15 of the Smartest Dogs in the World

If you’ve ever been around a dog, you know that they’re some of the brightest, intelligent animals that you’ll ever meet. When you think of intelligent mammals, you probably think of dolphins, chimpanzees, and elephants but I doubt you know them personally. I can’t recall a time where I met a dog that I didn’t love; I’m always blown away by how intelligent they are.

If you’re interested in learning about some of the smartest breeds of dog on the planet, take a look at this list for the 15 most intelligent species (in no particular order).

1. Pugs

These squishy little puppy dogs are originally from China, where they are known for being the most popular breed for Chinese families. Pugs are noted for The Uncanny ability to mirror their owner’s temperament. Pugs have highly adaptive intelligence, meaning they can usually go with the flow no matter what the situation is.

If you have a family with small children, pugs make an excellent companion because they are durable and love children. Pugs are extremely sensitive and will pick up on your mood so if you have anger problems, give pugs some space. These dogs how to stay glued to their human’s hip and we’ll play games and goofy antics to please their owner.

2. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniels, or is also known as a cocker spaniel in the Americas, small breed of dog that has a long history exhibiting high levels of working and adaptive intelligence. Disparate is active by Nature and serves well as a hunting dog. Cocker Spaniels are jubilant and love to spend time with people, children, and usually, create a special bond with a single individual.

English Cocker Spaniels follow orders very well, are extremely attentive, and love thrill of the hunt. Cocker Spaniels are extremely loyal and forum very deep connections with their owners and the family, creating a bond that is tough to remove. If you start the puppies young specialization and specialized training, this breed is perfect for families with small children and other animals.

3. Rottweiler

Rottweiler puppy enjoys the sun, lying on a playground
The next intelligent dog on our list is the Rottweiler. Originally from Germany, these dogs were bred to be true working dogs. They are used mainly for guard dogs and police K-9 units because of their loyalty and incredible ability to follow orders. Rottweilers are known for being stoic, having incredible perception, amazing courage, and unwavering commitment.

Rottweilers are wonderful dogs to add to our family all sizes. Even if you have a one-bedroom apartment, Rottweilers make great companions as long as you keep them exercised, groomed, and can give a lot of attention.

4. Papillon

papillon dog in front of white background
Papillons are a toy spaniel breed of dog originally from France. Papillon comes from the French language, meaning butterfly, which isn’t too far from the truth because this beautiful b breed of dog closely resembles the wings of a butterfly when it is well-groomed.

This is a very smart breed, high in both adaptive and working intelligence. If you start socialization and training from a young age, Papillons make great companions for families with children and other pets, or even just a single owner. Originally meant to be companions for French aristocracy, this braids has a reputation for being excellent watchdogs because of their uncanny ability to be extremely alert and attentive for their owner.

5. Bearded Collie

Portrait of beautiful bearded collie with long tongue
Bearded collies lineage can be traced back 2 Scotland circa 16th century, where they were known for their exceptional abilities as a sheepdog. Bearded collies were also used to herd both sheep and cattle in severe and extremely harsh weather conditions.

Bearded Collies are known for being incredibly resilient and very energetic, making them an excellent breed for families. This parade has a history of display incredibly high levels of intelligence, making them easy to train, extremely obedient, and Incredibly loyal to their owners. This breed is known for being extremely playful and mischievous and loves to play, and help solve problems.

6. Poodles

Standard Poodle
The poodle is originally from Germany circa 15th century before they went to France where they are legendary for being a great dog for fowl hunts and serving as excellent gun dogs in all capacities. Poodles waterproof coats and incredibly high levels of working intelligence makes poodles exceptionally well suited for hunting and Aquatic environments such as rivers, lakes, and other wetlands. Poodles have been known for displaying high levels of instinctive intelligence, which makes them excellent hunters. Poodles have a long history of competing in obedience courses, as well as agility courses.

7. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers, commonly known as labs, are one of the most popular breeds of dog chosen by families. Labs are what’s known as a working-class dog, and are well known for their most of the intelligence, patience, affection, and being extremely gentle animals; making them perfect dog breeds for households with children. Labs are incredibly easy to train, so easy in fact that they are legendary search and rescue dogs, service dogs, K9 police units. Studies have shown that Labs can teach themselves through observing behaviors in humans and repeat them, making them a great asset in life or death situations.

8. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher, 13 months old, standing in front of white background
Doberman Pinschers are a medium to large breed of dog, tracing its Origins to Germany. Dobermans are noted for a natural fearlessness, intelligence, and assertiveness. Doberman Pinschers are usually trained for being docile and dominant. They have a long history serving in Wars and as police dogs. Although this breed appears to be extremely aggressive and fearsome, they are extremely gentle and loving. Dobermans loyalty and docility make them great additions to a family.

9. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever
Known for their high intelligence and memory, Golden Retrievers can learn as many as 200 commands. This helps create a lifelong companion within the home and the workplace. Golden Retrievers love to learn and are willing to do anything for their human companion. These dogs definitely need some wiggle room since they weigh in at about 80 pounds. Golden Retrievers prefer a nice medium-sized backyard for playtime with kids or furry friends.

Golden retrievers are legendary hunting dogs, especially when retrieving waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and Upland game birds. Golden retrievers are noted for their precision when retrieving shot fowl without damaging the shot game.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

This beautiful breed has been bred since the nineteenth century in England. They were used to catch rats in the mills and mines. This type of breed loves the interaction between their senior companions or even older couples. Yorkshires are very independent dogs that have a high ambition to learn and be by their companion’s side. They are very observant and love to dig their noses into anything they come across to fulfill their curiosity. They also make excellent watchdogs for their owners by their high alert tendencies. Yorkshire Terriers are great dogs that love affection and cuddle with you late at night.

11. Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdog. Sheltie close up portrait.
Used to this very day, Shetland Sheepdogs were bred specifically to be sheepherders in Scotland. These dogs are very special due to their high energy and the unique communication with their masters. Shetland Sheepdogs are designed for vigorous exercising and the athletic body needed for herding. Another great thing about this particular breed is their ability to adapt and acquire intelligence within each field they are exposed to. From being seeing eye dogs to herding dogs, they are very observant and aware of their surroundings.

12. German Shepherds:

German Shepherds come second place when it comes to the best breed in the United States. German Shepherds are used for all sorts of training such as rescue mission dogs in the military or police departments, seeing eye dogs, and guard dogs. They have very high emotional intelligence and extreme curiosity when it comes to their genetics. They get along well with young children and small toddlers. German Shepherds are protective of their young and even treat human children as their own. They are overall useful for being trained in extreme circumstances and know what to do with their natural instincts specifically.

13. Border Collie

border collie to fetch
Like the Shetland Sheepdog, Border Collies have been used to herd sheep and cattle for centuries within the countries Scotland and England. They are particularly great for couples and families with dog-loving teenagers. Border Collies are highly adaptable when it comes to moving and living in apartments and townhouses. They need lots of attention to keep them happy and energetic. They can be very independent and strong-willed, but with the proper training, they are ideal for life-long entertainment and cuddles.

Border Collies are brilliant, highly energetic, athletic and acrobatic, and highly obedient. Border Collies have great successes acting as sheep dogs, participating in dog Sports, and have been said to be the most intelligent of all domestic dog breeds.

14. Boxers

Best Dog Food for Boxers
Boxers were first bred in Germany several centuries ago to help create a hard-working and distinguished dog. They are known for their incredible loyalty to their masters and are willing to do go above and beyond.

Boxers are bright, playful, energetic, and love children. Believe it or not, boxers are incredibly patient and very kind souled dogs. Boxers need adequate amounts physical activity to keep them well behaved. Although it may come off as boxers having a very head strong and Cavalier attitude but this is a genetic trait with most boxers. This issue can be corrected with positive reinforcement, various training techniques, and behaviorist conditioning. Boxers largest independent problem solvers who just need to learn how to focus.

15. Belgian Malinois

A purebred belgian shepherd tervueren running in the field
The Belgian Malinois is an enormous, multi-purpose dog species. The Malinois intelligence and strength make this breed a perfect police dog, especially in Narcotics detection. Malinois is are extremely trainable, so they are mainly utilized in military service dogs, free dogs, narcotics detection dogs, search and rescue, and many more services.

Malinois is are extremely trainable, so they are mainly utilized in military service dogs, free dogs, narcotics detection dogs, search and rescue, and many more services. Malinois are extremely obedient and love to train in their specialized fields because of the prone to boredom.

This is just a short list of intelligent dog species. There are so many different species out there that are also incredibly smart, loyal, trainable, and obedient. I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the 15 most intelligent dogs in the world. It’s amazing how humans and dogs can form these friendships and bonds together. We can serve each other in our own, unique ways and give each other love for our time together.