Petlife logo

The Most Intelligent Dogs

TikTok has sparked numerous trends and video themes, but there’s one that’s gone viral and taken the world by storm: the ‘Talking Dogs’ phenomenon. Not literally talking, of course, but rather their owners training them to speak using buttons that play a specific word when pressed.

By Rachel GrayPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

None more prevalent than Bunny the Sheepdog, who has captivated users with her existential questions after looking in a mirror and asking: “Who this?”

The experimenters among us may see these and wonder whether we could possibly train our dogs to communicate and interact with us, and in theory, the answer seems to be yes! But which are the more intelligent breeds that might pick it up faster? So, before you take out some dog trainers insurance, check out four of the most intelligent breeds you’ll likely see the most success in training.

Border Collies

Border collies are widely regarded by breeders, owners, and enthusiasts alike as one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. Their origins stem from the border of England and Scotland, where they’ve historically been used as sheepdogs.

This plays a huge part in why these dogs are so intelligent, as they can quickly learn and obey new commands. Research from Stanley Coren in his book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ found that they would obey a known command in the first attempt with a success rate of 95%.

Golden Retrievers

If you have a golden retriever, you might be looking at this list thinking: “Intelligent?... Really?” Look, we’re not saying that these lovable golden balls of energy aren’t carefree. However, they have a level of intelligence that you might see in passing but never stop to think about.

Much like border collies, their ability to learn and replicate commands makes them highly intelligent and able to take on important roles, such as guiding those who are visually impaired. Not only must they be able to scout out any potential dangers on their journey, but they also have to navigate through busy streets and town centres, all while resisting their natural urge to sniff everything and everyone in their paths.

German Shepherds

Their strong stature can often intimidate those who don’t own or have never interacted with a well-trained German Shepherd, but don’t mistake this for lack of intelligence. These loyal dogs are incredibly quick to learn new commands and have strong instincts for protection and problem solving.

This lends the breed to police, military, and service roles, as they’re able to search out danger and respond quickly and efficiently. You can even compare the breed to the average dog that tends to have the intelligence equivalent to a two-and-a-half-year-old toddler, whereas German Shepherds equate to that of a three-year-old.


Poodles come in many shapes and sizes, and all of them have personalities that are unique to the size of the dog. Regular poodles tend to be more reserved than their miniature or toy counterparts, renowned for their energetic behaviours. Their personalities also make them a great breed to mix with others, like labradoodles and cockapoos. Cockapoos have even become one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK, according to research from the Royal Veterinary College.

Their high rankings don’t just end with popularity, as poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds you can get. Stanley Coren even ranked them as the second most intelligent, just behind the border collie. This makes them 70% more obedient than others, which also makes them a fantastic dog for first-time owners, as they’re much easier to train than other dog breeds.

The act of training your dog to talk

Starting small is the name of the game with this. You’re not going to be able to put down 30 prompt buttons and have your dog tell you that you need milk just because you have a border collie. Get the treats out and a single button that you think will be an easy starting point.

We’d advise keeping it to something that will benefit both you and your dog, like needing to go outside to do their business. The best way you can begin this training is if you notice your dog’s behaviour emulating what they usually do when they need to go out, pressing the button and giving them a treat before you let them out will train them to associate the noise with being let out.

The Pavlovian response will build over time, and they’ll start finding ways for the button to make the noise. Mostly, we advise something useful like “Out” rather than “Treat” because the latter will ruin your patience and wallet faster than your dog can dart across the room to the button.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


Rachel Gray is not accepting comments at the moment

Want to show your support? Send them a one-off tip.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.