What are the smartest dog breeds?

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Shetland Sheepdog

Our dog will always be for us the smartest, most affectionate and playful of all. But if we stop to observe the races from a scientific perspective, which are the smartest by their own genetics?

A good stimulation and socialization during his first years of life, will help a lot to his intelligence to develop properly. But let’s see which races are more intelligent without this type of stimuli.

How is intelligence measured in a dog?

Canine intelligence has three main dimensions:

  1. Adaptive: It is the ability to find solutions to problems without help, through deduction.
  2. Instinctive: It is related to genetics and the innate talent of the dog.
  3. Functional or working: It has to do with your ability to carry out orders.

Objectively determining which breeds are smarter, taking these three parameters into account, seems impossible today. However, through various analyzes it has been possible to establish a ranking based on working intelligence.

Thus, races with a higher IQ are considered to be those that, on average, learn a new order in less than five attempts. In addition to this, they do it 95% of the time, even if they have not been trained by a professional.

This does not mean that the rest of the furry do not understand us, but that they need a greater number of attempts and a more exhaustive training to fulfill an instruction. Some will respond after five attempts, while others may require up to 80 repetitions.

Nothing that practice cannot solve!

doberman dog during training exercise

What are the smartest races?

To distinguish the smartest, many experts rely on the classification made by the psychologist Stanley Coren. This university professor studied canine behavior and compared the results of 199 contest judges to make a list. In the first positions appear the dogs considered more intelligent at a functional level. These are:

  • Border Collie. It stands out for its great capacity for learning, obedience and intuition. It is also an agile breed with quick reflexes, which is why these furry ones are usually used for grazing.
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A curious story is that of Chaser, a Collie who in 2011 was able to identify more than a thousand words and recognize more than 20 toys by name. He could even remove them from the pile when requested.

  • Poodle (or Poodle). We already know how active and playful they are, but they are also dogs with above-average intelligence.

They are methodical, very sensitive and energetic, which facilitates their training. They have a very sharp nose and are enthusiastic about water. In Agility championships they usually get very good results.

  • German shepherd. Vigorous, agile, awake and very intelligent. So are the dogs of this breed. They perform numerous tasks alongside humans. For example, they are good guard dogs, guide dogs, and police dogs.
  • Golden Retriever. They have been recognized for their great intelligence. They have a high concentration capacity and are very sociable. A Golden retriever who became world famous was Bretagne, for his work as a rescue worker during the attacks of September 11 in New York.

They are often confused with the Labrador breed, given its physical similarity. You can learn to differentiate them easily from: Differences between Golden and Labrador.

  • Doberman. They are strong and energetic. For this reason it is important that they exercise a lot and have a good socialization.

As for his personality, the Doberman It stands out for being attentive and very faithful to its caregiver. We can see them as guard dogs, but also accompanying the police and military in their daily work.

  • Shetland Sheepdog. Popularly known as “shelti” this other sheepdog doesn’t have a fool’s hair either. He likes to keep busy, to be trained and to be with the children.
  • Labrador Retriever. It is a very balanced, familiar and affectionate type of dog. He is always very cooperative, which is why many emergency departments count on him for rescue. They are very common among guide dogs and also on patrols. Also, they swim well.
  • Papillon. Great companions, loyal and easy to teach. They are good at solving problems and, also, very empathetic with people, because they have an easy way to capture our mood.
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They also stand out for being great jumpers and very affectionate. This last characteristic makes them excellent therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes.

  • Rottweiler. It is a dog with great mental clarity, very protective of the home and family. Strong and adaptable to different situations, it is a good guardian and, although it may surprise, a herding breed. Of course, it is very important that you have adequate socialization and obedience training.
  • Australian Cattle Shepherd. He has a lot of energy, so he needs to play, walk, run and exercise constantly. That is why it is an ideal dog for the most sportsmen.

It is as smart as the border collie and traditionally they have been closely linked to grazing and life in the country. Today they are also highly valued as guide dogs and as members of drug or human search patrols. Being awake and observant, they learn quickly.

Coren continues to list many other races in his classification, which appear in his book The Intelligence of Dogs. Specifically 79, divided into 6 categories. But let’s make one thing clear: If your dog appears in the last positions, don’t worry too much.

As we saw, canine intelligence is completed taking into account many other aspects. Furthermore, it is not always synonymous with obedience. In fact, the ease or difficulty of learning has a lot to do with the behavioral development of the puppy from its gestation.

Therefore, you should take this list for guidance and without forgetting that the mind of a dog does not work in the same way as that of a human. Well, have you heard of this classification before? At what point have you come to think “how smart is my dog”? Tell us your anecdotes in the comments. We love reading to you!