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10 Smartest Dog Breeds in the World (With Pictures)

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

puppy Border Collie gives paw

Have you ever wondered how smart your dog is compared to other dog breeds? Or do you just want to know a little more about the smartest dog breeds in the world? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve highlighted the 10 smartest dog breeds in the world and went through a few of their signature traits for you here!

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The 10 Smartest Dog Breeds in the World

1. Border Collie

Border Collie waiving paw
Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock
Height 18 to 22 inches
Weight 27 to 45 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

If you’re looking for the most intelligent dog breed out there, that honor falls to the Border collie. They’re exceptionally smart and extremely active dogs, with an early history of herding. But keep in mind that while they’re so smart they have strong herding instincts, so they’re not always the best fit with small children or cats. But with a little consistency and training, there’s not much you can’t teach a Border Collie to do!

2. Poodle

A purebred standard white poodle
Image Credit: nieriss, Shutterstock
Height 8 to 17 inches
Weight 14 to 71 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Poodle is another notoriously smart dog breed, and the cool thing about the Poodle is that they come in all shapes and sizes. They’re also considered more hypoallergenic than other breeds and great with kids and other dogs, meaning a Poodle really does fit into just about any family. No wonder these dogs are so popular!

3. German Shepherd

west german shepherd dog running outdoor
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 50 to 90 pounds
Lifespan 9 to 13 years

If you’re looking for a working dog, there’s a reason the German Shepherd is among the most common. They’re smart enough to learn just about any task you want to teach them, and they’re loyal enough to keep doing what you want month after month and day after day. They’re also great with children, but you should be a little more cautious with them around other dogs.

4. Golden Retriever

golden retriever dog with a toy football in its mouth
Image Credit: cookie_cute, Shutterstock
Height 20 to 24 inches
Weight 55 to 75 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

If you’re looking for the ultimate family dog that distinction might just go to the Golden Retriever. They’re great with kids and other dogs, and they can’t seem to get enough attention from everyone in the family. They’re also extremely loyal and incredibly smart, so even a little training with a bit of consistency goes a long way.

5. Doberman Pinscher

woman standing next to a Doberman Pinscher dog
Image Credit: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock
Height 24 to 28 inches
Weight 70 to 100 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 13 years

The Doberman Pinscher is among the smartest large dog breeds on the planet, with some Doberman Pinschers weighing close to 100 pounds! They’re great family dogs that love pleasing their owners, but it is worth noting that these large dogs have lots of energy.

Because of this, we don’t recommend getting one unless you have plenty of space for them to run around and burn off some energy.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

blue merle shetland sheepdog at the park
Image Credit: arturs.stiebrins, Shutterstock
Height 13 to 16 inches
Weight 14 to 27 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 13 years

The Shetland Sheepdog is another extremely smart dog that’s also great with kids and other dogs. They are smaller dogs though, so you should be careful with them around smaller children. It’s not that they’ll go after the kids, but if the kids fall on a Shetland Sheepdog, they can end up hurt.

Also, keep in mind that these are very vocal dogs and they do better with some space to roam. Still, they’re intelligent and love pleasing their owners, making them a great choice for many.

7. Labrador Retriever

black labrador retriever in the grass
Image Credit: Baevskiy Dmitry, Shutterstock
Height 22 to 24 inches
Weight 55 to 80 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 12 years

If the Golden Retriever isn’t the best family dog out there, it’s the Labrador Retriever. They get along great with everyone, including children and other dogs. They also have a ton of energy, so you’ll want plenty of space for them to run around during the day.

Overall, they’re great dogs that love all the attention they can get from everyone in the family, but because of their high intelligence and high energy levels, they can be quite a bit of work.

8. Papillon

Image Credit: MusicFox Fx , Unsplash
Height 8 to 11 inches
Weight 7 to 10 pounds
Lifespan 13 to 15 years

The Papillon is the smallest dog on our list, but don’t let that fool you about their intelligence level! These dogs are extremely smart and love pleasing their owners. However, while they’re great with kids you should be careful with them around other dogs.

The Papillon usually gets along great with them, but they don’t realize just how small they are and it’s easy for them to wind up hurt while they’re playing.

9. Rottweiler

rottweiler dog sitting on grass
Image Credit: Kevin Seibel, Pixabay
Height 22 to 27 inches
Weight 75 to 130 pounds
Lifespan 8 to 10 years

The Rottweiler is an extremely intelligent working dog. Unlike many other dogs on our list, they don’t always get along the best with children or other dogs. But with consistent and proper socialization, they certainly can do great in those situations.

They’re super eager to please their owners and don’t bark a ton, and they don’t have the super high energy levels like many other pups on our list.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

Image Credit: Best dog photo, Shutterstock
Height 17 to 20 inches
Weight 30 to 35 pounds
Lifespan 13 to 15 years

The Australian Cattle Dog is another intelligent dog that needs a little extra socialization to get along great with kids and other dogs. They do better if you have a task for them to complete, and since they have a ton of energy, it’s best if it’s something that gets them moving.

They don’t bark a ton though, so if you don’t want a super vocal dog, the Australian Cattle Dog is a great choice.

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Just because a dog is naturally intelligent doesn’t mean they’re going to do everything you want them to do the first time. Training, consistency, and proper care are still extremely important no matter what dog breed you go with.

But if you’re looking to put in a little work, these dog breeds are eager to please and can learn all sorts of tricks other dogs can only dream of!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Ann Tyurina, Shutterstock

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