Top 6 Smartest Dog Breeds That Will Impress You


While most of us are familiar with dogs to some extent, the truth is that some breeds have an amazing potential for intelligence. Far from just being able to learn how to roll over, there are breeds out there that have been kept for generations for their intelligence. This high-value trait isn’t rare in the canine world, but the truth is that some are just much smarter than others.

Let’s dive in and talk about some of the amazing dogs that are out there and their potential for incredible feats of intellect.

Border Collie

Independent, smart, and courageous. The Border Collie is renowned for its intelligence across the board as one of the smartest working dogs around. Individually they’re capable of reacting within the bounds of their training, which is a far sight from a dog that has just learned a few tricks.

While independent, this breed of dog also learns commands extremely well. They’re a bit too boisterous to be used as service dogs very often but they’ve found their place as both companions and excellent farm dogs which are still used to herd and protect livestock.

According to the going theories of intelligence, Border Collies are ranked as the most intelligent dog consistently and across the board. Whatever tricks of breeding went into creating them has left the world with an amazing canine.

They can be a bit of a handful, but the truth is that the Border Collie is a standout breed for both its ability to think on its own and the fact that they can quickly pick up just about any trick without difficulty.

Doberman Pinscher

On another level of intelligence, the Doberman Pinscher is a dog that’s renowned more for its ferocious loyalty than for their abilities to think. That’s actually a false impression, while Dobermans make for great police dogs and guard dogs they’re actually a remarkable breed that ranks among the most intelligent dogs around.

Dobermans are a breed apart. Agile, strong, large, and incredibly intelligent it’s no wonder that military and police forces love them. While they’re not quite as common as the German Shepherd in these roles their intelligence is never questioned by those who’ve been around them.

The truth is that the modern Doberman is actually a bit removed from the historical aggressive dog. They’re known to be even-tempered and watchful in addition to being smart as a whip. That said, they’re still fiercely protective of their owners which makes them a bit different than the average working dog.


A far cry from the pampered beauties that many see on stage during dog shows, the poodle was originally a duck hunting dog. They retrieved ducks for those who they hunted alongside and made everyone’s life just a bit easier because of it.

They’re actually considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They have incredible working intelligence and are quite adept at learning new commands as well. They’re certainly not what most people picture as a highly intelligent breed but there are fewer full-sized poodles these days for people to base their opinions on.

Like all gundogs, the poodle has to have some level of independent thinking in addition to being able to obedience. They’re noted for being adept at problem-solving, which is one of the reasons why they were a favored waterfowl hunting dog for the majority of the breed’s history.


Another dog with a fierce reputation that belies the reality of their intellect and sensitivity. Rottweilers find use as guard dogs and police dogs all over the world and are favored for these applications.

The reason? A great level of obedience to their owners. Rottweilers are extremely responsive to commands and generally quite friendly outside of their training. This makes them an ideal companion for families as well as policemen on patrol.

The Rottweiler is easy to underestimate: when not socialized properly they can be extremely stubborn animals. This doesn’t mean they’re dumb, however, instead it’s a failure on the part of the owner to keep this intelligent breed under control and occupied.


While it seems that the majority of the truly intelligent breeds of dog happen to be larger, the truth is that there are also some toy breeds which are incredibly intelligent. First among these is the Papillon, which translates to “butterfly” in French.

These small dogs were originally of the spaniel-type. Spaniels are used to flush birds from the bushes in order to make them easier to shoot for hunters. While it’s rare to see a Papillon in the field these days, they still have the intelligence and work ethic of a much larger dog.

Their intelligence sometimes makes them troublesome. You simply can’t train one the same way as you would most companion dogs due to how intelligent they are. If you know what you’re getting into, however, a Papillon is easy to train and can be taught advanced tricks with only a few tries.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd will make any list of the most intelligent dogs out there. The truth is that their size, determination, and fierce work ethic is combined with the fact that they’re simply one of the most intelligent dogs on the planet.

They’re the most common dogs in many fields. They serve alongside police. They serve as war dogs in militaries, and some even find roles as service dogs. Even more find themselves as beloved pets. They’re still one of the most common dogs registered, after all, and have seen a recent upsurge in popularity once more as well.

They’re ranked among the most intelligent dogs in the world according to canine intelligence theories and the truth is that they can be taught to do just about anything. Like Border Collies, German Shepherds are really only limited by the skill of their trainers rather than any intrinsic lack of intellect on their part.