Dog Training

Top 20 smartest dog breeds that will succeed in any IQ test

Top 20 smartest dog breeds that will succeed in any IQ test
Top 20 smartest dog breeds that will succeed in any IQ test

It’s true that dogs are some of the most intelligent pets in the world, but the question, “What’s the smartest dog breeds?”, is still the reason for the difference between many dog breeders…It’s natural that some canines are smarter than others, because it depends on the breed of dog and its level of training, in addition to its ability to adapt to its environment and its biological inclination.

Since most dog breeders are curious and pay attention to every detail of their dogs, they ask many questions related to dog intelligence. For example, are large dog breeds smarter than small dog breeds? Or what are the criteria for dog smartness? Or look for a ranking of the smartest dogs in the world … To answer all these questions and determine the smartest dog breeds in the world, we will rely on a study by psychologist Stanley Coren in his book The Intelligence of Dogs.

But before we do that, we need to make sure that intelligence isn’t everything, as it is mainly due to any dog breed that suits your needs and the needs of your family in terms of compatibility with young children and size in addition to its ability to obey orders. Before we give you a list of the smartest dog breeds in the world in 2020, we’ll know a lot of information that will help us understand how to measure your dog’s intelligence and other details related to this topic … just read this article until the end and you can make your dog smarter.

Do dogs have an IQ?

According to many recent research and studies published in Intelligence magazine, dogs have a measurable IQ, just like humans. This study also indicated that canine intelligence varies from breed to breed and from dog to dog. In addition, there are many tests for calculating the IQ of dogs, and some breeds are able to pass them with great success and accuracy.

How can I test my dog’s IQ? / (How Smart Is Your Dog?)

simply, like humans, dogs have a set of tests to measure their intelligence. Sometimes you may need to test your dog’s intelligence level, but you don’t know the ideal method for doing it. Today, we’ll provide you with a lot of information on how to take an IQ test for your dog:

Dog IQ Test 2020:

Top 3 Tests for Finding the Smartest Dog breeds in 2020:

Task One: The task is very facile، it consists of placing a large towel on your dog’s head to test his ability to solve problems. If the dog succeeds in freeing himself in less than 15 seconds, give him 3 points, but if it takes 15-30 seconds, give him 2 points and 1 point if it takes longer than that.

Task Two: Put three empty cups in front of your dog, then turn them straight up. Let the dog watch you, then place a reward under one of those cups. After a few seconds of distraction, let him search the treat. This test will help you determine your dog’s ability to store information and test his memory. If the dog goes directly to the cup that contains the treatment, give him 3 points and 2 points if he checks an empty cup before receiving the treatment, but if he only finds the treatment after looking for the 2 empty cups, give him 1 point.

Task Three: When your dog leaves, rearrange his favorite bedroom furniture and change the position of the pillow he is still sitting on. This test is primarily intended to discover the territory and the extent of his notoriety.
Let the dog return to the room, as usual, give him 3 points if he goes directly to his favorite place, but if it takes a little time to check his position, give him 2 points, give him 1 point if he goes and chooses a new place.

Now, after all these tests, you will calculate the total number of points obtained to discover the smartest dog breeds:

  • 7 points or more: your dog is a genius! You should be proud of it.
  • 5 to 7 points: Your dog isn’t a genius, but he is smart.
  • 3 to 5 points: Your dog is moderately intelligent and needs a lot of training.
  • Less than 3 points: Unfortunately, your dog will often need help to understand or take commands.


We reaffirm that intelligence is not everything, that these tests are not totally infallible and that some dogs are more intelligent than the result obtained in this test. The most likely explanation is that some of these dogs are just stubborn, in a bad mood, and do not want to cooperate and it has nothing to do with their intelligence. Therefore, your dogs deserve all the love and attention, even if they are not on the list of the smartest dog breeds in the world.

What is the average IQ of a dog?

Although the answer is very relative, if we look at the dog’s scale, we will find that the average IQ of the dog is 100. This means that if we measure the dog’s intelligence among the average of thousands of dogs by comparing how they solve some common problems they face, we will find that the rate is 100.
But if we want to make that comparison by adopting the human intelligence scale, we’ll find that it doesn’t make sense and we can’t get any results. Simply because dogs are capable of doing many things that humans cannot do, and vice versa, we cannot compare. But at best, it varies from 10 to 30.

What dog has the highest IQ?

Based on the book The Intelligence of Dogs for Dr. Stanley Coren, we noticed that he divided the smartest dog breeds according to their type of intelligence into 3 main sections. The most intelligent and highest-ranked dog breeds were Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers. This very advanced ranking is due to their ability to understand new commands in less than 5 repetitions and not to forget them for a very long time.

Are bigger dogs smarter than small dogs?

Although the list of the 10 smartest dog breeds in the world contains only one small dog, which is Papillon, there is no scientific fact that confirms that larger dogs are smarter than small dogs. Maybe it’s because large dogs have a strong memory, which makes them excellent in terms of intelligence. But this answer remains only a theory with no scientific basis.

What is the mental age of a dog?

Based on Coren’s reference book and through many behavioral procedures, we can confirm that the level of dogs’ mental capacity is equal or close to a human child between 2 and 2.5 years old. Note that this varies from breed to breed, confirming that some dogs are smarter than others. But the identification of the smartest dog breeds in the world depends on many other factors. So let’s know what makes a dog smart:

What Makes a Dog Smart?

smartest dog breeds
smartest dog breeds: What Makes a Dog Smart

Because the notion of intelligence varies from person to person and there is no specific or uniform definition of intelligence, you will notice that measures of dog intelligence differ from trainer to trainer. Some dog trainers think that obedient dogs are the most intelligent, while others consider fast training dogs are the most intelligent … In general, most people think that acceptable and social dogs are intelligent according to most human standards.

In general, dog breeders and trainers, in addition to psychologists, are only able to know the smartest dog breeds and determine the criteria for dog intelligence, like:
– The dog’s ability to train quickly and to constantly obey commands, in addition to not forgetting training orders.
– The efficiency of the dogs in the accomplishment of their assigned functions and tasks.
– Their ability to adapt quickly to their environment and to understand and develop things from humans.
– Their ability to understand a large number of words and memorize them for a long time (you can read more about this subject in this article). Most of you don’t know that there are many types of dog intelligence, so let’s know together:

Different types of dog intelligence

Before we get to know the smartest dog breeds in the world, we need to know that there are many different types of intelligence in dogs that we find visual, auditory or tactile…, but according to Dr. Stanley Coren, we can find three main groups of canine intelligence:

Instinct intelligence: This type of dog intelligence is mainly related to the function for which this dog breed was created. For example, guard and hunting dogs find it intelligent to guard everything and determine their position by reference in addition to their great ability to sense and remember objects and people by smell, while companion dogs always try to intelligently understand their owner’s mood in order to exude comfort and not to disturb him …

Adaptive intelligence: Basically, we use these criteria to find out what a dog can independently teach or master. By understanding and using its experience gained by the dog over the years, it can develop ways to solve new problems, and it can also come up with new ideas for doing its job …

Working and obedience intelligence: Unlike self-training, this method of intelligence depends on what the dog can master by training and instructions ordered by humans and the time it takes to master it. This is extremely important because if dogs do not obey their owner’s or trainer’s commands, they will not benefit and cannot be relied upon to perform the tasks assigned to them.

After knowing all these types of skills, I think it’s clear to determine which are the smartest dog breeds in the world. Since it is very relative, many dogs are very intelligent in one skill, moderately intelligent or not intelligent in other skills … it is simply a matter of different intelligence. Therefore, it is not fair to say that the Canine Intelligence Test is accurate in terms of determining the level of canine intelligence, but it is very important to identify the problem-solving skills and evaluation after training to develop your dog’s intelligence.

Here you will find the best guide to ideal dog training that will help you improve your dog’s intelligence.

Signs of Dog Intelligence 

When we communicate with our dogs, we notice that they share many feelings of love and interact with us, which proves that dogs are intelligent. there are also many other signs that prove that dogs are very intelligent creatures. Therefore, we invite you to know 9 signs that will help you to check if your dog is one of the smartest dogs in the world:

– They can remember all commands that you taught them a year or more ago.
– Able to find the door open by themselves in a short time.
– your dog can solve treat puzzles.
– They feel your anger and cuddle with you when you’re sad.
– They bring their own toys when they want to play.
– Able to understand what it means when you pack.
– Your dog is very careful.
– They know every area they are taken to.
– Able to perform actions only by observation.

All these signs help you know if your dog is on the list of the world’s smartest dog breeds. Let’s get to know this list.

Top 20 Smartest Dog Breeds (dog intelligence ranking 2020)

1. Border Collie:

smartest dog breedstop 20 smartest dog breedstop 20 smartest dog breeds
Border Collie-smartest dog breeds
Border Collie is one of the famous herders who have won the title of the smartest dog in the world for decades. According to Stanley Coren, these dogs are able to take all new commands less than 5 times and they also have a very strong memory. Although Border Collie is elegant and graceful, they are at the same time robust, balanced, and very efficient. It is very important to start training these dogs at a young age to greatly develop their intelligence, as they need constant mental stimulation to maintain their happiness.
2. Poodle:
most intelligent dog breedssmartest dog breeds
Both the studies of the American Kennel Club and Dr. Coren confirm that the Poodle is one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. These dogs are very agile and obedient, as they love sport, which makes training and control easier. They are able to pass all IQ tests in a very short time.
3. German Shepherd:
most intellegent dog breeds
German Shepherd-most intelligent dog breeds
German Shepherd Dogs can be considered as very intelligent dogs that are even able to help humans in the most difficult moments. This is proven by the multitude of tasks they can do, for example, can be adopted as police dogs, medical assistance dogs, treating dogs, and herding dogs … These dogs are very obedient and very fierce, as they enjoy reward-based training. In addition, German Shepherd dogs can live with the family.
4. Golden Retriever:
top 20 smartest dog breeds
Golden Retriever
It is one of the most popular dogs for everyone and can be classified as one of the smartest dog breeds that have high skills during training. This breed was originally a hunting companion dog and can also be used as an ideal guide in search and rescue operations. In addition to being intelligent dogs, they are very eager to please their owner or trainer, which facilitates the training process.
5. Doberman Pinscher:
Smartest dog breeds
Doberman Pinscher: Smartest dog breeds
In its early life, this intelligent dog was used as a companion for tax collectors in Germany, and can also be used as a guard dog and companion. These dogs have a strong personality and medium size in addition to their great love of wandering and hiking. To improve the intelligence of these dogs, they need a lot of training.
6. Shetland Sheepdog:
most intelligent dog breeds
Shetland Sheepdog
This working dog breed excels in the pasture by its tendency to bark and chase the herd away. They are also obedient and loyal dogs and love their breeders very much. In addition to its strong personality, it is distinguished by its great energy in training. All these qualities make the Shetland Sheepdog the smartest dog breeds in 2020.
7. Labrador Retriever:
It is one of the most intelligent, cute, and familiar dogs, as it has been one of the most popular breeds in the United States of America for 27 consecutive years. He is also a sports dog and loves to train, and is capable of doing many difficult missions such as detecting drugs and others. For all these reasons, Labrador Retriever is the seventh most intelligent dog breed in the world.
8. Papillon:
Their name comes from the shape of their long, pointed, butterfly-shaped ears. These dogs are graceful and love to play. This breed is reputed to be very intelligent and easy to train in addition to its very strong memory and love of its owner. In addition, these dogs have a great ability to adapt to their environment.
9. Rottweiler:
The Rottweiler is descended from the antique Rome, these dogs are suitable for grazing, police dogs, processing dogs because of their robust temperament, and reliable in all difficult tasks. In fact, it is one of the smartest dog breeds in the world only, it needs a lot of training. It is a stubborn dog but with a little patience, the stimulation will be obedient and loyal to its owner.
10. Australian Cattle Dog:
According to Dr. Stanley Coren’s classification, this dog ranks tenth in the list of the smartest dog breeds in the world in 2020. This dog is curious and intelligent by nature because it has great energy and shows its intelligence while doing its job like grazing … In fact, he is an obedient and active dog in addition to being graceful and intelligent.
11. Gordon Setter:
These dogs are from Gordon Setters, Scotland, and England, and are a loyal dog breed. Gordon Setters were bred mainly for hunting, but they perform many tasks nowadays due to their excellent memory, great stamina, and extreme intelligence.
12. Welsh Terrier:
It has a great capacity to fish by developing intelligent tactics and plans. It is true that these dogs are a bit noisy, but with some training, they become loyal and social. All these qualities make them one of the smartest dog breeds in the world.
13. Old English Sheepdog:
These dogs are cute, social, gentle, and like attention. They are also a very intelligent dog and able to adapt quickly to their environment.
14. English Springer Spaniel:
This dog has many qualities as he is naughty, gentle, and very excellent in hunting. All these features make it the most intelligent dog breed. It is also easy to train.
15. Australian Cattle:
This race has a very great instinctive intelligence and is capable of acquiring and mastering many commands within a relatively reasonable period of time. The intelligence of this breed is particularly evident in the protection and care of livestock, it is very effective for people living on farms.
16. Belgian Tervuren:
Among the very famous Belgian dogs, he ranks 16th in the list of the smartest dog breeds in 2020. Due to his extreme intelligence, he turns tasks and duties into games and enjoys them.
But it is very important to train these dogs as well in training when they are young in order to avoid training problems for these dogs at an advanced age.
17. Bernese Mountain Dog:
They are also intelligent and sensitive dogs, and they have enormous potential for cattle care. Although their training is very easy, they require many training exercises to develop their intelligence and skills.
18. Australian Shepard:
Dogs belonging to this breed are not geniuses but have a high level of intelligence, capable of mastering many tricks in a short time. These intelligent and cute dogs are suitable for families with children.
19. Bloodhound:
Although it is a stubborn breed, it is considered to be one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. It always wants to take over, and it has a great ability to pick up scents and search for prey while hunting.
20. Labrador Retriever:
Originally, these dogs were used to hunt ducks because of the shape of their flat tails, which allowed them to swim in the water. These dogs are very intelligent and can attract attention because of their cute behavior.
You can view the list of the smartest dogs in the world for 2020 in this video.

How to make my dog smarter?

Of course, everyone wants their dog to be among the smartest dog breeds in the world, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. No problem, because we’ll provide you with a wonderful set of tips on raising a smart dog:

smartest dog breeds
How to make my dog smarter?

– You should start training the puppies as soon as you bring them home. The earlier the training starts at an early age, the better the dog will be trainable, which increases its intelligence level.
– Be sure to practice physical manipulation with your dog every day. This is very important, as this daily practice will make the dog more willing to accept all the changes and want to accept to learn all the new commands. (In this article you can find a set of basic dog training commands).
– It is very important to praise your dog when mastering new training exercises or when applying your commands with great professionalism, which makes a dog eager to be smarter.

– To keep your dog among the smartest dog breeds, try not to make him feel routine during training. At the same time, enter a set of new tips and commands in training. This will help the dog hone his talent for intelligence.
– One of the most important ways to increase a dog’s intelligence is to provide him with continuous exposure to tests and problems. It is through socialization, and frequent exposure to new situations, that the dog will have gained a great deal of experience and thus developed his intelligence. As a result, it is named as one of the smartest dog breeds in the world.

Does one of you own a smart dog… Share your experience in comments!