First-place dog. The GSD lacks the intellect and problem-solving ability of the Border Collie or Poodle, but it's flexible. No other breed can herd, attack, blind-guide, and act. Where's Rin Tin Tin's Poodle or Border Collie? Poodles don't herd or guard. Temperance, firmness, and loyalty define the German Shepherd.

German Shepherd

This cute overachiever often wins awards in agility and obedience despite his curly coat. He's a true family dog who's always at home. Poodles aren't known for pursuing bad people or sheep, but they're great companions.


The Border Collie is a top dog. Border collies are the world's most intelligent and well-trained sheepdogs. Now that shepherds are few, Border Collies focus on agility, obedience, and other smart cookie activities.

Border Collie

Doberman Pinschers were initially developed to protect tax collectors, and they've preserved their protective instincts and ability to tell friend from foe. This dog takes his job seriously and loves his owner. Training them is easy.

Doberman Pinscher

America's favourite breed is trainable. This amiable family member excels at retrieving ducks and obeying commands. Retrieving is a hard task that requires weeks of training. Labradors win breed field trials worldwide.

Labrador Retriever

The lovely Golden retriever comes in second only to the Labrador in our list of the top retrievers. While the Golden excels in obedience competitions, he falls a bit short in more realistic field trialling and hunting situations. We rank the Golden highest for general intelligence and friendly demeanour.

Golden Retriever

The smartest of the toy breeds, this dog excels at agility, tricks, obedience, and social graces. He's also great at training owners. Papillons are smart and easy to train.


Rottweiler is another case of I'll do whatever you want, whenever you want! Those of purebred German descent. When it comes to becoming a herder, Rottweilers are less sensitive and more stolid than Dobermans. There's no way such a powerful dog couldn't be trainable, and he is.


Sheepdogs of any breed are very smart. Unlike other herding breeds, Shelties are more loyal to their people than to their jobs. Sheltie is so anxious to please that he'll do anything.

Shetland Sheepdog

Another herding breed completes our top ten. Herding requires problem-solving skills and the ability to listen to and obey one's handler. Australians often win obedience, agility, and other competitions.

Australian Shepherd

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