Which dog breeds are the smartest? trainable dog breeds?
When potential dog owners ask if a particular dog breed is smart, they really want to know how trainable the breed of dog is. Although intelligence is a major component in a canine’s ability to learn, each dog breed has its own distinct personality, instinctive drives, and genetic heritage, which will affect their trainability. For example, some dog breeds were developed to work in a team with human partners, and others were developed to work independently.
Another factor is the ability to focus. Is the dog able to concentrate on what the trainer is saying or are other elements in the environment pulling his focus? Breeds such as the Bloodhound are ruled by their noses. An interesting smell will win out over training almost every time. Of course, training methods have an impact, too. If you engage and excite your dog, use rewards that he thinks are worth working for and make training a fun time for bonding, any breed can learn and enjoy doing it.
Are some dog breeds smarter by birth?
There is no doubt that some dog breeds are smarter and more easily trained than others. Members from the Herding Group, Sporting Group, and the Working Group all tend to be more trainable, and the hounds and terriers are usually lower on the list. According to many dog researchers, handlers, trainers and dog owners, here are the top 10 most trainable breeds of dog.
- Border Collie – These dogs are restless workaholics. They learn remarkably fast, and you might find them looking at you as if to say, “Is that all you wanted?” Sharpen your skills to keep up with this highly trainable breed. They can learn more than you can teach!
- Belgian Malinois (Belgian Shepherd Dog) – This dog breed is extremely active, intelligent, courageous, alert. They are devoted to their masters and will not think twice to put their life on the line to obey a command.
- Poodle – Don’t let the fancy fur coat fool you, this dog breed is very intelligent, keen to work, and eager to please. Toy poodles, miniature, or standard, these dogs will happily learn whatever you choose to teach. They are very alert and eager to learn.
- German Shepherd Dog – There is a good reason this large and powerful breed is often used for police and military work. They are tireless workers and want nothing more than to please their handlers.
- Golden Retriever – Consistently near the top of the most popular dog breeds lists, this beautiful and friendly dog is also very trainable and eager to please. They can be silly and fun, but don’t underestimate their brainpower.
- Doberman Pinscher – Another common police and military breed, the commanding Doberman is a fearless and loyal companion. They are enthusiastic workers and are renowned for their ability to learn and retain their training.
- Shetland Sheepdog – This gorgeous herding breed is playful, affectionate with family, and loves to learn new behaviors. They make excellent competitors in dog sports such as agility or obedience trials.
- Labrador Retriever – Another extremely popular dog, this gentle and versatile hunting breed is also a fast learner. Their outgoing nature and eager-to-please personality make them a preferred breed for service work.
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi – This low-set and active dog is surprisingly powerful for his small size. This is a breed that responds wonderfully to training and is an enthusiastic competitor at dog shows.
- Miniature Schnauzer – These relatively small dogs are playful and keen to please their owners. Fearless and stocky, this breed has a different origin from many of the other members of the Terrier Group, giving them a higher trainability rating than other terriers.
Many designer dog breeds are also highly trainable depending on their parents’ breeds. All poodle hybrids (Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Schnoodle) are trainable.