Smartest Dog Breeds: Large Breeds

These dogs all make up the smartest large dog breeds in the world, in order of intelligence (top 133).





A very smart and all purpose worker, the German Shepherd is an athletic, muscular worker that’s relatively easy to train. Their heretic tendencies have them leery of strangers. For that reason, it is best to bring them up from young in a family setting, especially with younger children.

This Scottish retriever is among the most popular breeds in the US. They are loving and friendly characters that have a love of life that is infectious. They are great family pets, as their patience and trustworthiness is second to none.

So long as they are socialized early on, they can make great family pets. Treat the Doberman Pinscher with respect and they will happily reciprocate. This medium to large breed has a signature look – with tall pointy ears and a long muzzle.

America’s most popular dog breed, the Labrador Retriever is an outgoing, even tempered dog that is as notably perficient in the field and retriving waterfowl as they are at stealing the hearts of their family. Their demeanor and trusting, gentle ways make them a good choice for families of all sizes and age ranges.

The iconic ears have this pup coined the ‘butterfly dog’. After all Papillon in French means butterfly. This toy-sized Continental spaniel is one of the oldest toy spaniels, dating well past the 16th Century. Their happy disposition make them easily trainable family-friendly dogs.

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Like the other Belgian sheepdogs, the Belgian Tervuren is very smart. Their long russel mahogany fur has them distinguishable from afar. This medium sized dog is obedient and territorial of those it holds dear.

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This big-game hunting dog was originally bred in the 19th century. They are extremely powerful and stubborn dogs who have a tendency to be somewhat aloof. The “Silver Ghost” is a good family dog option, just be mindful of little kids, as they are larger dogs.

Hailing from Switzerland, these jack-of-all trades dog from the Sennenhund-type dog family did everything on the farm from herding cattle to pulling carts to watching over the family. They can be It’s best to socialize this breed while they are young to best develop all the calm, sensitive love they share as companions.

The tallest of the Spaniels, this kind hearted jokester excels in the water and in the home. These hypoallergenic pups are devoted to their owners and when socilized young, can play well with younger kids.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

The Curly-Coated Retriever is a durable hunting dog specializing in upland game and waterfowl. It is the tallest of the retrievers and is easily discernible from other Retrievers by its distinct curly coat, reminiscent of a Poodle.

Despite the word wolf in its name, these powerful hounds make for great family pets. Hailing from Ireland, these are the largest sighthounds in the class. We wouldn’t suggest challenging one of these to a sprinting contest, unless you can somehow run faster than 40 MPH.

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This large Hungarian working dog is as good in the field as they are companions. They are independent and intelligent, but also very protective, patient and kind. Once can trace their lineage back through ancient Hungarian texts.

Bred in England hunt otters, this large scent hound sports a rough coat. As it would need to track and hunt otter, they have notable stamina. These even tempered workers have been known to have a sillier side.

With max speeds up to 45 MPH, this sighthound can really get moving. Known for speed, it’s why people bred them to race and why bus companies happily link their name to this breed. They are noble and independent, intelligent and affectionate.

A descendant mastiffs, bulldogs, and even a terrier, the Boxer is known for their signature square head and short muzzle. Their medium to large frame is all muscle. They can make for good family dogs, so long as you socialize and train them at a young age.

Sleek and elegant, tall in stature, these extremely large animals (over 100 pounds) were developed from Mastiff-type dogs. They are gentle by nature but can be protective when they need to be. Many times, large estates would use these dogs as their guard dogs.

Bred for it brute strength and inexhaustible conditioning and endurance, this large breed is a native Arctic breed descending from the arctic wolf and named after the Inuit tribe called the Mahlemut.

Once known as the “African Lion Hound”, this South African sighthound and scenthound is dignified while still being sensitive. Its signature mohawk-like patch of fur that stands up on its back is unmistakable. They make for excellent guard dogs.

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Leery of strangers and mostly intollerant to other animals, this breed needs to be trained well to champion the good aspects of their temperaments. They are fiercly loyal to their owners and thrive on human companionship.

This medium to large herding dog from England is intelligent and adaptable while at work while still having a fun, playful side at home.

This extremely powerful dog has a cascading thick white coat. They were bred in the Pyrenees Mountains of France to keep wolves away from sheep and other farm animals. They were also used as cart pullers and pack dogs. They protect their families and are wonderful with families. That said, its best that your children are well behaved.

Originally a working dog in the Western Alps in Switzerland and Italy, this gentle giant was originally bred back in 980 AD by monks. They crossed the Tibetan Mastiff with a Great Dane. What you get is a calm, low-energy Saint Bernard who is extremely patient with kids. Don’t expect them to go out of their way to play Monopoly though, they will mostly keep to themselves.

Highly protective of those it loves, they are extremely distrustful of strangers. With a solid, muscular build, this short muzzled dog originated in England in the mid 1880s. It is known as the “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog”.

A stubborn breed through and through, they have an uncontrollable urge to bark at most anything that might pass them as they lounge on the front porch. They are a robust, energetic breed, with the patience to match, which makes them great family dogs if you have children.

Possessing an ancient heritage dating back 5,000 years, the English Mastiff has a calm demeanor suitable for families. It is suggested you wait until the little ones are a little older for this breed, due to its sheer size. They are cool, calm, and collected.

This large dog breed from the Hound Group has some of the best smelling senses available. Their skills have been utilized to track deer and boar. More recently, their marque skill has been used for tracking people. Powerful and dignified, this hound is impressive.

A long and limber, sleek sighthound from Russia, this breed hunts in backs – agile enough to go after rabbits and strong enough to take down wolves. This regal breed will need room in its environments to stretch its legs. Did we mention they can run 35 MPH?

This Spitz type dog from China is a thick set dog, square in its profile. Its thick double coat is sure to keep it warm in the winter. They mostly keep to themselves as they are aloof and wildly independent.

Aloof and distinguished, this regal breed sports a silky coat that keeps it both warm and undeniably debutante. This sighthound isn’t afraid to rough it, as it used to pursue leopards and gazelles. Perhaps this past is what gave it such self-confidence.

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