All dogs have a degree of intelligence, but there are definitely some breeds that are just a little more switched on than others. So, what makes a dog smart and what are the smartest dog breeds?
What makes a dog smart?
Intelligence is a subjective thing, and there are different types of ‘smart’. In the human world, for example, someone may be considered smart if they have a high IQ or if they are able to answer complex mathematical questions. However, the same person could also lack common sense or not understand social situations. When it comes to our dogs, intelligence is generally measured as their ability to learn commands and respond appropriately. For example, one dog breed may require weeks or months of training to come back when called or to fetch a stick and return it to you. However, others may only need a few training sessions to be able to do this consistently. Generally, the quicker and easier a dog can be trained, the smarter they are considered to be!
But other types of ‘smart’ can be just as valuable in different ways. Some dogs are bred to be able to do specific jobs, such as herding sheep or detecting specific scents, such as those found on illegal drugs. A Bloodhound has the ability to follow a week-old scent for more than 100 miles, making them an ideal rescue dog, while Toy Poodles are amazing swimmers!
What are the smartest breeds of dog?
All canines are smart in their own way, but here are five that are thought of as being the most intelligent dog breeds around.
At the top of many lists of smart doggos is the Border Collie. These multi-talented canines are highly intelligent, extremely enthusiastic and happy to work hard in exchange for love and treats! They are also one of the fastest learners, with most Border Collies able to learn a new command in less than five seconds and follow it 95% of the time! Incredible! Perhaps then it is unsurprising that Border Collies are the preferred herding dog, and also do extremely well in agility and flyball competitions.
German Shepherds are also highly intellectual doggos and a popular working dog thanks to their adaptable and trainable nature. They also look a little intimidating – something which contributes towards their success as police and military canines. These dogs can easily be trained to use their immense sense of smell to sniff out narcotics, bombs and even specific people! Now that’s a cool job!
Golden Retrievers have a reputation as being one of the friendliest dog breeds with good reason – they absolutely love being around people and are particularly good with older people and children. Their affable nature means that Golden Retrievers are a very popular choice for therapy dogs, as well as service dogs like Guide Dogs. Incredibly smart, they sometimes work as search and rescue dogs too.
Toy Poodles may look like pampered pooches who don’t need to worry about anything other than looking fabulous and keeping their owner company wherever they go but looks can and are deceiving. Toy Poodles are actually extremely intelligent – something which comes from the fact that they were originally bred to fetch things from water. They have amazing swimming skills, are easily trained and are experts at picking up on their human’s body language.
English Springer Spaniel
They have a reputation for being bouncy and a little bit scatty, but English Springers have one of the brightest and fastest minds of any dog. They delight in games and puzzles and can learn new tricks faster than nearly any other canine. They have plenty of energy which means that they need plenty of physical and mental exercise to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. Springer Spaniels made exceptional detection dogs, and you may often see them at airports, train stations and other large public spaces where they are working hard, sniffing out danger.
All dogs are smart in their own way and checking out the characteristics associated with your breed of dog to determine where your dog’s strengths lie.