Top 10 SMARTEST Dogs in the World (Typically Most Expensive Too!)

Do you want your doggo to be the smartest on the block? As the Alpha of your pack, you surely want a hound that’s on top of the class. Intelligent dogs are easy to train and can become amazing family dogs with their ability to adapt to children and other pets. But take note that no matter how high the potential of a certain dog is, training and socialization will play a vital role on their personality and behavior. Check out the top 10 most smartest dogs in the world and see if your doggo landed a spot.

Top 10 SMARTEST Dogs in the World
  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Bloodhound
  9. Papillon
  10. Rottweiler

1. Border Collie

Always filled with energy and highly affectionate, the Border Collie breed seems to be the perfect pet with their high level of intelligence. This doggo has a hypnotic stare and intimidating eyes. It’s always full of zeal and the urge to work and seek adventures outdoors.

The Border Collie breed came from an ancestor dog in the 1890s named Old Hemp. Old Hemp came from Northumberland, England and had an unmatched agility and intelligence. Moreover, Border Collies are believed to be a cross-bred between Roman dogs and small spitz-type herding hounds. Currently, in the U.S., Border Collies have a price tag of $600 to $800 per pup.

If you like a dog that’s obsessed with physical activity and can play fetch for hours, the Border Collie is for you. They are workaholic and quick thinking which makes them challenging to live with. As much as Collies are smart and active, you can get them as family dogs. They are notorious for their compulsive behavior including chasing things that move like bicycles and kids.

It’s better that you channel the hyperactivity of Collies to livestock work. They will chase, nip, and push if another animal resists following his ways. Unless you can walk him at least 45 minutes a day, throw Frisbees, monitor off-leash romping, and manage weekly intensive dog training, Border Collies aren’t for you.

Border Collies can get easily bored and they can be destructive if not kept busy. You also have to train them fast due to their quick thinking skills. You should be watchful since Collies are master escapists and they can pick the lock of your gate after watching you do it a few times.

top 10 most smartest dogs in the world

2. Poodle

If you’re looking for an intelligent breed that can be excellent family or home dogs, nothing beats Poodles. These dogs are active, sharp-minded, headstrong, and trainable. But they can be the most obedient dogs with proper training. They love human companionship which is a win-win situation since this breed is also hypoallergenic.

Poodles are purebred and one of the oldest too. This breed is the national dog of France, but they are actually believed to originate from Germany. In fact, the name Poodle came from the German word “Pudelhund” which means to “splash about”. And as you know, Poodles are feisty sports animals that will romp around tirelessly. Although they are active, this breed can be gentle and affectionate which makes them an excellent companion even for seniors.

This breed pays a lot of attention to their owners, which makes them pretty easy to train. Poodles also respond very well on positively reinforced training and commands. But if you have a regular Poodle, make sure that you subject them to advanced obedience training and agility classes to keep them happy.

Poodles are seventh of the most popular pet canines. This dog costs around $800 to $1,500 which makes them one of the most expensive options as well. Prices may vary depending on the type if it’s a toy version or the standard Poodle. Anyway, a lot of pet owners are willing to spend their money just to get the stereotyped “sassy” doggo.

Poodles are bred to be hunting dogs and they were typically used as retrievers in France years ago. Right now, they have a pop-culture reputation, with celebrities owning toy versions and the dogs appearing on movies with their fashionable clip on. Although Poodles have curly and thick coats, they are light-shedding.

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are commonly military and security dogs. They have a strong sense of smell that’s why the authorities use them to sniff contrabands and bombs. One thing that makes them the number one pick for this job is their loyalty and obedience. They are the most obedient dogs and even regular households can deal with their temperament and personality. They are fearless but not hostile, expressive and confident but with the right level of aloofness to keep them out of harm’s way.

From its name, it’s easy to know that German Shepherds originated from Germany. They are herding dogs which are first bred in the 1850s to maintain their flock-protecting traits. In Britain, German Shepherd is called the Alsatian while it’s known in other parts of Europe as Schaferhund, Berger Allemand, and GSD. In the U.S. this breed is one of the most popular and you can get one for $800 to $1,500 per pup. The price goes higher as the breed riches the show-quality level.

Take note that German Shepherds that the family dog version is different from the strain involved in military operations. German doggos trained to provide security will be very headstrong and hard-tempered. The good thing about German Shepherds is they can be surly and mellow, active or calm depending on how you raise them.

This breed is eager to learn but you have to keep them occupied or they will get bored. They are not for people who leave their houses for long periods. As much as German Shepherds are smart and highly trainable, they can be destructive if not exercised daily. This breed can be too shy or aloof if not socialized early on.

4. Golden Retriever

No doubt that this favorite family dog is one of the top 10 most smartest dogs in the world. They are popular for their intelligence and they can learn up to 200 commands with proper training. This breed takes every task by heart and you can train them to be devoted companions and sports doggos. Aside from that, they are also loyal and affectionate to kids. With their eager-to-please attitude, Golden Retrievers are complete package dogs for almost every pet owner.

The theory as to where Golden Retrievers originated is murky. But one accepted story is that they came from England as a result of cross-breeding between a Yellow Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel which is now extinct. From there, hunters trained Golden Retrievers to retrieve waterfowl during hunting.

Currently, Golden Retrievers are one of the famous dog breeds all over the world due to their loving stare and friendly barks. The average pup price is $500 but it can be as expensive as $3,000 for show-quality breeds.

What most people love about Golden Retrievers is their forgiving nature. Like their name, this breed has a heart of gold. They aren’t aggressive and they will be friendly to almost anyone, including strangers who will pet them on the park. This makes them an excellent choice for inexperienced owners and families with misbehaving toddlers. Golden Retrievers are also low in maintenance and the most obedient dogs.

The only caution about Golden Retrievers is they can be jumpy especially during the pup stage. They also have a distinct doggy odor and heavy shedding. But all of these are worth the sacrifice if you adore a breed that can be calm, smart, and obedient.

5. Doberman Pinscher

Fearless and intimidating, Doberman Pinschers are known for being alert guard dogs and reliable security companions. They have a strong stamina, agility, and vigilance that are all perfect for chasing burglars and intruders. Dobermans have a long history of working for the military and they are still in-demand as police and war dogs.

Doberman Pinschers came from Germany and was bred as guard dogs. They are believed to be a mix of different breeds like Terriers, Rottweiler, and German Pinscher. And although they look like they’re going to smack anyone who gets near, Dobermans are softies. They can be gentle and awesome family dogs but not for households with kids.  Dobermans are calm and perceptive, but everyone should be firm to fight his imposing nature.

Also, Dobermans need regular walking and running or they will start to develop behavioral issues. And since they are one of the top 10 most smartest dogs in the world, Dobermans require daily mental stimulation.

top 10 most smartest dogs in the world

There are so many stereotypes about Dobermans which is one thing why purchasing them as pets can be quite problematic. Pups have a hefty price tag of $1,500 not to mention other legal requirements and liabilities including insurance, breed bans, and a chance of lawsuits.

Dobermans thrive with owners who have consistent leadership – something that they grew accustomed to as security dogs. If not, they will be too sharp, persuasive, and hard-headed. They are also serious dogs that can’t tolerate any teasing and playful petting. If that’s not enough for a challenge, Dobermans are emotionally sensitive to loud sounds and stress. They can throw a destructive fit if subjected to intense stress without proper training.

The good thing about Dobermans is they aren’t trouble seekers. But if the need arises, they will be all set to give a fight.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Isn’t their fluffy coat huggable? Aside from their great look, Shetland Sheepdogs are also thinking hounds. They bear the intelligence trait similar to other herding dogs. This is why they earned the “miniature Collie” nickname. But instead of being too aggressive and sharp, Shetland Sheepdogs can be family dogs with their playful and affectionate personality.

One thing that people love about Shelties is their laudable obedience level. They win agility and obedience competitions and they are highly protective of their human herd. Their friendly stance turns defensive during imminent harm. They can be excessive barkers too.

This animated breed originated in Scotland during 1700s when fisher folks brought various dog breeds from the Shetland Islands. These dogs cross-bred which resulted to the Shetland Sheepdog we have today. And proportionate to their personality, their price ranges from $800 to $1,500 per puppy.

If you want an agile but soft, or swift and but sensitive pet, Shetland Sheepdogs would be excellent. But remember that they have very twitchy reflexes which make them a poor option for families with kids. They do not thrive in stressful and noisy environments including rough-housing where loud voices and sudden touches happen.

Shetland Sheepdogs are usually reserved and polite, but you need to socialize them to prevent this personality from bordering to extreme shyness and aloofness. Also, they require companionship all the time and you just can’t leave them alone in the house. They can start to be neurotic and unhappy which can translate to chewing, loud and ear-piercing barking, and destruction.

Take note, too, that this breed is an athletic and yappy one. You have to bring them to walks and let them off the leash on your backyard. Stimulate their minds regularly if you want them to be the most obedient dogs.

7. Labrador Retriever

Like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers are favorites as family dogs. They are one of the most famous American Kennel Club (AKC) breed and known for being friendly and smart. Labs also make as great family dogs since they can tolerate the herky-jerky behavior of kids. They are also considered as all-around dogs since they are used for therapy, rescue, guarding, and assistance.

Their involvement in various activities proves their intelligence and easy-to-train personality.  Labs obedience roots back to the 1500s when they were bred to be companions of fisher folks in Newfoundland, Canada. They used to dive on freezing water to retrieve the catch and pull the fishing nets. Even before, they are excellent buddies and lauded for their good-natured personality. They are also one of the top 10 most smartest dogs in the world.

If you’re looking for dogs that suit all ages, Labs would be unmatched. However, unlike their Golden counterparts, Labs are a bit reserved when it comes to showing their affection. You also have to train them and bring them to regular walks or they will start to be stubborn. Take note that their necks can be as strong as bulls if you don’t train them early on.

The personality of Labs matures slowly and they remain to be spirited teenagers even on their adult stage. Their high energy is even more evident during their pup years. This is good for active families, but you have to train them continuously to prevent rowdiness and to tame their innate exuberance. Labs also have the tendency to mouth objects and the arms of their owners if they aren’t disciplined well.

Labrador Retrievers cost around $600-$1,000 for pet quality. They are way affordable than other dog breeds which is why they are one of the famous breeds next to Golden Retrievers.

8. Bloodhound

Their droopy ears and wrinkly face make Bloodhounds recognizable. They are famous for their strong sense of smell, friendliness, and intelligence. AKC defines Bloodhound’s personality as noble and dignified but with tones of calmness, wisdom, and power. They are easy-going, but that doesn’t mean that they are couch potatoes. Bloodhounds are also used on police operations in finding missing persons and sniffing packages.

Their powerful noses date back to the third century and are believed to have descended from hound breeds in the Mediterranean. They are bred to have the scenting power that can follow foxes, wolves, and deer for the purpose of hunting.

Since Bloodhounds are one of the big dog breeds, they require a lot of space when taken care of as home pets. But make sure that you have high fences and locked gates. Their sniffing abilities can take over their attention which will lead to them to follow the trail until they get lost.

Bloodhounds aren’t the most obedient dogs which require a confident and experienced owner. They are well-mannered and gentle. They can be excellent family dogs given that the kids are old enough to respect their space and avoid hurting them. This breed is possessive with toys and food which can cause problems with toddlers around. And like Labs, Bloodhounds take a little longer to mature than other breeds. Training and patience are required here.

Take note that Bloodhounds belong to the hunting breeds. When they get bored, they will chew and mouth things. They are also difficult to housebreak and their baying can be a pain.

If you’re thinking of getting a Bloodhound as a pet, you have to shell out about $800-$1,200. Their size pretty much explains the price.

top 10 most smartest dogs in the world

9. Papillon

Looking for a small breed on these top 10 most smartest dogs in the world? Papillon is the only small breed next to toy Poodles that can match the intelligence of large hounds. They are happy and alert dogs and sometimes deceptively cute. Although it’s only 11 inches tall, the Papillon is strong, tough, and athletic. They can handle long walks and pit on the endurance of their larger doggo friends.

In French, the word “Papillon” means “butterfly”. This breed is named as such due to their butterfly-like ears that if well-groomed, will accentuate their adorable appearance. They are modern versions of Spaniels that had a large population in Europe back in the 1200s. Although their exact origin isn’t established, they were believed to have thrived in France.

Papillons can be overprotective with their possessions and if you’re looking for a cuddly lap dog, they aren’t the best option. Papillons are standoffish and they hate physical restraint. They are always in the move, running, jumping, and fetching for hours. Still, this dog is light-footed and won’t likely to topple lamps and decors at home. If you give them intensive training, Papillons can be the most obedient dogs too.

Girl Papillons can be deceptive by manipulating you through their charm. You need to have your guard up and if they fail, their last resort is sulking. Practice consistency with these vixens if you don’t want them to outsmart you. And if you’re keen to have them as pets, you have to spend about $500 to $1,500 depending on the location of the breeder.

Due to their high-strung temperament, Papillons aren’t excellent family dogs. They are touch sensitive which can be disastrous if you have a curious toddler. Still, they are trainable and will be polite to strangers.

10. Rottweiler

Despite their confident and seemingly intimidating stride, Rottweilers are more than their bad reputation and stereotypes. They are loyal, confident, and can be loveable given that you raise them with affection and care. Usually, Rottweilers are used as police dogs, herders, service dogs, and companion hounds.

Most of the Rottweilers we see on TV are serious, but with domesticated training, they can be goofy too. They aren’t compulsive dogs and they usually have the wait-and-see nature when they hear sounds or see foreign objects. Make sure that you socialize them early to prevent them from being too territorial.

Rotts or Rotties came from Germany where they are typical companions for farmers and butchers. Their stocky build helps in pulling carts and driving cattle. This is the reason why they have a confident and strong vibe that tends to intimidate newbie pet owners.

Rottweilers require a big space to dwell at and you should take them to brisk walks to sustain their active lifestyle. You should also allow them to romp on the yard and provide them with regular mental exercise to keep their obedience level in check.

This breed has a high territorial and prey instinct which makes them the least likely choice as a family dog. They resent other dogs from the same sex and they are also predatory toward cats. Without constant companionship and training, it will feel like you have five dogs instead of one.

If you’re keen on having Rottweilers as pets, be prepared to pay an arm and a leg. Each pup costs $2,000 to $4,000 depending on the bloodline.

No matter which of these top 10 most smartest dogs in the world you choose, make sure that you will be a responsible pack leader. Sure thing, these dogs are smart, but they still need training and proper care.

If you’re wondering how smart your dog is, here’s a quick look on different canine intelligence and a test to check how wise your pooch is:

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Top 10 SMARTEST Dogs in the World (Typically Most Expensive Too!)

by Kevin Zhou time to read: 12 min
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