Intelligent Canines: 10 of the Smartest Dog Breeds

Smartest Dog Breeds

When you are looking for a new dog, you may consider a few factors before you decide what breed is right for your family. Often times people want to find a dog that won’t require too much grooming, or they might want a dog that has a charming temperament. Some look for a dog based on their ‘cuteness factor’, and others may want a large frame, sturdy dog. When you are looking into dogs, you need to make a list of the traits that are important to you. One of the important traits that a lot of people want is intelligence. Some breeds of dogs are simply smarter than others.

Dogs are often categorized based on their intelligence. There are even some dogs that are better when it comes to specific tasks or duties, and that is often times why you see some breeds in military and law enforcement. Service dogs have to be pretty intelligent as well. If you want a dog that is really smart and able to pick up on tasks easily, then you will want to do your research before you choose a dog breed.

We have compiled a list of the 10 smartest dog breeds. Take a look, and if you don’t want a ‘dunce’, then you might want to get one of these breeds. They will likely be a bit easier for you to train than other breeds, which can really be helpful! Just remember, you will have to work with them. They aren’t always just born with their ‘smarts’.

10 Smartest Dog Breeds


Australian Shepherd

1. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd was bred as a herder.

This is their main job in life, and they are really great at it. Australian Shepherds are not only great when it comes to herding, but they are also very intelligent and they have a lot of energy. They adapt well to change, and they pick up on short commands with ease. They are also really pretty breeds, with a lot of rich colors and markings.

They are distinctive in their appearance, with a quirky personality that you are sure to fall in love with.

Golden Retriever

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are often used as service dogs.

They are agile in their working, and they are also highly trainable and intelligent. Eager to please their masters, they want to make sure that they master their ‘jobs’. This is why they are used so often as service dogs. If you spend time with your Golden Retriever helping them to learn commands and pick up on behaviors that you expect of them, you will really start to see that they catch on quickly and just want your positive attention when they do a job well done.

Siberian Husky

3. Siberian Husky

Well known for their beauty, Siberian Huskies are great at sledding.

They are bred as a sledding dog, and it really just comes natural for them. They are extremely willing to work, and they are also strong and have a high level of endurance. The ability to follow simple commands usually comes easy for this breed. Housebreaking them is also usually an easy task because they really want your approval. They are going to pick up on things quickly to make you are happy with them.

They are also extremely loyal and have a happy go lucky temperament with people they trust.

Belgian Malinois

4. Belgian Malinois

While you may have never heard of the Belgian Malinois, they are a very smart dog breed.

They are used most often in the military because of their intelligence and their agility. They are easy to train, and they also really just enjoy working. When you combine their strength with their desire to protect and their level of confidence, you really get a winning combination. While health concerns have made German Shepherds phase out of the work force, the Belgian Malinois is still going strong.

Labrador Retriever

5. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a great guide dog.

They are smart and intelligent, and they also really like to please their owners. Labs are often family pets, because they are not only smart and easy to train, but they are also very happy dogs. They love to run and play, and are pretty active. They make a great hunting pal, and will prove to be a loyal, lifelong friend once you have their trust.

This is not to mention the fact that they are a beautiful breed.

Newfoundland

6. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland breed is an extremely smart breed. So, what is it that makes them so well known for their intelligence? They are actually great when it comes to water rescue. Anatomically, they have an extremely large lung capacity, so they can take in a deep breath and swim for long distances and since they can swim long distances, they are used to help save lives in the water. Aside from being known for their water rescue skills, they are also highly trainable, and will follow common and advanced commands.

Border Collie

7. Border Collie

Border Collies are often bred to be working dogs or show dogs. They spend a lot of time in the spot light, so to speak. They are seen often in the show industry, and are extremely intelligent and agile. They instinctively love to have a ‘job’, and this is what really makes them happy. They are excellent protectors, and they are also great when it comes to being a watch dog. Typically, they have great temperaments as well.

If you want a dog that is just as gorgeous as he is smart, then you might want to consider a Border Collie.

English Beagle

8. Beagle

Beagles are another really smart breed. They follow their nose for the most part, so they are great when it comes to sniffing out things and detecting. They are able to sniff out their prey with ease because of their keen sense of smell. They are used often by exterminators to sniff out bed bugs so that they can be eradicated. Some of them are even trained to be able to sniff out termite nests that are deep under the ground.

That isn’t all they are great at. They can also follow commands and are fairly easy to house train.

Bloodhound

9. Blood Hound

When the police are trailing a crime, or conducting a search and rescue effort, Bloodhounds are often used to help them. Trailing is their specialty. They have exceptional scent abilities, and due to these abilities their results are even admissible in court! They are also pretty quick to pick up on commands, making them a desirable breed. While you may not need to put them hot on someone’s trail, they are great when it comes to hunting as well.

German Shepherd

10. German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a breed that is really intelligent. They are often used in the police force and the military. They have instinctive guard dog traits, and they are extremely dependable and loyal. Training them usually comes pretty easily, and they pick up on simple commands quickly. German Shepherds are large breeds that require regular brushing, plenty of exercise, and a lot of love and attention! Consider these facts before you opt for this smart breed.



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I've been a dog lover since the day I was born but it's the current four legged love of my life, Phoebe who inspired me to create the Munch.Zone.

We moved together from Israel to New York in 2013, love hiking together, and never pass up a trip to the dog park. Watching her over the years sparked so many questions about dog behavior and health needs, and it wasn't always easy to find answers. Thus, the Munch.Zone was born.

On any given day you'll find me watching Netflix originals, eating popcorn, and thinking about how to get into house flipping.

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