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The 10 Smartest Dog Breeds

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on July 11, 2018

Some dogs are known for their looks, others for their personality, but these breeds are renowned for their brains! These are the dogs that learn how to open the fridge to get their favorite snack, and outsmart you when it comes to training. They’ll have no problems picking up new tricks and will be extra-forgiving if you bungle up training a little. Here’s to the smart dogs that keep us on our toes:

#10 – Australian Cattle Dog

Number 10 on the list is the Australian Cattle Dog. One of many herding breeds that made this list, these dogs are smart and quick. They excel at performance events like agility and disc dog.

#9 – Labrador Retriever

Like the golden, the Labrador is more than just a retriever. They are smart, love their people, and will do anything asked of them. Today, this intelligent breed is used for pretty much anything man can think of – from search and rescue to agility, and everything in between.

#8 – Jack Russell Terrier

Due to their amazing learning ability and great work ethic, there have been many JRT’s used in movies and TV shows. Most notably, there’s Moose who played Eddie on Fraiser. If there is a way to teach it, the Jack Russell Terrier will learn it.

#7 – Rottweiler

Another protection dog, the Rottweiler is a smart, multi-purpose dog. Although it’s commonly known as the “junkyard guard dog,” the Rottie is actually a highly intelligent livestock protection animal and was originally a cattle dog.

#6 – Shetland Sheepdog

This small herding dog is known for being intelligent, high energy, and easily bored. Don’t worry, if you don’t give them enough to do, they will find something… like learning how to open your cupboards or unscrewing the food containers. Like the Border Collie, they excel at performance events.

#5 – Doberman Pinscher

Another breed used for police work, Dobermans are smart, loyal and like to work – making them easy to train. A dog that is very precise, they excel at obedience training and are often seen in the utility dog ring.

#4 – Golden Retriever

With his sweet, want-to-please attitude, the Golden Retriever is easy to train for any job – whether it’s therapy or service work, agility, retrieving, or just basic obedience for a family pet. He will also use his smarts to get ahold of any food possible, so make sure you have secure trash bins!

#3 – German Shepherd Dog

Not only does he look intimidating, but his intelligence makes him easy to train at the high levels required for that line of duty. He also excels at obedience, service dog work, search and rescue – pretty much anything a dog can do, the GSD does it better.

#2 – Standard Poodle

Vying for the number one spot, the Standard Poodle is often regarded as THE smartest dog in the world. Originally bred for hunting, they excel at any dog sport and their loving nature makes them great for therapy and service dog work.

#1 – Border Collie

Said to have the intelligence of an average two-year-old, there are Border Collies that have learned to recognize over 100 words. Smart, fast, and a lover of work, they excel at any performance event including obedience, herding, agility, disc dog, and even tracking.

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