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Are Great Danes Smart? How They Compare to Other Dogs?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

brindle great dane standing on grass

A common question many dog owners want the answer to is how smart their dog is. Everyone wants to have a smart dog, but if every dog was as smart as they come it wouldn’t really mean much. So, how smart is a Great Dane compared to other dogs?

A Great Dane has average intelligence compared to other dog breeds out there. It’s not the smartest dog out there, but it’s far from the dumbest. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know here.

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How Smart Are Great Danes?

While the Great Dane is far from an unintelligent dog, they’re not the most intelligent either. The Great Dane ranks at average intelligence. This means there are plenty of more intelligent dogs, but there are also plenty of dogs with lower intelligence.

With an average intelligence, you can train a Great Dane on a variety of tasks, but it’s going to take a bit more work to train them on some of the most complicated tricks.

Dogs That Are Smarter Than Great Danes

Great Dane Running
Image Credit: Martin Tajmr, Pixabay

With average intelligence, there are plenty of breeds that the Great Dane is smarter than. But that’s not the case with the dog breeds we’ve highlighted here. Any of these dog breeds is more than a bit smarter than the Great Dane.

1. Border Collie

Border Collies are notoriously smart, and that’s a well-earned reputation. They’re also high energy, though, so ensure you have plenty of space for them to roam if you’re thinking about getting one.

2. Poodle

Just like the Border Collie, the Poodle is another dog well-known for its intelligence. They come in all sizes, but if you’re looking at a Poodle, there’s no doubting their intelligence.

3. German Shepherd

There’s a reason the German Shepherd is a great military dog. They are extremely loyal, and they’re smart enough to figure out what their handler wants them to do. German Shepherds have extremely high intelligence.

4. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are an extremely loyal dog breed, but they’re also extremely intelligent. This makes them a great dog breed for those that want a working dog or a great family dog.

5. Doberman Pinscher

While the Doberman Pinscher might seem like an unlikely addition to our list, dog lovers know that the Doberman Pinscher is a smart breed. They’re also incredibly loyal, so it’s not hard to see why they’re such a popular dog breed.

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Dogs That Are Not as Smart as Great Danes

male black great dane
Image Credit: Tara Lynn and Co, Shutterstock

We’ve already highlighted a few breeds that are smarter than the Great Dane, but what about some that the Great Dane is smarter than? We’ve highlighted five for you here:

1. Beagle

The Beagle is a great hunting dog and works great in packs, but when it comes to other things, they’re not always the brightest. They also don’t do well alone, so if you’re getting a beagle, ensure you’re not leaving them alone too much.

2. Mastiff

Few dogs rival the Mastiff in size, but plenty put it to shame in intelligence. They’re loving and affectionate dogs and they do great around kids; just don’t expect to teach them a ton of complicated tricks.

3. Pekingese

The Pekingese is a small dog with a long coat, and they’re a favorite among many dog owners. But while these dogs have plenty of great traits, their intelligence level is not one of them.

4. Bulldog

The Bulldog is a small and adorable pup, and no one can doubt their loyalty and courage. But while they might be loyal and dependable, they’re not all that smart.

5. Bloodhound

While bloodhounds make great hunting dogs, they’re not the most intelligent. It takes a bit more work and training to get them there, but there’s no doubting their loyalty.

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Final Thoughts

While a Great Dane might not be the smartest dog breed out there, it’s not the dumbest either. With average intelligence, the Great Dane won’t disappoint you with their lack of intelligence, but they’re probably not going to be the smartest dog around, either.

But even if they’re not the smartest dog in the room, the Great Dane possesses plenty of other redeeming traits that make them an outstanding dog choice.

Featured Image Credit: Whiteaster, Shutterstock

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