parameters. In general, those looking to define doggy intelligence look for animals that learn quickly, respond well to human commands and can even act on their own if necessary. Researchers have come to the conclusion that certain breeds of dogs are not only beautiful but also very smart.

21. Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer | Pet Quest

This is the larger version of the Standard Schnauzer and has long been shown to be one of the best watchdogs any owner can have in the house. They are loyal and yet a playful breed that can easily learn to distinguish between intruders who are greeted warily and members of the family who are treated with great kindness and love. These big dogs have also demonstrated their intelligence on many standard measures of doggy intelligence including activities such as tracking and obedience tests where they are known to do well.

20. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever | Pet Quest

This beautiful dog is a local favorite along the East Coast. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was originally bred as a companion dog to accompany the hunter as he stalks his prey in local area inlets. Today, the Chessie, as he is lovingly referred to, has legions of fans who appreciate how easily the dog can be trained and how well they will respond to specific kinds of hunting commands. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers do well in many kinds of dog sporting competitions, consistently demonstrating an innate ability to meet the goals set forth on all kinds of tests. The breed also does extremely well in other tests such as knowing when to be quiet and knowing when to bark to communicate with their owners.

19. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi | Pet QuestOne of two kinds of Corgis (the other being the Pembroke Welsh Corgi), the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is known as the little dog with the big brain. Despite their small stature, the Corgi can track down much larger animals and help hunt them for their human companions. This makes them extremely useful for those owners who like to spend their time hunting and stalking animals including deer and small game birds. A favorite of royalty, Corgis are known to learn quickly how to respond to both basic commands as well as more advanced commands from any owner. They also do well in a household where they work well with adults and children.

18. Vizsla

Vizsla | Pet Quest

The Vizsla was bred originally in Hungary where they were favored by the upper classes who wanted a companion animal with excellent hunting instincts. Vizslas are equally at home in many kinds of terrain including both on water and land. This kind of versatility makes the Vizsla one of the world’s most smartest dog breeds. Very few other dogs can match this smooth coated dog in their ability to adapt to their surroundings and respond as well to new challenges of all kinds. They are happy to dive into bodies of water and then spend time hunting in the field a short time later.

17. Pomeranian

Pomeranian | Pet Quest

Pomeranians were originally bred in Eastern Europe as both companion animals and occasional hunters. Originally a much larger dog, the Pomeranian of today is a toy dog that is known to exhibit excellent protective judgment, making it an ideal choice for those who are looking for the ideal animal to keep at their side. Pomeranians easily and quickly learn basic commands of all kinds, making them an ideal dog for the owner who wants a dog that is very easy to train.

16. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog | Pet Quest

Increasingly popular today, the Bernese Mountain Dog has long been cherished in their native homeland Switzerland where they have many uses as well as providing companionship. The Bernese is a larger dog with a gentle temperament and the ability to perform many kinds of highly specialized tasks. In Europe, they known for being able to quickly adapt to many kinds of terrain. They are also used to do important tasks such as pulling carts that people use to carry children or items from place to place. Bernese Mountain dogs are able to easily figure out how best to assist their owners in transporting objects or people, making their overall intelligence highly clear.

15. Weimaraner

Weimaraner | Pet Quest

This very elegant grey blue dog remains a favorite subject for many painters and other artists. Weimaraners are large dogs who were initially bred to hunt both small and big game. This trait is still seen in the breed today. Many Weimaraners make the ideal companion when hunting with owners often describing their ability to know exactly where to find prey as utterly uncanny. A fully trained specimen of the breed can easily spot the hunter’s intended aim and then help them capture, giving us clear evidence of their planning abilities and the ability to respond to changing conditions well.

14. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel | Pet Quest

The Cocker Spaniel, or Cocker as he is affectionately called, is known the world over for having both a relaxed temperament and yet the ability to concentrate on tasks for a long period. These spaniels are notably easy to train and will demonstrate the ability to listen closely to an owner’s commands. While a bit of a lap dog, the cocker also has the ability to take to a leash and learn how to hunt well. This is why they are valued as both a companion animal and in the field where they act as game spotters.

13. Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel | Pet Quest

Brittany Spaniels are prized by many dog owners as highly skilled field dogs that focus closely and intently on their aim of finding game as soon as possible. A Brittany Spaniel responds easily to basic commands and can quickly learn exactly what an owner wants and needs from them. The Brittany’s talents allow it to participate in many varied types of activities, making it one of the most resilient and versatile of all dog breeds as well as the smartest. Their activities have often amazed their owners.

12. Flat Coated Retriever

Flat Coated Retriever | Pet Quest

These dogs were developed in England. The Flat Coated Retriever is highly adored by dog owners everywhere because the animal is extremely responsive to training. This is one of the world’s easiest to train dogs and he is delighted to learn nearly anything an owner has to teach it. Any human owner will quickly discover that the retriever must be given as many forms of stimulation as possible during the day because it is so smart. Any owner in need of a companion throughout the day will find this an ideal choice if they want to have a pet that is smart and capable as well as loving. Makes an excellent family pet.

11. German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer | Pet Quest

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most adored of all the Sporting Group breeds and makes both an excellent field dog and a loving home pet. If you like to spend a day in the field with your entire family you will find that this breed can quickly go from relaxing next to you on the couch to an active day that is centered around hunting game. The German Shorthaired Pointer is also known to make an excellent watchdog with an ability to easily figure out who is allowed in the house and who may pose a danger.

10. Collie

Collie | Pet Quest

Collies is one of my favorite breeds and for a good reason. This dog is not only an extremely beautiful dog with a lush coat, it is also one of the most intelligent dog breeds of all dogs. Collies can be trained to perform all kinds of important tasks for their owners including herding sheep and working with children. Collies can respond easily to very subtle signals from humans, allowing them to learn complicated tasks that may be beyond the capacities of other dog breeds. The Collie also makes a great family pet as they are extremely gently and loving around young children.

9. Schipperke

Schipperke | Pet Quest

The Schipperke is small Belgian breed of dog with an enormous native intelligence that has helped endear it to many people. These dogs, with the unusual name, are obedient but will often respond well to commands that are complicated but clear, allowing them to make basic decisions on their own. Many owners who have them say they make an ideal dog to enter into all kinds of dog training competitions where their native abilities can find an ample showcase to an appreciative audience. They are also very loving dogs.

8. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel | Pet Quest

The eighth dog in our list of the most intelligent dog breeds is a beautiful dog of medium height. This intelligent and loving dog is a favorite of people all across the world as well as several American presidents. The English Springer Spaniel, or Springer by many, is an excellent working dog that relies on their owners to provide them with enough stimulation each day. Springers are one of the world’s best working breeds with an ability to respond well to an owner’s instructions. They are also very affectionate and loyal to their owners.

7. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog | Pet Quest

The Australian Cattle dog was originally bred in Australia as a working companion designed to provide both company and assistance in herding cattle and other types of farm animals. These friendly herd dogs are known to be able to respond well to a wide variety of conditions and learn from them. Many researchers consider the cattle dog the most intelligent of all the herding breeds.

6. Rottweiler

Rottweiler | Pet Quest

Who would have thought that Rottweilers would be among the most intelligent dog breeds? They have long been used for various working positions in their native Germany including driving cattle, guarding people and property and even carrying messages from one place to another. Owners today who work with this dog still find that it is very responsive to their commands. This is one of many reasons why this highly intelligent breed is still used in such capacities all across the world.

5. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever | Pet Quest

The Labrador Retrievers, or Labs, are extremely popular in the United States and for a good reason. Many owners have found this breed to be an excellent family companion with an easy ability to respond to commands well and deal with kids of all ages. The Labrador Retriever makes a very good pet for the family with a large yard where the dog can get enough exercise to satisfy their need to be challenged by outdoor activities that allow them to exercise their bodies and brains.

4. German Shepherd

German Shepherd | Pet Quest

German shepherds are renowned all over the world for their quick responsiveness to commands, willingness to obey humans nearly instantly and ability to learn a great deal. Developed in Germany as a prized breed, they have since spread to many other countries where owners have realized that such dogs make welcome companions who can be counted on to do many kinds of things. In the United States, as in many other places, German Shepherds are highly prized by police departments and the military where their ample talents and high native intelligence has been put to use helping make our lives better and safer.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever | Pet Quest

Very much like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever also makes both an ideal family companion and an effective hunter. Goldens are known to be extremely gentle around family members. They also make wonderful companions who can be counted on to respond well to strangers. It is this combination of traits that is one of the many reasons why they are so widely used as guide dogs for the blind. The Golden also responds well to training and can easily learn to deal comfortably with unfamiliar situations such as an airport or city street where it has never traveled before. This is one of many reasons why Goldens rank so highly on any list of the world’s smartest dog breeds.

2. Poodle

Poodle | Pet Quest

Don’t let the commonly seen fluffy, elaborate coat fool you. Underneath the coat lies one of the world’s smartest dogs. Poodles are affectionate and quick to learn almost any task you set in front of them. Many owners adore this breed because they will respond to an owner’s needs almost as before the owner has time to voice them. Poodles are known to adore playing games with people and will easily learn the rules of any sport the owner cares to teach them. This is why they can be found in all kinds of competitions including those requiring the poodle to demonstrate the ability to think independently and make quick judgments. Having a poodle in the house means having a dog that will do as instructed and be loyal and very loving at the same time. They also make great dogs for people with allergies to animals.

1. Border Collie

Border Collie | Pet Quest

The number one dog on the list of most intelligent dog breeds is undeniably known as the world’s smartest dog. The Border Collie was officially recognized by the AKC in 1995 and has become the 39th most popular dog breed to own.   Known for its high energy and willingness to please. It’s become an absolute joy to own a breed like this.

Border Collie | Pet Quest

Owning a dog means having a companion in your home for many years. The right kind of dog is important to help make sure the owner is a good fit with the animal. A smart dog often makes an ideal choice for any owner. Smarter breeds can be easily trained and will quickly learn to respond to your commands and the commands of your entire family. Picking a breed from this list means having an animal in your home who is likely to be a good friend and the ideal pet.



Do you think that this list is complete? Tell us what you think. Did any breeds get left out? Post a comment below. And don't forget to rate this article too.

19 thoughts on “21 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds. Did Yours Make The List?

  1. Its been a while since I’ve been here. Kind of forgot that this site turns out great informative articles. This one included. One question: what makes a dog an intelligent dog?

  2. If you Google the Australian Shepherd for intelligence you will find that it is in the top 50 intelligent dog breeds. This is just a partial list of the top 21 intelligent dog breeds. Maybe next time I’ll expand the list to include all 50 breeds. Thanks for the comment Ryan. Cheers.

  3. Really liked the article. I found many of the breeds on the list to be a surprise just because they didn’t look intelligent. I guess that goes to show that looks aren’t everything.

  4. This is a very interesting and informative list. I’ve always been interested in intelligent dogs just because they are a constant challenge and not in a bad way. I believe that it is probably more challenging for the owner to keep these dogs challenged by coming up with interesting tests for the dog so that the animal doesn’t become bored. I have a couple of friends who have dogs that are on this list and they tell me that it is their dog who challenges them and not the owner challenging the dog. Again, great list.

  5. I believe that there are many more dogs that are extremely intelligent. I’ve seen many working dogs show extraordinary ability when it comes to making their own decisions. Some of them aren’t even on this list.

  6. I have seen some of these dog breeds in action at dog shows. I’m not surprised that they are considered to be in the top 21 for intelligent dogs. I do believe that there is one missing. How about the Australian Shepherd? I know someone who has one and that dog is extremely intelligent.

    • If you Google the Australian Shepherd for intelligence you will find that it is in the top 50 intelligent dog breeds. This is just a partial list of the top 21 intelligent dog breeds. Maybe next time I’ll expand the list to include all 50 breeds. Thanks for the comment Ryan. Cheers.

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