Think you know what the smartest dog breeds are? You might be surprised! These top ten canine Einsteins all share two qualities: the ability to learn new commands quickly, and the obedience to perform them 95% of the time or better.
It’s important to give all dogs mental stimulation and enrichment, after all you don’t want a bored, unhappy dog on your hands. Have a little look at these easy tips on how to make your furry friend engage their brains! And if you don’t have enough time to give them all the mental stimulation they deserve, one of our amazing Rover.com dog sitters who offer dog boarding can step in to give them all the attention they need.
1. Border Collie
Originally known as the “sheep dog”, the border collie surprisingly enough hails from the Anglo-Scottish border. Bred to think independently and to understand and follow commands from shepherds who may be great distances away, these highly intelligent dogs have problem-solving abilities and a strong drive to work and maintain control of the flock.
2. German Shepherd
The modern German shepherd was standardised by breeder Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1899 with the goal of maintaining the breed’s intelligence and willingness to work. As Germany modernised the demand for working herding dogs declined, so von Stephanitz worked with the police force and dog clubs to develop a set of tests which gauged the dogs’ abilities in tracking, obedience and protection. These tests, known as Schutzhund (protection dog) are still in use today.
3. Labrador Retriever
The most popular breed of dog in the UK 27 years in a row, the labrador retriever is named for the cold waters off Newfoundland where they were first bred. A short thick coat, webbed feet, and a heavy tail help labs swim long distances in cold water. In addition to their hunting prowess, labs are popular favourites for canine water rescue, therapy work, and assistance dog training.
4. Golden Retriever
Originally hailing from Scotland, the golden retriever breed was started in 1865 out of a lone yellow pup from a litter of black wavy coated retrievers and cross bred to a local type of water spaniel by Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan in Scotland.
5. Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland sheepdog, formerly known as the Shetland collie, may look just like a miniature collie, but they weren’t bred from larger collies. These little spitz shepherds originated in the Shetland Islands and were bred to rough collies to create this unique breed. Playful and energetic, the sheltie is equally at home working on the farm or in the burbs, showing off in agility, flyball, and obedience trials.
6. Doberman Pinscher
The doberman pinscher was originally bred by a German tax collector for protection on his rounds. Modern dobermans are far less aggressive and make wonderful family dogs that love to play and are extremely loyal.
Ancient Roman cattle herders, cart pullers, and guardians, the Rottweiler is renowned for his gentleness with family and friends, and strength and bravery in defending them.
8. Australian Cattle Dog
These beautiful dogs are a unique crossbreed of blue merle shepherds imported from the UK and the native Australian dingo. High energy and hard working, they thrive in active homes and enjoy intensive sports like agility, rally obedience, and herding trials, and flyball.
More than just a curly ‘do, poodles consistently top the list of smartest dog breeds. Originally bred in Germany for bird hunting and water retrieving, their storied history includes many occupations and locales, from herding sheep to crossing the battlefield to bring supplies to the wounded to the performing arts. The poodle is remarkable for its loving nature, trainable intelligence and sense of humour.
The Papillon is named for their graceful feathered and raised ears. Royal portraiture shows small spaniels resembling the papillon as far back as the 16th century! They are active, companionable, and highly trainable—it’s the smartest of the toy dog breeds.