Top Five Intelligent Dog Breeds

September 14, 2017


From the attentive stare that he gives while you speak, to the speed at which he learns a new trick, you know that your dog is smart. However, do you know how your dog measures up in comparison to other breeds? Further, how do you even go about ranking dog intelligence? After all, a standardized canine IQ test doesn’t least not yet.

In his bestselling book titled The Intelligence of Dogs, Stanley Coren, PhD, ranked more than 100 breeds in order of intelligence by focusing on trainability. The breeds that topped the intelligence charts learned new commands in fewer than five repetitions and obeyed these commands at least 95% of the time.

See how your dog compares to the top five most intelligent breeds below:

Border Collie


The Border Collie breed originated in the region between Scotland and England and was developed to create premier herding dogs. Border Collies are known for their intelligence, stamina, energy, and seemingly endless desire to work.

Whether they are herding cattle or simply learning a new trick, dogs of this breed are highly trainable and responsive to direction. Border Collies thrive on constant physical and mental stimulation and may grow bored and restless if they lack an outlet for their abundant energy.


Poodles are best known for their characteristic hairdo; however, these dogs are far more than just a pretty face. Poodles are also highly intelligent, playful, and eager to please - a winning combination of personality traits that makes them quite trainable.

Like other intelligent breeds, Poodles without a consistent source of physically and mentally-engaging activities will quickly grow bored and may resort to occupying themselves with destructive chewing and digging behaviors. With a characteristic coat that requires a substantial amount of upkeep, Poodles are a high-maintenance breed in multiple ways.

German Shepherd


From serving as faithful guide dogs to accompanying police pursuits, German Shepherds are one of the most easily-identifiable breeds of working dogs.

This breed’s versatility and intelligence helps it to excel at nearly every task it is trained to complete.

German Shepherds need consistent companionship and exercise to thrive. If left alone for long periods of time, these dogs may experience separation anxiety, boredom, and frustration.

Golden Retriever

With their incredibly friendly and tolerant nature, Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Even with their calm nature, Golden Retrievers are highly active and need at least 40-60 minutes of daily exercise to thrive. Like other intelligent breeds, these dogs need regular mental exercise in addition to physical exercise.

Doberman Pinscher


Doberman Pinschers are well-known for their sleek, athletic build as well as their energetic and attentive nature. Historically Doberman Pinschers served as guard dogs; today many Dobermans will still quickly assume a protective alpha role in your household.

Doberman Pinschers display a “puppy-like” attitude until age three or four. Proper training is especially important considering this combination of a youthful disposition with limitless energy and heightened intelligence.

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