Everyone likes to think that their dog is secretly really clever, and on the flipside, the sheer levels of stupidity that all dogs are apt to display from time to time (particularly if food is involved) also make us wonder on occasion how the species ever managed to survive until the present day at all – but getting an objective viewpoint on how smart your own dog is isn’t always easy.
However, the benchmark used in most contexts to assess canine intelligence is known as the Coren Scale, and this is a fairly comprehensive list encompassing 138 different pedigree dog breeds all ranked in order based on their working intelligence.
Working intelligence is determined by a variety of factors, such as how many times a dog needs to hear a command before they understand it, how reliably they will follow commands they are given, and how many times you need to ask them to do something before they comply. This is not strictly an exact science because dogs are individuals and any two dogs even of the same breed or from within the same litter won’t be carbon copies, but it is the closest thing to a definitive ranking that we have!
The size of a dog doesn’t affect their intelligence either, and at both ends of the canine intelligence scale, dogs that are small, medium and large respectively fall side by side.
However, if you own a medium sized dog of a certain breed or are thinking of choosing a dog from a medium sized breed, it’s probably crossed your mind at some point to wonder how smart they are – and if they really are as clever as you think!
With this in mind, this article will introduce you to the five cleverest medium sized dog breeds in the world, based on their position in the Coren scale. Read on to learn more.
The German shorthaired pointer is a handsome and distinctive looking dog of the pointer type, which falls within the Kennel Club’s gundog grouping, reflecting the breed’s working history.
They’re also the fifth most intelligent medium-sized dog breed, and fall in nineteenth place overall in the intelligence ranking of dogs of all sizes, out of a total of 138 different dog breeds.
The German shorthaired pointer is the 61st most popular dog breed in the UK.
The German shorthaired pointer’s position places them in the second from highest canine intelligence group, referred to as “excellent” working dogs. These are dog breeds that are widely expected to learn new commands within just 5-15 repetitions of the command, and that will comply with the given command first time over 85% of the time.
The Keeshond is also sometimes known as the German spitz, and they’re a medium-sized utility dog breed. This is one of the most uncommon dog breeds of all in the UK, being in 201st place out of 244 different breeds and types – but they are really intelligent!
The Keeshond is the fourth most intelligent medium sized dog breed, and the eighteenth most intelligent dog breed of all across breeds of all sizes, just a hair or two above the German shorthaired pointer.
This places them in the “excellent” working dogs group once more, capable of picking up a new command in 5-15 repetitions and of executing it first time 85% of the time or better.
The English springer spaniel really needs no introduction, and these handsome, lively and personable dogs have a well-documented working history in the UK.
The English springer spaniel is the 17th most popular dog breed in the UK, and the third most intelligent medium sized dog breed too. They’re also the 13th most intelligent dog breed of all on the rankings, across all sizes.
This places the English springer in the “excellent” working dogs group too, the second from highest category.
Getting towards the top of the list now, the Australian cattle dog isn’t at all common in the UK, and they’re the 166th most popular breed in fact, so way down the list!
However, they are the second most intelligent medium sized dog breed of all, and the tenth most intelligent dog breed out of breeds of all sizes.
The Australian cattle dog’s top ten position places them in the most highly ranked canine intelligence group – those classed as the brightest working dogs.
This group contains just ten dog breeds, and all ten breeds are expected to learn a new command in just five or less repetitions, which is really impressive, and to follow it the first time that they are asked 95% of the time or better.
Generic collies of all types tend to be highly intelligent dogs, and there are many collie breeds (including collies collectively as a type) ranked within the top 30 slots on the canine intelligence list.
But the most intelligent dog breed in the world is the Border collie, and this also happens to be a medium sized breed!
The Border collie is the most intelligent medium sized dog breed, and in fact, the most intelligent dog breed of all. They have excellent working abilities and are lightning sharp as a rule, and with the right handler, have a greater scope for work and learning skills than any other dog breed of any size.