The top 10 smartest dogs and why you should think twice before getting one of them in NYC

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border collie in Madison Square Park

A border collie in Madison Square Park

Having an intelligent dog sounds good, but in New York City, a smart dog may actually find itself intellectually stifled. Yes they may learn commands more quickly than other dogs, but if you have them in a small New York City apartment most of the day, they have little use for their intelligence and often get into trouble (destroying things, getting into food, become obsessed with herding or guarding or worrying about every noise in the hallway). Remember these dogs were often bred for very specific jobs (herding, guarding, working, hunting, etc) and they are experts in that domain. This is where their intelligence was often applied.

A lot of the dogs that end up at the Glen Highland Farms Border Collie rescue upstate were from homes where it seemed like a great idea to get a smart dog, but it turned out to be way more than the home could handle. So think twice before getting a smart dog in NYC – it’s certainly doable but it often requires extra attentiveness to the dog’s mental needs (agility classes, lots of outdoor time, games, interaction with other dogs, etc). These are amazing dogs, and adopting one is a great idea only IF you spend the extra time they need to exercise the mind (and body)

Here are the top 10 most intelligent dogs according to the book The Intelligence of Dogs.

  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
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