Number 10 – The Papillon
The beautiful Papillon is one of the most intelligent toy breeds we have today, and an amazing companion. This smart little canine with the long, silky coat and the large, butterfly-shaped ears is very easy to train - and picks up new commands with astonishing speed. Very affectionate and sweet, Papillons are great dogs for first time owners.
Number 9 – The Sheltie
Our number 9 spot goes to the miniature version of the Rough Collie – the Shetland Sheepdog, also known as Sheltie. This unique herding dog has far more to offer than just its glorious, long coat and its sweet, friendly disposition: Shelties count among the most intelligent breeds in existence. And like their cousins, the Rough Collie and the Border Collie, they are extremely easy to train.
Number 8 – The Australian Cattle Dog
The number 8 spot on our list of the TOP 10 smartest dogs goes to an energetic and extremely intelligent breed – the Australian Cattle Dog, or Blue Heeler. It is said among Farmers and Ranchers that no breed in the world can beat the Blue Heeler when it comes to controlling and driving cattle. These dogs are extremely keen workers and incredibly alert. Combined with their outstanding intelligence, this makes the Australian Cattle Dog a stellar achiever when it comes to learning new tasks – and carrying out flawlessly and willingly what they have learned.
Number 7 – The Australian Sheepdog
And at number 7, we have a breed that resembles the Border Collie and the Australian Cattle Dog in many ways: All three breeds are medium-sized, well-proportioned and have beautifully coloured coats. In energy levels, again, they are almost identical – these are immensely high-energy dogs, keen and alert, and they truly live to work. The Australian Sheepdog is the least popular one of the three breeds - but that does not mean it is less intelligent. The “Aussie’s” main field of work today are the Ranches of the United States, where the sheepdog is busy herding cattle.
Number 6 – The Doberman
The large and elegant Doberman is as protective as it is intelligent and versatile: Today, Dobies serve as police dogs, service- and therapy dogs, sports dogs and guardians. They are among the most intelligent working breeds on the planet. Eager to please and more than willing to work, the Doberman is a joy to train. Apart from this, Dobies are surprisingly gentle towards their owners, which makes them ideal housedogs and family guardians.
Number 5 – The Chiahuahua
And as we reach the halfway mark of the TOP smartest members of the canine kingdom, we just cannot continue without giving mention and recognition to THE smallest dog breed in existence today – the charming Chiahuahua. Contrary to popular belief, these tiny lapdogs are extremely intelligent. Some owners swear that their dogs understand what they tell them - and if you had the pleasure to spend some time in a Chihuahua’s company, you might agree: Chiahuahuas are incredibly connected to their owner and seem to have an uncanny ability to figure out what their human is trying to tell them.
Number 4 – The German Shepherd
The number 4 spot on our list belongs to a breed that pretty much everyone agrees is among the most intelligent ones on Earth: the world-famous, well-respected German Shepherd. Almost unparalleled in their versatility, it is hard to believe that these dogs’ original role “simply” consisted in herding sheep. German Shepherds learn extremely fast and can retain more than 100 different voice commands. Which is why they are among the favourite service dogs of the Armed Forces.
Number 3 – The Border Collie
Things are getting even more exciting here, as we enter the TOP 3 smartest members of the canine family. And the Bronze Medal spot goes to a breed that is said to be THE most intelligent one on planet Earth, the famous Border Collie. These herding dogs from Britain are said to top even the German Shepherd when it comes to remembering voice commands: Border Collies can retain over 1’000 different verbal clues, as studies have found. Today, they are particularly popular for their outstanding performance of the most fancy tricks that can be taught to a dog.
Number 2 – The Belgian Malinois
And speaking about outstanding intelligence and stellar performance – our number 2 pick shares these abilities, but brings an additional quality to the table: Its truly extraordinary capability to perform under extreme pressure and an impulse control that is unparalleled in the canine world: The Malinois is THE top service dog of choice for the modern Military, including Special Forces such as the Navy SEALS and the US Marines. Malinois’ have been serving in war zones for many years now, and their performance has been found to be outstanding. This ability to perform in the most severe and taxing situations (such as in the middle of a warzone) puts them above the Border Collie – at least as far as my humble opinion is concerned.
Number 1 – The Cane Corso
And right here on our TOP spot, we have one of my personal favourites in the canine world, the noble and majestic Cane Corso. Besides being one of the best guardian breeds on the planet, the Cane Corso is also an immensely intelligent dog. Despite their independent nature, these Mastiffs learn very quickly. But their most outstanding characteristic is their emotional intelligence: Corsos form extremely strong bonds with their owners, and are finely attuned to their emotional state. Also, the level of communication a well-educated Corso and their owner can develop is off the scale. Because this breed’s intelligence is so multi-faceted, I just had to award the Gold Medal spot for the most intelligent dog breed in the world to the glorious Cane Corso!