Idiots Guide: Smartest Dog Breeds on Planet Earth

Any true lover of the domesticated canine will have no problem explaining their beauty, majesty and regal importance. ‘Man’s best friend’ is a turn of phrase that truly encapsulates the profound relationship between people and their dogs. There are an estimated 525 million dogs walking around the planet earth, and of that number a vast majority are ‘mixed’ breed, or ‘mutts’. It is likely that your animal is a mixture of one or more pure breeds, and may in fact be very smart, however we’ve all certainly dealt with the burden of dealing with a stupid dog. Among the common denominator of pure breeds are those whose visceral intelligence are noteworthy, and on occasion quite remarkable. The reality is that there are dogs that fall on either side of the intelligent quotient(s) curve. This list aims to highlight some of the smartest pure breed dogs known to man.


#12.   Giant/Standard Poodle Giant Poodle

This goofy looking breed is originally of Germany descent, and was cultivated as a form of aquatic dog. Somewhere along the way France adopted this breed and made them the semi-cartoonish dogs that they are today. Poodles are known to be quite skillful athletes with notable strengths in agility, obedience, and specialized tracking. They are highly decorated in competition having won numerous ‘Best in Show’ honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Most recently awarded in 1991, 2002, 2007,  and 2010.

#11.   Bloodhound bloodhound

The Bloodhound is a breed that many a fugitive and/or criminal has grown to fear over time. They were initially bred and trained for game hunting, such as deer. They’ve been synonymous with tracking down people since forever, and by forever I mean since the Middle Ages. Law enforcement the world over have utilized this breeds amazing sense of smell and transcendent tracking ability to bring down, track down, or simply find fugitives, missing individuals and persons trapped in disaster aftermath rubble.

#10.   German Shepherd  German Sheppard

Did you know that German Shepherds are the best actors of all dog breeds? Shepherds have been used in more television and film projects than any other breed. The first appearance of this breed came circa 1899 as part of a special group of herding dogs. This  breed is known for their intelligence, loyalty, strength, trainability and strict obedience.  Shepherds are a popular choice among people with disabilities who need assistance, as well as with law enforcement agencies in a number of facets.

#9.   Siberian Husky Siberian-husky

The Siberian Husky is a working dog breed with origins in eastern Siberia. They are part of the Spitz genetic family. Huskies are known for their distinctive appearance including sharp ears, striking blue eyes, and thick fur coat. Their origins can be traced back to an ancient tribe known for long distance dog sledding called the Chukchi. Huskies are exceptionally intelligent and known for their energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic.

#8.   Australian Cattle DogAustralian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dogs are a breed that specializes in their namesake, herding cattle. They were originally bred in Australia for the economic purpose of driving cattle across long distances of rough terrain. They are, as with most all working dogs, very intelligent and loyal. They are energetic with a streak of independence that their owners rely on to get the job done. Their short haired coats are occasionally reddish to brown.

#7. Labrador RetrieverLabrador-Retriever

It should come as no surprise that the Labrador is a beloved breed, especially in the United States. As the retriever name implies, they are quite adept at screening and object detection chores, as well as being a great aid to the blind, and those with various disabilities. They also do great work with law enforcement agencies, and are an especially gracious family pet. Labradors are also frequent award winning animals in sporting.

#6.  Shetland Sheepdogshetland-sheepdog

Also commonly known as a ‘Sheltie’ and/or ‘Miniature Collie’, the Shetland is of herding dog stock. They are typically small in stature and you will find that they come in a fairly wide array of colors. Shelties are quite intelligent known for their excitable vocal expressions. They are always willing to please their owners. They originate from the Shetland Isles for the general purpose of herding sheep and guarding prized gardens.

#5.  Golden RetrieverGolden_Retriever

Golden Retrievers were originally bred to serve as retrieval dogs for waterfowl hunters.   They are the popular choice among shooting parties. They are known for their ability to  retrieve conquered game relatively undamaged. Golden Retrievers have a palpable love of water, are highly intelligent and easily trainable. Their attractive long-coat fur give them an aesthetically appealing appearance that reinforces their lovable demeanor.

#4.  PapillonPAPILLON

The Papillon is also known as the ‘Continental Toy Spaniel’, and is the oldest member of the Spaniel family. It’s name comes from its butterfly looking fringed ears and is from the French word for ‘butterfly’.  This breed is the smallest of the smartest and depending on who you might ask, extremely cute. This breed is highly intelligent and possess strong self confidence. They are especially adept at learning new tricks.

#3.  Doberman PinscherDoberman Pinscher

Funny story…the father of the Doberman Pinscher breed is a former tax collector named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. They were developed circa 1890 in Germany. This breed is what you get when you mix Great Danes with Greyhounds with Shorthaired Pointers,  and of course, a Rottweiler. True story.  Dobermans are considered a handsome if not fearsome looking breed, they are very smart in either case. They are also typically top heavy with deep chest cavities. They are extremely athletic and exhibit exceptional agility. This breed is very obedient and as such quite clever.

#2.  Jack Russell TerrierJack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are among the smaller sized dogs of the terrier family, as they were originally bred for fox hunting. It makes sense that they are smart since their intended quarry, the fox are known to be quite clever in their own right. This breed was created by a 19th century English Reverend named John Russell. Jack Russell’s are known to be very energetic and need a healthy dose of physical activity to stay healthy. They are also among the fox hunting breeds, although not to be confused with the Parsons Russell which is a common occurrence. This is a very intelligent breed of dog that require a very attentive and loyal ownership. Big heart for a small dog.

#1.  Border CollieBorder Collie

The Border Collie is widely considered the smartest of the smart breeds of dog on planet earth. They were bred expressly for their intelligence. They are a quintessential working dog  used for herding livestock especially those cute, occasionally unruly little sheep. They were developed in the Anglo-Scottish region. Border Collie’s are known for their high energy and acrobatic skills. As I mentioned earlier, they are very smart because they were specifically bred to be very smart. They are great competition dogs and win many sporting events against their peers. Border Collies are popular throughout the world and are often employed because they are very good at what they do. Plus they make a great family pet.


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