17 Dogs That Are Smarter Than Your Average Pup

As silly as they may act at times, we all know that many dogs have an impressive level of intelligence. However, not all breeds are created equally when it comes to smarts and trainability. This article reveals 17 dogs that are smarter than your average pup.

Border Collie

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Border Collies are known for their ability to learn complex tricks and commands with relative ease. In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, Stanley Coren’s book on the intelligence of dogs ranks them as the most intelligent breed in the world.


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Poodles are highly intelligent and trainable, often excelling in agility events. They are also popular for their fluffy hypoallergenic coats, which makes them a good choice for those who suffer from allergies. Poodles are social dogs that often get along great with kids and other dogs.

German Shepherd

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There’s a good reason why German Shepherds are commonly used in police and military roles. They are incredibly intelligent and loyal dogs, and their protective nature makes them wonderful guard dogs, too.

Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers are very popular in America for their friendly personalities, fluffy coats, and ease of training. However, they also excel when it comes to intelligence and mental agility. This is why they need regular mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Doberman Pinscher

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Doberman Pinschers are great at learning and executing commands and tricks, making them a popular choice for working roles that require training and intelligence. People also love them for their strong sense of loyalty, companionship, and protection.

Shetland Sheepdog

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Like other sheepdog breeds, Shetland Sheepdogs possess impressively high intelligence and trainability. This is why they excel in obedience and agility competitions. They’re also known for being great communicators, often having an uncanny ability to understand their owners.

Labrador Retriever

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According to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers were America’s favorite dog for a staggering 31 years. One trait that makes them so popular is their high intelligence, which makes them easy to train. They are also famously gentle, friendly, and eager to please.


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In contrast with their small size, Papillons have a great level of intelligence and a larger-than-life presence. They often excel in obedience and agility training and are known for their alertness, sociability, and eagerness to please.


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Rottweilers have somewhat of a bad reputation for being intimidating and aggressive. However, they can actually be incredibly gentle, loyal, and intelligent. With the right training and socialization, they can excel in police, service, and therapy roles.

Australian Cattle Dog

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As their name suggests, Australian Cattle Dogs were originally bred to herd livestock, which requires a high level of intelligence and energy. As such, this breed has a strong need for both mental and physical stimulation and can easily become bored when left to their own devices.

Belgian Malinois

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According to Purina, the Belgian Malinois is popular for police and military roles thanks to its impressively high level of intelligence and strong work ethic. They are also famously trainable, obedient, and protective, making them great pets for many dog owners.

Australian Shepherd

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Australian Shepherds are incredible dogs with excellent herding, agility, and obedience skills. Their high level of intelligence and energy means they require more mental and physical exercise than other breeds. However, they’ll certainly pay you back with their affectionate and playful personalities.

Siberian Husky

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Siberian Huskies are known for their beautiful wolf-like appearance and high level of intelligence. Their mental agility makes them great at problem-solving and obedience training. However, their independent streak can cause them to act a little stubborn at times.

English Springer Spaniel

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The English Springer Spaniel is a highly intelligent breed with a strong sense of smell and remarkable retrieval skills. They can be incredibly friendly, sociable, and playful in nature, making them great companions for those who have the time to spend walking and playing with them.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Pembroke Welsh Corgis are famously intelligent and trainable, so it’s no surprise that they excel in herding, obedience, and agility. Because they were originally bred for a variety of farmyard tasks, they possess a strong herding instinct that makes them alert, vigilant, and active.

Miniature Schnauzer

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Miniature Schnauzers may be small by name, but their intelligence is anything but miniature. These little dogs are known for being intelligent and happy to learn new tricks, meaning they naturally excel in obedience and agility. They can also be highly alert and bold in their personalities.

Bichon Frisé

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The Bichon Frisé is another small dog with a great deal of intelligence and personality. They are friendly, affectionate, and eager to please, making them great pets who are fairly easy to train. Their sweet nature also makes them excellent therapy dogs.

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