#10 Australian Cattle Dog -The Australian Cattle Dog is a very active breed. They need to be exercised on a regular basis, both mentally and physically. As they were originally bred to herd in cattle in Australia (hence the name), they are freethinking,
resourceful, and very protective of their property, including people!
#9 Rottweiler-The Rottweiler, #9 on our list, has a fearsome reputation that is largely undeserved. The Rotti is only average in intensity, and make a great family dog. Not only is the Rottweiler intelligent, but extremely courageous and reliable.
#8 The Papillon-Does the dog above scare you at all? Well it should, because Papillons are actually a lot tougher than they look! Some would characterize Papillons as a little moody and aggressive, but they are simply very possessive of their masters and “home turf”. Another very intelligent dog, and very easy to train.
#7 Labrador Retriever-An extremely loving, affectionate, and patient dog, the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world. They love to work, and need a lot of exercise. Without proper exercise, Labs have been known to develop weight problems. Because of their good nature, and love of children and other dogs, they are a very popular family dog.
#6 Shetland Sheepdog-Many Shetland owners swear that their dog has nearly human intelligence! Shelties were originally bred to herd hundreds of sheep and cattle, requiring great concentration and, of course, intelligence. They can be a little wary of strangers and children, but are very loyal and affectionate within their own family. In fact, the Sheltie very much craves human companionship.
#5 Doberman Pinscher-Dobermans are an extremely loyal, assertive, and fearless breed. They have incredible stamina, and love to work. Although known as a dominant breed, Dobermans can vary greatly as far as temperament goes. Some can be quite docile, and even work as therapy dogs in hospitals! Dobermans can be great family dogs too, if trained properly from an early age. Although not vicious, you can count on a Doberman to aggressively protect its master if necessary.
#4 Golden Retriever-Consistently ranked as the most popular breed of dog, the Golden Retriever personifies everything we love about dogs-loyal, loving, patient, great with children and eager to please. With such great intelligence, it’s no wonder that Golden Retrievers excel in obedience competitions and at performing tricks.
#3 German Shepherds-German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, courageous, and have a very strong protective instinct. As long as they are trained in obedience from an early age by a loving but firm hand, they can be great family dogs, and excellent with children. Because of their intelligence, a German Shepherd needs a purpose or job in life to be truly happy. This intelligence, coupled with their courageous nature make German Shepherds excellent police and search dogs.
#2 Poodle-Yes, the Poodle is at number two. The standard Poodle is highly intelligent and one of the easiest breeds to train. They love to be around people, and really hate to be left alone. Some standard Poodles are good guard dogs, and some can even be trained as hunters! Overall, Poodles are a sensitive, pleasant and happy breed.
#1 Border Collie-Like many intelligent breeds, the Border Collie needs a job to do. If they don’t have a purpose in life or some kind of job, they will not be happy. Border Collies should definitely not be left at home alone all day, and if they are, they can become quite destructive. They need constant companionship, praise, and extensive exercise. So if you work and live in the city, a Border Collie probably isn’t the dog for you! Because of their legendary intelligence, Border Collies set the standard in competitions for such skills as agility, obedience, and of course, sheepdog trials.
Source: The Intelligence of Dogs By Stanley Coren (New York: The Free Press, 1994)