New Study Reveals the Smartest Dog Breed — and It's Not the One You Might Expect

If you Google “smartest dog breeds,” most lists you’ll find have Border Collies in the No. 1 spot, followed by Poodles, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. Now, a new study of canine recognition puts a whole different breed at the top of the ladder, one that most of us have probably seen before, but haven’t heard the name of…….the Belgian Malinois. Best known as a police or security dog, the Belgian Malinois is a shepherd breed that looks similar to a German Shepherd. Both breeds are of similar height and coloring, but the Belgian Malinois is lighter in weight and its ears are more triangular-shaped. So, what makes the Belgian Malinois more intelligent than other dogs? The study analyzed 1,002 dogs from 13 breeds using tests involving food reward tasks that determine a dog’s capacity for memory, problem-solving, impulse control, reading human gestures, copying human behavior, and logical reasoning. The Belgian Malinois scored 35 out of a possible 39 points, making it the top scorer for high intelligence overall. The only weakness the Belgian Malinois showed was in a cylinder test, in which a dog is taught to retrieve a piece of food from inside an opaque cylinder. The Belgian scored the lowest of all breeds, but stood out in almost all of the other cognitive tests.