The List of Smartest Dog Breeds by Stanley Coren

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: March 31, 2020
The List of Smartest Dog Breeds by Stanley Coren

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Stanley Coren is a psychologist and professor who in 1994 wrote the famous book The Intelligence of Dogs. In it a world ranking of canine intelligence is established and three aspects of the intelligence of the dog are detailed:

  1. Instinctive intelligence: abilities that the dog possesses instinctively, such as sheepherding, guarding or company, among others.
  2. Adaptive intelligence: skills that dogs have to solve problems.
  3. Work intelligence and obedience: the ability to learn from a human being.

Do you want to know more about the list of smartest dog breeds according to Stanley Coren or the methods that were carried out to discover it? Keep reading!

You may also be interested in: The 5 Smartest Dog Breeds

Classification of dogs according to Stanley Coren:

  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
  11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  12. Miniature Schnauzer
  13. English Springer Spaniel
  14. Belgian shepherd
  15. Schipperke - Groenedael
  16. Keeshond the wolf spitz
  17. German Short Haired Braco
  18. Smooth-Coated Retriever - English Cocker Spaniel - Medium Schnauzer
  19. Breton Spaniel
  20. American Cocker Spaniel
  21. Weimar Brace
  22. Belgian shepherd laekenois - Belgian shepherd malinois - Bernese Sheepdog
  23. Pomeranian
  24. Irish Water Dog
  25. Vizsla
  26. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  27. Chesapeake Bay Retriever - Puli - Yorkshire Terrier
  28. Giant Schnauzer - Portuguese Water Dog
  29. Airedale - Bouvier des Flandres
  30. Border Terrier - Brie Shepherd
  31. Springer spaniel
  32. Manchester Terrier
  33. Samoyed
  34. Field Spaniel - Newfoundland - Australian Terrier - American Staffordshire Terrier - Scottish Setter - Bearded Collie
  35. Cairn terrier - Kerry Blue Terrier / Irish Setter
  36. Norwegian Elkhound
  37. Affenpinscher - Silky Terrier - Miniature Pinscher - English Setter - Pharaon Hound - Clumber Spaniel
  38. Norwich terrier
  39. Dalmatian
  40. Smooth Fox Terrier - Bedlington Terrier
  41. Curly-coated Retriever - Irish Wolfhound
  42. Kuvasz, Australian Shepherd
  43. Saluki - Finnish Spitz
  44. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - Hard-boiled German Braco - Black-and-tan Coonhound - American Water Spaniel
  45. Siberian Husky - Bichon Frisé - English Toy Spaniel
  46. Tibetan Spaniel - Foxhound English - American Foxhound - Otterhound - Greyhound - Wire-haired pointing griffon
  47. West Highland White Terrier - Scottish Deerhound
  48. Boxer - Great dane
  49. Teckel - Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  50. Alaskan Malamute
  51. Whippet - Shar-Pei - Wire-haired Fox Terrier
  52. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  53. Ibizan hound - Welsh Terrier - Irish Terrier
  54. Boston Terrier - Akita Inu
  55. Skye Terrier
  56. Norfolk Terrier - Sealhyam Terrier
  57. Pug
  58. French Bulldog
  59. Belgian Griffon / Maltese Terrier
  60. Italian greyhound
  61. Chinese Crested Dog
  62. Dandie Dinmont terrier - Vendeen - Tibetan mastiff - Japanese Chin - Lakeland Terrier
  63. Old English shepherd
  64. Great Pyrenees
  65. Scottish Terrier - Saint Bernard
  66. English Bull Terrier
  67. Chihuahua
  68. Lhasa apso
  69. Bullmastiff
  70. Shih Tzu
  71. Basset hound
  72. Mastiff - Beagle
  73. Pekingese
  74. Bloodhound or San Humberto dog
  75. Borzoi
  76. Chow chow
  77. English bulldog
  78. Basenji
  79. Afghan Hound


The classification of Stanley Coren is based on the results of different tests of work and obedience carried out by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) on 199 dogs. It is important to note that not all canine breeds were included.

Thus, the list finally suggests that:

  • Smarter races (1-10): comprise commands with less than 5 repetitions and generally obey the first order.
  • Excellent work races (11-26): comprise new commands in 5 and 15 repetitions, usually obey 80% of the time.
  • Labor races above average (27-39): comprise new orders between 15 and 25 repetitions. They usually respond in 70% of cases.
  • Medium Intelligence in Work and Obedience (40-54) : These dogs need between 40 and 80 repetitions to understand an order. They respond 30% of the time.
  • Low intelligence in work and obedience (55-79): They learn new orders between 80 and 100 repetitions. They do not always obey, only in 25% of cases.

Stanley Coren elaborated this list to locate the intelligence of the dogs in terms of work and obedience. However, it is not a representative result since each dog has the ability to respond better or worse, regardless of race, age or sex. Dedicated training and appropriate care will result in a well-behaved, more obedient dog.

The List of Smartest Dog Breeds by Stanley Coren - Evaluation

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