Here are the most intelligent breeds of dog that are eager to learn – and the canines that are not so blessed in the brains department.
Plenty of us decided to welcome new four-legged friends into our homes in the last couple of years – according to Kennel Club figures dog ownership soared by nearly eight percent – and post-lockdown demand for puppies remains high.
There are a whopping 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, alongside numerous crossbreeds, so there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest addition.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
So, here are breeds of dog that Coren found were the brightest and those that are prone to being a bit dumb (but still lovable and popular pets).
Don't let their curly hair and cute demeanor fool you - Poodles have a razor-sharp brain second only to the Border Collie. All three sizes - Standard, Miniature and Toy - are hugely smart, making great service and therapy dogs. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Border Collie
Starting with the canine masterminds and the Border Collie, which is the undisputed top dog when it comes to intelligence. Commonly utilised to herd sheep, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their intellect. They can learn a huge number of words and commands, and can turn their paw to a wide range of jobs and tasks. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. German Shepherd
Used for everything from drug detection to sniffing out explosives, the German Shepherd is another breed in the top tier of canine intelligence - understanding a new command after only five repititions and following the command at least 95 per cent of the time. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Golden Retriever
One of the world's friendliest dogs is also one of the most intelligent. Golden Retrievers are perfect as seeing dogs and search-and-rescue dogs due to their obedience, big brains and dedication to tasks. Photo: Canva/Getty Images