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Top 10 smartest dog breeds.

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,920
4,069
Portland, OR
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Not sure I agree with the whole list or the order, but most make sense.

#10 Australian Cattle Dog
Yes, that Australian Cattle Dog from Down Under. A working dog that is traditionally occupied with controlling and herding cattle, its qualities are exceptional intelligence, alertness, resourcefulness, and a fiercely protective loyalty over its property and people. They are agile, strong, active dogs, both physically and mentally, which revel in new experiences. The flip side is that they bore easily and will unintentionally find trouble while looking for activities to occupy themselves with. The Cattle Dog is very organized; many are known for putting their own toys away after playing.

#9 Rottweiler
Another herding dog, the Rottweiler began in Germany as a true work companion. They are still primarily used for work as guard dogs and as police dogs. They are well known for their stoicism, keen perception, courage, and unflagging loyalty. They make an excellent addition to the family.

#8 Papillon
This deceptively cute, butterfly-eared dog is smarter, tougher, and stronger than it appears (it’s like the bionic dog). Often described as big dogs in little bodies, they have the athletic stamina to keep up on long walks, and the bravura of a canine ten times its size. The Papillon is a true companion and watchdog. Although they can be ferociously protective over what belongs to them, their keen intelligence makes it possible to take them anywhere. Let’s not forget they can be litter trained, a big plus.

#7 Labrador Retriever
The Lab, as it is affectionately called, is the most popular breed chosen by families. Another member of the working class of dogs, the Lab is best known for its intelligence, affection, patience, and gentility, making them perfect companions for households with kids. They are easily trained, and, in fact, are one of the top dogs chosen for search and rescue, assisting the disabled, and police work. They are also known to self-train, observing behaviors in humans and repeating them—a great asset in emergency situations.


#6 Shetland Sheepdog
Another herding dog, the Shetland takes this ability into the home, showing the same commitment and protectiveness over its human “herd” as the farm raised version does. Highly intelligent, the Sheltie handles life with great efficiency and diligence, learning new commands with little repetition, and making sure that all of the family is safe, sound, and in place. They show great devotion to their families, and are happy to live just about anywhere.

#5 Doberman Pinscher
Due to an inborn fearlessness and deep stamina, the Doberman is one of the most popular of guard dogs. Smart and assertive, they can easily be trained for dominance or docility. Because of their past as war and police dogs, they may appear fearsome, but they are actually quite gentle. Their loyalty and acuity make Doberman’s great additions to the family.

#4 Golden Retriever
A very affectionate and popular breed, the Golden Retriever is highly regarded for its intelligence. They can learn well over 200 commands, making them indispensable companions, both in the home and in the workplace. Loyal, loving, and patient, with a willingness to please and a love of learning, this is a fabulous companion pet to bring into your family.

#3 German Shepherd
The German Shepherd was originally bred specifically for intelligence. Smart, courageous, and protective, the Shepherd is one of the most dependable of companions. They learn tasks after only a few repetitions, and obey first commands nearly always the first time it is given. They are eager to learn new tasks, as this gives them direction and purpose—very important for a Shepherd. Besides being used for herding animals, they are often used as guard dogs, police dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and have even been trained by the military for parachute jumps.

#2 Poodle
Easily trainable, steadfast, and sharp-minded, Poodles flourish in human company. Even with the frou-frou hairdos, Poodles are sometimes made to endure and can be quite effective as guard dogs, especially the standard sized Poodles. In fact, the “poodle clip,” was created specifically for the working Poodle, so that it could swim more effectively, while still having fur to protect its organs as it went about the business of hunting and retrieving. The Poodle excels at training and obedience, and also loves creative play time. This is what made them so popular as circus performers. But, this can be a drawback as well. If left alone to boredom, Poodles can be creative about finding ways to amuse themselves, sometimes finding trouble along the way.

#1 Border Collie
The Border Collie comes in at number one. Because of their extraordinary intelligence and high energy, it is essential to give Border Collies an occupation or purpose, or you may well find your home wrecked upon your return from a long day at work. They have an intense connection with humans, making them ideal work and home companions. However, keep this in mind: Border Collies invariably will not do well unless they are with people who are as high energy as they are; they do best with humans who can participate in dog sports with them. Also, because of their background as herding dogs, they may be frustrated by small children, as their inability to herd the children as they deem fit is confounded. For the right human, the Border Collie is well behaved, exceptionally good at learning, and a true-blue companion.
I would have ranked Rottie's higher, but I've had 3, so I am biased. I agree with them as an excellent family addition if you have the space.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,920
4,069
Portland, OR
I always thought collies had bad tempers, but it could just be the few I've met. I know how smart cattle dogs are, though. Sure would make an interesting mix.
 

Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,082
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Our German Shepard / Husky mix is a total jerk. It hast the smarts of a German Shepard (REALLY smart), and the stubbornness, shedding, etc of the Husky. I hate this dog 85% of the time. Such an asshole.

It has managed to escape I don't even know how many times from its outdoor pen. This thing is fort knox in the dog world. 8x8 pen on a cement patio, covered with wood and an easy up, double chain link fence surrounding it, chicken wire around the bottom end for extra reinforcements, gate latched, padlocked, cinder blocks on every corner to stop the HEAVY pen from being pushed, the dogs are also tied in with leads.

The other day I came home and the door to the pen was open, the padlock still in place on the latch. I tested the pen and there was no way that was possible. I don't understand how this dog does it.
 
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laura

DH_Laura
Jul 16, 2002
6,260
15
Glitter Gulch
Our German Shepard / Husky mix is a total jerk. It hast the smarts of a German Shepard (REALLY smart), and the stubbornness, shedding, etc of the Husky. I hate this dog 85% of the time. Such an asshole.

It has managed to escape I don't even know how many times from its outdoor pen. This thing is fort knox in the dog world. 8x8 pen on a cement patio, covered with wood and an easy up, double chain link fence surrounding it, chicken wire around the bottom end for extra reinforcements, gate latched, padlocked, cinder blocks on every corner to stop the HEAVY pen from being pushed, the dogs are also tied in with leads.

The other day I came home and the door to the pen was open, the padlock still in place on the latch. I tested the pen and there was no way that was possible. I don't understand how this dog does it.
Our "shepard/husky" is dumb as a brick but sweet as a frickin' baby. I think he's got some pit bull in there too. Pit bulls are pretty stupid and sweet. He has also managed to jump a jump a six foot fence and can climb chainlink. I figure no yard will hold him but I am not willing to let him develop his skills so he doesn't get left alone outside anymore.

 
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Total Heckler

Beer and Bike Enthusiast
Apr 28, 2005
8,082
18
Santa Cruz, CA
Our "shepard/husky" is dumb as a brick but sweet as a frickin' baby. I think he's got some pit bull in there too. Pit bulls are pretty stupid and sweet. He has also managed to jump a jump a six foot fence and can climb chainlink. I figure no yard will hold him but I am not willing to let him develop his skills so he doesn't get left alone outside anymore.
Haha yeah Haley (G.S./Husky mix) cannot be left alone outside for sure. We caught her wall riding off of 2 6ft fences to make it over one of them. Unbelievable.

Speaking of pit bulls, ours is also dumb as a rock. We love her because of it. haha

Our monsters:
 

reflux

Turbo Monkey
Mar 18, 2002
4,622
2
G14 Classified
Re: Huskies

We had a husky throughout my childhood. I grew up thinking that all dogs, regardless of how loving and loyal they are in the house, will jump ship and escape at the slightest chance. It wasn't until my teen years that I discovered that dogs could be trained and walked without leashes (whoa?!).
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
0
The Ranch
My Malamute is very smart. She is probably too smart to make the list because she does what she wants to. You can train them somewhat but if they want to do something else they are going to do it. The worst is when she looks at me just so I know she heard me then goes about doing her thing.
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
There are smart goldens out there, but I don't think they are a majority. I've owned several, and know lots in our extended doggy family. Most goldens are doofuses.
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
My Malamute is very smart. She is probably too smart to make the list because she does what she wants to. You can train them somewhat but if they want to do something else they are going to do it. The worst is when she looks at me just so I know she heard me then goes about doing her thing.
Had one of these too. Perfect description.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,837
0
South Seattle
My Rotti/Lab mix is as dumb as a stick. He's big, and hasn't figured out that he can jump the REALLY short fence in the backyard. I really wouldn't want a dag any smarter. They just get into trouble.
 

TN

Hey baby, want a hot dog?
Jul 9, 2002
14,315
1,351
Jimtown, CO
lol at PSP's avatard. I grew up around that **** (Ole Miss). not funny. :nope:

Mutts are the smartest breed. stupid lists.
 

henrymiller

Monkey
May 4, 2002
291
0
Denver-A-Go-Go
lol at PSP's avatard. I grew up around that **** (Ole Miss). not funny. :nope:

Mutts are the smartest breed. stupid lists.
I agree.

Grew up with purebreeds, got a mutt after college. The mutt is the smartest dog I have ever had. Minus the time he ate my cell phone and a can of shaving cream.
 

RaindogT

Monkey
Dec 22, 2005
186
0
Kansas City
I was surprised to read the thread title 'Top 10 smartest dog breeds' and see 20 and change responses...... I guess I expected 10 responses.

RM needs the drunk math question -- would've preventedthis pointless reply.....
 
Mar 12, 2009
26
0
I completely agree with the list. I just love Labs. They are very adorable and smart bred. I had three Labs here in my house.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,712
525
NC
Mutts are the smartest breed. stupid lists.
...and the dumbest, too :D

I had a half-black lab mix whose father was a passing stranger in the night. The dog was as sweet and kind and fun as any dog has ever been... and dumb as a box of rocks.
 

MMike

A fowl peckerwood.
Sep 5, 2001
18,222
86
just sittin' here drinkin' scotch
My dog growing up was freaky smart. She was a poodle terrier mix. Lived until she was 20.

But you could look at her and very casually say, "you need a bath". Her tail would droop and she'd reluctantly climb the stairs to the bathroom and hop into the bathtub and await her fate. It was pretty funny.

Good ol' Pix...
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,897
5,583
Sleazattle
Our "shepard/husky" is dumb as a brick but sweet as a frickin' baby. I think he's got some pit bull in there too. Pit bulls are pretty stupid and sweet. He has also managed to jump a jump a six foot fence and can climb chainlink. I figure no yard will hold him but I am not willing to let him develop his skills so he doesn't get left alone outside anymore.

Got a pit mix too. He certainly isn't the smartest but he is the best dog I have ever had. Growing up we have always had one of the 'smart' breeds. They tend to have OCD issues and can drive you nuts. My dad's lab goes into a deep depression if it doesn't have a ball thrown for it every two minutes. My mother had an Aussie who's herding instinct was so strong it would chase down and nip at everything, including vacuums, lawnmowers, cars, wheelchairs... My half dumb mutt is just super happy hanging out and doing whatever I am doing.
 

Austin Bike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 26, 2003
1,559
0
Duh, Austin
My dog growing up was freaky smart. She was a poodle terrier mix. Lived until she was 20.

But you could look at her and very casually say, "you need a bath". Her tail would droop and she'd reluctantly climb the stairs to the bathroom and hop into the bathtub and await her fate. It was pretty funny.

Good ol' Pix...
Pepper is a jack russel and poodle - I know what you mean.
 

Mike B.

Turbo Monkey
Oct 5, 2001
1,522
0
State College, PA
We are looking into getting a Australian Shepard
I've got a 4.5 month old Australian Shepard. Smart little guy, maybe a little too smart, and very high energy. Learns very quickly though and is doing well off the leash, running beside the bike, jogging etc. Went for his first swim yesterday, unannounced, it was 28 degrees out at the time.

They're very high energy so make sure the dogs energy level matches that of your family. Two hour hikes do not phase him even at his young age. He comes to work on Fridays to play with the two bull mastiffs, that's the only thing that is guaranteed to wear him out.
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,846
0
Orange County, CA
Isn't that Coren's list? Looks like they just ripped it off without attribution...

Anyways, I've always been skeptical about Labs on that list. Sure, they can be dependable and hardworking, but I've never met a truly smart Lab. You can probably say the same about Goldens.

My Lab is fuzzy and handsome and good natured, but unless he is retrieving, he's pretty dumb. And he was a guide dog puppy...
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
38,897
5,583
Sleazattle
Isn't that Coren's list? Looks like they just ripped it off without attribution...

Anyways, I've always been skeptical about Labs on that list. Sure, they can be dependable and hardworking, but I've never met a truly smart Lab. You can probably say the same about Goldens.

My Lab is fuzzy and handsome and good natured, but unless he is retrieving, he's pretty dumb. And he was a guide dog puppy...

I think Labs and retrievers are highly trainable, incapable of doing anything themselves but great at taking direction. The perfect Republicans really.
 

Leppah

Turbo Monkey
Mar 12, 2008
2,300
3
Utar
I had a feeling that my dogs wouldn't make that list. They're boxers. Goofy little dorks, but i love them as much as i would if they could do my math homework.
 

TN

Hey baby, want a hot dog?
Jul 9, 2002
14,315
1,351
Jimtown, CO
...and the dumbest, too :D

I had a half-black lab mix whose father was a passing stranger in the night. The dog was as sweet and kind and fun as any dog has ever been... and dumb as a box of rocks.

True dat. Roxi Rose (lab mix) would have you believe that she is dumb as brick but she is not...she just does whatever the hell she wants to.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
455
chez moi
My Stephen Hawking Terrier is brilliant, but can't catch a frisbee for sh!t.