Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds To Ever Exist

What are the factors that are considered when ranking intelligence in domesticated canines? And does everyone hold these factors to the same degree of importance when assessing intelligence? The answer to these questions is 1. many and 2. not at all. One owner might think canine intelligence is strictly the ability to be trained to do a job such as herd cattle, while another may consider canine intelligence to lie solely in their perception of their human owner’s feelings, while another still might think it has to do with not barking like a maniac, not eating everything in sight, and not chewing up your favorite couch.

Roughly speaking, dog’s intelligence should be characterized by their ability to make and retain memories and directly retrieve, combine, and apply them to various situations to solve problems. This includes the ability to adapt to various environments and socially stressful situations. With these characteristics, dogs will be easier to train, will be more in tune with your feelings, and will likely not display behavioral problems.

These characteristics, however, are largely impacted by their environment and stimulation. Individual dogs can have varied levels of cognitive function within the same breed. Not all dogs within a breed will be exactly the same, hello genetics and environmental factors. A German Shepherd that lacked stimulation being raised will likely not have as much independent cognitive function as a Miniature Schnauzer that was constantly stimulated and trained to use his mind. In terms of breed reputation alone, the opposite would be true for these breeds.

Needless to say, a lot goes into ranking canine breeds in terms of intelligence. Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you. The following is a solid guide for the intelligence of breeds as a whole and is ranked lowest to highest, #1 being thought to be the most intelligent dog breed. Bare in mind that these top 37 breeds are, however, the top 37 out of 340 breeds that exist so that says a lot even about #37. Again, always remember that each individual dog is different and to not solely base an adoption or puppy purchase based on any findings that you come across on the interwebs.

So, let’s get to it. We were shocked by many of the top 20 smartest dog breeds, especially number 8! Scroll all the way through to find out which dog breed resides in the #1 smartest breed position!

Bouvier Des Flanders

Smarest Dog Breeds Bouviers des flanders
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Temperament: Strong-willed, powerful, courageous, affectionate, obedient

Average Weight: 60-110 lbs

Average Price: $1500

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Smartest Dog Breeds - Chesapeake Bay Retriever
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Temperament: willful, dominant, trainable, affectionate, willing to please

Average Weight: 55-80 lbs

Average Price: $800

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Giant Schnauzer

Smartest Dog Breeds - Giant Schnauzer
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Temperament: Brave, loyal, requires mental/physical exercise, dominant, trainable

Average Weight: 60-75 lbs

Average Price: $850

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Puli

Smartest Dog Breeds - Puli
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Temperament: Energetic, cheerful, affectionate, easy to train

Average Weight: 25-30 lbs

Average Price: $800

Average Life Expectancy: 14 years

Yorkshire Terrier

Smartest Dog Breeds - Yorkshire Terriers
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Temperament: Lively, clever, adventurous, affectionate

Average Weight: 7 lbs

Average Price: $600

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

Belgian Malinois

Smartest Dog Breeds - Belgian Malinois
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Temperament: Strong, obedient, observant, territorial, loyal, must be socialized

Average Weight: 55-65 lbs

Average Price: $600

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Belgian Sheepdog

Smartest Dog Breeds - Belgian Sheepdog
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Temperament:  Bright, trainable, protective, determined, loyal, must be socialized early

Average Weight: 60-75 lbs

Average Price: $1,100

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Belgian Tervuren

Smartest Dog Breeds - Belgian Tervuren
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Temperament: Alert, protective, attentive, loyal, must be socialized early

Average Weight: 60-75 lbs

Average Price: $1250

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Bernese Mountain Dog

Smartest Dog Breed - Bernese Mountian Dog
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Temperament: Cheerful, watchful, loves children, good natured, gentle, sensitive, puppy-like behavior in adulthood, fairly intelligent

Average Weight: 80-110

Average Price: $900

Average Life Expectancy: 8 years

Brittany Spaniel

Smartest Dog Breed - Brittany Spaniel
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Temperament: Bright, trainable, bred for hunting, happy, obedient, alert, must have mental/physical stimulation

Average Weight: 30-40 lbs

Average Price: $750

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

SMartest Dog Breeds - Cardigan Welsh Corgi
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Temperament: Loving, protective, eager to please, sweet

Average Weight: 25-30 lbs

Average Price: $1,050

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Cocker Spaniel

cocker-spaniel-
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Temperament: Respectful, sweet, energetic, devout, must be socialized young

Average Weight: 15-30 lbs

Average Price: $700

Average Life Expectancy: 14 years

Collie

Collie
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Temperament: Polite, intelligent, good-natured, energetic, playful, good with kids, protective

Average Weight: 50-75 lbs

Average Price: $500

Average Life Expectancy: 10 years

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel
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Temperament: Gentle, playful, intelligent, good with children and strangers, sociable, affectionate

Average Weight: 26-34 lbs

Average Price: $906

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel
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Temperament: Affectionate, skillful, obedient, good with kids, well-mannered

Average Weight: 40-55 lbs

Average Price: $600

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Flat Coated Retriever

Flat_Coated_Retriever_-_black
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Temperament: Reliable, friendly, high-spirited, sociable

Average Weight: 60-70 lbs

Average Price: $906

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

German Short Haired Pointer

German Short Haired Pointer
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Temperament: Energetic, loves exercise and stimulation, devoted to the family, protective, clever, hunting dog

Average Weight: 45-70

Average Price: $550

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel
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Temperament: Curious, alert, trainable, clever, good-natured, sweet

Average Weight: 45-65 lbs

Average Price: $950

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Keeshond

Keeshond
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Temperament: Agile, quick, obedient, bright, keen, sociable, must be stimulated with exercise and duties

Average Weight: 55-66 lbs : Some sources suggest 25-45 lbs

Average Price: $1,000

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
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Temperament: Active, playful, intelligent, does well with children, loving, well-mannered, must be socialized early, excellent for companionship

Average Weight: 10-15 lbs

Average Price: $750

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
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Temperament: Sturdy, loyal companions, willingness to please, obedient

Average Weight: 24-31 lbs

Average Price: $550

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Pomeranian

Pomeranian
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Temperament: Proud, energetic, intelligent, eager to learn, high-spirited, a great companion, affectionate, loyal

Average Weight: 3-7 lbs

Average Price: $700

Average Life Expectancy: 14 years

Airedale Terrier

Airedale_Terrier
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Temperament: Courageous, pleasant, loyal, protective, needs socialization with dogs and children early, obedient

Average Weight: 40-65 lbs

Average Price: $675

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Vizsla

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Temperament: Gentle, loving, highly trainable, great with children, must be mentally and physically stimulated

Average Weight: 40-60 lbs

Average Price: $950

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Weimaraner

Weimaraner
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Temperament: Intelligent, friendly, loving, good with kids, needs early training to prevent behavioral issues

Average Weight: 50-70 lbs

Average Price: $700

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog
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Temperament: Loyal, brave, obedient, smart, energetic, must have a job and daily activity, excellent at herding, highly trainable, work-a-holic so to speak

Average Weight: 30-62 lbs

Average Price: $550

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd
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Temperament: Protective, energetic, loyal companions, must be stimulated, great with children, adventurous, easy-going, smart, easy to train

Average Weight: 40-65 lbs

Average Price: $700

Average Life Expectancy: 14 years

Rottweiler

Rottweiler
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Temperament: Good-natured, calm, alert, brave, confident, fearless, protective

Average Weight: 85-130

Average Price: $1600.00

Average Life Expectancy: 10 years

Bloodhound

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Temperament: Patient, gentle, loving, can be stubborn, requires effort to train, calm, shy around strangers

Average Weight: 80-110

Average Price: $700

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Papillon

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Temperament: Friendly, adventurous, smart, affectionate, patient, gentle

Average Weight: 7-10 lbs

Average Price: $400

Average Life Expectancy: 14 years

 Laborador Retriver

Laborador Retriever
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Temperament: Loyal, good-natured, courageous, affectionate, eager to please

Average Weight: 55-75 lbs

Average Price: $750

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

 Shetland Sheepdog

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Temperament: Docile, friendly, sweet-natured, intelligent, trainable, must be socialized young, loves to chase things

Average Weight: 14-27 lbs

Average Price: $906

Average Life Expectancy: 13 years

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
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Temperament: Loyal, determined, affectionate, love human interaction, highly skilled, bold, protective, easily trainable, loving

Average Weight: 66-88 lbs

Average Price: $800.00

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever
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Temperament: Confident, gentle, patient, loyal, good with kids, kind, charming

Average Weight: 60-80 lbs

Average Price: $1,500

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

German Shepherd

German Shepherd
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Temperament: Fearless, courageous, alert, intelligent, intuitive, calm, stern, clever, must be socialized young

Average Weight: 77-85 lbs

Average Price: $1,150

Average Life Expectancy: 11 years

Poodle

Poodle
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Temperament: Proud, elegant, clever, noble, cheerful, highly trainable, highly intelligent, friendly, loyal

Average Weight: 45-70 lbs

Average Price: $1,250

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years

Border Collie

Smartest dog breed - -Border Collie
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Temperament: Tenacious, responsive, considered by many the most intelligent breed of dog, watchful, energetic, highly trainable, obedient, desire for praise, job-oriented, requires extensive daily stimulation, must be socialized young

Average Weight: 27-45 lbs

Average Price: $525

Average Life Expectancy: 12 years