Top 10 Smartest Dogs

We know the Doberman pinscher dog is one of the smartest breeds, but how smart?

Psychologist and dog researcher, Dr. Stanley Coren, author of “The Intelligence of Dogs” came up with a dog training survey to assess which dogs displayed higher intelligence. He states that there are three types of dog intelligence.

  • Adaptive Intelligence (learning and problem-solving ability). This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
  • Instinctive Intelligence. This is specific to the individual animal and is measured by canine IQ tests.
  • Working/Obedience Intelligence. This is breed dependent.

Dr Coren created a dog intelligence list that ranks 110 dog breeds. More than 200 professional dog obedience judges helped compile this list. The dog breeds in the top 10 have ranked high as they can understand new commands with less than five repetitions and will obey the first command 95% of the time.

And the winners are..

doberman smartest dogs list
Doesn’t She Look Smart?


Top 10 Smartest Dogs

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

The Doberman ranks number 5 smartest dog breed in the world. Not bad at all.

I think it’s important to note, that these are generalities and genetics will play a big part in your dog’s mental ability. Also, working dogs are bred to follow commands but following a command doesn’t necessarily equate to intelligence. Lastly, if you evaluate “smartness” with what the dog was bred for, the list may be different.

Keep in mind that a smarter dog may also be harder to train since he knows what you’re up to and might not be easily tricked into doing whatever command you ask.

Curious which dogs rank the lowest?

Sorry, if you own a Chow Chow, Bulldog, Besenji or Aghan Hound, don’t expect much from them. But love your dog anyway, even though he might never win a top of the class award.

What do you think of the smartest dogs list?


  1. Andy said:

    Well Cathy, some good info there and glad you’re Well informed enough that you can enlighten the rest of us. As a Dobbie owner myself, I see the importance to be an advocate for them since they can’t speak for themselves. BUT think you had Zero compassion on the guy! Just said his dog of 9yrs died.! And you attack for what he said was the cause of death, good job being an ass. Just saying, saw where you were going with that info but better left on another string, not one that is expressing grief…

    January 26, 2013
  2. Ruth said:

    Jimmy, you are way the hell out of line with your unwarranted attack on Cathy and obviously cannot read what jett wrote. He did say that was what happened to his Dobie.

    She correctly informed him that was NOT what happened to his Doberman Pinscher.

    A brain aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain and in his Dobie’s case, it burst.

    This is not a brain that “keeps growing”.

    It makes no more sense to think that a certain dog breed’s brain doesn’t stop growing than the other harmful lies spread about Dobermans, such as they “turn on their owners”.

    Those lies have been responsible for much harm to dogs.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t an abusive person to your own since you’re so quick to abuse Cathy here for sharing HELPFUL information.

    Shame on you.

    July 10, 2012
  3. Tiffany said:

    Um, they did indicate in the last line that that is what happened to her….

    April 27, 2012
  4. jimmy said:

    Wow your a bitch Cathy! He said SOME say that there brains keep growing. He did not say that his dogs brain did not stop growing and that is why it had a anur. So quit being such a critical bitch because not everyone researches dogs. It would make sense if if someone told you that a certain dog breed brain doesn’t stop growing if your dog had a anur.

    December 15, 2011
  5. Cathy said:

    It is NOT true that a Doberman’s head swells inside his brain. That is one of the most wide spread lies about the breed. Now people are saying the same thing about the Pit Bull.

    Please get educated and stop the lies about our dogs, people already are having a witch hunt on our large working dogs.
    Your dog may have had an anur. but, it sure wasn’t because her brain swelled up.

    Go to a reliable web site for information and quit believing everything you hear. It’s a diservice to the dogs who have fought in our wars, aided in search and rescue, helped the handicapped and more. The more untruths spread about our large dogs the harder it will be to stop the lies. People already hate the Dobie and Rottie, and Pit and the German Shepherd. Get educated about these wonderful breeds and spread the GOOD word.

    There aren’t bad dogs, just bad owners who do not know what a large dog needs.


    August 2, 2009
  6. Jaki said:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog passing away. I’m sure she was a very lucky dog to have you as her owner. Take care.

    December 17, 2008
  7. jett said:

    my dobbie just died yesterday at the age of nine yrs. old…she had an anur. some say that their brain gets larger than their skull, with age…. this happened to her…suzzie will be missed. she was so loving…..

    December 17, 2008

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