Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds In The World

It’s well known that dogs are man’s best friend and are well known for their obedience, undying loyalty, and Intelligence.

All dog breeds are intelligent, but there are some remarkable differences between individual dog breeds when their level of Intelligence is concerned. The three main types of Intelligence in dogs are:

  • Working and obedience intelligence: This dog has the ability to learn new commands.
  • Instinctive Intelligence: This dog has the competence to perform tasks.
  • Adaptive Intelligence: This dog possesses problem-solving abilities.

What binds these 3 types of dog intelligence is the ability, capacity, and desire to interact or communicate with humans. In this piece, you’ll learn about the world’s top 20 smartest dog breeds listed below.

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Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds

1. Border collie

Border collies originated in the Roman empire 2000 years ago. They were later bred and developed in Scotland 1200 years ago into what they ate today.

Their high level of Intelligence makes them excel as guard dogs, herd dogs, search and rescue dogs, and therapy dogs. Whatever it is, the Border collie can do it. That’s why among the top 20 smartest dog breeds, the border collie is number 1.

Because of how extremely intelligent the Border collie is, they require active owners who are always ready to exercise with them regularly.

Read more: Ways to walk your dog for better healthy living

One fact to show how incredibly intelligent this dog breed is, one border collie learned over 340 words, and they acted consequently to human citation of those words, while another Border Collie, named Chaser, was able to identify over 1022 different toys.

2. The poodle 

The poodle is famously called the French poodle, even though this curly and beautiful hunting dog originated in Germany and is known to have existed since the 15th century.

It’s known to be the most popular choice for family pets and the most favored show dog breed worldwide.

The poodle is popularly known for its high Intelligence and ability to learn new tricks and commands. However, like all dog breeds, they require training, socialization, and a lot of mental stimulation to have a sound mind and body.

They are a wonderful choice for a family pet because they are hypoallergenic.

3. German shepherd 

On our list of the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world, the german shepherd makes it to the top 3. The German shepherd is also known as the alsatian, which originated in Germany late 1800s, where it was bred as a high-energy herding dog.

Although they might look threatening, the male and female GSD are sensitive and intuitive. As a result, they are widely utilized by the military and the police because of their amazing sense of smell, ability to quickly and accurately follow orders, and innate Intelligence.

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top 20 smartest dog breeds

4. The Golden Retriever 

The Golden Retrievers were originally bred for hunting and retrieving waterfowl. They originated in the late 1800s in Scotland.

This dog breed is known to be an excellent swimmer and can be trained to perform multiple tasks. Goldies are known to range from incredible police dogs as sniffers and search-and-rescue dogs to amazing therapy dogs and all-around family pets.

Why they are among the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world is the fact that they fulfill all kinds of roles such as threat detection, search, and rescue, hunting, therapy, assistant e.t.c

5. Doberman Pinscher 

The Doberman Pinscher was named after a German tax collector. It is a medium-sized dog breed that originated in the German 1890s and was primarily created to be a guard dog.

They were initially trained to be fierce and intimidating, but today, they’re well known for their friendly disposition, which makes them an amazing choice for family pets.

An average dog can learn a new command within 25 to 40 repetitions, while the Doberman Pinscher can learn a new command in under five repetitions. The average dog that is asked to perform a known command will obey 50% of the time, while the Doberman will perform the given task 95% of the time.

6. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a robust and muscular large dog breed originally from Germany, and German breeders created them for pulling loaded carts.

They have a fierce look and are powerful. Yet, despite all this, they are loving and affectionate. Rottweilers are amazing and highly intelligent dogs that can play the role of family and service dogs.

Thanks to their friendly temperament, magnificent Intelligence, and willingness to work, Rottweilers are often used as therapy dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs, and police dogs.

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7. The Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog is small to a medium-sized dog that originated in Shetland Island of Scotland, where it was used as a utility dog for farming and herding.

They are buoyant, highly energetic, and sensitive dogs willing to work hard, play and learn. In addition, Shetland sheepdogs are highly intelligent, obedient, and quick.

However, Shetland Sheepdogs are known to be a little too smart for their good. So it’s no surprise they are this far up on the list of the world’s top 20 smartest dog breeds.

8. Pembroke Welsh Corgi 

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. This breed of dog bloodline was traced back as far as 1107 AD. Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the oldest and smallest herding breeds of dogs in the world.

They can be easily distinguished by their large, unique ears and tiny dwarf-like build. They adore the spotlight and are eager to train, learn and adapt. Pembroke Welsh Corgi has been known for their popularity among British royalty for over 70 years.

9. Australian Cattle Dog

Another breed on our top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world is the Australian Cattle dog. The Australian cattle dog has a popular nickname which is a blue heeler.

It was developed in Australia and used for driving cattle over long distances. Australian Cattle Dogs are well known for their toughness, durability, easy trainability, and Intelligence.

The Australian cattle dog is well known as a natural working dog, and they need plenty of training, attention, movement, and affection to properly develop into well-behaved dogs.

10. The Miniature Schnauzer

A miniature schnauzer is a german breed originally used as a rattling dog and is known to be highly intelligent.

They are courageous dogs with good guarding instincts that don’t tend to nip or bite. They are known to be lively and energetic dogs most of the time, and they do require a bit of solitude now and then. Because of its high Intelligence and good temperament, it’s one of the cutest, most loving, and most popular dog breeds worldwide.

11. English Springer spaniel 

It would only be proper if we add the English Springer spaniel to our list of the world’s top 20 smartest dog breeds. The English Springer spaniel is a friendly and outgoing breed, making it the best candidate for training and socialization.

It has a height of 19-22 inches, a weight of 44-55 pounds, and a life expectancy of 12-14 years, and its high Intelligence makes it much easier to train them.

12. Belgian Tervuren

The Belgian Tervuren is another long-coated Belgian shepherd dog originally bred for herding and most times confused to be Belgian Malinois.

They are no longer known as just herders anymore. Belgian Tervuren is a wonderful service dog and excels at obedience events and ability trials. In addition, they are wonderful therapy dogs and great at tracking.

Belgian Tervuren is lively, dynamic, and highly intelligent dogs, and because of their temperament and high activity level, they are not recommended for novice dog owners.

13. The Belgian Sheepdog

The Belgian Sheepdog is the 13th on our list of the world’s top 20 smartest dog breeds. Belgian Sheepdog is also known as Belgian shepherd.

It’s a medium to large dog breed, one of the four shepherd dogs created in the late 1800s in Belgium as herding dogs.

Belgian Sheepdog is often recognized for its unique black coat, and it’s known for being an energetic, loyal, smart dog that adores kids and gets along with other pets and animals. However, it’s a small dog breed that is a descendant of the Belgian Sheepdog that was bred primarily as a watchdog and companion dog.

14. Collie/keeshond

Collie originated in the 18th century in Scotland. It was initially bred as a Working dog, but today they are kept as excellent companions and are the best choice for a family pet.

Collies are emotionally intelligent and know how to blend with people. Their ability to read their owner’s thoughts is sometimes amazing. If they see a certain need, they take the lead.

Besides being excellent family pets, due to their Intelligence and keen observation skills, Keeshonds can proudly strut their hinds in the obedience ring, conformation ring, and rally competitions.

15. The German shorthaired pointer

This breed of dog is a medium to a large-sized dog that was created in the mid-19th century in Germany as a hunting dog.

German shorthaired pointers are smart, daring, exuberant, obedient, free-spirited, and easily trainable dogs.

They are always enthusiastic at both work and play. However, their people-pleasing personality causes them to be nervous and destructive if left alone for long periods, so plenty of companionship, exercise, and training are key to unlocking their true potential.

16. The Flat-Coated Retriever/Standard Schnauzer

Both flat-coated Retriever and standard schnauzers take the 16th spot on the list of the world’s top 20 smartest dog breeds.

 The Flat-Coated Retriever originated in the mid-1800s in the United Kingdom. It was bred as a multi-purpose hunting dog for retrieving both land and water game.

Also known as the wavy-coated Retriever, it is a strong and hard-working hunting dog breed powerful enough to handle big birds and medium-sized land game.

The Standard Schnauzer originated in Germany in the mid-14th century. It is a sturdy, quick, and agile utility dog that is easily trainable.

With their working dog bloodlines, they are territorial and quick to bark at any sign of trouble, so they make excellent watchdogs.

Standard Schnauzers are clever and dignified but can also be mischievous if left alone to their own devices. However, their Intelligence, capacity for affection toward their loved ones, and hypoallergenic coat make them excellent family dogs.

17. Schipperke

Schipperke is tiny dogs with big personalities that were originally brewed in Belgium and were used to rattle dogs on ships.

They have a wonderful hunting style that makes them skilled at their job. Schipperke ate small, but they are mighty. One fascinating thing about them is that these fluffy dog packs brains and a lot of energy into their tiny bodies.

18. Brittany Spaniel

They are smart and trainable, so first-time owners are well-suited to this breed. Brittany spaniels are a beautiful breed with an orange and white coat. It is challenging to determine which is more beautiful; is it their appearance or smart personality? These dogs have adorable faces (that will melt your heart) and smart brains to match.

This smart dog has roots traced back to medieval times. Spaniels were skilled gun dogs that peasants used to help feed their families.

They were first bred for hunting, but now Brittany Spaniels can do much more jobs. They love water sports such as dock jumping and are exceptional at agility.

19. Weimaraner

Weimaraner is also known as a Gray ghost. It’s an athletic hunting dog bred by german nobility to hunt big game such as mountain lions and bears.

Weimaraners love learning new things and are happy to do anything you want.

They thrive in obedience trials, agility training, dock jumping, and flyball. Just make sure to give them a job. Otherwise, their active brain will become very anxious.

20. Labrador Retriever 

Finally, we have Labrador on the list of the world’s top 20 smartest dog breeds. 

Labs love to please, whether serving as guide dogs, narcotic detection dogs, or everyday family pets. As a result, Americans have made them the most popular breed in the country for a whopping 27 years.

They have a height of 21-25 inches, a weight of 55-80 pounds, and a life expectancy of 10-12years 


The mentioned above are the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world and if you are a dog lover and need a smart dog you can go for one of the dogs listed above.

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