The smartest dog breeds

Almost every dog ​​lover once thinks about which of the breeds has the most developed intelligence. Therefore, the debate about which breed of dogs is the most intelligent, does not subside. Is it possible to give an unequivocal and officially confirmed answer to this question? British scientists made such an attempt, but how did they succeed?

What are the most intelligent dogs?

What is the smartest dog breed?

At the end of the last century, the British scientist S. Coran identified several types of intelligence, according to which, later, mental qualities of 133 dog breeds were evaluated for their distribution on a common scale. Three types of them were called the main ones: instinctive, inherent in nature, adaptive, manifested in the process of performing any tasks, and obedience intelligence, which is included during training.

It is impossible to single out the most important type, therefore, the most intelligent breed of dogs must have high performance in all 3 types of intelligence, however, the British scientist emphasizes obedience intelligence. Instinctive is genetically defined and focused on performing the actions that were inherent in dogs in natural conditions: for example, hunting. Adaptive intelligence is also related to the originally laid features. As for the intellect of obedience, the dog's ability to learn in the process of training directly depends on it. It was precisely this moment that it was decided to consider as fundamental in determining the smartest breed.

However, there is still a small flaw, which calls into question the results of the entire selection: some breeds of dogs were initially bred as domestic ones, that is, easily amenable to education and training. Others are intended by nature as hunting, and they are not inclined to master the commands on the part of man. But on the basis of this fact, it is impossible to say that any domestic dog is smarter than a hunting or sled dog, just that it has a completely different purpose, nothing more. Therefore, any rating compiled should be interpreted as the result of a subjective assessment. And if you so want to know what breed of dogs is really the smartest, you need to specify the query: in which particular area? In the matter of learning for life in a large family? Or to perform rescue operations?

10 most intelligent dog breeds: a list with a description

In the ranking below, you can see the primacy of the new breeds bred in the last decades. This moment S.Coren also mentions in his writings. In his opinion, human intervention in the genotype of animals has led to the fact that new breeds of dogs are more trainable than those to which man had almost no relation. Therefore, it is not surprising that, for example, Papillon entered the top 10 of the smartest dog breeds, leaving behind a St. Bernard - an aristocrat dog, which is much worse to learn.

  • So, in the top ten S.Koren were collected dogs that are perfectly trained: remember the team for 4-5 repetitions, and even less, and perform them from the 1st time. The last, 10th place in the list was taken by the Australian shepherd's dog, artificially bred to help the shepherds in the cattle drive. The breed is compact, strong, the height at the withers does not exceed 51 cm, the weight reaches a maximum of 20 kg, the muscles are distinct, the hair is short and dense. Representatives of the breed are obedient, calm in temperament, have high endurance. Despite the fact that the breed was bred as cattle, today the Australian herding dog is a frequent guest in an apartment where there are elderly people, since this is not only a reliable watchman, but also an excellent companion.
  • The 9th place was awarded to the rottweiler - this service dog also once helped with the driving of livestock, but the main task of the breed is to protect its owner. The whole appearance says that there is a lot of power in this dog. The body is well-knit, with prominent muscles, a long back, which provides dynamic to the animal, a broad chest. The height of the rottweilers at the withers reaches 70 cm, the weight of an adult dog is up to 50 kg. This dog has not only excellent stamina, but also excellent performance. Active command execution, prompt reaction, contact with the host: all these qualities are inherent and easy to develop in a Rottweiler puppy, but for an adult individual, the help of a dog specialist may be needed. Representatives of the breed are independent, they converge cautiously with strangers, but they love children, so the Rottweiler is a good choice for a large family.
  • 8th place is occupied by such an exotic breed as Papillon - it owes its name to the shape of ears resembling butterfly wings. It was bred from a Toy Spaniel and belongs to the group of decorative breeds of indoor dogs. Unlike previous breeds, the papillon was not created for working purposes - this soft ball of long and silky wool does not look any dangerous. However, this dog is an excellent protector for its owner, as well as a friend for young children. Her love for a gentle nature, not conflict and high mobility. In addition, the papilon's mental talents should not be underestimated: these dogs have a very good memory. The only thing that should be avoided from representatives of the breed - from excessive noise.
  • The 7th place is given to the Labrador Retriever, and a few positions higher in the ranking are the Golden Retriever. These breeds were bred as guide dogs and today continue to be used for this purpose. They are slightly smaller in size than the rottweilers - at the withers the Labrador reaches 57 cm, their weight can be 40 kg. Despite its massive body, the Labrador is a friendly, non-conflict dog, easily trained. Even an adult individual can be trained without too much difficulty - a representative of the breed makes active contact with a stranger, easily converges with other animals. However, Labrador cannot be called calm: by nature it is a very playful, mischievous and noisy dog.


  • 6th place in the Sheltie breed is a small Scottish shepherd, also part of the shepherd's group of dogs. Surprisingly, such a small dog also performed the same functions as a larger Australian shepherd. However, she was not required protection - only assistance in driving the herd. Later, when shepherd dogs came to replace her, the sheltie became a decorative domestic dog: this was facilitated by her appearance and her height (at the withers - up to 37 cm), and her calm disposition. Shelties easily learn new things and just as easily accept new people: they are not inclined to take guests and family members unfamiliar to them aggressively.

Top 5 British List

  • Starts the top 5 of the smartest Doberman dog breeds. Stringy, sturdy dog, known as an excellent guard. Dogs of this breed have an easily excitable nervous system, good memory, including some of their vindictiveness. At the same time, the Doberman will be affectionate with the owners, as far as its character allows, to treat children positively. Canine experts distinguish Dobermans for their strong instinct, which makes it possible to use representatives of the breed in the police and during search operations.
  • The fourth place is a favorite for children and adults - a golden retriever. It has almost the same characteristics as a Labrador, so there is no need to consider the breed in details. This is a great and reliable friend of the family and in some way a nanny for young children. The nature of the retriever is mild, and the puppy and the adult easily make contact, learn with pleasure, and do not like noise.

German Shepherd

  • 3rd place, as expected, was given to the German Shepherd Dog - a dog, whose intellect is favorably heard everywhere. Perhaps it is one of the most well-known breeds. German shepherds are marked as police dogs and dog actors, they are also guard dogs, guide dogs, companion dogs. It seems that there is no role that the representative of this breed will not assume. The training of the German shepherd does not cause problems, and at the same time, with its power and strength, it is a caring, friendly and peaceful animal.
  • 2nd place is surprising for most people - it is awarded to a well-known poodle. This dog is no more stupid than others: it is not for nothing that it so often accompanies the elderly people. Belonging to the group of domestic decorative dogs, the poodle has a high degree of adaptation to almost any conditions. No wonder representatives of the breed are often seen in the circus. This merit is an excellent learning ability and memory-dogs, thanks to which she not only masters new teams, but also is capable of unexpected actions. And for a good flair poodles were used more than once in the service of customs or rescue operations.

Border Collie

  • But the most intelligent dog S. Koren recognized the border collie. Small, compact breed, height in withers reaching 53 cm, in weight not exceeding 20 kg, the border collie has a strong memory and insight of the mind, easy learning. To unleash the full potential of the dog, it must be constantly trained - mentally and physically. The representatives of the breed do not have a pronounced musculature, but at the same time the body is strong and strong, the movements are light and graceful. Border Collie is a great friend and guard, an energetic playmate, restless and active.

It is possible to argue long about how correctly the rating of the most intelligent dog breeds is made: the subjectivity of evaluation will always be present, since people are engaged in creating such ratings. In addition, every pet owner will consider his pet the most intelligent. Therefore, all ratings are relative, and one should not recklessly rely on them: even British scientists have the right to make mistakes.

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