What are the Most Intelligent Dog Breeds?

Dogs are smart – they are the only animals who can understand at a deeper level than other animals. It’s amazing how they know when we need a companion, how they can understand our instructions, and how they sense whenever we are leaving them behind when other pets (like cats, for example) don’t seem to care.

However, there are breeds that a step above in intelligence and more trainable than the other breeds. Their intelligence are measured by their ability to learn new commands quickly and the obedience to perform them. Here are the top three most intelligent dog breeds and get to know them a little bit more:

Border Collie1. Border Collie

Border collies are workaholic farm dogs that are known for their extraordinary instinct, intelligence, agility, and athleticism. They are highly energetic and tireless, so if you’re thinking of adopting one, be prepared for lots of playtime hours like walking to the park, playing Frisbee, and catching ball. Because they are the most intelligent of all dog breeds, they are highly dependable and loyal, but they are one of the most challenging dogs to live with.

Originally bred for sheep herding at the highland border of England and Scotland, border collies are known for their herding eye, which is the ability to stare down to make other animals submit to them to be able to herd them. They are bred to think independently from human shepherds and they have a strong working drive and problem-solving ability.

Border collies like imposing their will on others. Their gathering and herding behavior can be activated on other dogs, livestock, deer, cats, joggers, children, cars and bikes – they tend to chase, stare at, poke or nip at them when their targets are not following what they want. They can even impose their will on you too, if you don’t train and guide them to redirect this behavior on other tasks. They can even outsmart you if you don’t pay attention to them (some of them have been known to figure out basic locks!). They tend to be very intentional in whatever they do.

Border collies  also have an inborn protective instinct, making them wary of strangers. They are also very sensitive to sound, and sometimes when you are training them and if your instructions aren’t perfect, they might freeze and not follow you. They have a greater vocabulary than other dogs – one perfect example is Chaser, a border collie who can understand 1,022 words! Their exceptional intelligence makes it easy to teach them and they are a very handsome breed with an easy-to-groom coat.

This dog breed is people-oriented. They love socialization. They need outlets for their high mental and physical energies, so keep them entertained by regularly training and playing with them. Having them sit with you all day to watch TV will make them easily bored. Leave them with nothing to do and you might find gnawed shoes, chewed drywall and ripped up sofas in your home. Making them a household pet can be frustrating for an average dog owner, but if you have the skills and perseverance to train a challenging dog, then you may have a great friend and pet.

Poodle2. Poodle

Coming second on the list are poodles. These are the one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. There’s more than that fancy hairstyles and an elegant appearance to this breed – they are one of the more highly intelligent and active dog breeds.  They love learning and getting attention from their humans. You’ve have to love them for their beauty and brains.

Poodles were originally bred to hunt, track, retrieve and obey. In Germany, where they were first bred, they are trained for bird hunting and water retrieving. This was before the guns were even invented. Their notable haircut seen on show poodles today have their roots in the dog’s hunting origins, as their thick and furry coat allows them to swim while keeping their joints and chest warm.

Poodles can be short-haired as well so they would be easy to groom and maintain their coat. They don’t always have to be frilly-haired. One benefit is the poodles’ fur is hypoallergenic and sheds less.  They do require every 4 to 6 weeks, to keep their fur curly and manageable.

Okay, enough with the hair and back to the intelligence. Poodles are excellent at obedience, which makes them great show dogs. They are active and easy to train, making them easy to go anywhere and interact with other people. They are thinking dogs who love to pay attention and respond eagerly.

Don’t waste their intelligence by just making them a cute and casual accessory dog. Challenge them with games and fetching, agility classes and advanced obedience classes for the mental and physical stimulation they need. Take them on walks, jogs and swims to keep them happy and calm indoors. If they are not given daily companionship, exercise and playtime, they will annoy you with excessive barking and chewing, and they might also suffer from loneliness.

Poodles are also sensitive dogs. They flinch easily when startled. They also get emotionally upset if there is tension in your home. Some poodles can even be a little neurotic and can literally get sick to their stomachs in stressful situations.

German Shepherd3. German Shepherd

German shepherds are one of the world’s most popular dogs. Even people with little knowledge about dog breeds have probably heard of the them.  And there’s a good reason why: they are loyal, brave, confident and smart. They are also one of the most employable dog breeds, as their natural protective instincts make them dependable police, military and guard.

As the name suggests, the German Shepherds came from Germany. They were bred by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop dogs for police and military work. The result was a dog exhibiting intelligence and utility, good looks and versatility. It gained the attention of many dog lovers from other countries, and was registered to the American Kennel Club in 1912. Rin Tin Tin, a puppy found in a World War I battle zone, was the most famous of the earliest German Shepherds.

German Shepherds excel in a lot of canine sports like obedience, agility, tracking, and herding. Not only are they great for security jobs like detecting illegal drugs, chasing down fleeing criminals and serving in with armed forces; they are also useful for search and rescue, guide and assistance, and herding animals on farms and ranches.

Now you know what German Shepherd’s are capable of, it is obvious that they are active dogs. They thrive with mental and physical stimulation, so don’t waste their abilities by just making them lie down in the yard. They are great family dogs who are gentle with their owners but fierce when facing strangers.

However, since there are so many German Shepherd dogs in the world, you have to be careful with choosing one to adopt. There are many different breeding lines of this type and they have various temperaments. Many German shepherds tend to be very predatory towards dogs of the same sex, cats and other running animals. This behavior can be tamed when they are properly trained and bred.  So choose wisely when adopting a German Shepherd.