What Is The Smartest Breed of Dog?


wiseGEEK Writing Contest

Referring to intelligence, the border collie is known to be the smartest breed of all dogs. They are energetic, hard working, brilliantly smart, responsive, keen and alert. It is very affectionate toward friends, but may be reserved towards strangers. Any tendencies this breed shows toward viciousness, nervousness or shyness can be considered serious faults. These dogs originated in the late 1800s around the border country of England and Scotland. They are widely known for their ability to herd and control sheep. Border collies are mostly used on farms to handle many groups of various livestock, but they have also become very popular pet and sport dogs. Owners of this breed have said that their border collie can work out problems on its own and easily obey commands.

With this dog, breed standards differ depending on what the breed registry is more attracted to-- performance or appearance. There are certain standards used to conclude the breeding quality of a border collie. One standard is called the sheep dog trial, where the dog and handler flock livestock and move them silently around a course. The sheep have to be collected without being too disturbed. Then the dog must move through obstacles at certain distances away from the handler. Border collies have high levels of endurance and also excel at other tasks, like sniffing out drugs and explosives, competing in athletic competitions, dog agility, tracking, dog dancing and dog sledding.

Although they are very enthusiastic and really great working dogs, they might not be the best choice for house pets, especially if left inside all the time. When border collies were pronounced as the smartest dog breed, tons of interested people went out and bought them. What some of these people did not understand was the tendency towards neurotic and destructive behavior these dogs get if they are not given some sort of work to do, or not given enough physical and mental exercise. Since these dogs have a compulsive urge to have a job to maintain, many of them make terrible house pets if not given one. They need a purpose in life or they will not be happy!

Border collies may or may not be the dog for you, so choose wisely when deciding to own this dog. Some other dogs that made the smartest breed list were: poodles, german shepards, golden retrievers, doberman pinschers, shetland sheepdogs, labrador retrievers, papillions, rottweilers, australian cattle dogs, and cockerspaniels.

submitted by L. Chapman