Dogs are some of the smartest animals around, which is why they work so well as our companions. It’d be hard to find another animal so adaptable and loving. All dogs have areas they excel at, whether that’s retrieving, guarding or receiving lots of cuddles. There are some breeds, however, that are labelled as particularly intelligent.
Because dogs are pack animals, they inherently understand social structures and functions, and are flexible when it comes to behaviour around other members of the tribe. They’re quick to train their puppies when it comes to bad behaviour, like nipping too hard, and reward them for good manners. So their “smarts” are deeply rooted. But just like there’s different breeds, there’s different types of intelligences, like adaptive (sorting stuff out) working (following orders) and instinctive (deep-rooted talents).
While all dogs are special in their own way, some dogs stand out when it comes to learning, thinking and reacting.
This breed is so clever and adaptive, they’re famous for being an integral member of many police forces. But that’s not all—they’re also preferred when helping with disability assistance, search-and-rescue and military roles. They are born and bred working dogs, but also make an excellent addition to any family.
The namesake of this breed is evidence of their talent and intelligence. Golden Retriever were originally bred to retrieve fowl on hunting trips. With a gorgeous golden coat, and a permanent smile, it’s no wonder these dogs are one of the most popular breeds around. They are gentle, sweet and eager to learn.
With their smushy faces, bat ears, and charming personality, French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds for good reason. They're adaptable, smart and very playful. French Bulldogs are smart cookies but they can also be stubborn at times. Training might be challenging at first, but they’re eager to please and will quickly show off their intelligence. Sweet and affectionate, Frenchies are irresistible. There’s no denying their cuteness overload so be sure to give them all the lovin’ and attention!
These clever and fast-learning dogs give an air of true glamour. They are obedient and flexible cohabiters, who don’t take up much space. They also don’t do much shedding as they have a curly single layer coat, which can be classified as hypoallergenic. It’s important to note that Poodles need regular grooming, but be sure to keep the length in the winter, as they’re sensitive to the cold.
Thanks to their distinctive coat, a reddish brown or liver brown and white with unique patterns, German Shorthaired Pointers are easily recognizable. This friendly dog is happy, affectionate and highly trainable, making it a solid family-friendly option — as long as it lives in an active environment. Natural hunters, GSPs are strong athletes on land and in the water. They are known to be particularly boisterous when young, so early and effective training is important.
The Boxer is popular and undeniably good looking. An all-around complete package, these dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, affection and work ethic. Boxers have an upbeat and playful demeanour, plus a protective nature that makes them a great family dog. Separation anxiety can occur in Boxers if they are left alone and to their own devices for too long. An active and involved owner is therefore ideal for these pups.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are bright, sensitive, and exuberant creatures who respond well to people and are easy to train. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are well-matched with families who can meet the abundance of energy they have. As fearless as these regale cattle herders are, Pembroke Welsh Corgis need to be provided with a sense of closeness and security. There is truly nothing more appealing than cuddling this furry loaf.
These sleek beauties are quick, strong and muscular. Doberman Pinschers are athletic and easy to train, which is why they do great in security jobs. This breed is known to be excellent guard dogs, and are often used to patrol gated communities. They come in a shiny coat of black, blue, red or fawn, with rust markings.
This breed is not suitable for an idle lifestyle. Australian Shepherds have tons of energy and focus. They are at their best when they have a purpose, and are always eager to learn new skills. Their keen work ethic makes them ideal dogs on farms or homes with lots of space to roam. They are also wonderful service companions and are often used for positions in drug detection, therapy and search and rescue.
Miniature Schnauzers are the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds. They have a big personality, are often outgoing, and fairly active. Miniature Schnauzers live long and healthy lives, barely shed, and are able to travel quite easily. They are intelligent, friendly, and obedient, making them a great family dog choice.