10 Smartest Dog Breeds

Mar 30, 2016

Intelligent dogs are an excellent addition to any home. However, their intelligence brings a responsibility into your life. You need to keep smart dogs busy and happy all the time. An intelligent dog who becomes bored can become destructive and can be a problem barker. If you have time and inclination, your life will be enhanced by owning any of these smart dogs.

1 German Shepherd

The German Shepherd was first bred to be a herding dog. As the need for herding dogs has decreased, the intelligence of the German Shepherd has allowed it to branch out into protection roles and service dog activities.

The German Shepherd is a big and muscular dog, and obedience training is essential. The German Shepherd will bond with their primary handler, and will want to be with them as much as possible. German Shepherds will tolerate older children who are respectful, but small children may ruffle them.

2 Border Collie

Border Collies are usually considered to be the most intelligent dog that can solve problems without human assistance. They love to perform tricks and are perfectly suited for agility training.

Owning a Border Collie is a full-time job, though. You will need to ensure that they have enough challenges to stop them becoming bored. If an intelligent dog like this becomes bored, they will make their own fun and become very destructive in the process.

It is in their blood to want to herd sheep, so you will need to consider how they may react to your children and your other pets. If this dog is bored then nipped heels, stressed chickens and anxious cats may be the result. They are not suited for apartments or houses with small yards. A rural setting would suit them best, but a large yard would be enough.

3 Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog, also renowned as a Sheltie, resembles a small version of a Collie. They are very playful and excel at games such as Flyball. They are quick and graceful and need more exercise than the average small dog.

They feel happy in the suburbs with a big yard, or on a farm. Apartment living is not a good idea for a Shetland Sheepdog. Shelties are not suitable for families with small children due to their sensitivity to loud noises and rough handling. The Sheltie’s coat sheds heavily, so frequent grooming is needed.

4 Poodle

The Poodle is a loving and clever dog. They are playful and energetic and do not like to be left alone for long periods. Your Poodle would be a happy dog who likes to be involved in family matters.

They are great with kids and other pets, and usually, build a close relationship with one member of the household. If you live in an apartment, the Poodle will adapt well. They do not shed too much but do require grooming. A professional groomer every six weeks would be recommended.

Do not spoil your poodle. A spoiled poodle can be nervous and demanding. As long as you train your poodle like any other dog and keep a sense of discipline, there should not be a problem.

5 Golden Retriever

The beautiful Golden Retriever is a friendly and loyal dog who is excellent as a service dog. The Golden Retriever shines in agility and obedience tasks.

Goldies are first and foremost retrievers, and will try to drag or pull anything that can fit in their mouths. They love water and will happily keep you company while you splash around in the lake.

The Golden Retriever is a family dog who will get on happily with your children and other pets. They will bark at strangers and then lick them to death. They have a tendency to gain weight, so daily exercise and careful feeding are essential.

Read also – 11 Best Family-Friendly Dog Breeds

6 Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman was bred as a protection dog and is cast in this role in the movies whenever an attack dog is needed. In real life, they are extremely loyal and playful. They are perfect for a family that they can grow up with, but they need to be sufficiently socialized. The Doberman will be naturally protective of your family.

Dobies crave exercise each day. If they do not receive enough exercise, they may become irritable. They can be adapted to apartment living as long as they get the required daily exercise.

7 Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever, known simply as a Labrador, is a short-haired version of the Golden Retriever. Like his cousin, the Labrador is extremely smart, loyal and playful. The Labrador is gentle and affectionate and makes a lovely family dog.

You will need to keep an eye on your Labrador’s food intake. They love their food and are prone to gaining weight. Your other pets will be safe with a Labrador. Your Labrador will bark to warn you of strangers, but then will invite them in.

Labradors love to be off the lead for a while during their daily walks. They also love water so keep an eye on them in case they try to enter any unknown water without permission.

8 Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle dog, known as the Blue Heeler, is a very hardworking and alert dog. He is loyal and protective. If the Australian Cattle dogs are well socialized when they are young, they will be respectful of your children and other pets.

In general, the Australian Cattle dogs prefer to be the only dog in the household. They consider themselves to be part of the family, and will supervise all family activities. They need daily exercise and thrive when they have a ‘job.’ The Heeler loves his agility and flyball competitions and is keen to catch a flying disc from you.

9 Papillon

The Papillon is a toy breed, growing to around 8 to 11 inches. The Papillon is a happy, lively dog. If you are looking for a placid lapdog, the Papillon is not for you. They are extremely active and constantly on the move.

They are well suited to training in obedience and agility, but also love a game of fetch, especially with a squeaky toy. Papillons are not good for families with small children. They are incredibly sensitive to being touched. They are fragile and can be injured if they are stepped on or sat on.

On the other hand, the Papillon seems to think he is bigger than he is, and may get himself into trouble with larger dogs. Their confidence could also cause them to jump out of your arms and injure themselves in the fall. The Papillon needs regular brushing. The long hair on the ears can become matted without consistent attention.

If you want a bright and trainable toy breed, and you have the time to keep your pup busy, and the type of household that will keep them safe, then the Papillon could be for you.

10 Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a quiet, observant dog who is loyal and intelligent. He needs a confident owner. Proper socialization at an earlier age is essential. The Rottweiler needs brisk daily exercise and needs constant mental stimulation. If they become bored, they can be unbearably destructive.

You will need to consider your other pets. Some Rotties can live happily with cats, but others will see them as prey. They will also be prone to striving to the top of the pecking order with your other dogs. The Rottweiler is an excellent companion, but without training and supervision, they may be too much to handle.

Read also – 10 Cool Boy Dog Names

Smart dogs are not for every family. Like intelligent people, intelligent dogs can cause lots of trouble. If you want to own a smart puppy, make sure you have enough time to spend with him or her. It is a long-term commitment.