Dogs are able to under­stand 250 words and ges­tures, count to five, and per­form sim­ple math­e­mat­i­cal oper­a­tions. Cana­di­an sci­en­tists have com­piled a rat­ing in which they com­pared the ten most intel­li­gent dog breeds. For many dog ​​breed­ers, this rat­ing may raise doubts, because we all love our dogs so much. But it is worth con­sid­er­ing that the peo­ple who com­piled it were guid­ed by many tests and assess­ments, and besides, they were devoid of sub­jec­tiv­i­ty. If you still dis­agree with some­thing, or want to talk about your pet, please write in the com­ments and par­tic­i­pate in the dis­cus­sion.

smart dog breeds

Cana­di­an sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia in Van­cou­ver con­duct­ed a study of the men­tal abil­i­ties of dogs and ranked the 10 most intel­li­gent breeds. Accord­ing to the results of the study, the IQ of the aver­age dog cor­re­sponds to that of a two-year-old child. Both those and oth­ers know about 165 words (espe­cial­ly smart dogs — 250), and also know how to dis­tin­guish between sig­nals and ges­tures. The research also shows that in the field of arith­metic and social skills, dogs are much more suc­cess­ful than in lin­guis­tics — here their intel­li­gence is com­pa­ra­ble to that of 4‑year-old chil­dren.

Among oth­er dog skills, sci­en­tists call the abil­i­ty to add and sub­tract num­bers from 1 to 5, nav­i­gate the ter­rain, con­trol sim­ple mech­a­nisms, and expe­ri­ence joy, anger and dis­gust. At the same time, more com­plex emo­tions, such as guilt, are not avail­able to dogs. Cana­di­an researchers ranked smart dog breeds based on their intel­lec­tu­al abil­i­ties:

No. 1 Bor­der Col­lie, a breed of herd­ing dog.

Border Collie

The ances­tors of the Bor­der Col­lie worked in the pas­tures of south­ern Scot­land and the bor­der coun­ties of Eng­land. The breed was bred in the late 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies as a new line of Scot­tish Col­lies. When cre­at­ing the breed, a wide vari­ety of shep­herd dogs were used. As a result of direc­tion­al selec­tion, an excel­lent hardy work­ing dog was obtained, dis­tin­guished by swift move­ments and sharp­ness of mind. Dis­trib­uted in coun­tries with devel­oped sheep breed­ing. The stan­dard was adopt­ed by the Eng­lish Ken­nel Club in 1976. Bor­der col­lies are recep­tive to train­ing, after spe­cial train­ing they can work as guides to the blind.

smart dogs

The Bor­der Col­lie is a har­mo­nious­ly built, medi­um size (height at the with­ers of a male is 53 cm, females are slight­ly small­er, weight 14–20 kg) dog with strong bones and strong mus­cles.

Border Collie

The Bor­der Col­lie is a smart, loy­al, unpre­ten­tious dog, not only a first-class shep­herd and watch­man, but also a faith­ful com­pan­ion, it right­ful­ly takes its place in the top ten most intel­li­gent dog breeds.

#2 Poo­dles.


Sur­prised? In fact, poo­dles are very smart dogs, and are capa­ble of more than just jump­ing around in the cir­cus, show­ing tricks. Pre­vi­ous­ly, poo­dles served as both res­cuers and observers. They swim well and are able to save a drown­ing per­son. Of course, there are a lot of poo­dles — there are big poo­dles, there are small ones. There are even hunt­ing poo­dles that hunt birds togeth­er with their own­ers. So the poo­dle in the top ten most intel­li­gent dog breeds is not an acci­den­tal guest.

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Poodle Art

The larg­er mem­bers of this breed can be good pro­tec­tors, so don’t take them light­ly.



Num­ber 3. Ger­man Shep­herd (GERMAN SHEPHERD)


There are sev­er­al dif­fer­ent the­o­ries about the ori­gin of the Ger­man Shep­herd: that the breed was cre­at­ed by cross­ing dif­fer­ent Ger­man breeds, or that the breed evolved spon­ta­neous­ly from a cross between shep­herds and wolves. The truth was lost in the dark­ness of cen­turies. How­ev­er, it is known that already in the 7th cen­tu­ry AD. e. in Ger­many there was a shep­herd of this type. The first Ger­man Shep­herds (long-haired) were pre­sent­ed at the exhi­bi­tion in Han­nover in 1882, and short-haired were first pre­sent­ed in Berlin in 1889. Note that the hon­or of the for­ma­tion of this breed belongs to the dog lover von Stephanitz.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of this breed starred in many films, and in some even were the cen­tral fig­ure, and there­fore take their right­ful place in the list of the 10 most intel­li­gent dog breeds.

shepherd dog

These dogs are very capa­ble, they can be used as a guard, and as a house dog, and as a police­man. For some rea­son, the pop­u­lar­i­ty of this breed has been declin­ing late­ly — and it is being replaced by many exot­ic breeds that are nowhere near as smart as the Ger­man Shep­herd.


Shep­herd can equal­ly well serve as a com­pan­ion dog, guard, pro­tec­tive, detec­tive, ser­vice and guard dog. Suc­cess­ful­ly used in ani­mal hus­bandry as a shep­herd dog. More often than oth­er breeds it is used in the ser­vice in the army, in the police, for the pro­tec­tion of state bor­ders. A well-trained Ger­man Shep­herd is indis­pens­able when detain­ing a crim­i­nal. Used to accom­pa­ny the blind. Great with chil­dren.


№4 Gold­en Retriev­er

Golden Retriever-2-picture

Belongs to the group of retriev­ers. The ances­tors of five of the six retriev­er breeds were St. John, from whom the so-called wavy retriev­ers orig­i­nat­ed. The breed stan­dard was devel­oped by Lord Tweed­mouth. He crossed a Yel­low Flat-Coat­ed Retriev­er with a Tweed Spaniel (now extinct). The result is the mod­ern breed of gold­en retriev­ers. The pur­pose of breed­ing was to use these dogs to retrieve game from the water.

Golden Retrievers Puppies index2

These are sol­id and some­what impos­ing dogs with a calm char­ac­ter. Atten­tion, sen­si­tiv­i­ty, calm and col­lect­ed char­ac­ter, the abil­i­ty to eas­i­ly learn new prac­ti­cal skills in the process of train­ing, excep­tion­al per­for­mance, a con­stant desire to come to the res­cue, the absence of pro­nounced aggres­sive­ness towards oth­er dogs and strangers, amaz­ing tol­er­ance in deal­ing with chil­dren. It’s all a gold­en retriev­er!

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Gold­en Retriev­ers are often used as guides to the blind, as well as for med­i­c­i­nal pur­pos­es. Ide­al for fam­i­lies with chil­dren, espe­cial­ly if the child has psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems. Gold­en Retriev­er train­ing is usu­al­ly not a prob­lem. They love the water and are excel­lent swim­mers.

Suit­able for liv­ing both in apart­ments and in a pri­vate house. They tol­er­ate the cold sea­son very well.
The aver­age life expectan­cy is about 12–14 years.

Golden retriever

No. 5. dober­man pin­sch­er


Dober­man (Dober­man Pin­sch­er) is a breed of short-haired ser­vice dogs, bred in Ger­many.

Dober­man is an extra­or­di­nary per­son. For the devel­op­ment of which, in addi­tion to excel­lent con­tent, a healthy micro­cli­mate in the fam­i­ly is first of all nec­es­sary. After all, the pup­py’s abil­i­ties and tal­ents will be ful­ly revealed only in smart, patient and ener­getic hands.


Many con­sid­er rep­re­sen­ta­tives of this breed stu­pid. How­ev­er, this is not true, Dober­mans just need to be trained, oth­er­wise you will end up with an uncon­trol­lable dog that does what­ev­er it wants. These dogs appeared in 1800, when there was a need for a breed that could both pro­tect and attack.

It is imper­a­tive to train rep­re­sen­ta­tives of this breed, oth­er­wise their out­stand­ing mind will go to no less out­stand­ing tricks. Very active dogs that are able to pro­tect their own­er.

AramisBettina-RedSunGarden-liegt-20070819-2038 dobpinchuk

Dober­man is a very intel­li­gent dog, peace­ful to strangers and friend­ly to chil­dren.

No. 6. Scot­tish Sheep­dog (Sheltie)


The Sheltie, or Scot­tish Sheep­dog, is a minia­ture col­lie. Any­one who dreams of a col­lie, but does not get this dog because of its size, should con­sid­er a sheltie. How­ev­er, the one who con­sid­ers this unusu­al­ly beau­ti­ful dog just an adorn­ment of a city apart­ment is mis­tak­en. Shel­ties are very dis­trust­ful of strangers. She does not tol­er­ate famil­iar­i­ty: flirt­ing with her, the desire to scratch behind her ear. Shel­ties belong to the cat­e­go­ry of dogs that are easy to train.



No. 7. Labrador retriev­er


Comes from New­found­land. This breed was brought to the UK by Eng­lish sailors. These dogs, with an otter-like tail, have been help­ing local fish­er­men pull their nets out of the water for cen­turies. They say that once one of the fish­ing dogs, shak­ing him­self, splashed the Earl of Mums­bury, and he mut­tered to him­self “Labrador”, also called this dog in a let­ter to Eng­land. In 1903, the Labrador Retriev­er was rec­og­nized by the Eng­lish Ken­nel Club as an inde­pen­dent breed. And its fawn vari­ety — only in 1924. Enthu­si­asts of the Labrador Retriev­er breed fell in love with these dogs for their bal­anced char­ac­ter and propen­si­ty to work in water.

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No. 8. Papil­lon


The Papil­lon, which has found its way into our city apart­ments, has a rich and regal fam­i­ly his­to­ry. This is a his­tor­i­cal fact — the ances­tors of the papil­lon were favorites at the roy­al courts.

papillon dog

Papil­lon (“papil­lon” — so the word is pro­nounced in the French man­ner) — a descen­dant of the con­ti­nen­tal spaniel. This breed orig­i­nat­ed in the 14th cen­tu­ry. Bel­gium and France are sup­pos­ed­ly con­sid­ered to be the home­land of papil­lons, hence the name — “papil­lon” (“but­ter­fly” trans­lat­ed from French) and “falen” (moth) — for the lop-eared vari­ety.
A notable fea­ture of the breed is its beau­ti­ful, but­ter­fly-winged ears.

papillon breed papillon
This dog was a favorite of roy­al­ty and nobil­i­ty, and has always been con­sid­ered one of the smartest dogs.

No. 9. Rot­tweil­er


Rot­tweil­ers are very bal­anced, pow­er­ful dogs. Every­thing about this dog speaks of deter­mi­na­tion and courage. The nor­mal Rot­tweil­er is medi­um to large in size. His com­pact, strong build indi­cates great strength and endurance.


A lit­tle about the growth of the Rot­tweil­er:

  • Height of males 60–68 cm
  • Bitch­es are 55–63 cm tall.


This dog is coura­geous, inde­pen­dent and aloof, dis­trust­ful of strangers. The breed is smart, harsh, but man­age­able. She is aggres­sive, bel­liger­ent towards oth­er dogs. The type of high­er ner­vous activ­i­ty is strong, bal­anced, calm.


The col­or is black and tan, sharply defined, with pro­nounced red-brown mark­ings.

No. 10. aus­tralian shep­herd


Round­ing out the top 10 smartest dog breeds is the Aus­tralian Shep­herd, a breed bred in the US in the 20th cen­tu­ry. The breed is arti­fi­cial­ly bred, obtained by mix­ing breeds such as the Pyre­nean Sheep­dog and sev­er­al types of col­lies. It was not pos­si­ble to estab­lish which ones exact­ly — per­haps it was a Smith­field Col­lie and a Bor­der Col­lie. This exper­i­ment was car­ried out in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca and turned out to be very suc­cess­ful. As a result, today the whole world can enjoy the com­pa­ny of such a reli­able and devot­ed com­pan­ion as the Aus­tralian Shep­herd.


A dis­tinc­tive fea­ture of the Aus­tralian Shep­herd is excep­tion­al intel­li­gence, she quick­ly learns to fol­low com­mands. Exces­sive activ­i­ty can some­times be tir­ing, for this rea­son it is always nec­es­sary to use it in some­thing. She needs to work, play or just walk around the spa­cious area, con­stant sleep is not for her.

australian shepherd

The sci­en­tists who con­duct­ed the study note that new­ly bred dog breeds are more intel­li­gent and eas­i­er to train than rep­re­sen­ta­tives of long-known species.