Originally posted on October 28, 2021 @ 6:00 am
Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by inckredible
Which dogs are the smartest?
Who does not love dogs? The paws, the wagging tail, and just the overall cuteness? But dogs are not just cute animals and pets. Some of the breeds are incredibly smart! We want to introduce you to the 20 smartest dog breeds! Do you have any guesses about which ones might be the smartest?
But we definitely want to highlight that even the smartest dogs need training, and even dogs that are not considered to be super smart can be trained. It just takes a lot of time, effort, and of course, patience.
In case you are looking to adopt a little dog, we hope that you find exactly the one that you were looking for and that you have fun together and get to share a great life with that tail-wagging animal.
Let us dive into the 20 smartest dog breeds that there are!
1. The Border Collie
Did you know that the border collie is considered the smartest dog breed? The breed comes from Great Britain originally, and they were bred to herd sheep! The male dogs typically grow up to be up to 56 cm, and the female Border Collies can reach a height of 53 cm. This is considered to be medium size for a dog! There are Border Collies with blue eyes, but not all of them have those.
When you are considering getting a Border Collie because they look cute and are considered the smartest dog breed, you should take a minute and think about it. Border Collies are amazing, but they also need a lot of physical activity, mental training, and attention. If those needs are not fulfilled, they might develop behaviors that you will not appreciate, like eating your things and destroying furniture.
Poodles do not just look pretty; they are also incredibly smart. There are mini versions of the poodle and other sized poodles. But the standard poodle can grow up to be 62 cm tall. It is not clear if their origins lie in Germany or French, but they have been common in both countries for decades.
One thing to keep in mind when thinking about getting a Poodle is that their fur needs a lot of attention. So you will need to bring him to a dog groomer regularly. Poodles are considered to be calm dogs, that can when recognizing danger, protect their owners but are usually more on the calmer side. They do need a lot of physical and mental activity.
3. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are incredibly smart. Not only were they bred to herd sheep, but they were also used in war, and people even taught them to jump out of planes with a parachute doing war. Isn’t that crazy?
They can grow up to be 65 cm tall and are considered large dogs. They are very curious dogs and are often used as guard dogs. Even though some people think they are aggressive dogs, with enough training, they are not and actually make up for great family dogs! They are just extremely protective of their owners and are not typically friendly with strangers. That is why they need to be extremely well-trained.
Little fun fact: After the Second World War, the world changed the name of the dog for a while because they did not want the association with Germany.
4. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is an extremely popular dog breed. Not just because they are super smart and eager to learn, but also because they are great family dogs. They are also easily trained, love being in the water, and are very loyal. They are also commonly used as guide dogs, which just shows how great they must be!
Furthermore, they love to play but do need to get at least two hours of exercise daily. That is a big responsibility, so you should definitely be aware of that before getting one. If you do decide to get one, you probably will not regret it as they are kind and great with kids, too!
5. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog looks similar to the Border Collie, so it does not come to anyone’s surprise that they were used to being called Shetland Collies. However, they are smaller than Border Collies and only reach a height of 41 cm. The dog is smart and can be pretty loud. They want to please their owners and are pretty easy to train because of that.
They are usually not aggressive, and because of that, they are great with kids and can be family pets. Not only that but they are also used as emotional support dogs. They might be small, but they are mighty.
Also, extremely smart is the Doberman breed. They are considered to be pretty large dogs and can reach a height of 72 cm. They are ideal for everyone who does not want dog hair to be everywhere since they do not have fluffy fur and will not shed as much as other dogs, such as the Golden Retriever.
Furthermore, they were hunting dogs, so it was common for people to cut off their tails. Luckily, that is illegal in some countries now. The dogs are super loyal and work great as guard dogs! They might not be as fluffy as other dogs, but they are still great pets for a family since they are very compassionate.
7. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is also a great family dog! But they are also used as therapy and disability guidance dogs. They are super smart, fluffy, and energetic. They are also loyal and have so much energy! Since they can also be used as hunting dogs, they do need to have a lot of exercises. They can grow up to be around 57 cm tall.
They are prone to some diseases, so you should be prepared to invest a little at the vet. The breed typically lives up to 14 years. If you think that you can give the Labrador Retriever enough mental and physical training, then you might be able to give him an amazing 14 years. And they will give back to you too!
8. Papillon dog
The little papillon dog is so cute! People call them the butterfly dog because their ears are so unique. They grow up to be around 28 cm tall, so they are pretty small. They can live up to 15 years, so if you decide to get one, you should be aware that it will be a long-term commitment.
Furthermore, they are not the most friendly dogs when it comes to strangers, but they are sociable with kids and are good family pets. You do need to train them very well to make sure that they are not aggressive. They can also be guard dogs, as they will let their owners know if they feel danger approaching.
The Rottweiler can grow up to be 69 cm tall! They usually have a life span from 8 to 12 years. They are sometimes used as police dogs for search and rescue activities! Their origins go back extremely long, and they are considered the oldest dog breed in the entire world.
They are devoted dogs that like to works. That means that you do need to train them quite a bit in daily life, so they are not bored. There have quite a lot of health problems that might occur in the life span of the Rottweiler. Unfortunately, that is a common problem of purebred dogs.
Also, the media has portrayed Rottweilers poorly in the past. However, if trained well, there is nothing to be scared of. They can even be quite compassionate dogs.
10. Australian Cattle Dog
Like the name already implies, the Australian Cattle dog was bred to take care of a herd. That also means that this breed does require quite a big training effort from you. If you are able to put in the time every day to go on long walks and train the dog, you will definitely be rewarded.
They can grow up to be around 51 cm tall. While they are independent dogs, they are very protective of their owners and, when trained well, can be kept as a family pet. They have a life span of 12 to 15 years.
11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Next on the list, we have the pretty smart Pembroke Welsh Corgi. They are the favorite dogs of Queen Elizabeth II., which kind of makes them royal, doesn’t it? They like to be super close to their owners and sometimes follow them around trying to please them. Not only that, but they are eager to learn and, therefore, easy to train.
They only grow up to be around 30 cm tall. They are great family dogs and can be kept with other animals as well; it is just important to implement that behavior when they are puppies already.
12. Miniature Schnauzer
Like the name already implies, Miniature Schnauzer are tiny Schnauzer versions. They only grow up to be around 36 cm. They usually live around 12 years. Miniature Schnauzers do require getting groomed regularly, which you could either do yourself or bring them to a dog groomer.
They are quite loud and do like to bark when they feel like their space gets invaded or when they feel danger approaching. However, they are easy to train, and if they are well-trained, this should not be a problem. It actually makes them great guarding dogs! They can also be family pets and are usually not a problem when kids are around.
13. English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is a dog that is known to be super friendly, always wagging its tails in excitement! You can easily train them, which is why they are sometimes used as show dogs. It is an affectionate dog and can integrate easily into a family as a family dog, but also go as a hunting dog on hunting trips!
The dog likes to please their owners and can be very loyal. They often pick one family member as their owner and follow them wherever they go. It is super cute! So if you get an English Springer Spaniel, you might just get yourself a new best friend!
14. Belgian Shepherd Dog: Tervuren
There are different varieties of this dog breed type, but they are all smart and cute! They are used as police dogs, guidance dogs, for search and rescue, as herding dogs, and they are also family dogs! The male Belgian Shepherd Dog can grow up to be 62 cm tall! They live up to 14 years, so they will be with you for a long time.
They have a guarding instinct, are easy to train, intelligent, and sensitive. Each of the types has different characteristics, and the Tervueren variety might not be the best match for a family with kids.
The Schipperke grows up to 33 cm tall on average. The thing that makes them the most recognizable are their pointy ears! They have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years. The Schipperke are known to be pretty stubborn and always up to some kind of adventure. They love to chase other animals! They are also aggressive and a little harder to train than other breeds, which is why it would not be smart to get a Schipperke as your first-ever dog. They might also not be the best fit as a family pet. However, with a lot of training, you could make that possible. They just will not be the most cuddly pets.
They require a lot of exercise every single day, so please be aware of that.
16. Belgian Sheepdog
The Belgian Sheepdog is a medium sized dog that can grow to be 66 cm tall. It has a lot of fur and does need a lot of grooming. And you will need a good vacuum cleaner! They used to be bred to be herding dogs, but now they are also family pets, guide dogs, and police dogs. They are super smart, easy to train, and loyal. While the Tervuren is not a great match for families, this one definitely is!
They are super popular, which makes sense since they are cute, smart, and easy to train!
The Collie is related to the Border Collie and does look pretty similar to it. It also has a lot of similar features, meaning it needs a lot of exercise, mental training, and grooming. But the reward is a loving, passionate, smart dog who will always protect its owners.
You will not regret getting your own Lassie, but you will have to be willing to put in a lot of effort to make the dog as happy as it makes you. So you will need time. And that every single day, because the dog needs exercise every single day!
The Keeshond is a dog that looks like a mix of a wolf, lion, and cat. It is incredibly cute! The Keeshond is typically around 48 cm tall and comes with a lot of fur. Again, this coat will need a lot of attention and grooming. But in exchange, you will get a cuddly and soft dog! They are super playful and need a lot of attention.
They will not be happy without daily attention, long walks, and hours of play. When they do not get that, they will get bored and eventually eat all of your shoes or whatever they can find. So be aware that the Keeshond will need a lot of your time to be kept happy.
19. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting dog who needs a lot of exercise and training. When not given that, it will be similar to the Keeshond starting chewing on anything they can find. They have a very short coat, which is soft, but will not need a lot of your time to be groomed.
They are very friendly dogs, which makes them fit into families easily. They like kids and are typically not aggressive. However, when they feel like danger is approaching, they will bark and protect their owners! Also, these dogs are not happy when being alone all day or kept in a kennel for too long. That might result in them whining.
20. Flat-coated Retriever
The flat-coated retriever grows around 60 cm tall and is an energetic and smart dog. While it is the last dog on our list, it is still a smart one that is easy to train and eager to learn. The dog loves to please its owners, which makes them great family pets. They also get along with kids super well!
They are hunting dogs and do need to live a very active lifestyle.
Which one are you getting?
Owning a dog is a lot of work; we are not going to lie. But it is also the most rewarding pet you can have. The dog will love you until his last breath, and that is pretty special. A lot of these breeds can sense when you are sad, and they will be here for you, no matter what. However, please be aware of all the work it requires. It would be so sad if the dog had to go to a shelter when you realize that you cannot keep up all the work. These smart dogs require a ton of training and exercise, and attention too.