As a pet owner, one of the last things you want is a dog that becomes a headache to train. If you want to get a dog that listens, plays by the rules you set, and generally does as it is asked, then you should look to one of the smartest dog breeds.
While dogs aren’t exactly going to be rolling up with diplomas and a test from Mensa, there are some breeds that take to their dog education easier. If you want a dog that you know is actually going to do as it’s told, then, we highly recommend looking at dogs in the following categories.
The top smartest dog breeds you should consider today
These dogs have more going for them than just a cracking coat. The Dalmatian is a tremendous dog breed to own as they are smart, obedient, and loyal. If you give your Dalmatian enough reason to trust and believe in you then it should stick around for years to come. It should also have no problem doing as it is sold since they tend to be quite calm, collected big dogs.
For that reason, you should absolutely think about going down the route of a dalmatian if you want one of the smartest dog breeds.
2. Border Collie
An existence built around herding livestock means that the humble Border Collie can usually take to instruction very well. These are smart dogs who pick up on what you are telling them. They also match that intellect with a tireless work ethic that makes them an absolute dream to have around the place.
These dogs are a tremendous choice for anyone who can commit the time to care for their dog. These do not handle being left alone, as boredom can lead them to be somewhat destructive. With the right company, though, these are highly intelligent dogs.
If you want a powerful dog with plenty of athleticism to match a big brain, then the Doberman is a fine choice of dog. They are excellent dogs for giving you an animal that is regularly used for military and police training. They are capable of learning very impressive amounts of skills and they are very likely to follow instructions so long as they are trained from a young age.
However, they are quite emotional dogs so you need to take the rough with the smooth. Focus on their mood and you can normally judge the best-case end result for any interactions together, though.
4. German Shepherd
No list would be complete without these intellectual titans. We know them for being strong and brave dogs, but they are also excellent companions for those who want a dog that actually listens to what it is being told. These dogs make a good choice as they are happy to be with you at all times, and tend to be great for anyone who wants a companion canine.
They need to be mentally stimulated, though, so you should look to give them plenty of tasks, toys, and joys to play with to keep their destructive side tamed.
5. Labrador Retriever
Another excellent breed to think about getting would be the Labrador Retriever. These are friendly dogs that make sense for a family home. They are also more than smart enough to pick up on whatever you are trying to teach them.
The only silly side to the Lab Retriever is they do a lot of thinking with their stomachs. If you want your dog to do something for you, then you can usually convince it with some food and some treats. They are also highly excitable, so you need to get used to that nature.
6. Golden Retriever
For many, these are probably the best dog to get if you want something all-around awesome. These are smart, friendly, caring dogs that will do more or less whatever you ask when you ask. They make great dogs to have around the place as they are easily trained, they play well with people and other pets, and they tend to be used for things like helping the visually impaired.
They are intelligent, fit, and loyal dogs. So long as you can commit to their exercise needs and the brain games they need, these dogs make tremendously intelligent companions.
While we normally associate the Rottweiler with brawn as opposed to brains, these dogs are no fools. They are almost unmatched in their desire to please you and to help you out, and they make a great choice for anyone who can commit the time to train a dog accordingly.
So long as you give it enough training tasks and enough treats, this breed should be happy to learn just about anything. However, harsh training methods and ‘tough love’ are likely to result in a demotivated dog who will want nothing to do with you; they can sense when you are trying to be too demanding overall.
8. Welsh Corgis
The Corgi breed must be smart given the Royal Family of the UK have a small army of them. Given their penchant for the elite, Corgis must score high. And they do; these are smart dogs that can pick things up much faster than comparable dog breeds.
However, they are people pleasers, and this can lead to some immature behaviour when they want a bit of extra love and attention. Keep that in mind, as they have a penchant for being a little bit stubborn and overly independent.
9. Belgian Tervuren
These dog breeds are rarer in a lot of the world, but they are a great dog for those who want a ‘job dog’ to play with. They are great because they can be used for anything from herding up livestock to spending time with police offers.
This particular breed picks things up fast, but it can be very hard to get out of bad habits once they pick them up. If you are aware of that, though, you can make sure that your dog is only picking up traits that you want it to have as opposed to a less desirable attitude overall.
Lastly, the humble Collie has a high reputation for getting things done. They are great dogs purely because they tend to be built for herding. They can pick up new commands, take on new tricks, and learn what you like and dislike much faster than a comparable breed.
However, that intellect means they can be sensitive souls. As such, they can have a habit of falling into sulks if you are overly harsh during training. Keep the sessions fun, deliver rewards, and leave the tough love for a simpler breed; these dogs learn best and adapt easiest in a happy, calm environment.
The dog breeds you might wish to avoid
Of course, not every dog breed is going to have the wits and the intellect you would hope for. While you aren’t likely to the perfect dog without a little bit of luck, choosing the wrong breed from the offset can doom your chances of finding happiness.
With that in mind, then, we highly recommend that anyone looking for a dog breed they can trust to be ‘smart’ more often than not should look to avoid the following breeds:
· Shih Tzu. Though adorable, this is simply not that intelligent a dog breed. They are good dogs but they tend to have problems with discipline and obedience and can become a headache for owners who are looking for a dog that simply does as it is asked with enough training.
· Afghan Hound. These are quality dogs, but they aren’t going to be shocking you with their obedience or their intellect anytime soon. The main problem is that the Afghan Hound has little to no interest in taking commands from anyone, so they tend to become a headache to teach.
· Pekingese. These Chinese dog breeds can be, uh, challenging to say the least. They need humongous amounts of training just to get them to comply with the most basic of affirmations, and they tend to be hard for anyone but an absolute expert in dog ownership to be able to handle.
While it might be harsh to call any dog unsmart, the above breeds have a tendency to do as they please. This can make giving them any kind of meaningful training or coaching is almost impossible. Keep that in mind, as many dog owners find this out to their peril later on down the line!
Choosing a dog breed you are happy with
By sticking with the above, then, you should be more likely to make sure you find a dog breed that matches your intellectual needs. Smarter dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but the above breeds listed at the top are good for training. The dogs at the end of this list tend to be more rebellious and independent, which can make it an absolute nightmare to have a calm life experience with them around.
Focus on the smarties at the top, though, and choosing your ideal dog breed becomes easier.