Pets

Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds, According to Science

Dog intelligence, much like human intelligence, comes in multiple different forms. While any breed can learn a number of tricks, skills and commands – some breeds take dramatically more patience and time that other breeds. Some breeds are also capable of learning vastly more commands and skills. A dog’s breed plays a big role in the type of intelligence that the dog will display. For example, a dog developed for the purpose of hunting, retrieving or herding will be athletic, eager to work and learn, eager to please its owner and will therefore be relatively easy to train. When training your dog, it is important to focus on what aspects of training your dog enjoys and to always remain patient, positive and relaxed during any training session to make the session as enjoyable for both yourself and your dog. It is important to note that the smartest dog breeds do not necessarily make the best pets!

10. The Labrador Retriever

Smartest Dog Breeds

The Labrador Retriever is among one of the most popular breeds of dog worldwide. The Labrador Retriever originates from the island of Newfoundland, off the northeastern Atlantic coast of Canada, and have been used as work dogs since the early 1700s. The Labrador Retriever was quickly recognized for its intelligence, good disposition and loyalty. English Sportsmen imported many Labrador Retrievers to service the purpose of retrieving prey during gun hunts. Labrador Retrievers come in a large variety of colors such as black, chocolate, white, a foxlike red and their iconic yellow. They are one of the most intelligent and empathetic breeds and are often used in therapy and aiding the disabled. Due to their intelligence, ease of training and good nature they have become the most popular family dog breed in the United States of America.

  • Life span: 10 – 12 years old (up to 14)

Adult Size

Labrador Retrievers are a medium-large breed. Males stand at a height of between 22.5 and 24.5 inches (57 to 62.5 cm) and weigh between 65 and 80 pounds (30 to 36 kg). Females are generally smaller than males. They normally stand at a height of between 21.5 and 23.5 (54.5 to 60 cm) and weight between 55 and 70 pounds (25 to 32 kg).

Official Breed Standards

As the above averages suggest, there is a great deal of variation within the Labrador Retriever breed. The following characteristics are based upon the standards created by the American Kennel Club.

  • Size: A Labrador Retriever should be as long from the withers to the base of the tail as they are form the floor to the withers. The weight and size standards are the same as from the previous section.
  • Body: The body of a Labrador Retriever should be muscular and powerful.
  • Head: A Labrador Retrievers head should be bread with slightly pronounced eyebrows. The eyes should appear bright, intelligent, healthy and expressive. The eyes should be circled in black and be colored either brown or hazel. The ears should hang close to the head and be set slightly above the eyes.
  • Jaw: The jaws should be strong and powerful. A Labrador Retriever’s muzzle should not be overly tapered and of a medium length. There should be a slight curve to the jaw as it goes back.
  • Coat: A Labrador Retriever’s coat should be made up of short and dense hair. The coat should also be water- resistant which leads to the coat being slightly oil when dry.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: 6/10
  • Friendliness: 10/10
  • Health: 8/10
  • Ease of Grooming: 8/10
  • Amount of Shedding: 10/10
  • Trainability: 8/10
  • Intelligence: 10/10
  • Exercise Needed: 10/10
  • Playfulness: 10/10
  • Family Friendliness: 10/10

09. The Rottweiler

Smartest Dog Breeds

The Rottweiler is a breed of medium to large domestic dog. Rottweilers were originally used to herd animals and to pull carts laden with butchered meat. In the present day they are mainly used as rescue dogs, police dogs, military dogs, security dogs and dogs to aid the disabled. They are a calm, good natured, confident and intelligent breed of dog that has an ingrained instinct to protect its family unit. Rottweilers have a negative stigma attached to them due to irresponsible owners. Rottweilers rarely display dangerous and destructive behavior unless they have been neglected, abused or not socialized properly. However, it is important to remember that Rottweilers are extremely powerful dogs which is a potential risk factor for a beginner owner.

  • Life span: 8 – 10 years old (up to 11)

Size

A fully grown male Rottweiler will typically grow to be around 24 to 27 inches (61 to 68.5 cm) tall at the shoulder. Adult females will normally grow to be 22 to 25 inches (56 to 63.5 cm) tall at the shoulder. Males normally weigh between 95 and 130 pounds (43 to 59 kg). Females weigh slightly less and normally weigh between 85 and 115 pounds (38.5 to 52 kg).

Children

Due to their instinct to herd other animals it is not uncommon for a Rottweiler to attempt to herd small children. Your Rottweiler may ‘bump’ children with its head, in an attempt to herd them, which may cause small children to fall over. It is believed that Rottweilers exhibit this herding behavior around small children due to their size. If you are raising children around a Rottweiler it is important to properly socialize your dog with children from puppyhood. It is important to ALWAYS supervise your Rottweiler while it is around children due to its large size, powerful body and strong prey drive (it may become overly excited by children who are running and playing).

Introducing New Animals and Dogs

It is important to remember that Rottweilers are incredibly protective over their family unit. It is therefore important to introduce any new dogs, or animals, to your Rottweiler in a calm and positive environment. Rottweilers have a tendency to be aggressive towards strange dogs, especially if they are of the same sex. Under your leadership, your Rottweiler should be able to learn to coexist with new animals and dogs.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: 4/10
  • Friendliness: 8/10
  • Health: 8/10
  • Ease of Grooming: 10/10
  • Amount of Shedding: 8/10
  • Trainability: 8/10
  • Intelligence: 10/10
  • Exercise Needed: 8/10
  • Playfulness: 10/10
  • Family Friendliness: 10/10

08. The Bloodhound

Smartest Dog Breeds

The Bloodhound, also commonly known as the Sleuth Hound, is a large breed of scent hound that was originally developed to be able to hunt deer and wild boar. During the Middle Ages the Bloodhound was also used to track people. The breed has an incredible sense of smell that allows it to discern specific human scents across great distances. The mixture of the breeds innate hunting instinct and sense of smell has lead the Bloodhound to be used by modern day police and law enforcement across the world. The breed primarily is used to track escaped prisoners, lost children, missing people and lost pets. However due to the breeds tireless tracking, when following a scent, they can be difficult to obedience train.

The Bloodhound has an affectionate and gentle temperament which has lead the breed to become an ever increasingly popular household pet. The breed has a loose and thin coat that sheds seasonally. The Bloodhound’s coat comes in three common colorations: black and tan, liver and tan, and red. It is not uncommon for a Bloodhound to have flecks of white throughout its coat and to have white patches on its feet, chest and tip of its tail.

  • Life span: 11 – 13 years old (up to 15)

Height and Weight

A fully grown Bloodhound will normally stand between 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm) tall at the shoulder. A healthy adult Bloodhound will normally weigh between 80 to 110 pounds (36.25 to 50 kg). It is important to note that the weight of a healthy Bloodhound depends on how large the Bloodhound is – taller Bloodhounds should weigh more.

Voice

The Bloodhound has an impressively loud voice. When a Bloodhound is tracking alone, or is the only Bloodhound in a household, they tend to be quieter and less likely to bark. However, if they are hunting in a pack, or live with multiple other Bloodhounds, they can be excepted to be very vocal. It is important to consider your neighbors if you are thinking about owning multiple Bloodhounds.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: 6/10
  • Friendliness: 10/10
  • Health: 8/10
  • Ease of Grooming: 2/10
  • Amount of Shedding: 8/10
  • Trainability: 8/10
  • Intelligence: 8/10
  • Exercise Needed: 9/10
  • Playfulness: 10/10
  • Family Friendliness: 10/10

07. The Papillon

Smartest Dog Breeds

The Papillon is a breed of dog that is a member of the Spaniel typing. The Papillon is also commonly known as the Continental Toy Spaniel, the Butterfly Eared Dog and as the Phalene (which translates to “Drop Ear Type”). The Papillon s history can be traced through art. The earliest paintings of dogs that resemble the Papillon were found in Italy and date back to the early 1500s. The Papillon has always been highly favored by nobility and the wealthy throughout history. The Papillon was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 and an organization called the “Papillon Club of America” was founded. The Papillon is a popular choice for conformation, agility and obedience shows. The Papillon is a single coated breed and does therefore not withstand the cold very well. A Papillon’s coat will normally be parti-colored or white with patches of virtually any other color.

The temperament of dogs is normally affected by the following factors: individual personality, heredity, training and socialization. It is therefore important to make sure that you meet the puppy’s mother before purchasing a Papillon. It is also important to make sure to thoroughly socialize your Papillon with strangers, children and other animals during its puppyhood.

Generally speaking, the Papillon is known to be an adventurous, happy and friendly breed of dog. They are never known to be shy or aggressive. The Papillon breed is perfect for any family household due to their docile nature. However, it is recommended to monitory any interactions between children and your Papillon to ensure that the children are not too rough.

  • Life span: 12 – 13 years old (up to 16)

Height and Weight

A fully grown Papillon will normally stand between 8 to 11 inches (3.6 to 5 cm) tall at the shoulder. A healthy adult Papillon will normally weigh between 4 to 9 pounds (1.8 to 4 kg). It is important to note that the weight of a healthy Papillon depends on how large the Papillon is – taller Papillon should weigh more.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: 6/10
  • Friendliness: 8/10
  • Health: 6/10
  • Ease of Grooming: 6/10
  • Amount of Shedding: 5/10
  • Trainability: 6/10
  • Intelligence: 8/10
  • Exercise Needed: 8/10
  • Playfulness: 10/10
  • Family Friendliness: 10/10

06. The Shetland Sheepdog

Smartest Dog Breeds

The Shetland Sheepdog is a breed of herding dog that originates from Scotland. The breed is also commonly known as the “Sheltie” and the “Dwarf Scotch Shepherd.” The Shetland Sheepdog was actually originally called the ‘Shetland Collie; but this name causes controversy among the Rough Collie breeders, so the breed’s name was formally changed to the Shetland Sheepdog. The Shetland Sheepdog was officially recognized, under its new name, by the Kennel Club in 1909. Unlike most miniature breeds, the Shetland Sheepdog was not developed by selectively breeding the smallest Rough Collies available. The Shetland Sheepdog is believed to be a mixture of the Rough Collie and the Icelandic Spitz type dog, the Pomeranian and the King Charles Spaniel. Ironically the Shetland Sheepdog in its modern form has never actually been used as working sheepdog and is actually a highly uncommon breed in its place of origin.

The Shetland Sheepdog’s general appearance is very similar to that of a miniature Rough Collie. The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, double coated dog with a study, athletic and agile body. The Shetland Sheepdog’s double coat is a made up of an overcoat of long and rough hairs that sit on top of the breed’s soft undercoat. Shetland Sheepdog with a blue merle coat are prone to having either blue eyes, or one blue eye and one brown eve, while all other colorations of Shetland Sheepdogs have dark eyes. The temperament of dogs is normally affected by the following factors: individual personality, heredity, training and socialization. It is therefore important to make sure that you meet the puppy’s mother before purchasing a Shetland Sheepdog. It is also important to make sure to thoroughly socialize your Shetland Sheepdog with strangers, children and other animals during its puppyhood.

Generally speaking, the Shetland Sheepdog is known to be an incredibly loyal and affectionate breed. The Shetland Sheepdog is known to love spending time with its family unit and is known to get along well with strangers, children and other animals. The Shetland Sheepdog is also an incredibly intelligent and trainable breed and it is actually ranked 6th most intelligent out of the 132 most common dog breeds. The average Shetland Sheepdog is known to be able to learn a new command after as little as five repetitions! It is important to note that as a breed developed for working purposes, the Shetland Sheepdog has a high amount of energy which needs to be expended. If the Shetland Sheepdog has a buildup of energy, it is likely to develop destructive behaviors due to boredom or hyperactivity.

  • Life span: 10 – 13 years old (up to 15)

Height and Weight

A fully grown Shetland Sheepdog will normally stand between 12 to 16 inches (30.5 to 40.6 cm) tall at the shoulder. A healthy adult Shetland Sheepdog will normally weigh between 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 1.3.5 kg). It is important to note that the weight of a healthy Shetland Sheepdog depends on how large the Shetland Sheepdog is – taller Shetland Sheepdog should weigh more.

Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability: 6/10
  • Friendliness: 10/10
  • Health: 8/10
  • Ease of Grooming: 5/10
  • Amount of Shedding: 10/10
  • Trainability: 8/10
  • Intelligence: 10/10
  • Exercise Needed: 8/10
  • Playfulness: 8/10
  • Family Friendliness: 10/10

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