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Ranking the 63 smartest dog breeds

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    Ranking the 63 smartest dog breeds

    Dog owners passionately defend their dog breed of choice, but is your precious poodle really smarter than a Labrador retriever?

    It's time to put those weekly dog park arguments to rest. If you’re looking for a definitive answer to the question of whether or not your pup is smarter than the average dog, then author and professor of canine psychology Stanley Coren’s 2006 book, "The Intelligence of Dogs," is an excellent reference point. It’s widely accepted among the community of canine devotees as an accurate representation of the trainability and overall intelligence of breeds recognized by the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs.

    Coren’s list of the 63 brightest dog breeds was compiled with help from the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs, as well as a survey of dog owners. At Coren’s request, obedience trial judges ranked breeds on obedience and working intelligence—categories that are based on how well a breed typically learns from humans. The analysis also ranked breeds based on adaptive intelligence, which refers to a dog's ability to problem-solve on its own. Breeds that took the shortest amount of time to learn new commands rank the highest.

    Does your loyal pup’s breed make the list? Read on to see if you’ll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your pup for a walk. Don’t worry, even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy—there are some traits that simply can't be measured.

    ALSO: Least obedient dog breeds

     

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    #63. Dalmatian

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The only spotted dog breed on the list, dalmatians have a long history of working with horses and are often associated with firemen. The reason why these heroic pups are firehouse mascots is because they would run ahead of fire engines, clearing a path for firefighters and horses as they made their way to the scene.

     

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    #62. Norwich terrier

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Small and feisty, the Norwich terrier was originally bred to deal with rats. However, their energy and intelligence earned them tougher jobs—like forcing foxes out of their dens during hunts. These days, Norwich terriers are still happiest when they're given a task to complete, like entering a flyball or earthdog competition that puts their energy to use.

     

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    #56. Clumber spaniel (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Clumber spaniels are hunting dogs at heart, a skill that is sharpened by their ability to stealthily track prey for hunters. These pups are also known for their superb swimming skills.

     

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    #56. Pharaoh hound (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The national dog of Malta is the Pharaoh hound. They're renowned for their rabbit-hunting abilities, and tend to be happiest when they're given a chance to use their keen senses of sight, smell, and sound for something productive.

     

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    #56. English setter (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    If you have an English setter, then you likely know these working dogs are excellent at finding prey, especially birds. They earned the named “setter” due to the way they sit and mark their quarry, but they’re also easily trained to scare birds into flight on hunts. Despite their adept hunting skills, English Setter Association refers to the pooches as gentlemen by nature.

     

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    #56. Miniature pinscher (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Often mistakenly thought of as a miniature doberman pinscher, “min pins” are very much their own breed. These diminutive dogs are so full of energy, they’re often called the “king of toys” due to their love of play. If you’re a miniature pinscher owner, take care not to let your companion become bored—without mental stimulation and exercise, their stubborn side is sure to come out.

     

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    #56. Silky terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Silky terriers are often show dogs, and not just because of their graceful looks. This breed is known for being eager to learn; as a result, they’ve been known to start picking up commands when they’re just 8 weeks old. The silky terrier excels in athletic events, including herding, agility, and flyball.

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    #56. Affenpinscher (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Originally bred as working dogs, affenpinschers found favor among affluent 18th-century women looking for companion dogs. The dogs would accompany the women wherever they went, going on long carriage rides and enduring moves with no fuss. As a result, these dogs are incredibly adaptable to changes in their environment and are born travelers.

     

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    #55. Norwegian elkhound

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    It's believed that the Norwegian elkhounds once worked alongside Vikings during big game hunts. Thousands of years later, they remain true working animals. The Norwegian elkhound’s tracking skills are so superior they're often found on search and rescue teams, and their independence and attentiveness makes them ideal service dogs as well.

     

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    #51. Irish setter (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    While the Irish setter can still be found dominating in hunting competitions, these bright animals are also excellent therapy dogs. Their enthusiastic yet gentle nature means they're good with children—so much so that they've been known to be used in reading programs to help children become more confident reading aloud.

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    #51. Kerry blue terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The origin of the Kerry blue terrier is so mysterious they are sometimes referred to as the "leprechauns of the dog world." Ultimately, it's versatility that defines the Kerry’s personality—these dogs want to learn and work, and have done jobs that range from herding to assisting police.

     

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    #51. Cairn terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Many people are likely familiar with Cairn terriers thanks to the "Wizard of Oz," because of Dorothy's beloved Toto—and you can find them in other films like "Twister" and "Hocus Pocus." These hard-working, yet stubborn dogs will not give up on a task until it's complete, even if it means diving into the ocean after an errant otter.

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    #51. American Eskimo dog (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    If you have an American Eskimo dog, you should consider agility training to keep your dog engaged. In the 19th century, the breed became circus dogs thanks to their trainability, and they are the first known breed to learn how to walk a tightrope.

     

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    #45. Bearded collie (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Bearded collies are popular show dogs in the U.K., but there's no stopping this breed’s love to work. They were originally bred to be herding dogs, and many still tend to the flocks on farms to this day.

     

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    #45. Gordon setter (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The Gordon is the largest of all the setters, and they're as smart as they are big. If any breed can dispel the myth that old dogs can't learn new tricks, it's this one. Gordon setters have superb memory skills, and they're known to become sharper hunters as they age.

     

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    #45. American Staffordshire terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    While they look imposing, American Staffordshire terriers are true companion dogs. They're so gentle in nature that they're affectionately known as nanny dogs” thanks to their patience with children.

     

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    #45. Australian terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The Australian terrier holds the distinction of being the first dog breed to originate in Australia. While they possess some of the stubbornness that characterizes all terriers, the Australian terrier is known for being more amiable than its rowdier cousins.

     

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    #45. Newfoundland (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Newfoundlands were a favorite of "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie, who based the Darlings’ dog “Nana” on his own loyal companion. These remarkable animals take loyalty to extreme measures. More so than other breeds, a Newfoundland has been known to put itself between its owner and danger—whether alerting them to house fires or pulling them from pools.

     

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    #45. Field spaniel (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    While the field spaniel is a fast learner, these shy dogs prefer not to be pushed too hard during training. If you truly want to please your field spaniel, nurture its retriever instincts to give your animal the intellectual and physical engagement it craves.

     

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    #44. Samoyed

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    As a true ancestor of the wolf, Samoyeds are one of the world's oldest breeds. Due to their durability in cold climates, these hardy dogs were often used to pull sledges on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

     

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    #43. Manchester terrier

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    In Victorian England, these energetic dogs were known as the gentleman’s terrier. Manchester terriers love nothing more than a good chase, thanks to their past as rabbit and rat hunters. They're also keen watchdogs despite their small size.

     

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    #42. Welsh springer spaniel

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    At one time in England, nearly every shooting expedition featured a Welsh springer spaniel. These dogs are tireless, a characteristic that makes them ideal partners for hunters—and superior show dogs for modern owners.

     

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    #40. Briard (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    During World War I, Briards were invaluable helpers who carried ammunition, served as watchdogs, and worked with the Red Cross. They remain protective of their family and are ideal for sheep herding due to their fearlessness.

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    #40. Border terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    One of the rare mild-mannered terriers, this breed is eager to dig tunnels. In fact, these pups are the Houdinis of the dog world—there are precious few areas they can't use their wit and above-par digging skills to escape from.

     

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    #36. Bouvier des Flandres (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    It's not unusual for the Bouvier des Flandres to be mistaken for a small bear due to its fur and unique gait. These diligent dogs share little else in common with bears besides their looks— due to their even tempers and focus, they're often the police dog of choice in European countries, including France and Belgium.

     

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    #36. Airedale (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Known as the king of the terriers, the Airedale is the largest terrier breed. They have a fearless past as messenger and ambulance dogs during WWI. Their work ethic also means that they thrive in traditional German Schutzhund training, which centers on the principles of obedience, tracking, and protection.

     

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    #36. Portuguese water dog (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The Portuguese water dog was made famous as the pet of choice for the Obama family. These sharp animals make excellent therapy and hearing dogs due to their willingness to learn complicated commands.

     

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    #36. Giant schnauzer (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Another battle-tested breed on the list, giant schnauzers make superior guard dogs—due to their substantial size, as well as their history as natural protectors during World War II. While they’re quite intelligent, the respect of these dogs must be earned before they will respond to commands.

     

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    #33. Yorkshire terrier (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    They may look dainty, but Yorkshire terriers are known as the “tomboy toy.” While they're small, these pups love to participate in dog sports, train to become therapy dogs, and travel with their humans. Thanks to their unwavering confidence, Yorkies are up for almost anything.

     

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    #33. Puli (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    The Puli is a bright dog that bores easily when it comes to repetition. In their native homeland of Hungary, they're prized sheepherders. Their intelligent and patient nature also means they're an excellent choice of pet for the elderly or a family with children.

     

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    #33. Chesapeake Bay retriever (tie)

    Class: Above-average working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 15–25 repetitions

    Obey first command: 70% of the time or better

    Originally bred in Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay retriever is one of the few breeds developed stateside. Because they were once used to retrieve birds that fell into icy lakes, these dogs remain hearty and courageous—although today they're primarily kept as companions.

     

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    #32. Cardigan Welsh corgi

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    While Queen Elizabeth II prefers the Pembroke Welsh corgi, the “corgi with a tail” is just as enchanting thanks to their willingness to adapt to almost any environment. This breed was brought to Wales in 1200 B.C. by the Celts and became staples of farms for their intelligence and herding capabilities.

     

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    #31. Vizsla

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Vizslas are true overachievers, as evidenced by the breed’s status as the first American Kennel Club quintuple champion. Their high ranks in conformation, field, obedience, and agility are likely why the breed is one of the top three preferred bomb-sniffing dogs by the TSA. Vizslas also worked alongside rescuers at Ground Zero after 9/11

     

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    #30. Irish water spaniel

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Irish water spaniels’ webbed feet come in handy when they dive in the water after their prey, but don’t assume the breed is all about work. In fact, they’re also known as the clowns of the spaniel family—for their rollicking nature and impressive curly coats.

     

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    #29. Pomeranian

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Not only are Pomeranians smart, they tend to attract brilliant owners as well. The fluffy pups may have inspired Chopin’s Waltz of the Little Dogs, and Michelangelo had one for a companion. Queen Victoria and Teddy Roosevelt were also fans of the breed.

     

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    #27. Bernese mountain dog (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Bernese mountain dogs are just as well known for their brawn as they are for their brains. In the 1800s, they were used to pull carts for merchants. Despite their jobs becoming obsolete, the breed is still often entered in cart-pulling competitions.

     

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    #27. Belgian Malinois (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Few breeds are as fearless or as eager to work alongside humans as the Belgian Malinois. Dogs of this breed have been known to work alongside Navy SEALS and police officers across America. They're also happy to go on adventures with their owners—even if that means skydiving is involved.

     

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    #26. Weimaraner

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Weimaraners have been referred to as “the dog with the human brain.” They excel in outsmarting their owners, whether snatching extra treats or escaping their kennels. During the Cold War, they were used to find missile parts because of their tracking skills.

     

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    #24. Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Used as decoys to lure unsuspecting birds into the path of hunters, the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever would also fetch them (as their name implies). They continue to be considered superior hunting dogs, and that same helpful nature makes them a breed that is happiest doing whatever their owner desires.

     

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    #24. Cocker spaniel (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    While they make terrible guard dogs because of their sweet nature, cocker spaniels have more than earned their spot among the smartest breeds. Two notable examples: in 2015, a cocker spaniel named Fudge graduated alongside his owner from Edinburgh Napier University, and YouTube sensation Bella Boo has mastered over 250 tricks.

     

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    #23. Brittany spaniel

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Few breeds are as eager to please their owners as the energetic Brittany spaniel. Their affability paired with muscular build has led to their history as superior hunting partners and show dogs.

     

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    #20. Standard schnauzer (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Unlike many breeds, the standard schnauzer is a true pack animal that is unlikely to attach itself to a singular member of the family. These scrappy dogs’ history as vermin catchers, guard dogs, and dispatch carriers has led to them being excellent pets for people looking to add a loyal member to their family.

     

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    #20. English cocker spaniel (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    The English cocker spaniel can often be found serving as an assistance dog for children with special needs. Because they are both easy to train and naturally playful, they make ideal helpers and companions for kids.

     

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    #20. Flat-coated retriever (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    They may not be as popular as labs or goldens, but the flat-coated retriever is a loyal companion whose past as a hunting dog makes it the perfect exercise partner. In dog shows, they tend to excel in agility, tracking, and obedience competitions.

     

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    #19. German short-haired pointer

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    German short-haired pointers are first-rate hunting dogs. These triple-threat canines are adept at pointing, retrieving, and hunting prey. In addition to making great pets for active owners, these dogs are also sometimes used for search and rescue teams.

     

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    #16. Keeshond (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    The Keeshond is sometimes referred to as the “Smiling Dutchman” because of the way their lips curl up into what looks like a grin. It’s an appropriate look for a dog that’s eager to problem-solve, even if that means digging a trench in the summer to keep cool.

     

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    #16. Collie (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Collies were bred to be herding dogs, but they’re perhaps best known as heroic go-getters thanks to the TV series "Lassie." Given their keen problem-solving skills—honed from years of wrangling sheep—collies might be one of the few breeds that could actually figure out a way to help someone out if they, say, fell into a well.

     

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    #15. Belgian sheepdog (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    The Belgian sheepdog plays a unique role in the North Wales Police force: The dogs are trained to headbutt criminals in their stomachs in order to help subdue them. This unique talent is just one of many feats a Belgian sheepdog could learn with the right training.

     

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    #15. Schipperke (tie)

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Schipperkes once spent a great deal of their time on barges protecting food sources from rats. That instinct has carried over to the modern era—this tenacious breed will happily guard your possessions from everyone (including even you if the mood strikes). That being said, the Schipperke is eager to learn—especially if treats are offered.

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    #14. Belgian Tervuren

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Holding the distinction of winning the first AKC herding championship, the large Belgian Tervuren has a gift for picking up commands quickly. They’re ideal dogs for both the police and the military.

     

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    #13. English springer spaniel

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    If you’re looking for the quintessential show dog, the English springer spaniel is the breed you need in your life. At the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, they hold the distinction of winning Best in Show six times.

     

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    #12. Miniature schnauzer

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    These small dogs aren’t just quick to pick up commands—they also have superior hearing. In the past, they were often paired with German shepherds to protect livestock, as the miniature schnauzer would bark to warn its companion of impending danger.

     

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    #11. Pembroke Welsh corgi

    Class: Excellent working dogs

    Understanding of new commands: 5–15 repetitions

    Obey first command: 85% of the time or better

    Queen Elizabeth II’s dog of choice has a magical history: According to Welsh legend, it was once used to pull the coaches of fairies. With a whimsical backstory and plenty of smarts, is it any wonder this breed is so popular?

     

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    #10. Australian cattle dog

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Active dog owners would love the Australian cattle dog. These pups have a bit of dingo in them, which has led to a long-lasting love for the outdoors. They’ve been trained to join their owners in all kinds of adventures—including hang gliding, swimming, and even riding mechanical bulls.

     

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    #9. Rottweiler

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Rottweilers inspire fear in some people, but the breed’s trainability means they’re just as good at being therapy dogs as they are for doing police work. They do have a protective streak which, paired with their strength, makes an ideal match for home protection. However, this smart breed is willing and capable of learning almost anything a confident owner wants to teach them.

     

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    #8. Papillon

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Papillons are little, but they’re not your average lapdog: This high-energy breed earned a reputation for hunting rats throughout a cunning style of harassment. Today, they prefer to channel their curiosity into activities like puzzles and agility training.

     

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    #7. Labrador retriever

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Labrador retrievers are every bit as loyal as pop culture has led you to believe. In fact, a lab named Endal is thought to be the most decorated dog in the world—having received numerous commendations for his role as a service dog for British Naval veteran Allen Parton. The bright animal can do laundry, shop, and follow hundreds of sign language commands.

     

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    #6. Shetland sheepdog

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Shetland sheepdogs possess strong herding instincts, so they enjoy nothing in life more than having a job to do. One of the most important jobs these versatile animals can take on is that of a medical alert dog. Their keen senses make them the perfect companion for people with illnesses that require a watchful eye.

     

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    #5. Doberman pinscher

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Because of their tireless service during WWII, many Dobermans are buried in the National War Dog Cemetery. The fierce protectors looked after soldiers during the night, led patrols, and sounded the alarm when enemies were approaching. They continue to give back to humans today as service dogs.

     

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    #4. Golden retriever

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    A true family dog, golden retrievers are as faithful as they are intelligent. The breed's ability to quickly pick up on commands has led them being utilized for search and rescue teams, as well as service dogs. Their affable spirit means they not only get along with humans but with other animals as well.

     

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    #3. German shepherd

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    Acting, police work, messengers—the third most intelligent breed is a true working dog. Because they pick up on commands so quickly, German shepherds have an uncanny ability to take on a wide array of jobs. Whether they’re running into battle or mastering new tricks to impress their owners, German shepherds are eager to put their learning abilities to good use.

     

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    #2. Poodle

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    While poodles are often characterized by images of wealth and fanciness, the second smartest dog breed has a rich history of hunting and even time in the circus. Without proper training, these bright dogs are sure to assume the alpha role in your house; it’s best for their owners to keep them engaged through activities like puzzles, agility training, and word recognition.

     

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    #1. Border collie

    Class: Brightest dogs

    Understanding of new commands: Fewer than 5 repetitions

    Obey first command: 95% of time

    If you own a border collie, congratulations—your dog is likely the smartest pup at the park. Drawing on a storied history as sheep dogs, collies can follow directions via hand signal, whistles, or your voice. Border collies are famous for the ability to solve complex problems, while notable collies like Chaser are capable of learning over a thousand words.

     

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