The Smartest Small Dogs Rating: Top 11

Amongst the smartest small dogs that make intelligent small dogs list are Poodle, Shetland sheepdog, Papillon, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Yorkshire terrier, Fox, and Rat Terriers, Brussels Griffon, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and the Schipperke.

Interested in particular smartest small dog breed? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Intelligent small dogs

Let’s go into deeper details about each breed to find out what makes it so smart.

When it comes to small dogs than people prefer the smartest small dogs. It is fun to pass time with those. Every moment, they have got something new to amaze their owners.

Apart from performing different tricks, smart dogs act as the best gaming partner of the kids as well. Another good aspect of intelligent dogs is that they are easy to train. They don’t take too much time in learning, whatever their owners want to teach them.

And for smartest dog breeds of all check our guide here.

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Further, smartest dogs act as an alarm for their owners in a difficult situation. Few breeds have the ability to sense the danger and informing their friends. The Internet is rich in stories of heroic dogs who served as an assistant for their owners in the time of crises.

Evaluating any dog breed merely on the basis of looks is not at all possible. So, here are eleven of the smartest small dog breeds.

#1: Poodles: intelligent small dogs best for families

Everyone is familiar with this breed of dogs. The type is already popular. No wonders why it has made it to the top of the smartest small dogs. The poodle has served as the best choice both as a hunter as well as a companion. The most famous of these types is the standard poodle.

But standard poodle is a large breed. It may give a look of hunter dog and may not seem appropriate for playing in the gardens. Other kinds like a miniature poodle and the toy poodle make up for excellent companions. As the name indicates, both these types are best for playing with your kids. And miniature poodles are among the most intelligent small dogs.

Cute Poodle t-shirt. Found it here.

The greatest feature of the poodle is that it’s amongst those smart small dog breeds that are very easy to train. The dogs love to enjoy the company of a man. They are a little bit of attention seekers as well. Pay them attention, love them train them and offer them different tricks to do. Be careful in one thing. Poodle also loves to dominate.

So, keep your interactions in a way that poodle doesn’t overcome you. In order to get best out of this creature, it is necessary to keep it your subordinate. If you’re looking to purchase or are just interested in poodles, (or maybe even own one for many years!) for further research – delightful read covering every conceivable area of Poodle ownership.

#2: Shetland Sheepdog: smartest small dog good with kids

Shetland sheepdog has got a solid reason for making this list. Its intelligence is evident from the fact that it serves the man as a herding dog as well. So danger sensing abilities of this breed are very much developed. There is no doubt that herding dogs have tough duties to perform.

They necessarily need to have the high caliber and ability to learn everything their master teaches them. If you are looking for a dog that can learn complex things, then Shetland sheepdog is indeed the best choice.

smart small dog breeds Shetland Sheepdog

The task of a Shetland sheepdog is not limited to performing tough duties. There are very miniature breeds that also know how to have fun. If your kids need an ultra-smart dog that is ready to have a party, the sheepdog is the best choice. Same like a poodle and other smart small dog breeds, this creature also asks for love and affection for its training.  

Refrain from scolding your pet and train them according to their nature and interests. Want to understand more of the behavioral quirks of the Shetland Sheepdog from puppy to adult? a great resource to keep going.

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#3: Papillon: smartest lap dogs that stay small

One of the smartest small dogs is the Papillon. The dog is not only small but much adorable. The credit goes to its butterfly-shaped ears. There are very interesting facts when it comes to the size of Papillon.

The breed merely reaches beyond the 10 pounds weight goal. Don’t think that small weight puts limitations before this creature. Papillon is one of the most extrovert dog creatures. It loves to go out, perform tasks and indulge in different activities.

 smartest lap dogs

Despite the small size, Papillon is able to get involved in different sports. It is intelligence level is also much high. If you train your dog on the basis of reward lure then you can do this with Papillon. Want to know more of what about to come with Papillon? We can’t recommend enough resource.

#4:  Pembroke Welsh Corgi: small cute smart dogs

As the name indicates, Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a multitasker. The breed is categorized as a dwarf herding dog. Initially, it was popular for driving the camels. But it is quite capable of performing other tasks like taking part in various sports. Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a very smart creature.

The dog is intelligent beyond a level and can easily learn anything talks. You can say that making this breed a subordinate is not a challenge. You are lucky enough to have one of the smartest small dogs that don’t offer too many troubles.

And if you are still in doubt – check resource for a mix of breed history and some practical strategies to use in training your new pup.

Corgi puppy stickers. Get it here.

#5: A Yorkshire Terrier: smartest toy dog (that doesn’t shed)

Next on the list is a Yorkshire terrier. This breed was also featured on our selection of small non-shedding breeds and you can check the full list here. It is unlikely for any terrier to not register its name in the list of the smartest small dogs. Yorkshire terrier is much known because of its charming personality.

Such dogs are capable of getting involved in small activities and different sports. But if you know any of the dog’s beauty pageant being held in your city, then do give your terrier a chance; he deserves to go there due to his stunning personality. Thinking of getting a Yorkie? will get you covered! Don’t hesitate more – those little guys are trainable and LOVABLE.

Yorkie pin. You can get it here.

#6: Fox Terrier: easy to train small dogs

The fox terrier is a brilliant dog. One even served as the Executive First Pooch for Herbert Hoover, the U.S. President. Initially, it was on of those smart small dog breeds developed to help exterminate foxes, rats, mice, and other farm pests.

This intent made them exceptional hunters is can be still traced in the breed nowadays. According to the AKC, this pooch is also a great choice for families with kids as he is playful but non-aggressive.

Although his affection for digging might have to be handled. Smooth fox terriers also are amazing watchdogs. As their eyesight and sense of smell are extremely powerful.

And if you are looking to learn more about the breed: history, characteristics, and recommendations on how to care for them properly: it’s all .

smart small dog fox terrier

#7: Rat Terrier: most obedient small dog breeds

Rat terriers, similarly to its relative fox terrier, were commonly utilized as farm dogs throughout the early 20th century. All thanks to their skill to hunt above and underground. There are legends going around about the breed. E.g. there’s a rumor that one of those once caught 2,500 rats.

Today, with much fewer rats on the table, this adaptable breed still makes a perfect addition to families and is rare in obedience and agility trials. With a small body and bundles of energy, the rat terrier is very loyal and can quickly be trained to understand commands.

Curious to know more? ‘ where you can find everything from the history of the rat terrier breed to behavior, to training, etc.

most obedient small dog breeds

In this rating, there are smartest among the small dogs. But if you feel that you need more information we suggest the following books to learn more: : A Guide to Caring for Your Little Dog, Revised Edition and : Training Your Pint-Sized Companion.

#8: Brussels Griffon: best behaved small dog breed

These hairy cutesters are very comparable to terriers in temper, but their looks and talent to learn tricks quickly gave them their own position on this article. The breed started in Belgium. The primary use was rat trapping at the time.  

Although Brussels Griffons also identified as a part of the toy dog group, there’s nothing “toy” about them. They will require an intense life with lots of playing and walking.

They are affectionate and adorable with a curious nature. There are open to new places and people. And that actually makes their training much more manageable.

More details about this cutest and one of the best-behaved breeds can be found in manual. A must-have for anyone who’s seriously considering adopting a Brussels Griffon puppy.

best behaved small dog breed

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#9: Cairn Terrier: smartest and easy to train small dog

The cairn terrier got its reputation as Dorothy’s sidekick in “The Wizard of Oz.” Initially employed to deal with pests on Scottish farms, this breed still has an impulse to dig or hunt small animals.

Cairn terriers are purposeful and energetic. So once you get this little one home, you have to start with the obedience training right away.  

As stated by the AKC, this breed is thriving in obedience, tracking and agility trials. However, don’t make this terrier a terror by scheduling too many exercises and walks.

Want to learn more about Cairn Terrier and figure out how to find a good breeder, how to test the puppy’s temperament while you’re there selecting the perfect one to take home, check out some feeding/training/care/ socialization how-to’s? the great source for further reading.

smartest and easy to train small dog

#10:  Miniature Schnauzer: smartest small hypoallergenic dog breed

The Miniature Schnauzer is likely to be the result of crossing  Schnauzers with Affenpinschers and Poodles. Those are more terrier-like in appearances but slightly different in temper. Overall this breed is very active and easy to train and one of the smartest little dogs out there. Considering adopting Miniature Schnauzer? This book will be a fantastic highly “breed specific” starting point. The text is not a cut and paste from a general dog book then gussied up with pictures of the Miniature Schnauzer. It covers everything from training to grooming. Check the guide .

smartest small hypoallergenic dog breed

#11: The Schipperke: smartest small breed best for an active lifestyle

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The Schipperke is a small, herding dog that came from Belgium. They are passionate little dogs with powerful characters, and they must have an active life to stay well-mannered. That told, they make lovely dog sports contenders and a breeze to train. Want more facts on the history, style, and behavior of this breed? a great book to start.

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