The Battle Of The Smartest Dogs: Discover Which Breed Is The Brightest

Dogs are one of the most intelligent animals in the animal kingdom. However, there are those dog breeds that are smarter than others. But, before diving into which pooch breed is more brilliant, it is essential to consider the attributes used to measure a dog’s intelligence because it is not always biological.

Smartness comes to how easy a breed is when training it, its ability to understand humans, how fast they are to study, and how well they do some tasks.

Canine intelligence comes in various forms, and it is possible for every dog to be intelligent in its unique way.

Although the owners can nurture the best breed, there are fixed qualities for a dog’s inherent qualities.

10 Of The Smartest Dog Breeds

Pet owners often believe that their dogs are the smartest on the block, and though this can be true, an intelligent dog can come in several forms. Here is a list of the top ten most intelligent and smartest dog breeds.

  • Border Collie
  • Poodle
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Papillon
  • Bloodhound
  • Rottweiler

Border Collie

border collie

Border collie breed is intelligent, energetic, and affectionate. The breed is a true working dog best in athleticism, cuddling, agility, and sheep herding.

It is best known for its herding eye, an intense gaze to look down and herd other animals. This breed is prized for its extraordinary instinct, working ability, and intelligence.



The dog breed is the seventh most bred in popularity across the world for various reasons. These breeds are exceptionally proud and too proud. Poodle dogs are active and highly hypoallergenic.

They possess a high intelligence that makes them easy to train to hunt, obey, retrieve and track. Most people use them to retrieve things from water.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

This is the second most popular dog breed. They are courageous, intelligent, and confident. German shepherd breed is excellent all-purpose dog, and they are primarily used in specialized situations like service or police dogs.

These dogs rarely show affection, but they are loyal family dogs and friendly to kids. It is the world’s leading military, police, and gourd dog.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are friendly and intelligent dogs devoted to sports. They usually take their tasks to heart and try to do their best at everything they do.

These dogs can serve as hunting dogs, like a seeing-eye dogs, a search, and a rescue dogs. Moreover, the dogs are loving companions and loyal.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinschers are smart enough to retain training. They are fast and robust and enduring a reason why they are commonly used as war or police dogs, making them prime service dogs.

They are widely known by the statue “always faithful “ for their faithfulness while on duty. This is to honor the dogs that were killed while in service in the second battle of Guam.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

This dog breed is a miniature working Collie. Shetland Sheepdog is intelligent and playful. They are excellent herders, and it is easy to learn new tricks. The dogs feature long hairs and a rough cot but are keenly astute.

Moreover, these dogs are good watchdogs as they are reserved towards strangers and have a high barking tendency.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever dogs are regarded as family-friendly, gentle, very intelligent, and popular in the US. Regardless of their ability to keep friends with human beings and other animals at home, they are more trainable.

Due to their intelligence and friendly, these breeds are best to be used as rescue dogs. When with pack leaders, they act best for being guide dogs.



These are breeds that are not aggressive or even shy. They have high confidence and are teachable. Papillon is characterized by its versatility, and faster and quick reaction.

They learn short athletes quickly and train perfectly to act on different tricks. They are called papillons due to their ears’ shapes, which have butterfly shapes.



These breeds are more commonly known for their physical appearance, big floppy ears, and long wrinkles on their face. Bloodhound dogs are friendly, curious, and independent.

They are characterized by their high scenting ability, intelligence with determination. Their ability to be intelligent makes it easy for training. In terms of companionship, bloodhound dogs are regarded to be best friends all the time.



This is the best breed suitable for security and guarding. It is characterized by its loving, loyal, and confidence.

Its confidence makes it worthwhile for herders, and useful as police and service dogs. Socially they can be used as obedience editors, devoted companions, and therapy dogs due to their loving and loyal abilities.


It is essential to know that every dog can be taught and trained. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which breed, whether most brilliant or not, can be trained on behaving, reacting, being patient, and companionship.

What Defines A Smart Dog Breed

When most people think of a smart dog breed, they likely envision a Border Collie herding sheep or a Golden Retriever fetching a ball. And while it’s true that these breeds are indeed intelligent, there is more to it than that. In general, any breed that was developed for a specific purpose – such as herding, hunting, or guarding – is likely to be quite smart. This is because they were bred to have the necessary skills to perform their jobs well.

However, intelligence isn’t just about obedience or working ability. Some of the smartest dog breeds are actually quite independent and free-thinking. These dogs are often quick learners, and they’re often able to figure out what you want them to do without being explicitly taught. So when it comes to defining a smart dog breed, it’s important to consider more than just obedience and working ability. Instead, look for a breed that is quick to learn, independent, and has the ability to think on its own – traits that will make them a great companion for years to come.

How Do You Measure Intelligence In Dogs

intelligence is the power of learning. Dogs, like all animals, have varying degrees of intelligence. The ways to measure intelligence in dogs are by observing their behaviors and reactions to certain stimuli. The three primary ways to measure a dog’s intelligence are by their obedience to commands, reaction time to new stimuli, and problem-solving ability. 

It’s important to keep in mind that intelligence is not only about Mental Processing Speed (MPS). It’s also about things like working memory, selective attention, and inhibitory control. These are the cognitive skills that allow us to remember what we need to remember, focus on what’s important, and resist distractions. They’re the foundation for everything from being able to sit still in class and pay attention to being able to solve complex math problems. 

So how do you measure a dog’s intelligence? By testing their obedience to commands, reaction time to new stimuli, and problem-solving ability as mentioned earlier. But it’s also important to take into account things like social skills (such as how well they get along with other dogs), as these can play a big role in a dog’s overall IQ. 

When it comes to obedience, dogs that respond quickly and accurately to commands are typically considered more intelligent than those that don’t. This is because they’re able to understand what you’re asking them to do and then follow through with the action. 

Reaction time is another way to measure a dog’s intelligence. This involves timing how long it takes for a dog to respond to a new stimulus, such as hearing a loud noise or seeing an unfamiliar object. Generally speaking, the faster a dog can react to something new, the more intelligent they are considered to be. 

Finally, the problem-solving ability is another way of measuring intelligence in dogs. This involves observing how well a dog can figure out how to complete a task when presented with an obstacle, such as opening a door or getting a treat from under a couch cushion. Dogs that are able t quickly solve problems are often considered more intelligent than those that take longer or struggle with the task at hand. 

Overall, intelligence in dogs is measured by their obedience, reaction time, and problem-solving ability along with some other factors like social skills. So if you want to know just how smart your pup is, put them through some basic tests and see where they rank!

Which Breeds Are Considered The Smartest Of Them All

When it comes to intelligence, not all dog breeds are created equal. Some are clearly smarter than others, and this is often evident in their obedience, trainability, and general eagerness to please. The Border Collie is widely considered to be the smartest breed of all, followed closely by the Poodle and the Golden Retriever. These breeds are all known for their high level of intelligence, as well as their loyalty and ability to form strong bonds with their owners. 

Other breeds that are often considered to be amongst the smartest include the German Shepherd, the Australian Cattle Dog, and the Labrador Retriever. However, it is important to remember that intelligence is not the only measure of a dog’s worth. There are many other factors that contribute to making a dog a good companion, such as personality, temperament, and health. As such, choosing a dog should always be based on finding the right fit for your individual lifestyle and needs.

Photo of author

Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the owner and editor for Puppy Leader. He has two dogs and loves to train them daily. Every day, Peter takes his dogs to the park and lets them run around and play together. He also trains them each day with different commands and tricks.