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Australian cattle dog

Australian cattle dog
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This tough herding dog shares qualities with the other herding breeds, including an uncanny knack for knowing when and how to solve problems. “They’re eager to learn and respond well to reward-based training, allowing them to participate in a vast array of enjoyable activities including agility, flyball, and Frisbee,” add Steffen and Hughes.

Pembroke Welsh corgi

Pembroke Welsh corgi
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This happy, smaller breed is most fulfilled when there is a job to do, says Dr Hauser. And adorably, they have a tendency to “herd” their family members, particularly younger children.

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Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
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“These quick learners enjoy being challenged and often excel at sports where they must use their intelligence, like agility and competitive obedience,” said Steffen and Hughes. “Unlike many of the others breeds in the terrier group, Miniature Schnauzers have a strong desire to please and the smarts to do so,” points out Dr Hauser.

English Springer spaniel

English Springer spaniel
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“The Springer is the place where beauty and utility meet,” according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), which adds that the Springer spaniel’s energy, stamina, brains, and smooth “rear drive” movement have earned them an exalted place in the realm of bird dogs. “But a Springer – with his smartly marked coat, yearning spaniel expression, and long, lush ears –would be prized for good looks even if he couldn’t tell a grouse from a mouse [which he can!],” shares the website.

Belgian Tervuren, sheepdog, and malinois

Belgian Tervuren, sheepdog, and malinois
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The Beglian Tervuren, Sheepdog, and Malinois all descended from the Belgian sheepdog and all “deserve to make the list due to their intelligent nature and affinity for sports such as agility, tracking, herding, and sledding,” according to Steffen and Hughes. The Tervuren is “loyal and smart,” and “great at tricks,” says Morgan. The Belgian Shepherd shares a common heritage with the Schipperke, discussed below. Of the Malinois, Dr Hauser says, “Classified as working dogs, Belgian Malinois are most recognisable for their roles as police and military dogs.” Smart, loyal, and confident, they possess an admirable work ethic.

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Shipperke

Shipperke
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Another brainy Belgian dog, the Shipperke descends from the same family as the Belgian Sheepdog. Curious, confident, and clever, the Shipperke is a big, brave dog in a small package and makes an excellent watchdog, particularly for boats. In fact, that’s how it got its name: the Flemish word for “boat” is “schip,” and Schipperkes were bred to be ratters on canal barges.

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Collie

Collie
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This breed, made famous by the 1943 movie, Lassie, has developed an amazing level of intelligence over the years and is great for herding, protection, water rescue, and as a guide for the blind, according to Steffen and Hughes. “We know her best because she could tell us when Timmy had fallen into the well,” jokes Morgan.

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Keeshond

Keeshond
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“These thick coated medium-sized dogs were once known at the Dutch Barge Dog,” notes Morgan. They’re used as seeing-eye dogs and are amazingly fast learners. That said, their independence requires a committed and disciplined trainer.

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German shorthaired pointer

German shorthaired pointer
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“Pointers have traditionally been used as sporting dogs, in bird hunting. They are loyal, smart dogs that thrive in very active households,” says Dr Hauser. These hunting dogs were bred to locate prey and hold a point to identify where the prey is located, which takes an amazing amount of self-confidence and self-control, notes Morgan.

Flat-coated retriever

Flat-coated retriever
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The AKC says that the flat-coated retriever, which developed out of the same family as the Labrador, is confident as well as intelligent, and makes for highly energetic hunting dogs. Like the Lab, the flat-coat is not only one of the smartest dogs, but also makes a wonderful therapy dog.

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