Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds

Just about anyone with a dog dreams of teaching their pet cool tricks. Or perhaps, you want to have a pooch that excels in just about any category in dog competitions. And sometimes, you just want to have a pup that knows how to follow basic (and sometimes even advanced) commands perfectly.

If so, then you probably want to know what the smartest dog breeds are, so you can have an easier time teaching your pet cool tricks just like you wanted.

Here are some of the smartest breeds of canines you might want to look into. But they’re not all brains – these pups are also some of the sweetest, cuddliest bunch you’d absolutely love!

1. Border Collie

border collie

When it comes to smarts, the Border Collie rules. These dogs are easy to train and can quickly understand commands and routines. In fact, you can count on them to perform daily tasks on their own – sometimes with very minimal supervision.

If you like a dog that’s observant, athletic, and quick-witted, then Border Collies are your best bet. They also do amazingly well in various dog competitions, particularly in the agility arena. And basically, they are always game for anything – outdoor activities, lounging indoors, and road trips. 

2. German Shepherd

german shepherd

Tall and mighty German Shepherds are some of the most popular dog breeds not only because of their dashing good looks but also for their brains. They are well-rounded pups that do a fantastic job in any task you assign to them – police work, military, protection, and so on. 

These dogs can quickly adapt to any situation and learn tricks with very minimal training. And once they learn a new skill, it sticks. But one thing to note about these doggos – they need plenty of exercise each day. So, if you’re the kind of person who loves to go outdoors and is athletic, the GSD is a fine match for you.

3. Poodle

A small black Poodle mixed

Their looks may make these dogs seem super high maintenance but they’re actually not. In fact, Poodles love to be always on the go – and they are not at all sissy canines as what cartoons depict them to be. 

Poodles are intelligent dogs that can easily learn skills. Underneath all that fluff is a slender and sturdy body, making them amazing swimmers. Plus, they are also hypoallergenic, which makes them a perfect fit for folks with allergies.

4. Doberman Pinscher

Vigilant and determined, the lovable Doberman Pinscher easily joins our list of the smartest dog breeds. These pups are known as protection dogs because of their natural desire to look after their owners. They are vigilant and will never back out from any threat.

As for their smarts, Dobies learn tasks, cues, and skills quickly. This is why you can trust that your pooch will obey your commands unerringly. As a bonus, they are Velcro dogs that will stand by you and love you no matter what!

5. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers

Aside from their evident great looks, Golden Retrievers are also some of the most clever dog breeds there are. They are easy to train not only because of their natural ability to retain new tricks and skills, but they want nothing more than to please their owners.

These social butterflies are fun-loving and affable creatures. It’s impossible not to fall in love with their adorable smiles. Goldens also do well in obedience competition, hunting, and search and rescue, as well as being some of the best therapy and service dogs on the planet.

6. Labrador Retriever

dog mom labrador mother golden retriever
Dog mom labrador mother golden retriever.

Hardworking Labrador Retrievers easily make their way to our top 10 smartest dog breeds for all the obvious reasons – they are smart, reliable, and skilled in so many ways. These dogs were originally bred to retrieve harpooned fish, and this task they do perfectly well.

As for their other personality highlights, Labs are affectionate canines that will love you for a long time. They are always eager to join you on hike trips, camping, jogging, and basically anything you want to do! Labs are also known to wow the crowd in various competitions whether it is agility, retrieving, or obedience dog contests.

7. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

A smaller version of the Collie, Shetland Sheepdogs are no strangers to obedience competitions – and they are noted for their winning streak in these contests. They are nimble and agile, so you will have no problem having them perform any task you want them to do.

Since they are natural herders, they have a tendency to nip. But because they are smart pups, you can also train them not to do this. You won’t have any problem having a Sheltie around, and everyone easily falls in love with these cuties. 

8. Rottweiler


They may have gotten a bad rap for being aggressive dogs but in reality, Rottweilers are some of the sweetest and most affectionate canines there are. In addition to their loving nature, they are also smart pups. These doggos can easily pick up a new skill and retain it in their heads. So, if you’re a first-time owner, you should not have a difficult time training a Rottie.

They require ample exercise daily, so it’s best to allot some time for walks and playtime with your pooch. And after all that fun and games, you can count on this cute snuggle bug to cuddle up with you.

9. Papillon


Papillons have been long regarded as a beloved pet of aristocrats and royalties. And this is not only because of their elegance and looks – they are also brainy pups. They are skilled in performing and showing off new tricks they have learned.

So, if you’re more into small dogs with a charming appearance and unparalleled smarts, the Papillon won’t let you down. 

10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Happy pregnant welsh corgi pembroke female
Happy pregnant welsh corgi pembroke female in a wooden whelping box expecting puppies.

And last but not least, we have the adorable Pembroke Welsh Corgi. They may have diminutive bodies but they have a huge heart. These pups will love you to bits and are very loyal to their owners.

When it comes to smarts, Pembrokes are quick to learn. They possess critical thinking skills that make them quick to learn new commands required for the task. Pembrokes thrive in an outdoor setting doing farm work as they have been bred to do. But when at home, they can easily entertain you with new tricks and do well in agility tasks.

So there you have it – our top 10 smartest dog breeds that aren’t all just brains but good looks, too! Whether you want a big dog, a tiny one, or something in between, you can most definitely find an adorable canine that you’ll fall in love with right away.

Finally, thank you for spending time with us. See you in the next videos.

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