No doubt, dogs are some of the most intelligent ones in the animal kingdom. However, what you might not know is that certain breeds are smarter than others. The majority of our furry best friends are smart but in varying ways.
Working dogs learn how to perform jobs more quickly, while others are motivated according to their desire to please.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), most hunting or herding dogs that were bred to protect livestock and other animals or to help hunt for food come with a biological inclination to be one of the smartest dog breeds.
How intelligent is a dog?
The same way with human intelligence, dog intelligence comes in different forms.
While the owners can nurture many of the breeds, there are still fixed realities in inherent qualities.
Some dogs tend to be not as smart as others, but their pet parents can teach them basics like staying and sitting.
It may take a little longer for them to learn some tricks.
Mind that the smartest dogs do not necessarily mean for the best pets.
So, you need to look for a breed that matches your lifestyle while bringing out the best in him/her.
What Makes Your Dog Smart
A dog’s intelligence refers to the aptitude or capacity to learn, think, and solve problems.
Your dog can be classified as intelligent or smart according to the following criteria:
This metric measures how well a dog learns and adapts to the environment. However, adaptability varies even among dogs of a similar breed.
This metric refers to the dog’s purpose, like what it was bred to do.
For instance, some dogs are bred for guarding or herding, while others are bred to hunt.
Dogs with high instinctive intelligence can carry out their tasks with a little bit of human intervention.
- Work and Obedience
This metric has to do with what a dog learns and how quickly it occurs. This can be achieved with the help of obedience training.
General Intelligence and Breed Intelligence
Canine intelligence can be divided into two categories, namely general intelligence and breed intelligence.
Mental agility is involved in general intelligence. The key component is how quickly a dog learns.
Then, the final intelligent aspect is how often he or she obeys. Some dogs tend to refuse commands and more stubborn.
However, this stubbornness may reflect high intelligence, requiring more skilled handling.
Additionally, the ability to retain information and successful problem solving are other aspects of general intelligence.
Breed intelligence has something to do with genetic traits, including guarding, hunting, or fetching.
Genetic predispositions are involved in breed intelligence.
Meaning, only two dogs of a similar breed can be compared when determining the difference in intelligence.
Keep in mind that the definition of dog intelligence combines the ability to learn commands or tricks with obedience frequency.
But while obedience is one of the desirable traits of a dog, it still has nothing to do with the brain’s ability to process incoming information.
Now, let’s discover what dog has the highest IQ.
Border Collie – The Most Intelligent Dog in the World
Border Collie is capable of accepting different verbal, non-verbal, and audible cues. They are notorious herd dogs.
When it comes to general intelligence, Collies can learn new tricks or commands in a matter of six to eight repetitions. Since they are eager to please, they quickly obey.
When it comes to breed’s intelligence, these herd dogs are perfect for farms. They can accomplish even complex commands.
They learn more quickly when one pack member model the desired skills, and they are rewarded for mimicking the right behavior.
Aside from being smart dogs, Collies are also affectionate and energetic.
Since they are true working dogs, they excel in agility, athleticism, sheep herding, and cuddling.
They are known for their herding eye, which is an intense gaze used for staring down and herding other animals.
These lovely little workers make excellent watchdogs and respond well to positivity.
They are incredible family dogs and very protective when it comes to young children.
Their protective behavior is due to their territorial instincts, which prompts them to protect their owners.
The Border Collies are high-energy, medium-sized herding dogs. They have oval-shaped eyes, which are usually brown.
They have medium-sized ears that usually stand erect. Their feet are oval, while the tails are medium in size and hang low.
The hair on their face is short. Their coat comes in two types: smooth and short and long and coarse.
They come in many colors, including black, blue, brindle, lilac, gold, red, sable, saddleback, white and red, white and blue merle, white and red merle, and more.
They also come in different markings, such as brindle, white, tan, and brindle, white, and tan combinations.
The male Collies can grow up from 19 t0 22 inches tall, while females are between 18 to inches tall.
They can weigh from 27 to 45 pounds, which will depend on their gender. Their life expectancy is around 15 years.
Northumberland is the homeland of Border Collies and areas between England and Scotland.
They used to be called “scotch sheepdogs.” They also have genetic roots from the dogs used to control reindeer herds by the Vikings.
The Collies nowadays have barely changed from the original dogs. In 1995, the AKC recognized the breed.
Many dog lovers in the US get or adopt Collies due to their intelligence and other lovely qualities.
Border Collies have incredible stamina with high intelligence and can without difficulty get along with kids, other dogs, and cats with supervision.
However, they may show the possibility of aggression with a dog of a similar gender.
If you want to eliminate their shyness, you have to give them a lot of socialization.
Due to their high level of stamina, they require daily exercise and other activities.
If not, there’s a big chance that they exhibit nuisance behaviors or become destructive.
Be sure they are not left alone for long periods without physical and mental stimulation.
The herding abilities of Collies are very intuitive. This means that they might try to herd kids.
While they can be affectionate, their passion is still for being active and working. Besides, they can be wary of strangers.
Collies can run fast and for miles. Instead of an average walk, they require regular, rigorous exercise.
They do best with large acreage or yards. Make sure not to left them confined for a long hour or tied outside.
This breed comes with average shedding.
So, brushing them several times per week is enough to keep their coat healthy, shiny, and free of debris and mats.
However, additional brushing is necessary during seasonal or high shedding.
You can bathe them as-needed together with regular maintenance tasks, including brushing the teeth, cleaning the ears, and trimming the nails.
In case Collies have dull working roles, they will need extra attention.
Aside from regular grooming, they must be regularly checked for debris or insects after working outdoors.
This breed is generally healthy. However, Collies are also susceptible to health issues such as epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, deafness, flea allergy, and anesthesia sensitivity.
Overall, Border Collies are notorious herders and some of the most durable, balanced, and agile dogs around.
Early obedience training is essential, as well as mental stimulation, to keep them happy and healthy.
Other Dogs with High IQ
Aside from Border Collies, other dogs display high IQ. These include:
1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are known to be highly positive and easy to please. They are quite obedient in terms of training.
They are known as rescue dogs and family pets and use as service dogs for people with disabilities.
With their high level of intelligence, Golden Retrievers become eager to please their owners and even people around them.
Their owners train them to perform fun or menial tasks such as searching out shoes, closing the door, or fetching the paper.
2. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are some of the most popular dog breeds for their intelligence, confidence, and courageousness.
Because of their excellent all-purpose working abilities, they are great service dogs or police dogs.
They may not give affection lightly, but they are known as loyal family dogs and are great with young children.
This dog breed requires plenty of daily exercise. They are equally great at guiding, herding, and acting as watchdogs.
The majority of German Shepherd owners claim that they are easier to train compared to other dog breeds.
3. Doberman Pinchers
While Doberman Pinchers have a bad reputation for poor portrayal and powerful posture, they are still among the world’s most intelligent dogs.
They are known as fiercely loyal companions. They respond to positivity very well.
Since they display great physical strengths, they have a fondness for moving around as much as possible.
They tend to become obedient and social as pups. Their owners can train them to be gentle and careful with kids.
Doberman Pinchers are great choices for therapy and rescue. However, they do best as watchdogs.
4. Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdogs are popular with pet-loving families in the US and different parts of the world.
These friendly dogs are some of the most easy-going furry buddies. Due to their soft personality, they are very lovable pets.
Other than their high intelligence, Shetland Sheepdogs are very hardworking, making them every farmer’s best buddies.
They are smart on the field and obedient in training.
While they are some of the best resources in the countryside, they are still kind and charming that most owners find them quite endearing.
Poodles are small, energetic, and adorable dogs. These intelligent dogs are fun-loving pets.
With a high level of intelligence, teaching them to jump is very easy. However, they require a little bit of encouragement.
When interacting with other people, they display an apparent level of intuition.
They know well how to grab attention and act cute in front of many people. They are ideal family pets and companions.
As classic working dogs, Rottweiler often assists people with poor eyesight and serve in police forces.
They thrive in well-mannered and disciplined environments with a bit of roughhousing.
When Rottweiler are young, they tend to be loving with their owners.
These caring creatures always want to show their best potential as smart dogs.
7. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are originally waterdogs, where they accompany fishermen and go hunting ducks many years ago.
Due to their water-resistant coats and otter-like and flat tails, they can easily thrive in the water.
Apart from their physical traits, these dogs are extremely lovable and intelligent. So, they are the perfect companion for any kind of home.
8. Alaskan Husky
According to AKC, Alaskan Huskies are incredible pack animals. You must be the leader in your family pack.
You need to train when it comes to respecting your authority effectively. If not, they will overtake you.
If you want to develop a great relationship with these Huskies, you need to show obedience, patience, and trust.
Papillons are smaller dogs and smart enough not to bark excessively against strangers or any unwanted threat.
They quickly learn and assimilate new commands in a matter of fewer than ten repetitions with proper reinforcement.
These dogs behave consistently and can obey 95% of the time on your initial command.
With friendly nature, they make reliable service dogs. When it comes to breeding intelligence, you will get surprised by their exceptional tracking abilities.
When you give them consistent care and physical effective, this dog breed flourishes in their families.
They can either display separation anxiety or become independent enough.
Fur parents do not only love dogs. They also adore them. Regardless of their size, breed, and even intelligence, our furry buddies deserve all the love and care in the world.