Which dogs are the smartest?

Find out which dogs are the smartest! Explore the smartest dog breeds in the world, backed by science.

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is a smart and strong breed from Australia. Their tough work ethic and loyalty to their owners are known traits of theirs. With their sturdy bodies and alert minds, they’re great at herding cattle on farms. These dogs have a distinctive blue or red coat with speckles, which helps them blend in with the outback. They’re energetic and need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. Aussie Cattle Dogs make devoted companions for active families who can give them the attention and exercise they need.


The Rottweiler is a big, powerful dog breed originally from Germany. People know them for their strength and loyalty to their owners. Rottweilers have a strong build with a broad chest and muscular body. Their coat is typically black with tan markings. They’re confident dogs and often used as guard dogs or police dogs because of their protective nature. Despite their tough appearance, Rottweilers can be gentle and loving with their families. Proper training and socialization from a young age help Rottweilers become well-behaved companions. Homes that provide plenty of love, exercise, and positive attention are where Rottweilers thrive.


The Papillon is a small and graceful dog breed originating from France. Their distinctive butterfly-like ears, which give them their name (“papillon” means “butterfly” in French), are a well-known characteristic of the breed. These dogs have a fine-boned body with a long, silky coat that comes in various colors. Papillons are intelligent and lively companions, often excelling in activities like agility and obedience. Despite their small size, they have a big personality and love to be involved in family activities. Papillons are affectionate dogs that enjoy spending time with their owners and are generally good with children and other pets. They make delightful pets for families looking for a small yet spirited companion.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, known for its friendly and gentle nature. They originated in Canada, where they were originally bred to help fishermen retrieve nets and fish from the water. Labradors have a sturdy build with a short, water-resistant coat that comes in three main colors: black, chocolate, and yellow. They’re known for their kind eyes and wagging tails that seem to be in a constant state of happiness.

Labradors are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them excellent companions for families, therapy work, and various types of dog sports like retrieving and obedience competitions. Labradors also have a reputation for loving food, so it’s important to maintain a healthy diet for them and provide regular exercise to ensure their happiness and health. In loving homes where they receive plenty of attention and exercise, Labradors thrive as loyal, affectionate, and adaptable dogs.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog, often called the Sheltie, is a small to medium-sized dog breed that hails from the Shetland Islands of Scotland. They were originally bred to herd sheep in harsh weather conditions, so they’re known for their intelligence, agility, and strong herding instincts. Shelties have a long and luxurious double coat that comes in various colors, typically with a distinctive white “collar” around their necks. They have a graceful and alert appearance, with expressive eyes that convey their intelligence and sensitivity.

Shelties are loyal and affectionate companions, forming strong bonds with their families. They’re known for their gentle and sensitive nature, making them great companions for children and other pets. Despite their small size, Shelties are energetic and require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They excel in activities like obedience, agility, and herding trials, thanks to their keen intelligence and eagerness to learn.

In general, Shetland Sheepdogs are loving, loyal, and intelligent dogs that flourish in homes where owners provide them with plenty of attention, exercise, and chances to utilize their herding instincts. They make wonderful family pets for those who appreciate their beauty, intelligence, and gentle nature.


The Doberman Pinscher, often simply called the Doberman, is a medium to large-sized dog breed known for its sleek and muscular appearance. They were originally developed in Germany as guard dogs, but today they are also valued as loyal family companions and versatile working dogs. Dobermans have a distinctive appearance with a short coat that comes in various colors, typically black and tan or red and rust.

Dobermans earn recognition for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective instincts. They forge strong bonds with their families and show fierce devotion to their owners. Despite their reputation as guard dogs, well-trained and socialized Dobermans are typically friendly and affectionate with people they know. They are also highly trainable and excel in various dog sports and activities, including obedience, agility, and protection work.

While Dobermans are known for their athleticism and energy, they also enjoy spending time relaxing with their families. They thrive in homes where they receive plenty of mental and physical stimulation, along with consistent training and socialization. With proper care and training, Dobermans make excellent companions for experienced dog owners who are willing to provide the guidance and structure they need to thrive.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever, known for its friendly and lovable nature as well as its golden-colored coat and happy personality, originated from Scotland, where breeders developed them to retrieve ducks and other birds during hunting trips. Golden Retrievers have a sturdy build with a wagging tail and a sweet, smiling face.

These dogs earn recognition for their gentleness and affection, qualities that make them excellent family pets. Their intelligence and ease of training often lead to their use as therapy dogs or in search-and-rescue missions. Golden Retrievers love to play and enjoy outdoor activities like fetching and swimming. They’re also good with children and get along well with other pets.

Golden Retrievers need regular exercise and lots of love and attention from their owners. They thrive in homes where they’re included as part of the family and given plenty of opportunities to socialize and play. Overall, Golden Retrievers are joyful and loyal companions that bring happiness and love to any household.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a smart and loyal dog breed that originally comes from Germany. They’re known for their strong bodies and pointy ears. German Shepherds are often used as police dogs or service dogs because they’re intelligent and trainable. They have a thick coat that can be black and tan, sable, or all black.

These dogs are protective of their families and make great watchdogs. Despite their tough appearance, they can be gentle and loving with the people they trust. German Shepherds are energetic and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. They enjoy activities like obedience training, agility, and playing fetch.

German Shepherds thrive in homes where they’re given a job to do and lots of attention from their owners. They’re loyal and devoted companions that form strong bonds with their families. With proper training and socialization, German Shepherds make excellent pets for active households who can provide them with the love and care they need.


The Poodle is a clever and elegant dog breed that comes in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Poodles originated in Germany and underwent further development in France. They are recognized for their curly, hypoallergenic coats available in various colors such as black, white, apricot, and more.

These dogs are highly intelligent and trainable, making them popular choices for obedience competitions and circus performances. Poodles have a proud and dignified appearance, with a distinctive clip that enhances their elegance. Despite their fancy looks, Poodles are playful and affectionate companions that enjoy spending time with their families.

Poodles are versatile dogs that excel in various activities, including agility, tracking, and even water sports thanks to their excellent swimming abilities. Their hypoallergenic coats, shedding less than other breeds, also contribute to their suitability for people with allergies, a characteristic they are known for.

Overall, Poodles are loving and loyal pets that thrive in homes where they receive plenty of mental stimulation and companionship. They make wonderful family pets for those who appreciate their intelligence, beauty, and affectionate nature.

Border Collie

The Border Collie is a highly intelligent and energetic dog breed that originated in the border region between Scotland and England. They’re known for their exceptional herding abilities and intense work ethic. Border Collies have a medium-sized body with a distinctive rough or smooth coat that comes in various colors, typically black and white or red and white.

These dogs are incredibly intelligent and excel in obedience training and agility competitions. They have a strong instinct to herd, which means they may try to herd people, other pets, or even objects like balls or toys. Border Collies are happiest when they have a job to do and plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Border Collies have a reputation for their high energy levels and require plenty of exercise and activity to maintain their happiness and health. They thrive in homes where they have space to run and play, as well as owners who can provide them with training and activities to keep their minds busy.

Despite their intense focus and drive, Border Collies are also affectionate and loyal companions that form strong bonds with their families. They’re great pets for active individuals or families who can keep up with their energy and intelligence.

Read the ultimate guide to training your dog.

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