Ultimate Top 20 Smartest Dog Breed

What is the Smartest Dog Breed? There isn’t just one way to judge the intelligence of a dog, but this list will focus mainly on dogs that have the greatest ability to understand and follow commands in the shortest time.

When choosing which breed of dog you want, you should always research a dog’s breed information, this will help you to find out important information such as, how long you can leave your chosen pooch home alone for, feeding requirements, life expectancy, exercise requirements and more.

But that being said, here is the list of the top 20 Smartest Dog Breed in reverse order.

smartest dog breeds

20. (TIED) English Cocker Spaniel

Smartest Dog Breed

More commonly known as Cocker Spaniel, these are active dogs with a lovely affectionate nature. They are inquisitive, curious, and friendly dogs with lots of energy and stamina. It is best to keep cockers mentally stimulated and be gentle in the approach to training. 

English Cocker Spaniel Stats.

Origin: England

Weight: Male: 28 – 35lbs – Female: 26 – 33lbs

Average Age: 12 – 15 years

20. (TIED) Flat-Coated Retriever

 Smartest Dog

Developed in England as a gun dog to retrieve game from land and in water. They have high exercise needs, love to run, and love to please their owner, but they do get bored quickly with repetition, so training is best kept in short intervals.  

Flat-Coated Retriever Stats.

Origin: England

Weight: Male: 60 – 79lbs – Female: 55 – 71lbs

Average Age: 8 – 10 years

19. German Short-Haired Pointer

Smartest breed of dog

These dogs need lots of exercise and training, as when they get bored or have unused energy, it normally results in them amusing themselves, which will end up being destructive. But, if you can meet the needs of this dog you will be rewarded with a great family dog.

German Short-Haired Pointer Stats.

Origin: Germany

Weight: Male: 55 – 70lbs – Female: 44 – 59lbs

Average Age: 12 – 14 years

17. (TIED) Keeshond

Dog breeds that are the smartest

Originally known as the Dutch Barge Dog as it was a watchdog on boats and barges on the rivers and canals of Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries. Keeshond’s make amazing family dogs, love kids, and participate in all activities with his family.

Keeshond Stats.

Origin: Netherlands/Germany

Weight: Male: 33 – 44lbs – Female: 33 – 44lbs

Average Age: 10 – 14 years

17. (TIED) Collie

Smartest breeds of dog

A native Scottish dog originally used for herding for which they have a strong instinct. They are known to be sensitive and seem to be aware of the emotions of their family. Working collies have a never-ending source of energy and because of this, have no problem running all day.

Collie Stats.

Origin: Scotland & Northern England

Weight: Male: 50 – 70lbs – Female: 50 – 70lbs

Average Age: 10 – 14 years

15. (TIED) Belgian Sheepdog

Smartest dogs

As the name suggests, these dogs started out herding sheep in Belgium. Being similar to German Shepherds, they were then later used as police dogs as they are highly alert and protective. These make great family pets as well as being very good working dogs.

Belgian Shepherd Dog Stats.

Origin: Belgium

Weight: Male: 56 – 66lbs – Female: 45 – 55lbs

Average Age: 10 – 14 years

15. (TIED) Schipperke

smartest dog breed

Sometimes known as Little Black Devil, Tasmanian Black Devil, and Little Black Fox, these dogs are known to be mischievous and stubborn. They require a lot of exercise as these dogs are high-energy. But, these dogs are always on guard and fearlessly protect their family.

Schipperke Stats.

Origin: Belgium

Weight: Male: 6.6 – 19.8lbs – Female: 6.6 – 19.8lbs

Average Age: 13 – 15 years

14. Belgian Tervuren

breeds of dog that are the smartest

An intelligent dog that is very athletic, originally used for herding and named after a town in Belgium. These dogs can become hyperactive and destructive if not kept occupied, for example, herding, tracking, agility, protection work or even working as search and rescue dogs. 

Belgian Tervuren Stats.

Origin: Belgium

Weight: Male: 61 – 66lbs – Female: 44 – 55lbs

Average Age: 10 – 12 years

13. English Springer Spaniel

dogs breeds that are smart

These are a breed of gun dog which are used traditionally to flush out and retrieve game. They are an excitable and affectionate breed that is always eager to please, quick to learn, and obey. They are affectionate family dogs but normally have a favorite and be with that person as much as possible.

English Springer Spaniel Stats.

Origin: England

Weight: Male: 39 – 50lbs – Female: 44 – 55lbs

Average Age: 9 – 15 years

12. Miniature Schnauzer

smart dogs

The most popular of all the Schnauzer breeds, mainly due to its fairly small size and great temperament. They always rank in the top 20 of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, they have loads of energy and want to be with you all of the time.

Miniature Schnauzer Stats.

Origin: Germany

Weight: Male: 11 – 20lbs – Female: 11 – 20lbs

Average Age: 12 – 14 years

11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

corgi smart dogs

Originally, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was a cattle herding dog from Pembroke in Wales. Queen Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 during her reign and is very popular in the United States. There are cities in America that hold annual meet-ups, where hundreds of corgi owners congregate for the day.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Stats.

Origin: WalesWeight: Male: 24 – 31lbs – Female: 24 – 28lbs

Average Age: 12 – 15 years

Now for the top 10 smartest dog breed.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

dogs that are smart

The Australian Cattle Dog was developed by early settlers for driving cattle over the large rough terrain of their ranches, which they still do today. They are highly energetic and love to work, they herd cattle by nipping at their heels and have been known to nip running children. They form a strong bond with one person and are protective of their family and home.

Australian Cattle Dog Stats.

Origin: Australian

Weight: Male: 33 – 35lbs – Female: 30 – 35lbs

Average Age: 12 – 15 years

9. Rottweiler

breeds that are smart

Rottweilers were originally bred to drive cattle and to pull carts loaded with meat to markets for butchers. They make excellent police/guard dogs as well as being used in search and rescue. Rottweilers are strong, powerful dogs with loving hearts and can be fierce in protecting their family. If not properly trained, Rottweilers can become overly protective, which can lead them to be a danger to all they encounter.

Rottweiler Stats.

Origin: Germany

Weight: Male: 110 – 132lbs – Female: 77 – 106lbs

Average Age: 8 – 10 years

8. Papillon

smartest dog breed

The name Papillon is French for butterfly, it gets this name due to the similarity of their long, fringed hair on their ears. Papillons are also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel and learn new tricks and commands easily. They are a great companion dog and act as a great watchdog, but they do have a lot of energy, so require a good amount of exercise.

Papillon Stats.

Origin: Belgium/France

Weight: Male: 8 – 10lbs – Female: 7 – 9lbs

Average Age: 12 – 15 years

7. Labrador Retriever

smart dog breed

The Labrador Retriever or Labrador is probably best known for their loyal, obedient and playful nature, which is what makes them an excellent choice as a family pet. It is the dog of choice for disability assistance, including those needing a guide dog or people with autism. Labradors are also the most popular dog in America and many other nations.

Labrador Retriever Stats.

Origin: Newfoundland

Weight: Male: 66 – 80lbs – Female: 56 – 70lbs

Average Age: 12 – 14 years

6. Shetland Sheepdog

breed of dog that are smart

Originating from the Shetland Islands of Scotland, these dogs were a farmer’s best friend, herding and guarding their gardens from birds and hungry sheep. These dogs were developed to thrive in the harsh conditions of the highlands of Scotland and although they excel at herding, they are now raised more like a farm dog or family pet.

Shetland Sheepdog Stats.

Origin: Scotland

Weight: Male: 11 – 24lbs – Female: 11 – 24lbs

Average Age: 12 – 18 years

5. Doberman Pinscher

smart dog breed

Dobermans are highly energetic, muscular, fearless, and intelligent dogs, and because of this, used by many police and military forces. Developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann around 1890 as a companion and to aid his work as a tax collector. Dobermanns are ideal guard dogs and extremely loyal. If trained correctly, Dobermanns are said to be loving and devoted companions.

Doberman Pinscher Stats.

Origin: Germany

Weight: Male: 88 – 99lbs – Female: 71 – 77lbs

Average Age: 9 – 12 years

4. Golden Retriever

smart dog breeds

This very friendly family dog is one of America’s most popular dogs. A very loving dog which is great with kids relatively easy to train and protective of their owners. They are a very popular choice as a guide dog for the blind and also used as hearing dogs for the deaf. They are lovely dogs and come 4th on the list of smartest dog breeds.

Golden Retriever Stats.

Weight: Male: 66 – 75lbs – Female: 56 – 65lbs

Average Age: 10 – 12 years

3. German Shepherd

breeds of dog that are the smartest

This highly intelligent dog is another of America’s most popular dog breeds. Often used by law enforcement and the military, they are great working dogs with unmatched courage and devotion to their owner or handler. After the first world war, they were called Alsatian in the UK, and then in 1977, their name was changed back to German Shepherd.

 German Shepherd Stats.

Origin: Germany

Weight: Male: 66 – 88lbs – Female: 49 – 73lbs

Average Age: 9 – 13 years

2. Poodle

smart breeds

There are three varieties of poodles, these are Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodle. Being the 7th most popular dog in the United States, poodles are great at many dog sports including, agility, tracking, flying disc, flyball, and obedience. But it is best to keep poodles mentally and physically stimulated as they can become destructive.

Standard Poodle Stats.

Origin: France/Germany (Disputed)

Weight: Male: 46 – 70lbs – Female: 46 – 60lbs

Average Age: 12 – 15 years

1. Border Collie

smartest dog breed

Taking the top spot for the Smartest Dog Breed is the Border Collie, they are a working dog that was developed for herding sheep in the Scottish borders. These dogs are very athletic and seem to have limitless amounts of energy. Border Collies are highly intelligent and very trainable and because of this, work on farms and ranches around the world. Like Poodles, they also do very well in canine sports and competitions.

Border Collie Stats.

Origin: UK

Weight: Males – 31 – 44lbs – Females – 26 – 42lbs

Average Age: 12 years


This list of smartest dog breed is based on the findings of the highly acclaimed Professor Stanley Coren, the Psychology and Neuropsychological Researcher, for his research and work on the mental abilities, intelligence, and understanding the canine behavior and human-canine bond.

There are many ways to test the intelligence of dogs, but this is a list of those dogs which learned a new command in the least amount of exposure and obeyed that command the highest percentage of times.

But as with children, no two are ever the same and some may be more willing to please than others.

Here is a link to Professor Stanley Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs if you would like to check it out!

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