The Smartest dog breeds
Most of us can easily recognize specific dog breeds by their physical features and characteristics. These features are often a part of what endears us to a certain dog breed. We love the big blocky heads of Labradors, we love the cuddly sweetness of Golden Retrievers. We love the gentle hearts of the Pitbull. Every dog owner wants to believe that his or her pup is the smartest dog around, and that very well may be true. Some of the most intelligent dog breeds are some of the most popular and beloved breeds.
Just where does your dog stack up on the list of the most intelligent dog breeds?
1. Border Collie
With a distinctive black and white long coat, and a petite build, the border collie is one energetic and affectionate little smarty. The border collie is a working breed, and is happiest when he has a job to do. Whether herding sheep, running the agility course, or working as a therapy dog, this dog uses his intelligence to learn his job, perform his job, and to anticipate what is expected of him.
They have what is affectionately termed as the “herding eye.” This is an intensive stare that is used to make eye contact with and herd their charges.
Border collies don’t necessarily make the ideal choice in family pet if you are looking for a low-energy dog who will be happiest sleeping in front of the fireplace all day. They are however great family pets if you can keep their mental and physical energy stimulated with plenty of exercise.
One of the most intelligent dog breeds, and one of the most popular choices in dog breeds, the German shepherd excels as a working dog. Whether working with the armed forced, or working to protect a herd, these dogs with their distinctive pointed alert ears and long bushy tails are also often seen working as service dogs.
The German shepherd offers fierce loyalty, courage, fearlessness, confidence, and of course that intelligence that you are looking for. Despite having an unearned bad reputation over the years, these champions among the most intelligent dog breeds do make wonderful family pets. They are fiercely protective over their family member, and are great companions for children. It’s important to ensure that their high energy levels are tended to, to stave off boredom and destructive behavior.
3. Labrador Retriever
With big paws and constantly wagging tails, the Labrador retriever is an all-around working dog that is perhaps the most popular in dog breeds. Of all the most intelligent dog breeds, Labradors possess this strong need to please the people around them. This makes them a great choice for service dog, or for a search and rescue dog.
They are intelligent, sweet-natured, gentle, and really great family pets. Their high energy and strong work drive tends to settle down when they are about 4 years old, but their being easy to train makes them a great choice for hunting companions.
The poodle is not only hypoallergenic, which makes it a great choice for families where allergies to dogs may be a concern, but it is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Their high levels of intelligence make them fairly easy to train. They do well as family pets, and their love of being active makes them a great choice for tracking and retrieving. They are recognized as the national dog of France, and in fact were originally used as retrievers on the hunt.
They have a gentle and happy personality that does make them a great addition to a household with children..
5. Golden Retriever
As one of the most recognized service and family dogs, the golden retriever is a sweet and friendly breed that is just as well-suited to working as a hunting companion as it is to being a family companion. With a long silky coat, and a friendly nature, the loving nature of the golden retriever makes it a great therapy dog. The big generous heart of this dog breed makes him loyal to each member of his family.
Petite, quick, and filled with curiosity, the papillon is a petite member of the spaniel family. With long-haired alert ears, this confident and intelligent toy breed lacks aggression, but is filled with energy that makes him crave exercise and training.
While they do make loyal family dogs, they do need that daily stimulation to help keep their minds occupied and their bodies burning energy. Whether they’re being trained to perform fun tricks for the family, or taking advantage of their speed and being trained for agility, you’ll find that the papillon is a gentle-natured happy pup suitable for family life.
A dopey-looking face and big drooping ears hides the intelligence of the bloodhound. As one of the most intelligent dog breeds, the bloodhound also boasts a strong independent streak that can make him something of a challenge to train. They are curious and friendly dogs that have a nose that can detect scents under even the most challenging of situations.
With a steady and calm hand, the bloodhound can be trained to be a faithful hunting companion, and family pet. They are medium to large sized dogs, but they are not excessively energetic like some of their other highly intelligent counterparts. They are just as happy sleeping on the front porch as they are chasing down rabbits.
The distinctive look of the Rottweiler has earned it an unfounded reputation as being an aggressive breed. The truth is that this is one of the most intelligent dog breeds, and it’s a dog breed that wants to work and wants to please his handlers. They are affectionate, and enjoy cuddling up on the couch with their family members.
They do have a high level of energy that makes them well-suited to work as service dogs, law enforcement dogs, or herders out in the field. Their large stocky size is somewhat deceptive, as they are highly energetic and speedy when they are on the move. They even make great agility dogs, and enjoy the competition.
9. Shetland Sheepdog
Also known as the Sheltie, the Shetland sheepdog is a playful herding dog that is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. A miniature version of the standard collie, these long-haired petite pups are always happy and willing to learn new tricks or new duties. They are sweet-natured, affectionate, and fiercely loyal to the members of their family.
Active and agile, the Shetland sheepdog is easy to train. They do well working with herds, and also with agility and herding trails. They also tend to be slightly reserved with strangers, and will bark if they feel that the safety of their herd or family is at risk; this makes them a great choice for family guard dog.
10. Doberman pinscher
As another dog breed that has an unearned negative reputation, the Doberman pinscher is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Their long legs give them great speed that make them a solid choice for working with law enforcement or the military. The Doberman boasts a keen intelligence that makes him easy to train, and willing to learn. Strength and endurance levels unmatched by other larger dog breeds ensure that this breed is able to keep up with the rigors of being a working dog.
The Doberman is also sweet-natured around those he feels loyal to, and can make a great choice in family pet so long as he is allowed plenty of exercise to help burn off that excess energy.