Home Dog breeds The 10 smartest dog breeds that should be easy to train and make great companions

The 10 smartest dog breeds that should be easy to train and make great companions



The lockdown has seen millions of UK homes welcome a new dog to the family, with plenty of time to teach them a trick or two.

But did you know that some races are inherently smarter than others?

From German Shepherds working as police dogs to Golden Retrievers guiding the blind, some are blessed with brains and beauty.

Many new owners are looking for breeds that should be easier to train in order to avoid the behavioral issues that many owners face.

If you want a dog that you can learn to be TikTok’s next viral star, then these are the 10 smartest breeds you should take a look at.

1. Border Collie

The Border Collie (RAKeartonGettyImages)

It’s no surprise that the Border Collie tops this list.

Described as a “remarkably brilliant workaholic” by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the energetic herding dog can learn dozens of words, tricks, and tasks.

The club added, “Borders’ intelligence, athleticism and trainability have a perfect outlet in agility training. Having a job to do, like agility or herding work, is the key to Border happiness. “

One Border, named Chaser, has become the smartest dog in the world, for his ability to remember over 1000 proper names, including 30 different balls by name and category.

The intelligent dog passed away in 2019, at the age of 15.


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2. Poodle

A poodle is prepared to show off during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show
A poodle is prepared to show off during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show

These handsome dogs may be known for their impeccably groomed coats, but they are just as intelligent as they are good looking.

“Badly intelligent” the AKC also describes them as “eager and athletic”, as well as easily trained.

The AKC said, “They are agile and graceful as well as intelligent, and they enjoy and excel in a variety of dog sports, including agility, obedience and tracking.

“They are excellent water collectors and also participate in dockside diving and retriever hunting tests.”

3. German Shepherd

A German Shepherd
A German Shepherd

Often used in military and police forces, German Shepherds can be trained to sniff explosives, detect drugs, and locate evidence hidden in the strangest places.

They are considered “the best all-rounder of their kind” and can understand a new command after hearing it just five times.

The AKC said, “The German Shepherd is a very intelligent companion and an extraordinary worker. Consistent, positive, reward-based training will yield great results. He is extremely connected with his people, so he is happiest when he lives with his family. “

4. Golden retriever

Golden retriever
Golden retriever

The Goldens make brilliant guide dogs for the blind and excel at search and rescue work.

These “outgoing and trustworthy” dogs make excellent pets, and the AKC suggests they are relatively easy to train.

The club added, “They are serious hunters and field workers, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not on the job.

“They take a cheerful and playful approach to life and maintain that puppy behavior into adulthood.”

A golden retriever, called Kira, became a hero in 2019 when she helped her owner break the ice and rescue two dogs stranded separately in a frozen lake.

She rounded up each animal and guided them safely to the shore.

Video of the rescue went viral and gained over 100 million views in just under a week.

5. Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans are naturally protective dogs
Dobermans are naturally protective dogs

Dobermans are often bought as protection dogs and are the breed of choice for English football player Ben Chilwell and Love Island’s Scott Thomas.

The AKC said: “Sleek and powerful, possessing both a magnificent physique and a lively intelligence, the Doberman Pinscher is one of the noble of the canine breed.

“This incomparably fearless and vigilant breed proudly ranks among the best protection dogs in the world.”

Regular TikTok users will know and love Ruby the Doberman @rubydooby_do, who has mastered tons of unusual tricks, like “let’s take a selfie”.

The club added, “Dobermans are very intelligent, learn easily, respond quickly and make loving and fun companions.”

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdog

The adorable Sheltie is an extremely intelligent breed and can take charge quickly.

The American Kennel Club said, “Bright and enthusiastic Shelties are easy trainers and world class competitors in obedience, agility and herding events.

“They are sensitive and affectionate family dogs, very much in tune with the mood of the house.”

7. Labrador Retriever

Labrador puppies
Labrador puppies

A fabulous family dog, the Labrador Retriever has been loved by US President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

The AKC said: “Labs are dedicated, intelligent and enthusiastic companions who must be included in family activities.”

Like the golden ones, they are often used as guide dogs, as well as search dogs with the police and the military.

8. Butterfly

The butterfly
The butterfly

This breed takes its name from the French for butterfly due to its wing-shaped ears.

They certainly help them navigate agility courses, often taking first place in agility events.

The AKC said: “They are excellent agility dogs and consistent winners at the highest levels of the sport; less ambitious owners can train them to do all kinds of stuff.

The small dog is around 20 to 11 inches tall and can live up to 17 years.

9. Rottweiler


Tough, strong and confident, these big, beefy dogs are eager to please their humans.

“The breed is intelligent, highly trainable, and eager to please, although some may be stubborn,” the American Kennel Club said.

“It is very important that the discipline is consistent, fair and firm, without being brutal. “

The guardian breed has not been made aware of its size, so still consider itself a pocket dog.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog laying down
Australian Cattle Dog laying down

“The ACD is a very intelligent and energetic breed that is only really happy at work,” said the AKC.

Owners of this unusual breed should take their dog for obedience, breeding or agility training to keep their brains occupied.

The club added, “Remember that an intelligent and energetic dog who is not busy will be bored, and a bored and energetic dog can be destructive.”

Cattle dogs are said to regularly “outsmart their owners” and can do nonsense if not entertained.



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