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smartest dog breeds

The Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds (Canine Honor Roll!)

The American Kennel Club currently recognized 190 different breeds of dogs that are fantastic companions, there’s no doubt about it. But our furry friends are also quite a bit more intelligent than we often give them credit for.

Keep reading to learn more about the 10 smartest dog breeds and see if your pooch made the list!


Shiba Inu

shiba inu smart dog

Smartest dog breeds: Shiba Inu – Photo credit Jae Lee via Unsplash

Shiba Inus are some of the most adorable dogs out there. They’re full of personality and have massive, fluffy coats that made them the stuff of Internet legends.

But what a lot of would-be Shiba owners don’t know is how incredibly stubborn and intelligent they are. This can make them a pain to train, to say the least.

To put it bluntly, a Shiba Inu isn’t going to do anything it doesn’t want to do. So expect a lot of battles with your fur baby as you start your training journey and make sure you stick to your guns and don’t let them feel as if they’re in control.


Golden Retriever

Smartest Dog Breeds: Golden Retriever

Smartest dog breeds: Golden Retriever, Photo credit: Tanner Vines via Unsplash

Few dogs have worked their way into the hearts of the world quite like golden retrievers. These adorable pups are as cuddly as they are loyal.

However, they’re so much smarter than most people give them credit for.

The relationship between retrievers and man is centuries-old, dating back to a cross-breeding between retrievers (which were typically used as hunting dogs) and water spaniels.

The result was the adorable breed we know and love today. While most retrievers aren’t used for hunting, they’re still quite good at…well, retrieving, as you probably know if you’ve ever engaged your pup in a game of fetch.

Of course, their intelligence doesn’t stop them from acting silly on a regular basis.


German Shepherd

German Shepherd smartest dog breed

German Shepherd smartest dog breed: Christoph Schmid via Unsplash

Of all the best dog breeds you’ll see on this list, German shepherds are perhaps the least surprising inclusion. If you’ve spent more than a few moments with one, you’ll know why.

They’re among the kindest, gentlest, most loyal dogs you’ll come across. This makes them the perfect choice for joining police forces or acting as service animals.

However, they’re also quite excitable and can be tough to train. New owners’ best bet is to get a young puppy or an old retired police dog, as they’re quite stubborn once they’re set in their ways.

And though they get to be quite big, you’ll soon discover that they’re little more than adorable, big babies.


Poodle

standard poodle smartest dog

standard poodle smartest dog. Photo credit: digitalskennedy via Pixabay

Poodles are often seen as a sign of class and sophistication. But these tiny geniuses actually got their start performing in circuses across the globe, according to Genuine Collars.

It’s precisely because of their heritage that they make for a solid choice for new pet owners.

Poodles have all of the intelligence of, say, a retriever without any of the stubborn tendencies.

They’re also quite calm and collected most of the time. You’re not going to see a poodle that’s as excitable as a Labrador, so expect your poodle pup to be quite low maintenance.

Just please don’t dye your poodle’s fur, no matter how much you love your football team.


Australian Shepherd

australian shepherd smartest breed

Sharing a similar lineage to retrievers, shepherds are some of the smartest and gentlest dogs you’ll ever have the pleasure of coming across.

If you’re considering adopting from the shepherd family, you’ll want to consider picking up an Aussie pup. They’re fast learners making them easy to train, and their good-natured attitude makes them a breeze to live with.


Border Collie

border collie smartest dog

Border collies are so bright that one dog recognizes over 1,000 words in the English language.

That’s quite a bit more than your standard, “Sit” and “Stay” commands, to say the least!

Training collies can be a bit of a challenge, however. Though they’re smart, they’re extremely excitable, making the training process more of a challenge than most new owners have an interest in.

Still, if you have the time (and patience) or have experience training pups in the past, border collies make for great snuggle buddies at the end of a hard day and get along great with children.


Papillon

papillon smart dog

papillon smartest dog – Photo SergVG via Pixabay

French for “Butterfly”, papillon pups are part of the toy breed along with Pomeranians, chihuahuas, and certain types of poodles.

And like their counterparts, they’re graceful little bundles of energy.

Though they’re great lap dogs, their intelligence makes them fantastic play partners.


Australian Cattle Dog

australian cattle dog smart

Australian Cattle Dog Smart: Photo marion802105 vis Pixabay

By this point, you’re likely seeing a recurring theme in our list. Shepherd dogs are brilliant animals, and Australian cattle dogs are no exception to that.

They’re fun, good-natured, and tend to get along quite well with children.

It’s important to note that there are some behaviors you’ll want to watch out for, however.

Namely, Australian cattle dogs have a bad habit of nipping people or other animals on the ankles.

It’s not necessarily their fault, as it’s a technique they picked up hundreds of years ago to wrangle cattle. Still, be forewarned — though they won’t nip hard, it can be a nuisance that you’ll need to work on.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

smart dog welsh corgi

smart dog welsh corgi – Photo: Pixabay

The low-riders of the animal kingdom, corgis are so popular and universally loved that Queen Elizabeth II has owned over 30 in her lifetime.

While most corgis don’t get the royal treatment, they still make for excellent dogs, as they’re super intelligent and remarkably responsive.


Siberian Husky

siberian husky smartest dog

Rounding out our list of the smartest and best dog breeds are huskies, a breed sure to give Shiba Inus a run for their money in terms of stubbornness.

While extremely cute, husky pups aren’t recommended for new trainers, as they often have a mind of their own.

Though they’re quite friendly, they’re not too keen on taking orders from anyone unless they’ve formed a bond first.


Is Your Pet’s Lineage Part Of The Smartest Dog Breeds?

As you can see from this list of the smartest dog breeds, so many types of dogs are good for more than just snuggling up (though that’s nice, too).

These 10 breeds are among the smartest out there, making ownership a rewarding if not challenging experience.

Looking for more awesome and adorable dogs? Be sure to check out these five great dog Twitter accounts that you need to follow ASAP.

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