Which Breed of Dog Is the Smartest and Most Intelligent In the World?

Dogs were bred for specific functions, making intelligence a difficult thing to measure.

smartest dog in the world

For example, if you see herding ability as a sign of intelligence, a collie will beat a beagle any day.

But if tracking is your sign of smarts, then the collie will lose to the beagle.

That said, however, some neuropsychologists insist there are different levels of intelligence despite instincts and breeding.

They’ve developed IQ tests for dogs to measure both their instinctual intelligence and their problem-solving intelligence.

There’s also a specialized working and obedience intelligence test that researchers calibrate depending on which breed is being tested.

According to Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs, 79 of the 150 breeds have been put through these IQ tests, and no, we don’t know why all were not included.

The top ten most intelligent breeds are almost exclusively classified as either herding or working dogs. The ten least intelligent include a large number of hounds and toys.

The ten most intelligent breeds of dog are Border collie, poodle, German shepherd, golden retriever, Doberman pinscher, Shetland sheepdog, Labrador retriever, papillon, rottweiler, and Australian cattle dog.

The ten least intelligent breeds of dog are shih tzu, basset hound, mastiff, beagle, Pekingese, bloodhound, borzoi, chow chow, bulldog, basenji, and Afghan hound.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “Which Breed of Dog Is the Smartest and Most Intelligent In the World?”

  1. I absolutely disagree with that test, plus I do not think that there can even be a test to rate dog’s intelligence until it’s agreed upon what “smart and intelligent” actually defines. The test says that mastiffs are one of the least intelligent…well the mastiff is a breed that was made to create a dog that thinks on its own. Mastiffs were left to freely & independently roam the grounds of large estates, to guard against poachers trespassing in the absence of human guards. Upon finding a trespasser, the mastiff would attack, but NOT kill, the thief. With their huge size they were meant to subdue the poacher & hold them down until the master got there.

    I had a mastiff, & she did not listen to a WORD I said; she had the hardest mindset, people said she was “untrainable.” Some people would call a dog that did not listen or respond to its master “stupid.” But when I would let her out, she would run the perimeter of my property & continuously “patrol” my land. She was stealthy & quiet in the dark, until she came up against something out of the norm, when she would sound a howling alarm. One night someone was trying to break into my garage & she surprised the thief & kept him terrified & pinned against the garage door until the police came. She knew her territory, never ran off, & knew what her “job” was without me ever teaching her a thing.

    I don’t call that unintelligent. That dog did EXACTLY what the breed was meant to do. She had an unwavering sense of loyalty and a desire to protect her own. She was loving and submissive to me & my family, and a fearless brute in the face of danger. I don’t call that unintelligent, I call it “misunderstood” by this Stanley Coren, who sounds like he rates intelligence based on obedience.

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