You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can pick a dog breed known for learning good habits fast and easy. Stanley Coren wrote the book "The Intelligence of Dogs" and found that some breeds are brighter than others -- and easier to train. Coren classified doggie smarts by how many repetitions it took to understand a new command and the rate at which the dog would obey commands. These 10 breeds topped the list because each understood new commands in less than five repetitions and obey commands 95% of the time.
Getty Premium images
\#10 -- Australian cattle dog
Australian cattle dogs love to bark, chew, chase, dig and nip at your heels. Without training, they can be an absolute terror in the garden and living room. However, it's this same gusto and energy that these dogs take to training, meaning they learn quickly and respond well. If you take the time to train your Australian cattle dog the right way, he or she will actually enjoy doing your bidding.
Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images
\#9 -- Rottweiler
Rottweilers are devoted, obedient dogs. They are confident and fearless, and even though their self-confident attitude means they are less likely to befriend you immediately, they make great long-term companions. Fun fact: Rottweilers are named after the German town, Rottweil. They earned their name during the time of the Roman Empire when passersby would stop in this town -- it was once a large cattle farm -- and tie their dogs up before doing business. Eventually the town became so full of these sleek, black dogs that they were named "Rottweil-ers."
\#8 -- Papillion
This tiny dog has a lot of spunk. Papillions are energetic, highly intelligent, great with children and they learn new tricks quickly. Despite being so small, Papillions need a lot of exercise, but after a day's walk, they are very happy to sit and relax with their owners.
\#7 -- Labrador retriever
Labradors are known for being the best of all water retrievers. They can swim for hours in cold water and have such a remarkable nose and mouth that they are able to retrieve fallen fowl from great distances without damaging the bird.
\#6 -- Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdogs, or "Shelties," are still very active in the sheep-herding world. Small farmers use the dogs and their natural herding instinct to round up chickens, sheep and cattle. Overall, they are excitable dogs who are eager to please and work hard.
Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images
\#5 -- Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans are working dogs and thrive on training and exercise. Because of their intellect and sense of smell, Doberman Pinschers are frequently used by police department personnel to sniff out criminal suspects.
Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images
\#4 -- Golden retriever
Golden retrievers are one the most popular family dogs. They live to please their owners and are excellent with children. Because Golden Retrievers are so intelligent, they are also great service animals.
Chris Amaral/Digital Vision/Getty Images
\#3 -- German Shepherd
German Shepherds were specifically bred to be intelligent. Combined with their physical strength and stature, German Shepherds are often trained to be protector dogs. The proper name for the German Shepherd is actually German Shepherd Dog. The first German Shepherd Dog ever registered was named Horand v. Grafrath.
John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
\#2 -- Poodle
If Poodles aren't trained, they can get mischievous. They are very energetic and if they don't get their daily walk, they'll use their smarts to find ways to expend that energy inside the house. Fun fact: Did you know that Poodles can have dread locks? Because the Poodles have such high-maintenance coats (the standard show poodle requires 10 hours of brushing per week), "cording" was once a very popular way to keep a poodle's fur from getting tangled and matted.
\#1 -- Border Collie
The world's smartest dog is more intelligent than a three-year-old child. Chaser, a Border Collie, successfully memorised the names of 1022 items over the course of three years.
Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images
- Getty Premium images