5 Super Smart Dog Breeds: Both Large and Not So Large

We all like to think that our dogs are the smartest in the world. But owning a super smart dog can be a double-edged sword. The more intelligent your pet, the more challenges and activities he will need. After all, do you see Einstein vegetating on a couch for 5 hours, waiting for you to come home? But if you want a working dog, or if you’re curious to see if your dog is related to these legendary brain boxes, here’s a list of 5 super smart dog breeds.

Drum Roll Please… The Top 5 Super Smart Dog Breeds

#1. Border Collie (27 to 45 lbs.)

Considered the smartest dogs in the world, Border Collies set the standard for all dog training competitions. Bred in England in the 1800’s, this super smart dog breed was trained in a new herding method, in which the a dog stares at the cattle to intimidate them into movement. A dog that can distinguish between “giving eye” to cattle and barking or running to show greater force is indeed a brilliant dog. For this reason, border collies require constant stimulation and activity. For an owner with an active outdoor lifestyle, a border collie will prove a best friend that no other dog could match.

#2. Poodle (4 to 8 lbs for Teacup – Up to 100 for Full Size)

With a high intelligence level that is often overlooked because of the affectionate nature of poodles, this smart dog breed is considered the easiest to train among toy breeds. Poodles deeply attach to their humans and hate to be left alone. In some cases, poodles have been trained as guard dogs and even hunter, through their desire to be included and please their human companion. On the downside, poodles require regular grooming and clipping, but with a little practice an owner can perform all these at home. Poodles make ideal family pets.

Poodles are popular show and design breeds. My current puppy, Eevee, is a poodle mix. Smart to a fault. Although the lab in her make her a knucklehead!

#3. German Shepherd (60 to 85 lbs.)

Highly intelligent and very courageous, German Shepherds are the best guard dogs discussed in this article. However, it is this very intelligence that makes German Shepherds dogs that should be trained from an early age by a firm hand. This will make them affectionate family dogs as well as excellent guard dogs. Considered one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, German Shepherds seek purposeful activity and stimulation on a regular basis, making them good dogs for rural families. This is also why German Shepherds are used as police dogs or search and rescue dogs.

#4. The Papillion (4 to 11 lbs.)

These adorable little dogs are much more than cute fluffy things. Highly intelligent and acutely aware of their surroundings, the Papillion make excellent watch dogs, with keen hearing and devotion to (even possessiveness of) their master. Despite this tendency to aggression in the name of protecting its family, this super smart breed is easy to train and quell into calmness again at a command from their master’s voice. Not surprisingly, the Papillion’s where favorites of the aristocracy during the Renaissance and well into the 18th Century. They are featured in famous paintings by their regal masters, looking quite as regal with their butterfly ears.

#5. Australian Cattle Dog (30 lbs.)

Bred in the harsh terrain of Australia to herd cattle, the Australian Cattle Dog is highly resourceful, easy to train and quick to understand and react, which is why it is considered one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. Initially bread from the wild Dingoes of Australia, the Australian Cattle Dog inherited the quickness of thought and action of the wild Dingoes as well as the trainability and herding qualities of the collies and Dalmatians with which it was cross-bred. In appearance the Australian cattle dog has a speckled coat, once used to camouflage it as it raced through the cattle to herd them home. This super smart dog breed makes and excellent watch dog that will guard the family and home with his life.