Which dogs are the smartest, and easiest to train?

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  1. nmdonders profile image72
    nmdondersposted 12 years ago

    Which dogs are the smartest, and easiest to train?

  2. michiganman567 profile image73
    michiganman567posted 12 years ago

    I didn't do any research on this, but I would imagine that German Shepherds and labs are the smartest.  Based on the type of dogs that professional like to use for special tasks.  Police dogs, leader dogs for the blind, etc.

  3. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 12 years ago

    #5 Doberman Pinscher #4 Golden Retriever #3 German Shepherd #2 Poodle and
    #1 Border Collie

  4. profile image0
    Ari Lamsteinposted 12 years ago

    I think that the key work on dog intelligence was done by Stanley Coren and written in his book "The Intelligence of Dogs":


    That's probably the first place to look.  But you'll probably want to also look at his definition of intelligence, as well as different ways of viewing dog intelligence.

    There are a few caveats about selecting a dog as a pet based on intelligence.  The first that comes to mind is that consistent training on the part of the owner is probably more important than the intelligence of the dog.  No dog is born knowing how to be a good member of society; it is always the owner's role to teach (and consistently reinforce) this to the dog.  An intelligent dog will learn to sit, stay, etc. quicker than a not intelligent dog.  But if you don't learn how to train him - and invest the time to do so - then he will not sit just because you say "sit". 

    Second, intelligent dogs need constant mental stimulation.  They can get bored easily.  If not given appropriate mental stimulation they might act out (eg chew inappropriately) in order to engage themselves mentally.  I say this because I just adopted an intelligent dog and was surprised to learn this myself!  In short, there is a downside to intelligence in dogs which I was surprised about.

    1. nmdonders profile image72
      nmdondersposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the link.  I haven't read through it yet but I will.  The only dog study I know of is Pavlov's.  These are great points and very important.  Thank you for the info and taking the time to write it out.

  5. DrMark1961 profile image95
    DrMark1961posted 12 years ago

    I wrote a hub on this because the book cited by Ari is so wrong as to be offensive. Border collies were his number one choice since they are so easy to train, but yes, michiganman, the GSD and Labrador were in the top ten. That is because they are easy to lead around and will fetch balls. Does that mean that anyone who follows orders is more intelligent than someone who refuses and has to think about whether the order is acceptable?
    If you are looking for a dog do not go on the suggestion of intelligence. Find a dog that is right for you and your family.

  6. drmiddlebrook profile image90
    drmiddlebrookposted 12 years ago

    This Hub was written in response to the question: What are some dogs that are smartest, and easiest to train? Here the author presents her top 5 picks, with plenty of pictures and information on each breed. read more

    1. profile image0
      Ari Lamsteinposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Great Hub!

    2. nmdonders profile image72
      nmdondersposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the Hub, it's great!

  7. Desertarmor profile image64
    Desertarmorposted 12 years ago

    This really depend upone what you want to teach the dog... just basic obedeince, A therapy dog, A protection dog, A frizbee dog, Agailty??? My favorite and I think the most all around easiest to train and smartest is the Belgian malinois... A great resource for this would be from Dr. P's (just google it) He was a professor at the university of Wisconsin and has done some great research.

  8. agilitymach profile image94
    agilitymachposted 12 years ago

    Study after study has shown the border collie to be the easiest to train.  From my experience as a professional trainer and after training well over a thousand dogs I would agree, the BC is the easiest to train.

    BUT the BC is a handful of a dog.  It needs a JOB.  You can't get one and put it in the backyard or it will create it's own interesting fun. You won't like what it chooses!!!  BCs need specific type of owners who are extremely active and have loads of time to put into training.  A BC needs to do something like herding, agility, flyball, disc dog, etc.  Of course, I know couch potato BCs, too, but generally speaking a well bred BC from good lines will need to be working.

    However, that also doesn't mean that other breeds aren't intelligent.  One of the problems with measuring "intelligence," in either dogs or people, is that we really can't avoid measuring what the dog knows or has learned or can learn. 

    So breeds that were bred to work with humans - in other words bred specifically for the trait of being eager to learn from a human - will do better at intelligence tests.  They are more eager learners - but does this make them smarter?

    Afgan Hounds are generally considered to be among the dumber breeds.  However they are sight hounds.  They were bred to work completely independent of the hunter, working a mile away and holding at bay the prey until the hunter appeared to kill it.  They were not bred, like say a herding dog, to follow extremely closely the commands of a human.

    So a sight hound really doesn't care much what the human thinks, asks, does, etc. during training.  But does that make them dumg?  No...it makes them sight hounds.

    1. agilitymach profile image94
      agilitymachposted 12 years agoin reply to this


      However then how do you test their intelligence?  Every dog intelligence test I have seen is vastly flawed.  One intelligence test looked at how fast a dog covered by a blanket got itself extracted from the blanket.  Well....I actually train

    2. nmdonders profile image72
      nmdondersposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It sounds like you know a great deal about dogs.  I love your picture. Thank your for all of this info. I used to have a neighbor with a border collie and I remember it being very smart.

    3. agilitymach profile image94
      agilitymachposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you mmdonders.  BCs are amazing dogs.  Not the dog for me personally, but they are great. smile

  9. connorj profile image70
    connorjposted 12 years ago

    Not our most wonderful and helpful dog that should have been called God (backwards).


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