While all dogs make for best friends, some are, um, more lovably clueless than others. But when it comes to working intelligence (i.e. following commands), certain types stand out from the pack. After surveying almost 200 dog-obedience judges, psychologist Stanley Coren named these breeds as the best of the bunch in his book The Intelligence of Dogs.
The valedictorians of the dog world, these herders took the top spot in in Stanley Coren's intelligence rankings, meaning most can learn a new command in under five seconds and follow it at least 95% of the time.
Nowadays you can adopt cockapoos, whoodles and goldendoodles, to name a few, but breeders love regular, ol' poodles for more than just their hypoallergenic qualities. The curly coated cuties also took the silver medal for working intelligence in Coren's survey.
German Shepherds happily serve as police dogs, seeing eye dogs, medical assistance dogs and therapy dogs, so it's no surprise that consistent obedience comes standard with this breed.
That's right. One of the nation's most beloved family pets also took home straight As in this intelligence survey. While the breed originated in hunting, Goldens also enjoy acting like straight-up goofballs once in awhile too.
Dobermans got their start in the late 19th century, when a German tax collector named Louis Dobermann wanted a medium-sized pet to act as both a guard dog and companion. Translation: These fearless protectors can hold their own, and hang with kiddos.
Smaller than collies, the adorable fluffballs hold their own in herding, agility and obedience trials. Consequently, Shelties do tend to bark, chase and herd but their affectionate nature and love for cuddles will erase any hard feelings.
Labs love to please, whether it's as guide dogs, narcotic detection dogs or just everyday family pets. Americans have accordingly made them the most popular breed in the country for a whopping 26 years in a row.
The first toy breed to crack the top 10, papillons aren't your average lap dogs. The 5-pound wonders often take home top prizes at competitive agility trials, according to the American Kennel Club. Their name — French for "butterfly" — alludes to their tall, pointed ears.
Rottweilers likely descended from drover dogs in Ancient Rome, with the rugged, dependable temperament to boot. An engaged Rottweiler owner will take care to train and exercise their pooch thoroughly – with the reward of a loving and loyal friend.
The Australian Cattle Dog sits outside of the top 50 in AKC's popularity rankings, but don't miss out on this smartie-pants breed. Alert, curious and pleasant, the high-energy herders do best with a job. Whether or not that involves cows is up to you.
If they're good enough for royalty, they're certainly bright enough for the rest of us. Unlike their Cardigan Welsh Corgi cousins, Pembrokes lack long tails, but they make up for it with a smart, even-keeled personality.
No offense to the Standard and Giant varieties, but mini Schnauzers reign supreme in Coren's book. Breeders supposedly created this smaller size by mixing Standard Schnauzers with poodles and Affenpinschers.
While they're popular bird dogs, even non-hunters can appreciate Springers' trainability — and those long, adorable ears.
Previously grouped with Belgian sheepdogs, Tervs officially earned separate status due to their long-haired, reddish coats. But don't let looks fool you; the quick-thinking herders love a long day at "work" tapping into their endless energy stores.
Another small-but-smart variety, Schipperkes clock in between 10 and 16 pounds, standing about a foot high. The name derives from the Flemish for "little captain," and their ancestors served as both ratters and watchdogs.
The third Belgian dog in a row, the all-black sheepdogs also go by the breed names Groenendael and Chien de Berger Beige in other parts of the world.
While Lassie was technically a fictional character, the real-life collie Pal took up the role in seven Lassie movies during the '40s and '50s. Just like the franchise suggests, their loyalty and devotion distinguishes these elegant dogs from the average canine.
Identify a Keeshond by looking for its signature "spectacles," or dark shading stretching from eye to ear and over the "eyebrows."
Prized for their versatile hunting abilities, GSPs have earned a rep as the ultimate all-purpose gun dog. It's no surprise they're posed to crack the top 10 most popular dog breeds.
While they bear a resemblance to Labs, Flat-coats possess a silky fur more akin to Goldens. Like other retrievers, the pups can work as bird dogs, but do just as well as family pets.
Different from their American counterparts, the English breed grows a bit bigger, with longer noses and flatter heads if you compare silhouettes. A dense coat helps protect them out in the fields, so they're extra soft to pet!
Weighing between 35 and 50 pounds, Standard Schnauzers stand right in the middle of all three Schnauzer breeds. Besides their background in protecting both home and farm, Schnauzers boast a wiry, hypoallergenic coat.
Bright and fun-loving, Brittanys make for entertaining sidekicks as well as energetic companions for hunting, running or just playing fetch in the backyard.
Known as the "smallest member of the sporting dog family," Cocker Spaniels tend to weigh about 5 pounds less than their English cousins. Their enthusiastic personality outdoors and penchant for snoozing indoors make them one of the most persistently popular dogs in the country.
Rounding out the top 25, Tollers take their retrieving very seriously. The outgoing and affectionate pups could play catch from sun up to sundown.