The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that over 48 million households have a dog. The cost of owning a dog has been put at $1,400 to $4,300 a year. The number includes food, toys, vet visits and medicine. The price of a puppy can run from $300 to numbers well into the thousands.
Among the things people look at in dogs are aggressiveness, size and intelligence. The American Kennel Club reports that man’s best friend may be smarter than you think: “Dogs have been known to learn hundred[s] of words, do arithmetic, and guess what people and other dogs are thinking.” Police dogs can detect drugs and explosives as well.
Dog experts say that, from an intelligence standpoint, not all dogs are created equal. To pick which dog breed is considered the smartest, 24/7 Tempo consulted a list of the most intelligent canines published by the American Kennel Club. It’s a remarkably diverse assortment. There are breeds from Africa and Australia, from Alaska and the Alps. There are breeds that can hunt bears and breeds that can just about fit in your pocket.
The dogs also span the centuries, from the Rottweiler, with a history that dates back to the Roman Empire, and the Chinook, which was bred in the early 20th century. There’s also the Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka, which you may never have heard of and which almost went extinct. And, of course, there’s the Labrador retriever, which serves not just as a house pet but as a guide dog and in search and rescue. It’s America’s most popular breed, suggesting that maybe we’re pretty smart, too.
The smartest dog breed is the Shetland sheepdog. The breed originally was bred to tend the small sheep of the Shetland Islands. Because of their intelligence, Shetland sheepdogs are quick to understand and obey commands. While the breed is loyal and affectionate, which makes it a great pet, it also tends to be reserved toward strangers, which makes it a great watchdog.