We all know that it is not easy to select the top 20 smartest dog breeds that are truly smart but we did it because you really want to know the top 20 smartest dog breeds. While all dog breeds are good, certain dog breeds are more intelligent when it comes to following commands.
Of course, there is no easy way to rate dog intelligence because it can be based on more than one criteria, including working intelligence(following orders), adaptive intelligence (figuring out stuff), Instinctive intelligence (innate talent), interpersonal intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, spatial intelligence and more.
Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds – What Makes A Dog Smart?
We can evaluate dog breeds levels of intelligence based on the ability to adapt, obedience and instincts. Some of them are social and emotionally dependent on people, so it is easy to train them because they are far more receptive and have little intuitive smartness.
A hound is a good example because although they are not receptive, they possess superior senses of smell and sight. Terriers also have excellent hearing.
Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds – Do Dogs Have An IQ?
IQ depends on the quality you are observing. You can have your dog take an IQ test based on his analysis. For instance, if your dog can learn a new command in lesser than five repetitions, then he can be considered the Einstein of pups.
It has not been confirmed yet, but studies suggest that bigger dogs could be smarter than small dogs. This question was posted in Psychology Today by Coren. In the post, Coren shared data obtained from 1,888 dogs, and the results were apparent. It shows that larger dogs were able to accurately remember commands over a longer period than smaller dogs.
But keep in mind that some companion dog breeds were bred to possess particular traits, such as being non-confrontational and calm.
Now, let’s talk about the top 20 smartest dog breeds that are truly smart.
Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds That Are Truly Smart
Old English Sheepdog
English Springer Spaniel
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Dogs are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet, but did you know that some canines are smarter than others? Here are the top 20 smartest dog breeds you can adopt or buy if you are really looking for a smart and the best dog breeds.
1. Welsh Terrier
The Welsh Terrier is a small dog breed originating from Wales. They are known for their intelligence, bravery and loyalty to the owner. Welsh Terriers have been used as hunting dogs, guard dogs and police dogs in the past.
Welsh Terriers are famous for their hunting tactics and their decision-making when put to the challenge. At first, they are rambunctious toward new owners but become fiercely protective and loyal when they are well trained.
2. Border Collie
They are intelligent and quick-thinking dogs that can learn how to respond to dozens of verbal commands. They also have a high level of energy that they need to expend on a regular basis.
The Border Collie is an extremely intelligent breed of dog with an intense work ethic. The Border Collie is often used as a working dog, such as in herding sheep or cattle.
It is not a surprise that Border Collie is on this list. In fact, it should be the first on the list but I didn’t arrange this list in a particular order. This hard-working, herding breed dog is always eager to learn and please his owner, which makes him the number one of the top 20 smartest dog breeds.
How can you argue with a dog with more than 1,000 vocabularies?
Poodles are a breed of dog that originated in Germany. Poodles were originally bred as water retrievers, and they have been used for other tasks, such as retrieving games from the water and driving geese off the land.
Poodles are often groomed to show off their non-shedding coats, which results in them looking like they’re wearing a lot of clothes.
The poodle is one of the top 20 smartest dog breeds because of its intelligence, ability to be loyal, smart and gentle. Poodles learn faster and often surprise owners with their human-like ability. They are trainable and enjoy activities that challenge them, such as agility, tracking, hunting and obedience work.
4. Gordon Setter
Hailing from England and Scotland, and named after a Duke, Gordon Setters breed is a royal breed. Although they were originally bred to hunt, they are popular for their stamina, reliability and awesome memory, in addition to their intelligence.
The Gordon Setter is a medium-sized well-muscled dog breed and one of recognized Setter breeds in the United States.
The Gordon Setter is an elegant and intelligent breed. They are very good at hunting, tracking, and retrieving game. This breed is intelligent and easy to train.
The Gordon Setter is often called the “aristocrat” of the dog world because they have an air of nobility about them. They are not known for being overly active or playful dogs but instead are more interested in their surroundings and what is going on around them.
5. Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is a herding dog that was originally bred to help shepherds keep control of their flocks. They were used to herd and move sheep, as well as guard them. They are very intelligent and make excellent family pets because of their gentle nature.
The Old English Sheepdog is known for its intelligence and gentle nature, which makes it an excellent family pet. The breed has been used for centuries by shepherds to help them keep control of their flocks, by herding the animals and moving them from one place to another.
Old English Sheepdogs are sociable, good-natured dogs that thrive around people and are, of course, demanding of attention. This impeccable watchdog breed thrives in situations where they must protect something or someone. Unfortunately, they can become unhappy and destructive if they are left without a companion.
6. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. They are intelligent, loyal, and extremely protective. They make excellent pets because they are loyal to their owners and obedient.
Some German Shepherds are trained as working dogs to help people with disabilities. These dogs can be trained to open doors, pick up objects, or retrieve items from the ground. They also have a history in military service and law enforcement work.
Known to be alert and intelligent, it is no surprise that German Shepherds are often employed as search dogs, rescue dogs and service dogs for law enforcement, as well as disability assistance. Originally bred as herding dogs, German shepherds are great at evaluating situations and determining the best action to take.
7. Golden Retriever
Throughout the years, the Golden Retriever has been a popular dog breed. It is a very intelligent and gentle animal that has been bred to be a family companion. The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
The Golden Retriever’s coat is typically yellow or gold with black or brown markings. Its coat needs to be brushed on a regular basis and it sheds quite often, so it needs constant grooming. The males have an average weight of 60-75 pounds and their female counterpart ranges from 55-65 pounds.
This breed loves water and will do anything for a game in the pool or lake. They are not just good swimmers but they also love playing fetch in water
Golden retrievers are known to be easy to train and calm. What makes them one of the top 20 smartest dog breeds is that they are always too happy to comply with commands or tasks given to them by their owners. They can be relied upon to be consistent with their behavior in many different situations.
Golden retrievers are used as rescue, search and service dogs, as well as therapy dogs.
8. English Springer Spaniel
Originally bred as a “gun dog” for game shooting in the field, English Springer Spaniels are highly obedient when it comes to tracking and hunting. They also make a pleasant companion, athletic and the ideal furry companion you need when you are going camping or hiking.
They are known for their friendly, intelligent personality and their ability to work in water. The English Springer Spaniel was originally bred as a hunting dog, but today they are often used as family pets or as working dogs on farms and ranches.
9. Doberman Pinscher
This breed came into existence in the 19th century, when a German tax collector called Louis Doberman requested a medium-sized dog to act as both a companion and guard. Doberman Pinscher is a fearless protector that can hold his own and even hang with children without any problem.
The Doberman Pinscher is a medium-sized dog that was originally used in 1890 as a guard dog. They were also used to hunt wild boar and other large game. They are one of the most popular breeds in the world today.
The breed’s color can be black, red, blue, fawn, or any combination of these colors with white markings on the chest and feet. It has a square head with dark round eyes and erect ears that point up on top of its head.
The tail should curl over their back when they are relaxed but it should be carried straight out behind them when they are alert or moving fast.
10. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog is a small breed of dog that originated in the Shetland Islands, which is located off the coast of Scotland.
The breed was originally used to herd sheep, but they are now primarily kept as pets or show dogs.
Shelties are very intelligent and have a strong sense of smell. They also enjoy human contact and get along well with children, other dogs, and other pets.
The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat that is coarse with a dense undercoat. The coat can be black, brown, grey or white and should have markings on it such as tan, sable, brindle or red.
Shetland sheepdogs are smaller than collies but are adorable fluffballs that hold their own when it comes to obedience, herding and agility. Although Shetlands tend to herd, chase and bark, their affectionate nature and love for cuddles will take away any hard feelings.
11. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are known for their intelligence, playfulness and loyalty. The Labrador Retriever is a sporting dog that was originally bred to help fishermen catch fish by retrieving items from the water.
The breed’s name “Labrador” comes from its original hunting grounds in Labrador, Canada. The term “Retriever” comes from their ability to retrieve games and other items from water or land. They are a friendly, intelligent, gentle and playful breed with a strong hunting instinct.
The Lab’s thick, waterproof coat protects them from icy waters and cold weather. Labradors have a “soft” undercoat that keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer. The outer guard hairs repel water so that they dry quickly after swimming.
Labradors need to be brushed regularly to keep their coats clean and mat-free.
Labrador retriever loves to please, whether it is as narcotic detection dogs, guide dogs or just everyday family dogs. It is a popular American dog and one of the smartest dog breeds you can trust at any time.
12. Australian Cattle
The Australian Cattle Dog is a medium to a large-sized working dog. They are strong and agile dog that has been bred to herd cattle.
An Australian Cattle Dog is a type of herding dog that is used to herd cattle. It has a medium-sized, compact and muscular body. It also has a broad head, pointed muzzle, and erect ears. The coat can be either smooth or rough in texture.
The Australian Cattle Dog comes in many colors including blue merle, red merle and black with tan markings on the face, feet and tail tip.
Australian Cattle dogs are curious and alert breeds belonging to the Herding Group and breeds that possess an instinctual ability to control other animal movements. If you live on a farm, Australian Cattle is a perfect dog breed for you because it is intelligent at hearing and protecting livestock.
Papillons are a small breed of dog, which is one of the oldest toy breeds. The dog’s history traces back 700 years. They were originally bred to be hunting dogs and can still be used for this purpose. They have also been used to hunt small game such as rabbits.
Papillon dogs are known for their butterfly-like ears and their long, silky coats that come in a variety of colors. The coat is usually white with patches of color on the head, chest, and back. Some Papillon dogs also have a solid color on their face with white on the rest of the body.
Since the Papillon dog breed line can be traced back to about 700 years, it has had generations of breeding to get listed among the top 20 smartest dog breeds. The big-eared pups excel at both trick training and agility training.
Rottweiler is a strong dog breed that can be traced back to the Roman Empire. Today, this dog breed is listed among the top 20 smartest dog breeds for sharp perception, acute awareness and unwavering loyalty, which is why they are often used as search and rescue dogs, police dogs and guard dogs.
Rottweilers are a large size breed of domestic dog, known for their strength and intelligence. Its Weights go from 80 – 120+ pounds (36 to 54+ kilograms). They were originally used as drover dogs in Germany and as guard dogs for the wealthy.
The Rottweiler was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1931. The Rottweilers are known for their intelligence, strength, courage and loyalty. They can be aggressive but with proper training, they can be very loyal and loving family pets.
15. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small dog breed that is a descendant Spitz family of dogs. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are small, sturdy dogs that come in a variety of colors. They were originally bred to herd cattle and other livestock.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a herding dog that can be found in many colors. They are known for their intelligence, good temperaments and their low energy levels.
This smaller, happy breed is most fulfilled when it comes to a job to do. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are adorable and have a tendency to herd their family members, especially kids. That is probably why Queen Elizabeth II owns so many corgis.
16. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer is a breed of dog that originated in Germany. It shares the same ancestry as the Standard Schnauzer, and both breeds are part of the terrier group. The Miniature Schnauzer is a small dog with an average weight of 12-20 lb.
The Miniature Schnauzer has a wiry coat that can be black, salt and pepper, silver or blue. It has a square muzzle and dark eyes with an alert expression. The ears are traditionally cropped to stand erect, but they can also be left natural or docked to half length.
The Miniature Schnauzer is an intelligent breed with an independent streak that can be protective of its home and family.
Miniature Schnauzer dog breeds are quick learners and enjoy being challenged. This breed often excels at sports where they must use their intelligence, such as competitive obedience and agility. This Miniature Schnauzer also possesses a strong desire to please its owners.
Schipperke is a brainy Belgian dog that descends from the same family as the Belgian Sheepdog. Clever, curious and confident, this dog is a big, brave dog in a small package, and also makes a great watchdog. In fact, they were bred to be ratters on canal barges.
The Schipperke is a small, sturdy breed of dog that originated in Belgium. The breed was developed to be an efficient sheep herder in the rough terrain of the Belgian countryside. It is believed to have been developed from crosses between German Pinschers and local farm dogs such as the Brabantian Sheepdog or Belgian Sheepdog.
Keeshond is a thick-coated dog used as a seeing-eye dog and is a fast learner. But they require discipline and committed trainers because of their independent nature.
The Keeshond is a medium-sized dog, with a square-shaped body. The Keeshond’s coat can be either long or short and can be fawn, black and white, gray, or brown.
The Keeshond is an intelligent and lively dog who loves being around people. They are also very good at obedience training. This breed is often called the “Dutch Barge Dog” because they were used to pull barges in Holland in the 18th century to help transport goods on the canals.
Keeshonds are German herding dog that was originally bred for their intelligence and endurance, making them excellent watchdogs and herders.
19. Belgian Tervuren
Belgian Tervuren is a breed of dog that originated in Belgium. They are very intelligent, loyal and obedient. This breed of dog is often used as a police dog and as a search and rescue dog.
Belgian Tervuren dogs are highly intelligent and make for excellent service dogs because they are so eager to please their owners.
They have a natural desire to work with people, making them perfect for police, search and rescue. Belgian Tervuren’s intelligence makes them easy to train, but they also need plenty of exercises to prevent boredom from setting in.
Belgian Tervuren’s loyalty is one of the most defining features of this breed. Belgian Tervurens will bond deeply with their family members, which can make it hard for the owner to introduce a new baby to their dog.
This breed is cautious, reserved, and watchful when they first meet someone. This can make it challenging for a newcomer like a baby or small child to be welcomed into the family. However, once these dogs are sure of the person in front of them, they will display their affection with exuberance and joy.
The Belgian Tervurens are a dog breed widely known as intelligent and independent. This breed is one of the top 20 smartest dog breeds because they can get the job done easily. However, their smart self-sufficiency can get them into trouble if they are not well-trained. Turning chores and tasks into games help Belgian Tervurens get the job done easily.
20. Flat-Coated Retriever
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a breed of retriever that originated in England. The breed was created by crossing the Irish Water Spaniel and the English Water Spaniel with other breeds.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a medium-sized dog that weighs between 55 to 80 lb. It has a broad head, almond-shaped eyes, and a long tail. The coat is flat, dense, water resistant, and soft to the touch.
This dog breed is developed out of the Labrador family. They are confident, intelligent and make a highly energetic hunting dog. Not only is a flat-coat retriever smart, but it also makes an excellent therapy dog.
What Dog Breed Has Highest IQ?
Every dog on this list has the highest IQ but it seems the Border Collie breed is on top of the chart. If you are after the smartest breed of dog ever, you can go for Border Collie and any other dog on this list.
What Are The Top 10 Dumbest Dog Breeds? Or Least Intelligent Dog Breeds
There are no completely dumb dogs but when it comes to understanding and following commands, some dogs are better than others. So, that is why some dogs are classified as dumb or least intelligent dog breeds. Here are the dumbest dogs:
Many dogs out there are loyal to their owner. But if you are looking for the most loyal dogs, here are a few of them:
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
What’s The Easiest Dog To Train?
Here are the easiest dogs to train:
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
What Is The Laziest Dog Breed?
Most of the dogs tagged the dumbest dogs are all lazy breeds. Here are the laziest dog breeds:
Bernese Mountain Dog
What Is The Least Trainable Dog Breeds?
Some of the least trainable dog breeds are:
What Is The Best Family Dog?
If you are looking for the best family dog breed for your family that will be nice with your children and everyone in your home, here are the best family dogs:
What Dog Lives The Longest?
Australian Cattle Dog is currently holding the record for living longest. An Australian Cattle Dog called Bluey lived for 19 years. Though the breed normally lives for about 15 years, they can live longer with better care. The other dog breeds that live the longest include:
Chihuahua (15 to 20 years)
Jack Russell (up to 20 years)
Poodle (18 years)
Beagle (12 to 16 years)
Dachshund (12 to 17 years)
Shih Tzu (13 to 18 years)
Pomeranian (12 to 16 years)
Yorkshire Terrier (14 to 17 years)
Lhasa Apso (14 years)
What Is The Meanest Dog Breed?
Here are some of the meanest dogs ever:
Jack Russel Terrier
Pit Bull Terrier
What Is The Bravest Dog Breed?
German Shepherd is the bravest dog breed ever. The dog helps police control the crowds and can even help the army sniff out bombs. The good thing about them is that they can put their life on the line for your family when it comes to keeping you safe.
What Dog Is The Cutest?
Some of the cutest dogs you can ever own are:
Old English Bulldog
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for the top 20 smartest dog breeds, there you have it. There are many dogs out there and honestly, there are no completely dumb dogs. Each dog has its own pros and cons but their IQ is quite different. Some are smarter than others when it comes to responding to commands.
If what you are after is the top 20 smartest dog breeds, the list provided to you in this article is the best. You can choose any of the dogs on this list and start training them!