In The Intelligence of Dogs, cognitive psychologist Stanley Coren lists the 10 most intelligent dog breeds and breaks down the data behind his rankings. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind these rankings. So grab your pooch and join us on this fascinating journey through canine cognition!
- 1 More intelligent dogs are more likely to have higher functioning brains
- 2 1. Border Collie
- 3 2. Poodle
- 4 3. German Shepherd
- 5 4. Golden Retriever
- 6 5. Doberman Pinscher
- 7 6. Shetland Sheepdog
- 8 7. Papillon
- 9 8. Australian Shepherd
- 10 9. Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler and Bulldog (tie)
- 11 Dogs are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for.
More intelligent dogs are more likely to have higher functioning brains
The more intelligent a dog is, the more likely it is to have a larger brain volume. A high IQ dog’s brain will be packed with neurons and synapses at a higher density than in less intelligent dogs. The hippocampus (the part of your brain that helps you remember things) is also larger in dogs with higher intelligence scores. This means that they’re better able to learn new things and remember what they’ve learned long term.
The cerebellum (another part of your brain involved in motor control) tends to be bigger in smart pooches as well–this could explain why some breeds are better at solving puzzles or performing tricks than others!
The prefrontal cortex has been linked to personality traits like self-control and problem solving ability–and this region also tends to be larger in highly intelligent dogs!
1. Border Collie
Border Collies are the most intelligent dog breed. They have been known for their herding ability and can learn over 250 commands, which is more than any other breed of dog. They can understand up to 300 words, and their average IQ is between 110 and 115–higher than any other canine!
The poodle is a very intelligent dog that loves to learn new tricks, so it’s no surprise that they rank high in Stanley Coren’s intelligence ranking. They can be trained to do many different tasks, such as helping people who are blind or deaf by serving as their guide dog. Poodles are also known for their agility skills and were originally bred as hunting dogs in Germany hundreds of years ago.
Poodles tend to be very active and alert dogs, making them great companions if you want an energetic pet! However, they may sometimes like attention more than other breeds (especially when they’re young). If you have small children at home then this might not be the best choice since poodles often don’t understand why kids want hugs all the time; however if there aren’t any kids around then your pooch should do just fine with them!
3. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable, often making them ideal for police work. They need lots of exercise, but they’re also very loyal and protective of their owners. If you have a German Shepherd, it’s important to give them plenty of attention so they don’t become bored or destructive while you’re away from home.
The AKC ranks German Shepherds at number 3 on its list of the top ten smartest dog breeds in America (the Golden Retriever took first place), trailing only behind border collies and Poodles in terms of dog intelligence ranking level.
4. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are very popular dogs. They are also very friendly, and they are very intelligent. Golden Retrievers make good family pets because they love children and other animals, but they’re also great for elderly people who need a companion to keep them company. If you have a Golden Retriever as a pet, it’s likely that you’ll have no problem training them to do agility courses or even compete in shows!
5. Doberman Pinscher
Doberman Pinschers are highly intelligent, trainable and obedient. They have high energy levels, which means they need plenty of exercise. These dogs can be aggressive towards strangers and other dogs; they’re also very loyal to their owners.
6. Shetland Sheepdog
- Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog is known for its dog intelligence ranking and trainability, as well as its loyalty and affectionate nature. Shelties are good with children and other pets, but they do need a lot of exercise–at least two hours per day. They also need to be around people (especially their owners), so if you want a dog who can stay home alone from time to time without destroying your furniture, this isn’t the breed for you. If you have kids who don’t like dogs or don’t have time to walk them every day, then maybe consider another breed instead!
Papillons are small, elegant dogs with long ears and tails. They’re very intelligent and easy to train, but they’re not as active as Border Collies or German Shepherds. Papillons love people and are good watchdogs because they bark at strangers. They make great family dogs because they get along well with children and other pets (including cats!).
8. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are intelligent dogs that are easy to train. They make good watchdogs, but can be too energetic for some people and may not get along with cats. Australian Shepherds need lots of exercise, so they’re not ideal for city life.
9. Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler and Bulldog (tie)
- Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler and Bulldog (tie)
The Labrador Retriever is a member of the dog family, which includes many breeds that are known for their dog intelligence ranking and loyalty. The Golden Retriever is also part of this group, as is the German Shepherd and Poodle. Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are other members of this family–and they’re all very smart!
Dogs are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for.
- Dogs are not as dumb as people think.
- Dogs are smarter than cats, who have a reputation for being aloof and independent but in reality just don’t want to do anything that we ask them to do (except sit on our laps).
- A dog’s intelligence can be measured by its ability to learn new things and understand human language, both of which are abilities that many dogs possess in spades.
- Dogs can be trained to obey commands such as “sit”, “stay” or “fetch”. They can also learn tricks like shaking hands or rolling over on command!
For those of us who love dogs, it’s comforting to know that they are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. They may not be able to talk back or understand every word we say, but they do have the ability to communicate in other ways and show us their feelings through their actions.