They may not be ready to beat you in a game of chess, but these brainy dogs are easy to train and generally anxious to please you. Here are 15 breeds with notable brilliance.
The smartest dog breeds, regardless of size or origin, all have that one thing in common: how quickly they can understand commands and how quickly they follow them. In the very smartest of dog breeds, hand signals and verbal commands can be trained simultaneously and used interchangeably, usually with no difference in response time. So if you’re looking for dogs who can follow your commands with precision, or just an affable family pet who can roll over for a treat, here’s a list of the breeds who will probably be easiest to train.
Schipperkes are, as the AKC says, “small dogs built for hard work.” Stealthy hunters, the little schipperke is a natural born ratter and even in a modern, urban setting he’ll live for the hunt. Schipperkes are highly intelligent dogs for whom early obedience training is a must. Their prey drives are so high and their curiosity so overwhelming that they’re innate explorers and will chase anything that catches their eye. So it’s a good thing that, once properly trained, they learn commands quickly and will happily come when called. While their size makes them ideally suited to apartment living, be aware that their inborn guarding tendencies will make them enthusiastic barkers. Additionally, their high intelligence will sometimes lead to them getting bored and becoming headstrong if they aren’t kept stimulated with games and toys.
Life expectancy: 13 – 15 years
Colors: Black, Apricot, Chocolate, Cream, Black & Tan, Blue
Temperament: Curious, Fearless, Agile, Independent, Faithful, Confident
Weight: Male: 3–9 kg, Female: 3–9 kg
Height: Male: 28–33 cm, Female: 25–30 cm