25 Smartest Dog Breeds In The World

Vizsla

Vizsla

Is there really an actual, irrefutable way to judge the intelligence of a dog and then rank one breed against another? Perhaps not in a definitive sense. But we're going to do it anyway, okay?

Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel

As a "canine psychologist" (surely they can't have as many issues to talk about on the chair than some os us do!), Stanley Coren once pointed out during the 1990s that there are a few different types of intelligence when it comes to dogs...



Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Adaptive, working, and instinctive intelligence were the three main areas of canine intelligence which Coren identified. Then there were some others; spatial and kinesthetic intelligence among them. Of course, all these big words start to make us wonder what is going on and if we're actually still talking about our favorite pets!

Belgian Malinois, Bernese Mountain Dog

Belgian Malinois, Bernese Mountain Dog

To make what we have already mentioned just a little more simple, Coren talked of adaptive intelligence as the animal's ability to make sense of stuff, its working intelligence as an ability to follow commands, and instinctive intelligence as its natural talent to be awesome at stuff. Okay, so I'm paraphrasing. A canine psychologist would probably write it a slightly more academic tone. Probably.



Weimaraner

Weimaraner

All of Coren's insights aside for a moment, it's true that us humans tend to judge an animal's intelligence a little unfairly, whether it's a dog, cat, horse, or tasseled wobbegong (yes, it is real).

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Cocker Spaniel

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Cocker Spaniel

For some reason, we tend to try and humanize animals, judging them according to what we see as sings of intelligence in a human world. Perhaps that's because we're people and we tend to think of ourselves as an evolutionary goal rather than an accidental evolutionary outcome. Still with me?



Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel

The point is that us humans tend to think that we're special and that all other animals are naturally trying to work towards being us. We imagine ourselves as being more evolved than a dog, ant, or a pink fairy armadillo.

We're not. They aren't. And we aren't.

Flat-coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, Standard Schnauzer

Flat-coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, Standard Schnauzer

It's for all those reasons that we probably shouldn't rank dogs (or any other animals) according to their breeds and relative intelligence. So now that we've explained that and feel better about what we're about it, let's totally do what I just said we shouldn't!



German Short-haired Pointer

German Short-haired Pointer

Back to Stanley Coren....

In his book, The Intelligence of Dogs (have a guess what this book could be about), the author does go in to detail regarding one of the types of intelligence we mentioned earlier; working intelligence.

Keeshond

Keeshond

Coren discusses the results of quite a long study which featured the observations of almost two hundred dog obedience judges. The results were very interesting indeed....



Schipperke, Belgian Sheepdog

Schipperke, Belgian Sheepdog

The author mentioned that, while the results showed enough consistency to compile the list and rank the dogs in order, there were, of course, handfuls of exceptions thanks to dogs who appeared to punch above their weight thanks to the level of training they'd received.

Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren

The list of dog breeds goes well beyond the 25 we've mentioned in this list, but how many dog breeds are there in the world?! We'd be here all day!



English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

So, just in case you have been wondering, we are counting down from the 25th most intelligent dog breed to number 1. Don't feel bad if your dog isn't among them; we're sure you're a great owner and trainer....

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

The miniature schnauzer sneaks in to the top twelve, and what's perhaps even better than that is just how cute they are. We wouldn't care if they were number 112!



Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Why is the Queen so fond of corgis? Has anyone ever actually looked in to that?

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

No, the Australian cattle dog is not half cow/half dog. I think some of us could do with an intelligence test...



Rottweiler

Rottweiler

In case you hadn't figured it out, Rottweiler is a German name. In that country, they used to be known as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers' dogs. #uselesstrivia

Papillon

Papillon

Also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel, we reckon Papillon is a much better name, even though it's also the name of a crap movie that somehow manages to make Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman look bad.



Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

While we're on the subject of trying not to humanize animals in a way that unfairly judges them, we'd just like to say that if there was one breed of dog that we'd like to see get the ability to speak English, it would be this guy. Mostly just so we could have a beer together and have a nice little chat.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Again, this is not half dog/half sheep. These guys are obviously great runners and graceful, talented jumpers.



Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans are cool because...

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

With a name like this, it's a good thing that this guy is golden. Perhaps he looks a little worried because he's not confident of his ability to retrieve stuff....



German Shepherd

German Shepherd

When I was a small child, I was trapped and held hostage by one of these things for about half an hour. It was traumatic but I don't hold a grudge because I'm bigger than that.

Poodle

Poodle

I must admit that I don't think these little fellas look like they're the second-most intelligent dogs. But Albert Einstein never looks that smart in photos either, does he?



Border Collie

Border Collie

...And the winner is.....

Apparently, the border collie was specifically bred with intelligence and obedience in mind. No wonder they come out on top in this list.