A List of the 100 Smartest Dog Breeds

Border Collies are the smartest breed of dog
Border Collies are the smartest breed of dog

Top 100 Smartest Dogs

Here is a list of 100 of the smartest dog breeds in descending order, with the smartest at the end.

100. Afghan Hound. These gentle giants are quite simple-minded and not known for their brains.

99. Basenji. This small breed is playful, but not too bright.

98 Bulldog. Slobber, obesity, and breathing difficulties add to the list of reasons this breed isn't easy to care for.

97. Chow Chow. While they are known for their poofy hair and black tongues, these K9's aren't the brightest.

96. Russian Wolfhound. C'mon, they're from Russia, give 'em a break.

95. Bloodhound. Their sense of smell makes up for their cognitive weaknesses.

94. Pekingese. Ugly and stupid.

93. Mastiff. Fearless defender of their master, but easily dooped.

92. Beagle. No surprise here. These silly pups aren't that bright.

91. Basset Hound. They look so sad because they know they're dumb.

90. Chinese Crested. Hairless little buzzards.

89. Chihuahua. They don't act smart, and are always attacking bigger victims.

88. Chinese Shar-Pei. Wrinkles usually imply wisdom, but not in this case.

87. English Bulldog. The bulldog with a little more brains, but not much more.

86. Pug. Moving to the middle of the pack.

85. Pomeranian. The little dog with big hair and little brains.

84. Maltese. Too much shedding with no thinking to back it up.

83. Boston Terrier. These little guys love to have fun, but they aren't too teachable.

82. American Pitbull Terrier. While they are known for their strength, these brutes aren't breaking any IQ records.

81. Mini Schnauzer. These little guys are bringing up the rear in the smarter breeds. They are bright and energetic.

80. Shih Tzu. Crazy hair and a crazy mind.

79. Lhasa Apso. Long hair and lots of energy don't always describe a genius.

78. Rat Terrier. Bred to do dirty work, these are capable little energy machines.

77. Bull Terrier. The target dog is a simply adorable little friend.

76. Tibetan Mastiff. A large competent defender.

75. French Bulldog. Their smarts is overshadowed by their French attitude.

74. Skye Terrier. Cute, fun and full of love.

73. Silky Terrier. These are a hairy mess, but brighter than most.

72. Keshond. Just plain ugly.

71. American Hairless Terrier. Grosssss, but smart.

70. Manchester Terrier. Cute little thinking machines.

69. Calvalier King Charles Spaniel. A very regal look, with brains to back it up.

68. Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Say that again.

67. Redbone Coonhound. These hunting dogs use a lot of thinking power to trap prey for their masters.

66. Italian Greyhound. And you thought they just ran fast.

65. Samoyed. Weird looking and smart = NERD.

64. Greyhound. Quick and quick-witted.

63. Whippet. Smaller greyhounds with bigger brains.

62. Welsh Terrier. terriers are bright because they are bred for specific jobs and trainability.

61. Plott Hound. Energy and wit may get them into trouble.

60. Pharaoh Hound. Smart enough to outlast actual Pharaohs.

59. Miniature Pinscher. A ball of energy.

58. Patterdale Terrier. Enjoy these guys, because they enjoy learning.

57. Kerry Blue Terrier. Not actually blue, but actually smart.

56. Harrier. Like the jet??

55. Bedlington Terrier. Sounds British, so it must be smart.

54. American Bulldog. A larger friendly bulldog that is smarter than the rest/

53. West Highland White Terrier. Cute little thinkers.

52. Havenese. Middle of the road as far as brains.

51. Cairn Terrier. Small but smart.

50. Dachsund. Bet you're surprised to see this one.

49. Yorkshire Terrier. Smart or not...they're cute.

48. Irish Red & White Setter. Beautiful and wise.

47. Boxer. Shocked to find these here? Me too.

46. Airedale Terrier. Teddy bears with brains.

45. Belgiun Shepherd. Shepherds need room to run and think.

43. Lakeland Terrier. The bundle of fluff that likes to think.

42. Elkhound. Rare breed of consciousness.

41. Cocker Spaniel. Curly haired and bright.

40. Shiba Inu. Weird name, big brain.

39. Bichon Frise. French name, bigger brain.

38. Parson Russell Terrier. It can be trained pretty easily.

37. Gordon Setter. Gorgeous pup with lots of brains.

36. Field Spaniel. Energetic little fella with lots of love and thought.

35. Newfoundland. A rare mix of big and smart.

34. Pointer. Very intuitive hunting dogs.

33. English Shepherd. Shaggy dog, but pretty smart.

32. Rhodesian Ridgeback. Skinny and smart . . . I'm jealous.

31. Bernese Mountain Dog. A massive dog, with massive brains.

30. Old English Sheepdog. Sheep are dumb, these guys are smart.

29. Bearded Collie. Another shepherding genius.

28. Jack Russell Terrier. Their energy gets them into more trouble than their brains.

27. Weimeraner. They love to run and play.

26. English Springer Spaniel. A great dog for any family.

25. Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Long names breed smart dogs apparently.

24. Irish Setter. Classic beauty meets class act wisdom.

23. German Shorthaired Pointer. A great looking nerd.

21. Alaskan Husky. You gotta be smart to run around the globe.

20. Siberian Husky. Ditto.

19. Alaskan Malamute. Ditto.

18. Collie. Lassie won Emmys because she was smart.

17. Chesapeak Bay Retriever. A great dog for any master.

16. Australian Shepherd. Great thinking meets energetic love.

15. Saint Bernard. Beethoven was a genius after all.

14. Akita Inu. Strange but smart.

13. English Settler. Long-haired, beautiful dog.

12. Great Dane. Scooby wasn't as dumb as he was portrayed.

11. Brittany. The little dog that could think.

10. Australian Cattle Dog. Cattle herding is dangerous, but these guys are smart enough to think on their feet.

9. Rottweiler. Not as mean as they look, they are quite good working dogs.

8. Papillion. Intense hair and intense brains.

7. Labrador Retriever. Smart, attractive dogs.

6. Shetland Sheepdog. These sheep dogs are pretty bright/

5. Doberman Pinscher. They had a bad rap in the 80's, but are great family pets.

4. Golden Retriever. This classic family pet is smart enough to be anyone's pet.

3. German Shepherd. The police don't let just anyone join.

2. Poodle. Quite a surprise, but a smart pup.

1. Border Collie. World's smartest dog breed. They have been widely considered the smartest breed for many decades, and are considered the smartest dog because they have the ability to herd flocks of sheep into predetermined patterns.


Note that the smarter the dog, the easier it will be to train. The dog will remember more commands, and this will also increase their ability to learn new tricks.

Many breeds are well-mannered, or docile, but a select few are quite intelligent. This can also be detrimental, because smart dogs get bored easily and may get into trouble trying to entertain themselves.

Comments 57 comments

kangal 4 years ago

The Kangal Dog is regarded as the national breed of Turkey, originating from the Kangal district in Sivas Province. The Kangal, which weighs 100�175 lbs (45�80 kg) fully grown,[1] was originally used as a livestock guardian dog. It is of an early mastiff type with a solid, pale tan or sabled coat, and with a black mask.

The breed is often referred to as a sheep dog, but distinction has to be made in regards to its function not as a herding dog, but as a flock guardian that lives with the flock to actively fend off wolves, bears and jackals. The Sivas Kangal Dog's protectiveness, loyalty and gentleness with small children and animals has led to its growing popularity as a guardian for families as well, as it regards people as its "flock" and guards them with extreme devotion.

A working Kangal on duty will station itself on a high vantage point overlooking its flock. On hot days, the dog will dig itself a hollow in the ground to keep cool. Novices learn by staying close to older dogs. The dogs will work in pairs or teams depending on the size of the flock, taking up positions around the sheep and changing their positions as needed. The intensity of their patrols around the sheep increases at nightfall.

When suspicious, a Kangal will stand with its tail and ears erect and give an alarm call, inciting the sheep to gather around it for protection. The Kangalâ��s first instinct is to place itself between the perceived threat and the sheep or master. Once the sheep are safely behind it, the Kangal confronts the intruder. When faced with a wolf, the Kangal sometimes is successful in intimidating the enemy, but it will resort to a physical confrontation if the predator stands its ground.[1] Specialized wolf killers are known as "kurt�§ul kangal" in their homeland.

Linda B 4 years ago

Maltese dogs do not shed.

peanutroaster profile image

peanutroaster 4 years ago from New England

Down side of smart dogs is you have to work harder to keep them from getting bored.

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 4 years ago from USA Author

very true, smart dogs get bored easily, which can lead to curious (and destructive) behavior

rbm profile image

rbm 3 years ago

I always wondered how they come up with that list. Very interesting to read though, thanks! Voted up and interesting.

Sarah Wong 3 years ago

wtf is this list it seems some one just made this up because I own 2 boxers and there not dumb they so would pass a IQ test there the smartest dogs out there and there way better looking then any of these dogs and they can out wit there owner if the owner was not me :) Boxers rule and there far from stupid !

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 3 years ago from USA Author

If their owner's grammar is any indication, I'd have to disagree with you. Kudos

no 3 years ago

shih tzus arent crazy!!

Mike A 3 years ago

I have worked with dogs for a long time. Boxers and Lhasa Apsos should be at the bottom of the list. Their owners usually aren't much brighter.

Guest 3 years ago

Where's the research behind this list?

Jennifer 3 years ago

Excuse me how and where did you get the information for this list. I am very offended that Boston Terriers are number 83 on the list of smartest dogs. I have to tell you that if you have never owned a Boston Terrier then you have no right to say how smart they are. I have 3 Boston Terriers and they are Very Very Smart and they are very very Teachable. And yes they love to have fun.

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 3 years ago from USA Author

I've had 2 Boston terriers. The list isn't saying they are dumb. It just means there are dogs that are smarter than Boston's.

Nature by Dawn profile image

Nature by Dawn 3 years ago

Great list! My Maya is #7. My Pierson is probably Australian Shepherd mix and is #16. However, Pierson learns a lot quicker than Maya does. I suspect he has a mix of Border Collie too, and possibly some other breed.

vladimir 3 years ago

Probably many of you didn't hear about Croatian shepherd dog because this dogs are mostly present only in Southeast Europe (former Yugoslavia area). Croatian shepherd is also very smart, intelligent and energetic dog. Very respectful toward his owner.

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 3 years ago from USA Author

I've never heard of that breed. Thanks for the info

RDRDogman 3 years ago

I believe they got it right with the top three (Border Collie, Poodle and GSD), although there are those who will argue that the title was based from the Poodle to the Border Collie for PC reasons [the poodle was long known to be the smartest breed forever until a few years back (not decades) ]. The dogs I believe deserve to be much higher on the list are the Bearded Collie (absolutely), Collie, English Shepherd (33? give me a break), Belgian Shepherd (45? anyone with dog-sense knows this canine should be in the top 5). I won’t get into the dogs which received underserved high ratings [i.e., Papillion #8 (I guess someone said to be fair a small dog has to be in the top 10) ], however, it appears with the folks charged with the responsibility of rating these pooches, perhaps toiled endlessly over the top 10, then put less effort into establishing the remaining 90 breeds. Additionally, the remaining 90 breeds appeared to be ranked not by intelligence, however, by strategic placement to placate the various breed fanciers.

Jennifer 3 years ago

I do not think that this list is accurate. I am a dog expert and I know for a fact that this list is wrong and misleading.

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 3 years ago from USA Author

It's too bad you aren't a grammar expert. It would make you easier to take seriously.

ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 3 years ago from Central Illinois , USA

I agree about the Boston Terrier. They are really very playful.

Debbie88 3 years ago

I had a champion bloodline pekinese who was red and gorgeous and she was far from ugly or stupid, some peks may be but not the one i had, genes play a big role and genetic defects make any breed a problem, I didn't know the papilion was any smarter than a pomeranian, are you sure this is accurate. I have seen a few welsh corgi's and they were far from bright, less so than the pekinese who were royal dogs and guarded the king back in the day, I may agree with the lasa apsa but oh they are cuddely little creatures.

edith 3 years ago

this is so's like saying chinese people are smarter than's up to the individual dogs they used for the test

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 3 years ago from USA Author

Your ignorance of the breeding process is evident. When cross breeding takes place, certain traits are amplified (stubby legs, longer nose, hair color). While at the same time other not so pleasing traits are amplified (sickness, demeanor, and yes, Cognitive ability).

Across the board, Border collies are smarter and more capable of training than a boxer. This isn't dependent on one dog. The entire breed has proven to be the smartest dog. Go to YouTube and watch a border collie herd sheep in a designated pattern. Then ask yourself if your Dalmatian is capable of that?

Markie W profile image

Markie W 3 years ago

My dog's number 47 on the list! My other one (chihuahua) isn't on here at all... I expected him to get way higher ratings than my boxer for sure lol. Interesting hub.

Some One 3 years ago

The beagle is a very smart dog. i own a beagle the is very rare and very important.He has different eye color.But still i disagree with the list because beagles are very intelligent dogs

He He 3 years ago

OMG! My dog is so smart. I'm so happy! Ah, nevermind.

Tara 3 years ago

what happened to the coton de tulear they're highly intelligent

Heather 3 years ago

Ive owned many PitBull Terriers, and I can tell you what they have in strength, they have just as much IQ, they are very smart dogs. I don't know where you got your information from, but it is wrong about the pittie. I don't expect them to be number 1 or anything, but you said they lack IQ....I question this list entirely based on your reasoning of "ditto" on the husky and malamute...I don't see how "ditto" means a dog is smart. Just my opinion.

Lindsay 3 years ago

I still have yet to understand in what ways the Labrador Retriever is intelligent. I have owned one and many of my friends own them. They are always happy and giving every ounce of love they have, but what makes them smart? Is it the fact that they will bring anything you throw back to you? My Chihuahuas do that. I'm not trying to rile anyone up. I sincerely want to know, because in the 17 years I owned mine and being around my friends' labs I haven't seen intelligence above and beyond other dogs.

Nicole 3 years ago

I agree with the first few dogs for being highly smart. However i don't agree with the dogs they portray as dumb,i have been around a few of these dogs and they are much smarter,beagle's included. Instead of worrying about what people think of the prettiest dog or other non professional opinions and get the facts straight before posting something like this. Many of the breeds you put as dumb or have little brains is untrue.

mariami 3 years ago

Pekingese ugly and stupid ?

why ?

Brett 3 years ago

Kerry Blue terriers should not be on this list, I love them but they're absent-minded

Belinda 3 years ago

I believe this list isn't accurate. Basenji is #99, but they are very intelligent. Because they're independent and want to please themselves before their owners makes them dumb? I don't think so. Leave a basenji alone and bored, and they will destroy your house because they are curious and need to keep their mind going. And some of your descriptions after the breeds are offensive.

Chad 3 years ago

Why are some people so offended by this list? While some of the comments next to the name may say something about being dumb, they really aren't. The list isn't saying that your dog is too dumb to learn something, its just saying that its harder to train that dog. Just because your dog might be low on the list, it doesn't mean your dog can't be trained to things.

Knowledge>Power profile image

Knowledge>Power 3 years ago from USA Author

Hahahahaha you're an idiot go write your own list lol

Silverlight 3 years ago

I own a year old Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix, he's one of the most intelligent and best dogs I've ever seen. I didn't need a list to know he is made up of two smart breeds, but I was curious as to what the Cattle Dog's rank was, and am pleased that it made it so high on the list. Heh, I have quite a few Chihuahuas, they defiantly are not the brightest dogs, but they are good for companionship. Although my mom owns a long haired Chihuahua, who is anything but dumb.

By the way, you didn't mention the Duck Trolling Retriever in this list. I used to own one when I was a little girl. They are an uncommon dog, originally from Canada, and have a high IQ.

James 2 years ago

I had a Boston Terrier that was extremely intelligent. In all seriousness you could show her something once and she knew from that point on. She learned how to open doors by watching us. I think she thought she was a person. Everyone was always so impressed with everything about her and surprised. There were people we knew

that wanted to get one because of her not realizing she was far above the typical Boston. A few of them did and were in fact disappointed that theirs didn't turn out to be like her. We even got another one so she would have company and this one was totally different from her as well - not even close. You could tell the extreme difference between them. I really believe she was one in a million in her breed. I had a German Shepherd before I got her and she was more intelligent by him by far which would seem impossible but it's true.

Kathy 2 years ago

Heather I totally agree with you. I was pretty shocked to see where the pitbull ranked but than again not so much because they have such a bad rep. I adore pits and I am around them a lot. They are very smart dogs. They are very very trainable. Every trick I've ever taught my dog he has learned after showing him only once or twice. He knows so many words. I can say things like nail clippers and he knows exactly what I am saying lol and he runs away. I love him so much. So many pits are rescued from fighting rings and can be trained to be good family dogs again. Whether people want to believe it or not it happens all the time

Loo loo 2 years ago

Wow that is amazing how you can make that list but I have a beagle and she is pretty smart

Pongo 2 years ago

Since Dalmatians are also smart dogs i wonder why its not on this top 100 , because i don't think that a Bulldog are smarter then Dalmatian , which makes me question this list of yours .

Deb 2 years ago

We have a Papillion

and she is very smart plus she is a real cutie!

Hannah 2 years ago

Well i was actual y thinking of saving a pomeranian dog at the pound.

Life Made! 2 years ago

Thank you to the author if this list for your comments. I am seriously in love with this! Thanks for making me laugh!

Erica 2 years ago

Pit bulls are highly intelligent and so are many of the dogs you said are ugly and stupid, this list is very wrong and misleading, sounds like you made everything up after about #10... To the other people offended by this, should go to a website with real facts, and you are ignorant for the things you have wrote to these people on comments. I'm disappointed in this list truly.

Kate 2 years ago

This is the most inaccurate thing I've read in a while.

John 24 months ago

My dog didn't even make the list? Oh well. (Karelian Bear Dog)

MYHeart2dogs3 23 months ago

After I've read this list the 2nd time I've noticed that shh tzus is number 80 on the list I do not think they are crazy although I do agree on the crazy haired part but still I had a shh tzu and I loved her and she wasn't crazy or I didn't think she was dumb she even listened to most of my commands

jhrgfj 22 months ago

maltese don't shed ! and they are very playful, just maybe not the smartest.

somma 22 months ago

i thought you were talking about the training for the bulldog, not the spit. and plus your little pooch isn't that easy either, and they're so ugly.

Andrew 21 months ago

I knew Yorkies were cute and smart

Wayne 19 months ago

Pitbulls are among the smartest breeds out there. Just because you don't understand what the animal is telling you, doesn't make the animal dumb, it makes YOU the dumb one!

kirstie 14 months ago

Every dog is Not the same, I no because I trained a lot of different breeds.

The most intelligent dog iv come across is a standard Pomeranian and spitz dogs. U need all facts before jumping to conclusions...............

MidnightLana 9 months ago

A Maltese has hair, not fur. Therefore it does not shed! There is a huge difference! And are actually quite quick to learn, and are excellent at reading human emotions...

Basil 7 months ago

Several missing breeds. eg Kelpie, caucasion sheepard. Australian terrior. After reading how the tests are done I became convinced that some very intelligent dogs I have worked with would have failed. One dog would have worked out that he was being tested and refused to cooperate, if he did not have a reason to be involved

Emma 7 months ago

You spelled a lot of the dogs names wrong

why is the chihuahua number 89 that dog breed and sometimes they do bark at nothing but the chihuahua is a cute loving dog breed 3 months ago

Why is the chihuahua number 89 the dog breed is cute and loving and yes sometimes they do bark at nothing but that should not matter I think the chihuahua makes a good guard dog RICHARD ASHBY

Olivia 2 months ago

I've owned Maltese for years and have yet to meet one that sheds. And frankly, they're far more intelligent than several of the breeds you listed before them. Please know the dog breeds before you decide to order them :/

Jeff 7 weeks ago

I must laugh at what this list describes as intelligence. First a dog that gets bored and becomes destructive is not therefore smart. Such a dog lacks the intelligence to know why being destructive is unacceptable behavior. A dog that cannot naturally control its base behavior lacks intelligence.

Some breeds have much higher emotional IQ's over their counterparts bred to utilize their higher IQ qualities of scent and other base instincts. I think this list has defined certain common select traits over many many others as an indicator of a higher IQ and fails to recognize certain "bad" or undesirable traits as indicative of a low level of intelligence.

I had a breed mid list. The dog clearly was way above average in its ability to navigate the day and the household. The mood and activities of the family. Had a Very High IQ which is way above getting bored and being destructive. High energy level too.

Sorry if your dog destroys your house it's not smart and just bored. If a breed has a tendency to destructive behavior it's not showing its high IQ. Yes it may be able to be "trained" to roll over but if it wants to get back to chewing up unapproved socks the rest of the day it lacks on the scale of IQ and clearly should be moved down the list.

Like most lists this list reflects the typical popularity contests among owners and doesn't reflect true modern scientific methods. For instance the mention by one owner of a Croation dog which no one has ever heard of. Which could be the smartest dog in the world. Yet with only one owner so not enough voices to win the popularity contest.

I know someone who had the top dog on this list. The dog was drab and laid around most of the time. Except when it went out doors. Then it seemed to like to run around as if it was in a maze. Clearly dumb behavior if it had/served no purpose.

Just Saying


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