5 Smartest Dog Breeds

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 03:21:00 PM America/Los_Angeles

What makes for a smart dog breed? According to University of British Columbia psychology professor Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs, the most intelligent dogs understand new commands with fewer than five repetitions and obey the commands at least 95 percent of the time, meaning they're easy to train.

Let's take a look at our top five contenders.

Labrador Retriever

Known for their loyalty and friendly disposition, Labrador retrievers are often considered an ideal pet for families with children. However, Labs are very easily trainable and can take on many roles, including seeing eye dog, police dog, or therapy dog.

 three Labrador retreiversSource: Claire Norman/Shutterstock


Named for their butterfly wing-shaped ears, Papillons are the most intelligent of the toy breeds. Their small size and energetic nature make them better suited for an adult-only household, especially those who want an easily trainable competition dog.

 Papillion dogs are smartSource: everydoghasastory/shutterstock


One of the world's most popular dogs, the poodle is a playful breed with a strong attraction to water. Originally bred to gather downed fowl of duck hunters, the name "poodle" even comes from the German word "pudel", which means to splash or puddle. This intelligent, social dog is perfect for families with children.

 Little brown poodle Source: akihirohatako/Shutterstock


This powerful breed is commonly considered aggressive, but with the proper training and lots of exercise, Rottweilers can be excellent companions. Their loyalty and quiet intelligence are unmatched by other breeds, making them wonderful guard dogs.

 Noble Rottweiler lying in the parkSource: Alkestida/Shutterstock

 Shetland Sheepdog

Also known as "Shelties", the Shetland sheepdog ranks number one on our list. These energetic dogs almost always score highest in obedience competitions in the show ring. Their herding instinct is very strong, so they tend to corral any small animals or children that may be around.

 Shetland sheepdog or shelties are very obedientSource: atiger/Shutterstock


Regardless of your pup's ranking on the intelligence scale, all dogs can be trained to relieve themselves in a sanitary manner when going outdoors is not an option. Puppy pads and fake grass are costly and can harbor bacteria and odors. By providing a patch of real, hydroponically grown grass, owners can offer their beloved companions a clean, convenient dog potty to do their business indoors when nature calls.