The Smartest Dog Breeds! Where Did Your Pooch Rank?

Time for some light-hearted mid-summer fun — another dog intelligence test. This time, ranking in the top tier is based on a breed’s ability to learn a task in five commands or less, and obey the first command 95 percent of the time (or better). With apologies to my friends who have agility trial champion Australian Shepherds that didn’t make the top tier list, here are this year’s most brilliant canines.

#10 – Australian Cattle Dog
Cattle dogs require regular exercise to maintain fitness, and they are considered one of the smartest herding dogs. They are commonly used on ranches to nip the hoofs of cattle and can “drive” them precisely. They also make outstanding service dogs.

#9 – Border Collie
Border collies make newspaper titles frequently with their heroic acts and incredible versatile abilities. They are easy to train and are great around kids, but do require lots of exercise every day.

#8 – Doberman Pinscher
Dobies are the third-best watch dogs, outranking the Rottweiler and the German shepherd. This breed combines elegance and strength with speed and endurance.

#7 – German Shepherds
The common face of police dogs, German shepherds are extremely loyal and protective. They are commonly used in sniffing out narcotics and lost persons.

#6 – Golden Retriever
Goldens are a bright and loving breed. They respond well to basic and advanced training and they excel in hunting and search and rescue.

#5 – Labrador RetrieverLabs have an amazing ability to learn. Even new and inexperienced dog owners will be able to teach this breed. They excel as police sniffer dogs, service dogs, and are strong hunters.

#4 – Papillon
Representing the toy breeds, the Papillon is a gorgeous breed with butterfly-like ears and silky fur. The breed is so smart that they can be trained to win competitive agility trials at the sport’s highest level.

#3 – Poodle
Whether a standard, miniature, or toy, these poodles are extremely smart and also easy to train. Standards make good hunting and service dogs, as well. Poodles, along with German shepherds and Border collies, have been found by psychologists to be as smart as an average two-and-a half-year old!

#2 – Rottweiler
Rotties are a strong and fearless breed from Germany where they are sometimes used to hunt large game. These dogs are very smart and are anxious to obey their owner’s commands.

#1 – Shetland Sheepdog
What a surprise! (not), the winner is a Sheltie!! Masters of every intelligence test given to dogs (think herding breeds rule!), masters of agility trials at the highest level, exemplary herding dogs, etc., etc. They are so smart that training is a breeze. They are a very energetic breed, so like all the herding breeds, expect them to be active and give them lots of exercise every day.

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