Top 10 most intelligent dog breeds
How smart is your dog? If they are one of the breeds in this list, the chances are that they are amongst the brightest dogs out there. Whilst they may not be able to do mathematics, the dogs in this list all show extraordinary abilities to learn.
It’s not an accident that the breeds in this list are smart – almost all are descended from working dogs. Breeders would select the dogs who performed their jobs best – usually the most intelligent and trainable ones. In doing so, they created breeds with above-average intelligence, who thrive with good training and exercise.
Taking on such an intelligent dog requires lots of hard work. You need to make sure you’re prepared to keep them from getting bored – that means plenty of mental stimulation like games, training, and challenges alongside their normal exercise routine. Speaking of exercise, most of these dogs need plenty of it, so it’s essential to keep track of how much they’re actually getting using a PitPat. Both the PitPat Dog GPS Tracker and the PitPat Dog Activity Monitor include our award-winning activity monitoring so you can find out exactly how much running, walking, playing and rest they’re getting every day.
Border Collies consistently top rankings for intelligence in dogs. They’ve been bred for herding sheep, a job which many still do today, and that is no easy task. With just a few commands from their handler, they need to be able to make quick decisions to drive the sheep where they need to go and work with other dogs and the shepherd to ensure the sheep end up where they are meant to be.
With their incredible agility and speed, Border Collies are perfect for canine sports like agility, obedience, canicross and disc dog, as well as making wonderful companions.
One Border Collie named Chaser could identify and retrieve 1,022 toys by their name in tests, the most any non-human animal has achieved in a study. Chaser also demonstrated an understanding of grammar and an ability to infer the name of a new object by excluding the objects that she already knew – pretty smart if you ask us!
Some people may think that the Poodle is nothing more than a showy dog on the arms of the upper classes – but they’d be wrong. Like many of the other dogs on this list, the Poodle is a gun dog, specialising in retrieving game from water. They need to be able to think on their feet and navigate tricky terrain – their smarts come in handy!
The Poodle can put its paw to many jobs and canine sports – from assistance dogs to agility pros, they excel at all sorts and make loyal canine companions.
More recently, the Poodle has become a popular parent breed of many of the nation’s favourite cross-breed dogs such as Cockapoos and Labradoodles.
The noble German Shepherd is famous for its role as a police dog, but they were originally bred to herd sheep and protect them from predators and other threats. Like the other herding dogs on this list, owners of working German Shepherds needed them to be intelligent and capable of making independent decisions as well as understanding their handler’s commands.
Whether working as a police dog or being a pampered pup at home, German Shepherds are fiercely loyal to their owners and excel in obedience training.
The Golden Retriever is not only easily trainable but also makes a fantastic family dog. Their exceptional emotional intelligence makes them pawfect candidates for assistance dogs, even though they were originally bred as gun dogs. They are able to think independently and make quick decisions when working, which is essential in many of their roles.
Doberman Pinschers were originally bred as guard dogs, but fans of the breed will know them as intelligent, loyal, energetic companions. They are highly trainable and their instinct to protect means that they have impeccable focus and attention. Modern Dobermans are much less aggressive than their working ancestors and can make wonderful house pets with consistent training.
The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is another herding dog, bred on the Shetland Islands. Farmers needed Shelties to do all sorts around the farm, including keeping birds out of the field and letting their family know when a stranger was approaching the farm. They are intelligent and quick, meaning they dominate agility in their size group, and are often top picks for competitors who don’t want to run a Border Collie.
The Labrador is the quintessential family dog, and though they might act goofy at home, these hardy pooches are actually incredibly easy to train and eager to please. Their breeding as a gun dog means they have to be able to think on their paws, judge scenarios and make a quick decision – the same skills needed to be an exceptional assistance dog.
In fact, not only are Labradors the first choice for assistance dogs, but they’re also put to work with their nose sniffing out all manner of things, from illicit items to medical illnesses in humans.
The Papillon is the smallest pooch on this list and perhaps a surprise entry to some. However, when you look past their showy ‘butterfly’ ears, you’ll find a dog with exceptional intelligence, charm and drive. Bred from early Spaniels, it’s no surprise that the Papillon has inherited some of their brain power, and owners are often delighted to find that their dogs can excel in sports like agility and obedience.
The Rottweiler is a misunderstood dog used for many jobs – herding cattle, pulling butcher’s carts, and as police and military dogs. These intelligent dogs have shown their ability to adapt to all sorts of roles – including as beloved family companions – and love to have a job. They thrive with firm and consistent leadership, forming close bonds with their owners.
Australian Cattle Dog
Last, but by no means least, is the plucky Australian Cattle Dog. This sturdy pup was bred to herd cattle over long distances. Dealing with animals much larger than itself requires the Australian Cattle Dog to be tenacious, driven, and quick thinking – qualities that they have in droves. Unique amongst dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog can trace bloodlines back to tamed dingos, themselves described as showing incredible intelligence.
Choosing an intelligent dog breed can be incredibly rewarding, but you need to be prepared to spend plenty of time with them, keeping them mentally and physically challenged. We recommend plenty of exciting walks, canine sports and playtime! You can measure it all and keep track of them if they run off with a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker for just £149 with no subscription.
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Cat IQ vs. Dog IQ: Who’s Smarter?
There has been much research done to try to address the question of whether or not your cat is intelligent. According to the consensus, most people who own pets believe their dogs are more intelligent than their cats.
On the other hand, it’s possible that we don’t give our feline companions enough credit. Tricks are harder to master for cats than they are for dogs. Although they do not help the blind or sniff out bombs, they do not run agility courses at the request of their owners, and they do not sniff out explosives. However, cats can be pretty bright in a variety of other ways.
Over the years, numerous investigations have been conducted to determine the level of intellect cats possess. It can be challenging to get to know a cat’s perspective. However, many individuals believe that their cat possesses some level of intelligence. Most of us can recall funny or exciting things our pets have done. It would appear that many cats have a strong capacity for analytical thinking and finding solutions to problems. Is it possible that these people are just projecting too much of themselves onto their cat’s behavior? Or, could your cat be a genius?
Assessing certain aspects of animals, such as their level of intelligence, can be challenging at times. There is not just one method for determining an animal’s level of intellect, the same as there is with human beings. The best way to gauge someone’s intelligence is to compare it to ours and see how it measures up. This can make life more difficult for certain animals, such as cats. It’s not accurate to say that cats are less intelligent than dogs; instead, they have a distinct kind of intelligence. Even while cats do not possess the same level of brightness as humans, this does not indicate that the cat you own is not a clever animal. The only way to determine whether or not your cat is intelligent is to investigate how cats put their intelligence to work for themselves.
Which is Smarter? Dogs or Cats?
It would be simple to determine if your cat is intelligent by comparing it to a dog. Dog and Cat owners have long debated about which pet is the most intelligent. This is shown in the research cited previously, which directly contrasted cats and dogs. While each pet owner has their idea of their furry companions, according to scientific assessments, which are the most intelligent?
Is your cat clever? Or are they not just as intelligent as dogs? Researchers have discovered that dogs are slightly more intelligent than cats. They are far more teachable. This is primarily dependent on their capacity for interpersonal interaction. Dogs are capable of learning significantly more complex tricks and talents. They also have heightened senses compared to humans, which they use to perform duties for their owners. This is most typically observed in canines with a keen sense of smell. They can also be trained to execute sophisticated jobs like seeing-eye dogs.
As we have seen earlier, dogs may be slightly smarter than your cat. This intelligence can be attributed to the fact that dogs have been domesticated significantly longer than cats. Due to their closer biological resemblance to humans, dogs are easier to evaluate by having them do predetermined activities. As they are unwilling to undertake arbitrary activities for humans, cats are more challenging to test. It is possible that cats, like dogs, may use their heightened awareness to perform tasks for humans. However, it would not be easy to convince a cat to do so. Your cat may still be intelligent, but not in a way that is comparable to a dog’s intelligence.
Do Fewer Neurons Imply That Your Cat Is Not Intelligent?
Numerous cat academics have sought to address the question, «Is your cat intelligent?» Recent research has sought to quantify the number of neurons your cat possesses. The study concentrated on neurones, perceiving their quantity as a valuable indicator of general intelligence. The experiment determined the number of neural connections to the cerebral cortex. This region of the brain is responsible for the majority of mental labor. It is fundamental to the intelligence of humans and many other organisms. It is a good starting point for determining whether your cat is intelligent.
A study shows dogs have twice as many brain connections as a typical cat. Does this imply cats are less intelligent than dogs? They do not necessarily lack intelligence, but they lack the connections between regions of the brain that generally allow for intelligent behavior. It does indicate that their brains are less similar to ours than those of dogs. However, this is not entirely unexpected. Researchers have discovered that early canines evolved from wolves with brain structures that intuitively seek social interaction, much like early humans. This makes it easier to compare them.
These neurons have nothing to do with brain size. The brain size does not correlate with the number of higher processes occurring therein. A little dog will continue to possess more neurons than a giant cat. Despite being smaller than dogs, cats have fewer neurons. This does not fully answer the question of whether your cat is intelligent. This study provides only one perspective.
Does Brain Size Matter?
Because the brain relies on neurons to process information, the greater the number of neurons in an animal’s cerebral cortex, the greater the amount of data it can likely process and the greater its mental capacities. To begin with, dogs, having larger brains, possessed more than twice as many neurons in their cerebral cortex as domestic cats, with approximately 530 million cortical neurons compared to 250 million for the cat. (In comparison, the human brain contains billions of neurons.) This suggests that canines are capable of more sophisticated and adaptable behavior than cats.
However, it was not simply the case that the dog was smarter than the cat. The brain of the Golden Retriever contained more cortical neurons than those of the African lion and brown bear, even though the lion and bear had far larger cerebral cortices than the dog. In other words, the dog’s brain was more densely packed with neurons. It appears that thousands of years of domestication have not diminished the intelligence of our canine companion.
Before dog lovers tell their cat-loving friends, «I told you so,» it is crucial to remember that the sample size was extremely small. In the study, there was only one cat and two dogs. The neuron counts were too disparate to be explained by individual variation alone. However, it is almost clear that the tendency would remain the same despite adding more animals.
Importantly, the scientists did not conduct animal IQ testing on living dogs and cats or watch the animals’ behavior. The findings are based solely on brain cells. Even though dogs are more intelligent than cats, there is little evidence that they utilize their total mental capacity. In reality, no animal is better at being a cat than a cat, and no animal is better at being a dog than a dog. And which one makes the ideal pet? It varies entirely on whom you ask.
Is Your Cat Intelligent in Various Ways?
The brain anatomy of a cat is around 90% identical to that of a person. This may not seem like much, but this 10% difference is significant. Although cats have fewer neuron connections to the cerebral cortex than humans and dogs, they surpass us in other areas. Cats have significantly more developed visual regions of the brain than dogs. These regions are more developed than those of the majority of mammals, including humans. This indicates that your cat has superior visual intelligence to ours. This enhanced sense can provide kids various benefits, although it may be difficult to observe when they play with toys all day.
This is why comparing cat intelligence to human intelligence is somewhat flawed. To determine whether or not your cat is intelligent, you must understand that they are intelligent differently than humans. The intellect of cats may not appear advantageous to humans, but it is essential for cats. If your cat were evaluating your IQ, they would deduct points for your lack of hunting prowess! Cats live a different lifestyle and have other demands than humans. Thus it is only logical that their intelligence differs.
When comparing cats and dogs, domestication levels must be taken into account. Cats are substantially less domesticated than dogs, according to experts. A dog’s mind and daily activity are entirely focused on social interaction with people. In contrast, we do not share the same relationship with a cat. While we can determine a dog’s intellect based on how well it performs on human-created tests, this is not the case for cats.
Related: The 10 Highest IQs Cat Breeds In The World
-  ^ American Kennel Club: Are Dogs Really Smarter Than Cats?
-  ^ PBS.org: Which are smarter, cats or dogs? We asked a scientist
Chimpanzees can learn sign language to communicate with humans. Topping our list of smartest animals is another great ape, the chimpanzee. The impressive intellectual abilities of this animal have long fascinated humans.
Key Points. Chimps are the smartest non-human animals. They can grieve loved ones' passing, learn languages, and make and use tools.What is the highest IQ for a dog? ›
According to The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks 131 dog breeds in terms of their relative intelligence, the border collie is the smartest dog breed known to man. Need proof? Chaser, a linguistically gifted border collie from South Carolina, could recognize over 1,000 words.What's the IQ of a elephant? ›
The encephalization quotient (EQ) (the size of the brain relative to body size) of elephants ranges from 1.13 to 2.36. The average EQ is 2.14 for Asian elephants, and 1.67 for African, with the overall average being 1.88.Which is the 1 intelligent animal? ›
We share 99 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, so it comes as no surprise that countless hours of research have been dedicated to understanding the intelligence and behavior of our sister species. This research has firmly established that chimps are one of the most intelligent species on earth.
Pigs have the intelligence of a human toddler and are ranked as the fifth most intelligent animal in the world! In fact, pigs are more intelligent and trainable than any breed of dog. They learn their names in just two weeks and come when they're called.What is the #2 smartest animal? ›
Dolphins are often cited as the second smartest animals on Earth due to their relatively high brain-to-body size ratio, the capacity to show emotion, and impressive mimicry of the dumb apes who research them.What's a chimpanzee IQ? ›
A variety of cognitive research on chimpanzees places their estimated IQ between 20 and 25, around the average for a human toddler whose brain is still developing the ability to use various cognitive abilities. This is not to say that chimpanzees are not intelligent animals.What is the smartest domesticated animal? ›
Probably the smartest domesticated animals in the animal kingdom, pigs display a large number of intelligence traits. They are able to solve mazes, display and understand emotions, and grasp the concept of reflection at a younger age than humans.What is IQ of Bill Gates? ›
The average IQ varies from country to country, with the US standing at 98. Anything above 130 is high. Here are some of the glimpses of genius that attest to Bill Gates' high IQ, even to the point of being a 160 score.
Dogs, it turns out, have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have, which suggests they could be about twice as intelligent.What is the average IQ of a cat? ›
Within the encephalization quotient proposed by Jerison in 1973, values above one are classified big-brained, while values lower than one are small-brained. The domestic cat is attributed a value of between 1–1.71; relative to human value, that is 7.44–7.8.What is Elon Musk's IQ? ›
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) When did Elon Musk take an IQ test? The Tesla CEO is estimated to have an IQ score of around 155.Is A gorilla Smarter Than An Elephant? ›
Gorillas are lighter and smaller than elephants, but they are smarter. Elephants are herbivorous mammals that weigh 12,000 pounds and stand over 10 feet tall, and gorillas are omnivorous bipedal mammals that weigh over 400lbs and can grow to 5 feet in height.What is the IQ of a crow? ›
Key Points. Scientists compare the intelligence of crows to that of a seven-year-old human child. Crows, ravens, and other corvids are the only non-primates that make tools. Crows are capable of abstract reasoning, complex problem-solving, and group decision-making.What is the 3 smartest animal? ›
Koalas. Koalas are not only extremely cute, they're smart, too! The marsupials know how to listen to their bodies and can dive into a deep sleep for an average of 22 hours a day. Koalas snack on eucalyptus leaves, which aren't high in nutrients—the abundant rest makes this diet possible.What animal is closest to human intelligence? ›
Smartest Animals: Chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, so its no surprise they make the list for most intelligent animals. We share almost 99 percent of our DNA (the little bits of genetic code that make us who we are) with them. It turns out that they share some of our brain power as well.
|Age of Child||Average IQ|
|2 years old||Between 1 and 10|
|3 years old||Between 1 and 10|
|4 years old||Between 5 and 20|
|5 years old||Between 5 and 20|
IQ tests are made to have an average score of 100. Psychologists revise the test every few years in order to maintain 100 as the average. Most people (about 68 percent) have an IQ between 85 and 115. Only a small fraction of people have a very low IQ (below 70) or a very high IQ (above 130).
According to research, cows are generally quite intelligent animals who can remember things for a long time. Animal behaviorists have found that they interact in socially complex ways, developing friendships over time and sometimes holding grudges against other cows who treat them badly.Are horses smarter than dogs? ›
Horses and Dogs are both intelligent animals, but they have different cognitive strengths. Horses excel in areas like navigational intelligence while dogs do better with social intelligence. Neither animal is smarter than the other, that's just what makes them unique!Do dolphins have higher IQ than humans? ›
Are dolphins smarter than humans? Current tests for intelligence indicate that dolphins do not possess the same cognitive abilities as humans and are thus not the "smarter" species. Like humans, dolphins possess the ability to beneficially alter their surroundings, solve problems, and form complex social groups.What is dolphin IQ? ›
Dolphin Brain vs Human Brain: Encephalization Quotient
For human beings, the encephalization quotient is higher than any other animal at 6.56. Dolphins are not too far behind at 4.0 EQ.
Notably, the average IQ score falls between 85 and 115. A score above 140, meanwhile, is considered to be genius level.What monkey has the highest IQ? ›
Capuchins are the most intelligent New World monkeys – perhaps as intelligent as chimpanzees. They are noted for their ability to fashion and use tools.
Scientists have studied both species and their brains to find the answer to this very question. And, scientifically speaking, dogs are likely smarter than cats. The research study looked at the brains of animals in the order Carnivora, a group of mammals containing bears, seals, raccoons as well as cats and dogs.Are pigs smarter than cats? ›
Several studies have shown that pigs are even smarter than dogs and cats, and they are able to solve problems quicker than many primates. Their cognitive abilities can be compared to those of a three-year-old human.Which animal is fast learner? ›
Yet pigs are also incredibly quick learners, perhaps the fastest in the entire animal kingdom.Who has 1,000 IQ? ›
|Marilyn vos Savant|
|Born||Marilyn Mach August 11, 1946 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
|Spouse||Robert Jarvik ( m. 1987)|
Her IQ is probably lower than average, around 90 SD 15. But she has a very entropic personality. Intelligence is ultimately about solving problems.What is Jeff Bezos IQ? ›
Jeff Bezos's IQ Score of 160 Makes Him a Genius
This is well above average (100) and puts him near Albert Einstein as one of the smartest people to ever live. Jeff was not always seen as a genius, but he has applied his intelligence to the success of Amazon and other companies throughout his career..
Cats can learn tricks, recognize their names, understand basic commands, and have a longer-lasting memory than dogs.Are dogs color blind? ›
Dogs possess only two types of cones and can only discern blue and yellow - this limited color perception is called dichromatic vision.Are cats color blind? ›
Cats and dogs are colour blind
To see in full colour as we know it, humans use three cones – red, blue and green. However cats and dogs only have blue and green cones. This means they have a much more muted perception of colour, which is akin to colour blindness in humans.
What animal has the highest IQ in the ocean? It's estimated that dolphins have an IQ of around 45, this makes them one of the smartest animals in the world, and probably the smartest animal in the ocean. It's estimated that the dolphin's brain size is almost five times bigger than is usual for a creature of their size.What is the IQ of a chimpanzee? ›
A variety of cognitive research on chimpanzees places their estimated IQ between 20 and 25, around the average for a human toddler whose brain is still developing the ability to use various cognitive abilities.Do humans have higher IQ than animals? ›
Study reveals how human brains have evolved to be smarter than other animals. New study adds an important piece to the puzzle of human brain evolution, explaining why humans are more cognitively advanced than other animals.