As most of us already know, dogs are ranked among the most intelligent species of animals — right up there with chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins. And while we've never met a dog we didn't love, it's also obvious that not all canines are equal when it comes to smarts.
If you're looking for a breed that's ahead of the class when it comes to behavior, responsiveness and trainability, these guys are the smartest dogs in the world.
Yes, the Australian cattle dog from Down Under. A working dog that is traditionally occupied with controlling and herding cattle, its qualities are exceptional intelligence, alertness, resourcefulness and a fiercely protective loyalty over its property and people. They are agile, strong, active dogs, both physically and mentally, which revel in new experiences. The flip side is that they bore easily and will unintentionally find trouble while looking for activities to occupy themselves with. The cattle dog is very organized; many are known for putting their own toys away after playing.
At 19-inches tall and 30 to 60 pounds, they aren't huge dogs, but they're not the best choice unless you have plenty of wide-open spaces.
Next Up: Rottweiler
Originally published January 2009. Updated January 2017.
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