The Top 25 Smartest Dog Breeds

Did your pup make the list?

smart dog

While all dogs make for best friends, some are, um, more lovably clueless than others. But when it comes to working intelligence (i.e. following commands), certain types stand out from the pack. After surveying almost 200 dog-obedience judges, psychologist Stanley Coren named these breeds as the best of the bunch in his book .

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border collie
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Border Collie

The valedictorians of the dog world, took the top spot in in , meaning most can learn a new command in under five seconds and follow it at least 95% of the time.

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poodle
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Poodle

Nowadays you can adopt cockapoos, and , to name a few, but breeders love regular, ol' poodles for more than just their . The curly coated cuties also took the silver medal for working intelligence in Coren's survey.

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german shepherd
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German Shepherd

German Shepherds happily serve as police dogs, seeing eye dogs, medical assistance dogs and therapy dogs, so it's no surprise that consistent obedience comes standard with this breed.

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golden retriever
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Golden Retriever

That's right. One of the nation's most beloved family pets also took home straight As in this intelligence survey. While the breed originated in hunting,  also enjoy acting like once in awhile too. 

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doberman pinscher
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Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans got their start in the late 19th century, when a German tax collector named Louis Dobermann wanted a medium-sized pet to act as both a guard dog and companion. Translation: These fearless protectors can hold their own, and hang with kiddos. 

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shetland sheepdog
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Shetland Sheepdog

Smaller than collies, the hold their own in herding, agility and obedience trials. Consequently, Shelties do tend to bark, chase and herd but their affectionate nature and love for cuddles will erase any hard feelings. 

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labrador retriever
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Labrador Retriever

love to please, whether it's as guide dogs, narcotic detection dogs or just everyday family pets. Americans have accordingly made them the in the country for a whopping 26 years in a row. 

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papillon
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Papillon

The first toy breed to crack the top 10, papillons aren't your average . The 5-pound wonders often take home top prizes at competitive agility trials, according to the . Their name — French for "butterfly"  — alludes to their tall, pointed ears. 

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rottweiler
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Rottweiler

Rottweilers likely descended from drover dogs in Ancient Rome, with the rugged, dependable temperament to boot. An engaged Rottweiler owner will take care to train and exercise their pooch thoroughly – with the reward of a loving and loyal friend. 

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australian cattle dog
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Australian Cattle Dog

The sits outside of the top 50 in , but don't miss out on this smartie-pants breed. Alert, curious and pleasant, the high-energy herders do best with a job. Whether or not that involves cows is up to you. 

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pembroke welsh corgi
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Pembroke Welsh Corgi

If they're , they're certainly bright enough for the rest of us. Unlike their Cardigan Welsh Corgi cousins, lack long tails, but they make up for it with a smart, even-keeled personality. 

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miniature schnauzer
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Miniature Schnauzer

No offense to the Standard and varieties, but reign supreme in Coren's book. Breeders supposedly created this smaller size by mixing with poodles and Affenpinschers. 

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english springer spaniel
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English Springer Spaniel

While they're popular bird dogs, even non-hunters can appreciate — and those long, adorable ears. 

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belgian tervuren
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Belgian Tervuren

Previously grouped with Belgian sheepdogs, Tervs officially earned separate status due to their long-haired, reddish coats. But don't let looks fool you; the quick-thinking herders love a long day at "work" tapping into their endless energy stores. 

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schipperke
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Schipperke

Another small-but-smart variety, clock in between 10 and 16 pounds, standing about a foot high. The name derives from the Flemish for "little captain," and their ancestors served as both ratters and watchdogs.

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belgian sheepdog
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Belgian Sheepdog

The third Belgian dog in a row, the all-black sheepdogs also go by the breed names Groenendael and Chien de Berger Beige in other parts of the world. 

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collie
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Collie

While Lassie was technically a fictional character, the real-life Pal took up the role in seven Lassie movies during the '40s and '50s. Just like the franchise suggests, their loyalty and devotion distinguishes these elegant dogs from the average canine.

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keeshond
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Keeshond

Identify a Keeshond by looking for its signature "spectacles," or dark shading stretching from eye to ear and over the "eyebrows."

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german short-haired pointer
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German Short-haired Pointer

Prized for their versatile hunting abilities,  have earned a rep as the ultimate all-purpose gun dog. It's no surprise they're posed to crack the top 10 . 

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flat-coated retriever
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Flat-coated Retriever

While they bear a resemblance to Labs,  possess a silky fur more akin to Goldens. Like other retrievers, the pups can work as bird dogs, but do just as well as family pets. 

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english cocker spaniel
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English Cocker Spaniel

Different from their American counterparts, the English breed grows a bit bigger, with longer noses and flatter heads if you compare silhouettes. A dense coat helps protect them out in the fields, so they're extra soft to pet! 

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standard schnauzer
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Standard Schnauzer

Weighing between 35 and 50 pounds,  stand right in the middle of all three . Besides their background in protecting both home and farm, Schnauzers boast a wiry, . 

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brittany spaniel
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Brittany

Bright and fun-loving, make for entertaining sidekicks as well as  for hunting, running or just playing fetch in the backyard. 

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cocker spaniel
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Cocker Spaniel

Known as the "smallest member of the sporting dog family,"   tend to weigh about 5 pounds less than their English cousins. Their outdoors and penchant for snoozing indoors make them one of the most persistently popular dogs in the country. 

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nova scotia duck tolling retriever
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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Rounding out the top 25, take their retrieving very seriously. The outgoing and affectionate pups could play catch from sun up to sundown. 

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