Special Report

The Smartest Dog Breeds in America

Source: chris-mueller / Getty Images

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is descended from the Pyrenean Shepherd, a dog favored by the Basques who live between France and Spain. Basque emigrants to Australia crossed that breed with collies to create the intelligent herding dog we know today.

Source: animalinfo / iStock via Getty Images


The Azawakh is a tall, lean sighthound (meaning it hunts primarily by sight rather than smell), originating in West Africa. Its intelligence makes it a good companion and guardian as well as a able hunting dog.

Source: GlobalP / iStock via Getty Images

Barbado da Terceira

The Barbado da Terceira, originally from the Portuguese island of Terceira in the Azores, is an intelligent, easy-to-train, and sensitive hunting dog. It needs human contact and does not like kennels or being left alone.

Source: Fotoeventis / iStock via Getty Images


The Barbet is a French water dog that has been used for centuries to locate, flush, and retrieve birds. It has a cheerful disposition and is intelligent, social, and loyal.

Source: RKSS / Getty Images

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois originated around the city of Malines and is one of four closely related breeds of Belgian herding dogs. It’s hard working, proud, alert, and intelligent, and needs a lot of exercise.