As demand for puppies continues to soar post-lockdown, here are the breeds that have both brains and beauty – our list of genius dogs.
If you, like many of us, you want to welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
With 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, you should consider what matches well with your way of life.
For example, those with active lifestyles might want to consider a larger dog, while somebody with allergies will be looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
If you are looking for a dog that’s as smart as it is adorable though, there’s scientific research into the subject that can guide you. Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ is a landmark piece of canine literature, judging breeds’ relative IQs by looking at instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
So these are – officially – the top 10 brightest breeds of pooch.
1. Border Collie
The Border Collie 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
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
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