Australia’s Most Popular Dog Breeds – Intelligence is Key

Humans domesticated dogs more than fourteen thousand years ago, and today’s dogs are descended from ancient grey wolves. Remains of ancient companion dogs are found worldwide, which proves that no matter in which part of the world one is located, dogs have been an important part of human life for millennia.

We Aussies truly love our dogs. From working dogs to companion dogs, man’s best friend is an intrinsic part of life for many of us. The majority of dogs are now kept as pets, and will for most of us be just another much loved member of the family. It’s estimated that there are 3.4 million pet dogs in Australia, and there are some distinct favourites amongst dog breeds found in this country.

A Canadian psychologist ranked dogs by breed based on their intelligence, and based on data from professional dog obedience judges.  He found that intelligence ranges considerably across breeds, and varies a lot between dogs within the same breed.

According to the Australian Association of Dog Breeders, Australians generally prefer the more intelligent dog breeds, with six of the top ten pure bred breeds by intelligence in our list of favoured pet breeds…

Australia’s Most Popular Dog Breeds

  1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  2. Labrador Retriever
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  5. Golden Retriever
  6. Border Collie
  7. American Staffordshire Terrier
  8. Poodle
  9. Pug
  10. Rottweiler

The World’s Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

The most intelligent breed is agreed to be the Border Collie, and this dog is ideal for those who have an active lifestyle or a large property for it to run “free”. This is because the Border Collie was bred to work and needs a LOT of exercise.  Dog walking short distances once a day is not enough for this pooch!

Poodles are the second most intelligent dog, and are better suited to urban owners. Their coats don’t shed, they are low-allergenic, and their coat is water resistant. (We think of the Poodle as being quintessentially French, but Poodles were actually bred in Germany for hunting and retrieving water birds). Poodles are, more often than not, today cross-bred.

It’s worth noting that the more intelligent dogs are also more difficult to care for – some are just too smart for their owners! The most intelligent dogs can learn as many as two hundred commands and words. They can be very challenging at times, but incredibly rewarding if you are willing to put in the extra work with them.



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