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
Temperament: Strong-willed, powerful, courageous, affectionate, obedient
Average Weight: 60-110 lbs
Average Price: $1500
Average Life Expectancy: 11 years