The Top 10 List of Smartest Dogs in the Canine World

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Since the ancient time, it is said that people have trained dogs for domestic purpose, making dogs the very first domestical animals. The history of dogs in general is still an unclear story even now, but one thing we know for sure: they are smart. Of course, not all of the dogs are excellently smart (atleast according to human’s standards); however, there are many other dog breeds which have high intelligence. For many years, dog intelligence has piqued the interest of many “hooman”, and so here we are: the Top 10 Smartest Dogs in the canine world!

The Intelligence of Dogs

Throughout history, many researchers have tried to understand the dog intelligence, analyze and identify what factors contributed in dog intelligence. According to many scientists, dog intelligence can be shown in many ways, but in overall it is simplified in 2 factors: first, the ability to learn; and second, the tendency of following owner’s order. Nonetheless, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is easier to teach smarter dogs or it’s hard to train less-smart dogs. Each dog breed will require different approaches, the importance is how we teach them.

In the book the Intelligence of Dogs, Stanley Coren, a psychology professor from The University of British Columbia, uses the dog’s learning rate to identify the dog’s intelligence. According to Coren, then we have:

Top 10 Smartest Dogs List

Australian Cattle Dog

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Australian Cattle Dog (Source: Internet)

The Australian Cattle Dog is extremely intelligent and energetic, making them one of the smartest dogs. It has been herding dog for a very long time even now. Due to its energetic characteristic, Australian Cattle Dog usually requires things to do and it does not prefer being lazy around. These guys are also quite aggressive and focus. They can keep working, ignoring their own current condition so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on these guys to prevent them from overload.

In addition, they are loyal and protective to their owners, however, that also makes them become aware of the outsiders or strangers. They also have tendency to bite, both working and playing alike so teach them since they are puppies is highly recommended.

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Australian Cattle Dog weighs from 35 to 45 pounds and can reach between 18 to 20 inches height. Their lifespan is around 12 to 15 years.


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A Rottweiler puppy (Source: Internet)

Rottweiler is an extremely versatile dog, originated from German. This dark, strong breed is really caring, calm and always sensitive of the surrounding. They are trained for multiple purposes, from police dog to driving, pulling carts. Due to their strong and protective nature, they are excellent as police dogs and family’s defenders.

Rottweiler is also known for its loyalty and friendly with family, however, that will require attentive care from the owners. If it is not socialized, there will be high chance that it becomes wild and aggressive. But if the owner can manage, Rottweiler will become the best friend and protector in the family, thus making them among the best friends of families, and among the smartest dogs.

Rottweiler weighs from 85 to 135 pounds and can reach between 24 to 27 inches height. Their lifespan is around 8 to 11 years.


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Papillon (Source: Internet)

Probably many people have seen these popular French guys on media and also in real life. These little guys are favored due to their cheerful nature. They are calm, playful, friendly breeds, making them splendid friends of families. In addition, these guys are highly attentive and relatively easy to be trained. Therefore, no wonder why we commonly see them in competitive scene.

Another interesting trait about Papillon is that these little guys possess a fearless heart. They are extremely sensitive and they can be a valiant protector; however, it seems that they are not aware of their humble size. Therefore, owners will need to take notice of them during shady situations.

Papillon weighs from 4 to 9 pounds and can reach between 8 to 11 inches height. Their lifespan is around 12 to 16 years.

Labrador Retriever

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A Labrador Retriever (Source: Internet)

Labrador Retriever is one of the retriever breeds, and also known for its gentle and caring nature. In addition, Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in America. These Labrador Retriever breeds are so popular that most people can identify them right at the first meet, whether they are dog owners or not.

Since they possess the trait of a hunting dog, they often take the role of hunting and rescuing. In addition, they are suitable for therapy, and assisting the elders and the handicapped, and also a great family’s companion especially for children, due to their caring and gentle characteristics. On the other hand, many owners reported that these guys are not suitable as a guard dog since they can even welcome thieves into the house. Still they are indeed among the smartest dogs list.

Labrador Retriever weighs from 55 to 80 pounds and can reach between 23 to 25 inches height. Their lifespan is around 10 to 12 years.

Doberman Pinscher

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Doberman Pinscher (Source: Internet)

If we put up a police dog or athlete dog contest, surely Doberman Pinscher will be a prominent champion. These Germany breeds possess an astounding strength and stamina, making them perfectly suitable for contest and police dog. They are also fearsome war dogs, especially in the 2nd Battle of Guam in 1944.

Normally they are gentle and caring towards family members and guests, but that will require attentive caring. Their strong characteristics also make them one of the best guard dogs. However, since these guys are extremely active and energetic, they require regular exercises.

Doberman Pinscher weighs around 80 pounds in average and can reach between 26 to 28 inches height. Their lifespan is around 10 to 13 years.

Shetland Sheepdog

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Shetland Sheepdog (Source: Internet)

Originated from Shetland islands, Scotland, Shetland Sheepdog is usually trained for bird hunting and sheep herding. Nowadays, they are raised in families as a great, friendly, and cheerful friend. Due to their look, they are also referred as miniature-version of Collie breed.

These guys can easily and quickly learn new orders and commands, therefore people often refer them as one of the world’s smartest dogs. However, their high intelligence can be a problem since they always require work or entertainment to do. If they don’t anything to do, they can come up with activities of their own and these activities are not always pleasing.

Their reserved nature also makes them an ideal guard dog, however, proper training is necessary since they can easily react to anyone within their territory.

Shetland Sheepdog weighs from 11 to 24 pounds and can reach between 13 to 16 inches height. Their lifespan is around 10 to 13 years.

Golden Retriever

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Golden Retriever (Source: Internet)

This time we have another popular dog breed both on media and in real life: the adored Golden Retriever. Golden Retriever possesses a cheerful, social characteristic. Their friendly trait makes them a splendid family member; therefore, it is necessary to allow them hanging around family. As a member, they help various works in the house, such as retrieving newspaper, waking up family. It’s probably due to these traits that Golden Retriever has always been one of the most popular dog breeds in America. However, it seems they are not an ideal guard dog due to their friendly nature. They may bark at intruders but probably they will “befriend” with these shady guys afterwards.

One amusing part about Golden Retriever is that they are pretty childish even when they are adult. It is said that an adult Golden Retriever still keeps their puppy nature until they reach around 3 years old. While this may be “cute” to some people, but seems that’s not always amusing in several occasions.

Golden Retriever weighs from 60 to 75 pounds and can reach between 23 to 24 inches height. Their lifespan is around 10 to 12 years.

German Shepherd

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German Shepherd (Source: Internet)

For those who remember, during 1994 to 2004, there was a TV series with the name: Kommissar Rex (or Inspector Rex) which is about Rex, a talented police dog. And it might not be a coincidence that Rex is a German Shepherd.

German Shepherd is among the most popular dog breeds in America, and also one of the smartest dogs in the world. Their versatile characteristics allow them to take several roles and jobs, besides being movie star and police dog such as herding and assisting the handicapped.

Since they are extremely energetic, they requires abundant of activities to keep them busy. Otherwise, they develop bad habits to keep them out of the boring. Their cautious characteristic also makes them ideal guard dog, but in terms of family, they will require teaching in order not to trouble guests.

German Shepherd weighs from 75 to 95 pounds and can reach between 24 to 26 inches height. Their lifespan is around 10 to 14 years.


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Poodle (Source: Internet)

Besides Papillon, Poodle is another popular dog breed in competitive scene, both beauty and sport. Poodle is commonly mistaken as a leisure, elegant dog, but in truth they were originally water retriever who accompany with hunters to hunt waterfowl.

Nowadays, Poodle is an ideal friend of families, so it is always necessary to keep them around. In addition, they are famous as a prominent learner, making them a talented athlete and performer.

Poodle weighs from 45 to 65 pounds and can reach between 15 to 21 inches height. Their lifespan is around 12 to 15 years.

Border Collie

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A Border Collie (Source: Internet)

Border Collie, being one of the smartest dogs in the world, is a true herding dog at its heart. They have high concentration in their herding work, making them to be a highly strong and energetic dog breed. As the result, these guys don’t seem to prefer being lazy around, they always want to have something to do. Due to this characteristic, it can be quite a challenge to train these guys. But with a suitable owner, these guys can be become an efficient helper and an excellent companion, especially for owners who are also active.

Border Collie weighs from 30 to 45 pounds and can reach between 20 to 23 inches height. Their lifespan is around 12 to 15 years.

So there they are: top 10 smartest dogs in the canine world, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is easy to train these guys. As we can see, different dog breeds will need appropriate raising methods, thus requiring owners to prepare if they want to raise them.

That’s it folk! Those are the top 10 smartest dogs in the canine world! For those who likes to see more cats, check our top 10 most wonderful cute cats in feline world! Stay tune for more in the future! 

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