What type of dog do you want your puppy to be when he grows up? A laid-back, “whatever” sort of guy who will lay about the home and not need any attention? Or the sharpest, most enthusiastic, “let’s DO it” brightest kid on the block, ready to learn, go, and meet and surpass any challenge you throw at him?
Normal healthy dogs are clever and trainable, but certain breeds outperform others. Remember that the smarter the dog, the earlier you establish yourself as the leader. If you don’t, he will. Because dogs are pack animals, someone needs to lead the pack.
Also, dogs, like people, are unique. Even littermates might be very different. Inability to develop intrinsic abilities will result in your dog being happy and satisfied, but you will have missed out on what could have been.
So these are the five most intellectual breeds. No matter how big or tiny, they all have amazing cerebral abilities.
1. Shetland Sheepdog
Shelties are beautiful long-haired little collies. Originally known as Shetland Collie. The AKC recognized the breed in 1911. 13-16 inch adults weigh 14-27 pound. Weaving their way over figure-eight poles at amazing speed, Shelties are poetry in motion on an agility course. Shelties are easy to teach, but you must use a quiet voice because to their sensitivity. They need regular human contact and plenty of physical and mental stimulation. They’ll herd everything, including your kids. (A Sheltie can herd cats!) But they sweat freely all year and require regular cleaning and combing.
2. German Shepherd Dog
Shepherds are big, strong dogs. Smaller than adults, they weigh 45-100 pounds. The AKC recognized the breed in 1908. Shepherds are brave and make excellent police and military dogs, but did you know they also make excellent home pets? Yes. You may train them to be protective of their family – especially “their” offspring – and possessions, even the family automobile! For your and their safety, you must start early with obedience and socialization (how to behave around other people and dogs). Nine weeks is fine. It’s vital that puppies learn to heel (walk by you, not in front of you). A full-grown untrained Shepherd may easily pull you off your feet and drag you if he chases a squirrel or stray cat. Shepherds “blow coat” in the spring and fall to adjust their undercoats to the changing seasons. Two weeks of regular raking and brushing are required. Otherwise, a weekly brushing removes stray hair.
Don’t be fooled by the show ring hairstyles. Poodles are not snooty! No way. These amazing canines were developed for hunting and retrieving on land and sea. The AKC recognized them as a breed in 1887.
- Standard Poodle: Adults are 22-27 inches tall and weigh 45-70 pounds; Non-Sporting Group.
- Miniature Poodles: Adult are 13-15 inches height and weigh 15-17 pounds.
- Toy Poodle: Adults are under 10 inches tall and weigh 6-9 pounds; Toy Group.
Poodles are intelligent, lively, adventurous, joyful, even-tempered canines who like children. Not only that, but their low shedding makes them hypoallergenic.
4. Border Collie
Border Collies were bred to herd sheep on the England-Scotland border. In Scotland, they were known as Scotch Sheep Dogs. The AKC recognized the breed in 1995. 13-16 inch adults weigh 14-27 pound. Their keen sight that scans everything and misses nothing is known as the “herding eye.” They are readily trained and like having a task to do and a place to accomplish it. Border Collies are naturals at agility, joyously sprinting around the course, as though believing only a human could create such a “limited” course! Herding your kids and other pets is no problem for Border Collies. Their medium-length or short, silky coats shed all year and require brushing at least every other day to eliminate stray hair.
5. Golden Retriever
Despite their size and strength, Goldens are among the most popular breeds employed as therapy and service dogs for the blind and deaf. SAR dogs are excellent. 20-24 inch adults weigh 55-75 lb. The AKC recognized the breed in 1925 as a Sporting Group member. These intelligent dogs are very easy to teach, as their persistent “smile” and kind demeanor demonstrate. They’re a crowd favorite in dog parks. These dogs need regular raking and brushing since they are double coated, like Shepherds.
So they are the five smartest breeds. But don’t worry if your dog isn’t on the list. That doesn’t make him dumb. No. He just needs you to train and socialize him so he may attain his greatest potential.
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