Dogs aren’t just fun to have as companions, many of them are bred to perform tasks such as sniff out bombs and guard livestock. While dogs can be fun and silly, many breeds are highly intelligent and perform life-threatening tasks.
If you’re in the market for a pooch, here are the top 10 smartest from which to choose.
The border collie is bred to herd sheep and is considered to be one of the hardest working dog breeds around. Border collies love to work, and if the owners don’t give the dog something to do, it will create a job on its own like herding your kids.
The trick to owning a border collie is to give it plenty of mental stimulation by playing games of search and rescue or participating in obstacle courses.
Most people don’t often think of the poodle when they think of smart dogs, but they’re number two on our list for a reason.
People bred poodles as hunting dogs, and they were able to work apart from their owners as well as prey.
If you were to go back and watch old movies of circuses in the United States, you would see the poodle as a star performer. Poodles are highly intelligent and easily trainable, which makes them ideal as working or performing dogs.
Their intelligence and ease of training make them excellent candidates for serving people with disabilities too.
Lastly, most poodles are good-natured and make great pets.
When someone thinks of a working dog, they often go straight to the German Shepherd and for a good reason. These animals were originally bred to be herding dogs but later served in WWI and WWII as rescue dogs.
Their strength, agility, and willingness to defend their owners make them ideal family protection dogs. However, their intelligence also serves them well as bomb-sniffing dogs or narcotics dogs.
If you choose to get a German Shepherd as a pet, give them plenty of tasks to perform to keep them mentally sharp. And, despite their fierce appearance, they can be quite loving animals and work well for families with children.
People love Golden Retrievers, so much so that they’re one of the most popular breeds in the US. Their good nature, playfulness, and affability make them fantastic pets, especially around children.
However, don’t let their goofy attitude fool you.
Golden Retrievers are brilliant animals that people bred as hunting dogs. They have muscular, athletic builds and are even-tempered, which also makes them a suitable choice as service dogs.
Like the German Shepherd, most people think of Dobermans as protection dogs or guard dogs. And while they excel in those areas, they are also highly trainable and make great, loyal pets when adequately trained and socialized.
However, remember that because these animals are bred as protection animals, they do have an aggressive nature and an instinct to defend their home and territory.
Similar in appearance to a collie, the Shetland Sheepdog (or Shelties as some refer to them), are good-natured and sweet animals. Shelties are popular as pets, but like the other animals on our list, they need plenty of tasks to do and mental stimulation.
Bred initially as shepherd dogs, they thrive when working and like to be near their guardians. If you want an animal that lies around on the couch all day, this isn’t the breed for you.
Should you choose a sheltie, make sure you give them plenty of exercise, and you’ll both be happier.
As with the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retrievers are popular dogs to have as a pet. These animals are known to be friendly and are eager to please. However, these dogs were bred as work dogs because of their intelligence and ability to be trained.
For years, the Lab worked along with fishermen and hunters and performed tasks such as retrieving prey. Labs are bred to learn quickly and to be obedient, two traits that make them ideal for families wanting a loyal and fun pet.
Rottweilers have a reputation for being fierce, aggressive animals, but they’re also one of the most intelligent breeds too.
Like the other animals on our list, the Rottweiler was bred as working animals, in this case, to herd cattle. Like the German Shepherd, their intelligence landed them roles with the police and military as guard dogs and protection dogs.
While some perceive them as fierce animals who won’t back down when protecting their territory, they are also good-natured and devoted companions.
Although smaller than the other animals on our list, the papillon is equally intelligent. These highly energetic animals love to play and exercise. The papillon regularly saw work as a performing dog for shows and circuses because it is a quick learner.
Australian Cattle Dog
Like so many dogs on the list, the Australian Cattle Dog is bred for its herding abilities. It’s a smart, independent, sometimes stubborn animal that some people find a challenge to live with.
However, because the dog is so stubborn, it doesn’t give up when it has its mindset on a task.
Even if you don’t use this dog to herd cattle or sheep, its suspicious nature and independence make it an ideal guard dog or protection dog.
Now that you know some of the smartest dog breeds that are also easy to train, we hope you find the perfect furry companion to suit your lifestyle. Whether you simply want a pet to exercise with or a dog to make you feel safer, you are sure to find one on this list.