There’s a general perception that certain dog breeds are smarter than others. For example, Labrador Retrievers are smarter than Cocker Spaniels or Border Collies are smarter than German Shepherds. But how do we really know that one dog is smarter than another? What exactly does it mean to be an intelligent dog?
Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia asked himself these same questions and set-out to find the answers. He compiled his research and theories in a book titled The Intelligence of Dogs, published in 1994.
Following is a list of top 10 smartest dogs as defined in The Intelligence of Dogs.
1. Lhasa Apso – The Lhasa Apso was originally bred by Tibetan Monks and was used to alert the monks of intruders in the monasteries. The breed is displayed prominently in the Tibetan flag.
2. Border Collie – The Border Collie was bred in the United Kingdom and was used by farmers to herd sheep.
3. German Shepherd – The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, having only been around since 1899. It was originally bred to be a sheep herder
4. Golden Retriever – The Golden Retriever was originally bred in Scotland to retrieve waterfowl and game for hunters.
5. Doberman Pinscher – The Doberman was originally bred to be a ferocious guard dog. As a result of years of careful breading the modern Doberman Pinscher is now an energetic and lively breed suitable for companionship and family life.
6. Shetland Sheepdog – Although the Shetland Sheepdog closely resembles a miniature Rough Collie it’s true parent breed is the Border Collie. It is small in stature and a good family dog.
7. Labrador Retriever – The Labrador Retriever is ironically most commonly known to be from Newfoundland. Originally, Labradors assisted fisherman by dragging in heavy fishing nets. The Labrador is currently the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in the world, and is by a large margin the most popular breed by registration in the United States (since 1991), and the United Kingdom.
8. Papillion – Papillons were a favorite of the Spanish aristocracy and today make excellent watch dogs.
9. Rottweiler -The Rottweiler (which mean the Butcher Dog in German) was bred in Germany to be a herder and because of its intelligence and strength were eventually used as draught dogs, pulling carts to carry meat and other products to market.
10. Australian Cattle Dog – The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Queensland Heeler, Blue Heeler and Red Heeler is a breed of herding dog developed in Australia for droving cattle. It is a medium-sized short-coated dog with a lot of energy, intelligence and an independent streak.