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Intelligence of Dogs > Assessment > IQ Scores > Genius > Intelligence > Intelligence of Dogs

The Intelligence of Dogs

From The Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren, Ph.D. and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


The author used "understanding of new commands" and "obey first command" as his standards of intelligence. He surveyed dog trainers and compiled this list of dog intelligence.


Intelligence is a complex subject. A breed of dog that does not learn very quickly may have other talents.

It is important to remember that intelligence should not be judged only by the willingness to follow obedience commands. The willingness or ability to be obedience trained may reflect a desire to please or a dependence upon humans, as well as intelligence. Many long time livestock guardian breed owners believe that working breeds such as the Great Pyrenees or the Kuvaz are not easily trained because they do not see the point of such commands as “sit” or “down”. Hounds may also suffer from this type of ranking; several rank in the bottom tier of this list (such as Beagles, Bloodhounds, and Basset Hounds). These dogs are bred to have more of a "pack" mentality with other dogs and less reliance on a master's direct commands. While they truly may not have the same kind of intelligence as a Border Collie, they were not bred to learn and obey commands quickly, but to think for themselves while trailing game.

Ranking of dogs by breed

Brightest dogs

  1. Border Collie

  2. Poodle

  3. German Shepherd

  4. Golden Retriever

  5. Doberman Pinscher

  6. Shetland Sheepdog

  7. Labrador Retriever

  8. Papillon

  9. Rottweiler

  10. Australian Cattle Dog
    Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)

Excellent working dogs

  1. Miniature Schnauzer

  2. English Springer Spaniel

  3. Belgian Tervueren

  4. Schipperke

  5. Belgian Sheepdog

  6. Collie

  7. German Shorthaired Pointer

  8. Flat-Coated Retriever
    English Cocker Spaniel
    Standard Schnauzer

  9. Brittany

  10. Cocker Spaniel

  11. Weimaraner

  12. Belgian Malinois
    Bernese Mountain Dog

  13. Pomeranian

  14. Irish Water Spaniel

  15. Vizsla

  16. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Above average working dogs

  1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    Yorkshire Terrier

  2. Giant Schnauzer

  3. Airedale Terrier
    Bouvier des Flandres

  4. Border Terrier

  5. Welsh Springer Spaniel

  6. Manchester Terrier

  7. Samoyed

  8. Field Spaniel
    Newfoundland (dog)
    Australian Terrier
    American Staffordshire Terrier
    Gordon Setter
    Bearded Collie

  9. Cairn Terrier
    Kerry Blue Terrier
    Irish Setter

  10. Norwegian Elkhound

  11. Affenpinscher
    Silky Terrier
    Miniature Pinscher
    English Setter
    Pharaoh Hound
    Clumber Spaniel

  12. Norwich Terrier

  13. Dalmatian

Average working/obedience intelligence

  1. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
    Bedlington Terrier
    Fox Terrier (Smooth)

  2. Curly Coated Retriever
    Irish Wolfhound

  3. Kuvasz
    Australian Shepherd

  4. Saluki
    Finnish Spitz

  5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    German Wirehaired Pointer
    Black and Tan Coonhound
    American Water Spaniel

  6. Siberian Husky
    Bichon Frise
    English Toy Spaniel

  7. Tibetan Spaniel
    English Foxhound
    American Foxhound
    Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

  8. West Highland White Terrier
    Scottish Deerhound

  9. Boxer
    Great Dane

  10. Dachshund
    Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  11. Alaskan Malamute

  12. Whippet
    Chinese Shar Pei
    Fox Terrier (Wire)

  13. Rhodesian Ridgeback

  14. Ibizan Hound
    Welsh Terrier
    Irish Terrier

  15. Boston Terrier
    Akita Inu

Fair working/obedience intelligence

  1. Skye Terrier

  2. Norfolk Terrier
    Sealyham Terrier

  3. Pug

  4. French Bulldog

  5. Brussels Griffon

  6. Italian Greyhound

  7. Chinese Crested Dog

  8. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
    Tibetan Terrier
    Japanese Chin
    Lakeland Terrier

  9. Old English Sheepdog

  10. Great Pyrenees

  11. Scottish Terrier
    Saint Bernard

  12. Bull Terrier

  13. Chihuahua

  14. Lhasa Apso

  15. Bullmastiff

Lowest degree of working/obedience intelligence

  1. Shih Tzu

  2. Basset Hound

  3. Mastiff

  4. Pekingese

  5. Bloodhound

  6. Borzoi

  7. Chow Chow

  8. Bulldog

  9. Basenji

  10. Afghan Hound

See also


Stanley Coren, Ph.D.



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Intelligence of Dogs".

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