This is apparently the smartest dog breed in Britain

And we wouldn't have expected it

smartest dog breed

And we wouldn't have expected it

Everyone likes to believe that their dog is the smartest, but according to a new survey conducted by, some dog breeds are actually far cleverer than others.

The Border Collie took first place, coming out on top of the public poll that asked owners about their dog’s ability to do everything from following basic commands to complex agility.

According to the results, two thirds of border collies could master a handshake, whilst a quarter of them could even open doors.

Working dogs in general seemed to fare the best, with the German Shepherd, Labrador, Golden Retriever and English Springer Spaniel not far behind.

The study also revealed the least intelligent dog breeds, with the Pug taking the bottom spot, closely followed by the Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Boxer and despite being the country's most popular dog, the Bulldog.

It turns out that at the bottom of the spectrum, 38% of owners found their dogs wouldn’t follow basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’ and ‘down’, and almost 43% of Brits were actually afraid to let their dog of the lead in case they didn’t return.

Not only did the survey rank the intelligence of the dog breeds, it also went on to analyse the areas where dogs are the cleverest, with Gloucester emerging as the city boasting the smartest canines, shortly followed by York, Wrexham, Edinburgh and Worcester.

‘[The Border Collie] is certainly one of the most trainable,’ agreed animal psychologist, Dr Roger Mugford. ‘It goes back to their heritage where eyes and ears have been very important to their work. Border Collies also have a strong desire to please. I would draw a clear line between compliance and problem solving ability though.’

He continued: ‘Generally, all dogs are very clever at watching human nature and understanding why and what we do. They can learn how to manipulate people. They manage human behaviour.’

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.