The 12 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

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 12 ranked high because they understand new commands with less than five repetitions, and will obey the first command 95% of the time.

So what dog has the highest IQ?

And the winners are…

Top 12 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

  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
  11. Pembrook Welsh Corgi
  12. Miniature Schnauzer
12 most intelligent dog breeds
Doesn’t This Doberman Look Smart?

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. What makes a smart dog will vary with what it was bred for.  Herding dogs need different “smarts” than dogs in the hound group, terrier group, working group, or sporting group.

Keep in mind that a smarter dog may also be harder to train since he knows what you’re up to. This dog might not be easily tricked into doing whatever command you ask.  If your dog seems especially stubborn, it might be because he’s smarter than you think.

Which breeds are the hardest to train?

Are you curious about which dogs rank the lowest?

106. Borzoi

107. Chow Chow

108. Bull Dog

109. Basenji

110. Afghan Hound

Even though these 5 dog breeds might never win a top of the class award, they still make lovely pets.

What do you think of the smartest dogs list?

Read more:

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