Smartest Dog Breeds: Above Average Working Dogs

These ten dogs are in a league of their own.  They can understand new commands in 15-25 repetitions and they obey first command at least 70% of the time.

This gundog developed to retreive ducks and other waterfowl in the Chesapeake Bay area in the US (Mid-Atlantic region) has an intelligent and dominant pressence. Chessies are high energy but also make for good family dogs.

Few dogs have a more distinguishable coat. This small to medium sized herding breed sports a corded coat. As with most herding dogs, they are intelligent and energetic.

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Also known as a “Yorkie”, these dogs were originally a blue-collar breed. Anything from being a rattler in the mines to clothing mills in the town, these dogs have adjusted their priorities over the years. They have a more laidback lifestyle today.

Largest of the Schnauzers, this hypoallergenic – powerful and loyal – breed are kind and loving. Their size along makes them not the best choice for families with small children. That said, with older children who are respectful to animals, this breed makes for a grea family dog.

Not known for barking, they are still terriers – so they have a tendency to chew and dig. Their happiness is rooted in companionship and interactions with humans. Airedales own the title of largest terrier.

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The “cowherd of Flanders” is a large breed whose expertise on the farm extended beyond corralling the herd. A muscled laborer in the field, these dogs make for great watch dogs and family pets. Despite their size, they are gentle and warm to their families.

These playful dogs love to dig. Bred to run in tandem with foxhounds, their quality traits have bestowed more affectionate, trainable behavior than other terriers.

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This large herding dog hailing from France is intelligent and obedient while remaining fearless. While extremely loyal and faithful to their owners, they have a tendency to be more aloof with strangers, as is the case with most herding dogs.

Great with kids, this affectionate and loyal medium sized Spaniel makes for a desirable family dog. When not at home, you can see them in action in the field, where their happy love for sporting is a joy to watch. Their versatility in the field is their strength.

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This sleek framed terrier, is muscular and full of energy. The jet black coat and chestnut markings make this small breed very recognizable. Always surveying, they remain watchful of their surroundings.

This medium sized herding dog has a hypoallergenic coat that doubles its pressence. While they are lively and friendly, they also have a stubborn side that is just as strong. They require lots of exersice and have a relatively long grooming list, so make sure you account for that when considering this breed.

This intelligent medium sized spaniel is an excellent hunting dog. They are largely docile and love to please their human companions. They were developed in 19th century England.

A mix between the Tibetan Mastiff and the now-extinct American Black Wolf, the Newfoundland dog has a dignified appearance, but a sweet, family-oriented soul. They’ve settled down since their blue-collar days hauling nets and transporting wood, as they were originally bred to do.

While this pup was bred in Australia to hunt rodents and snakes, they have a happy disposition and are very affectionate with people. They just might keep you on your toes with their cleverness. 

This ‘Pit Bull’ breed is more affectionately known as AmStaffs by their devout fanbase. They have a smooth coat and typically weigh anywhere from 50-80 pounds. True to what you’d expect from a Pit Bull, they are muscular and dawn signature “rose” ears.

Named for a Scottish aristocrat, this large setter is an active breed that is happy and loyal. If they could stay puppies for forever, they would.

Also known as a Beardie, this affectionate charismatic dog sports an undeniably recognizable shaggy coat. Once a prominent herding dog for Scottish shepherd, this dog has now filled the role of adored family companion.

Weighing under 25 pounds, this pup was originally bred in the Scottish Highlands to fearlessly root out foxes in their dens. Since then, it seems they’ve put up their paws. They love attention from their owners and make for cuddly companions.

This medium sized terrier was promoted from all around hunting dog (rabbits to badgers to foxes and otters) to an all around working dog. They are brave and spirited, affectionate and loyal.

The flashy red coat of the Irish Setter hallmarks its signature look. They are high spirited and high energy in both the field and the home. Make sure to have a plan to get their energy out and they’ll appreciate it.

The National Dog of Norway, this Spitz style breed is fearless and courageous. They are premier hunters of large game (moose, bears, wolves, etc). They double as excellent guard dogs.

Affens were originally bred to exterminate rats and other pets, like many terriers. Although they are pinschers, they have stayed true to terrier energy – busy, bold, and stubborn.

Hailing from Australia, Silky Terriers are a hypoallergenic breed that is content in smaller spaces like an apartment or condo. It gets its name from its long shiny coat.

Coming from Germany, this Miniature Pinscher must not look in the mirror often, as it doesn’t seem to know its own size! Fearless and bold, this fun-loving pup is an extrovert with an infectious, big dog personality.

This medium sized sporting dog is part of the Setter group (red Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, and Gordon Setters). Mild-mannered overly accomodating, they make for great companions for any age. Their protecive nature makes them adequate watch dogs.

These active and agile hounds were bred to hunt rabbits on rocky terrains. Medium in size, the “Blushing Dog” of Malta has a regal appearance.

Though more aloof than other Spaniels, this large sized breed from the UK makes for a great family dog. They are smart and eager to learn. It’s better to give them positive reinforcement than stern discipline, as they respond better that way. They can be sensitive like that.

This British breed of terrier gained recognition as an independent breed in 1964, branching off from its Norwich Terrier variety. They are family friendly dogs who remain active.

If you’ve every watched the Disney movie where there were 101 of them, or looked at any Fire Station posters, you’ve undoubtedly come across a Dalmatian. Their limelight might suggest that they are even tempered, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Their popularity has declined over the decades due to their high maintenance and fragile temperament.

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