Dogs and humans have been working side by side for thousands of years. But which breeds stand out from all the rest? Listed below are 10 of the brainiest dog breeds which are smarter than your average pups:
1 – German Shepherd
There’s a reason so many police dogs are German Shepherds. This trusty breed (and their Belgian Malinois cousins) are incredibly loyal and protective to their masters. As such, German Shepherds continue to be trained to sniff out bombs, detect drugs, locate people and guard property. Man’s best friend indeed!
2 – Border Collie
Always wondered how they get all those sheep into those pens?
It’s in their blood.
Border collies have been bred for thousands of years to think independently and to apply these skills at long distances away from human shepherds. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds due to determined nature, problem-solving skills and ability to maintain control of large flocks.
3 – Shetland Sheepdog
Come quick, Timmy’s fallen down a well!
Ok, maybe not all Shetland Sheepdogs are at peak Lassie level of intelligence but they come pretty close. In fact, Shetland Sheepdogs have historically been trained as working dogs and their high levels of intelligence means that they are exceptional at learning and retaining skills. As such, it’s no surprise that Shetland Sheepdogs are a common sight at dog agility competitions and obedience trials.
4 – Poodle
Don’t be fooled by the fancy fur; poodles have a long-standing history of high intelligence. In fact, poodles were originally bred for bird hunting, herding sheep, retrieving water and bringing supplies to wounded soldiers on the battlefield. So much more than just a fancy hairdo!
5 – Bloodhound
Ever heard the phrase ‘He has a nose like a bloodhound’?
That’s because for thousands of years bloodhounds have been used as tracking dogs due to their incredible sense of smell – even going back to the Middle Ages when they were used for tracking deer and wild boar. As a matter of fact, bloodhounds can track animals and people miles away, even days later.
Alongside their notable noses, bloodhounds are also very intelligent and have a tenacious tracking instinct. This makes them ideal scent hounds and they continue to be used by law enforcement to track fugitives and missing persons.
6 – Golden Retriever
If you’ve ever had a golden retriever then you’ll know that they are some of the most loyal companions you could ever hope to have. Their friendly nature and calm demeanor is only further enhanced by their aptitude for agility, obedience training and retrieving items. As such, super smart golden retrievers have the ideal temperament for acting as service dogs.
7 – Labrador
Much like golden retrievers, Labradors make brilliant service dogs. Their kind-hearted nature and keen ability to retain skills means they can easily be trained as therapy dogs. Labradors also respond well to assistance dog training courses.
What’s even more impressive is their capability for water rescue. It all comes down to their short, thick coats, webbed feet, heavy tail and keen ability to respond well to commands. The end result is a highly intelligent dog that can swim long distances in cold water. Just what you need when you’re stranded at sea!
8 – Doberman Pinscher
This trusty breed get a bad rep in TV shows and movies. Generally thought of as aggressive guard dogs, Doberman Pinschers are actually extremely intelligent, love to play and make excellent family dogs due to their fierce loyalty and protective skills. In fact, the Doberman Pinscher was originally bred by a German tax collector who needed some trusty protection while making his rounds!
9 – Papillon
The best things come in small packages. And papillons are no exception.
These dinky dogs are the smartest of all the toy dog breeds. Papillons are highly active and very observant so they respond very well to obedience training and agility courses. As a matter of fact, papillons are some of the best watchdogs you can find because they will swiftly alert their owners to any changes in their environment.
10 – Rottweiler
Did you know that the intelligence of rottweilers can be traced back to Ancient Roman times? Much maligned by mainstream society as an aggressive breed, rottweilers have actually been highly sought after breeds throughout history due to their aptitude for cattle herding and cart pulling. With proper training, rottweilers also make exceptional guardians due to their intelligence, strength and bravery. In times of need, you definitely want a rottweiler by your side!