Dog smarts, like human smarts, come in a variety of forms. While you may want to believe that any dog can be nurtured and trained just enough to forget its inherent qualities, the reality is that breed matters. For instance, if your dog is bred to hunt (like hound dogs and retrievers), herd (like Australian Shepherds, also known as Aussies), or retrieve (like Pointers and setters), then they'll be more likely to move, work, and please their owners. On the other hand, dogs who are bred to guard or track a scent are easily distracted, and may seem — we hate to say it — a bit dense intellectually in comparison.
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Nonetheless, trainers claim any dog can learn the basics — sitting and staying — but it might take them a while to catch on. The trick is knowing what your dog is built for and how to motivate him or her to do what you ask.
Top 5 Smartest Dog Breeds
In 1994, neuropsychologist Stanley Coren, PhD, wrote what is now a best-selling book titled The Intelligence of Dogs ($18, Amazon), in which he focuses on the trainability of dogs, and uses it as a gauge for intelligence. To get his results, Coren spoke to 220 professional dog obedience judges, who scored more than 110 breeds based on working and obedience tests. Think your pooch made the top five? Read on to find out.