The German Shepherd is not the smartest dog in the world.

Yet, it is the third most intelligent of all dogs.

This is according to scientist Stanley Cooper, who did much research on this topic.

They are athletic, loyal, and very powerful.

These characteristics make them capable of learning commands and being able to train.

Read on, and find out how scientists measure dog intelligence in the following text.

Is the German Shepherd the Smartest Dog?

  • How Was Intelligence Measured?
  • How High Did the German Shepherd Score?
  • Lower IQ Dog Groups
  • Other Characteristics That Make German Shepherds Smart

How Was Intelligence Measured?

In 1994, Coren asked 199 North American obedience trial judges for their help.

The obedience trial judges analyzed as many dog breeds as they could be based on his standards.

The standards for canine intelligence show in:

  • Repeats Before Success
  • Success On First Try

Repeats Before Success

This exercise measures the number of times a certain dog breed must practice a command.

They measure it until learned. [1]

The list ranked higher the dog breeds that required fewer repetitions.

Success On First Try

This test measures if a certain breed of dog will follow the given instruction.

Scientists measure it on the first try. [2]

Given the massive response, researchers did not choose every dog in the end.

For instance, Coren limited his research list.

He included only the breeds with at least 100 evaluations. [3]

How High Did the German Shepherd Score?

The German Shepherd performed well, as expected.

Border Collie and Poodle managed to outperform them in obedience and working intelligence. [4]

German Shepherd Dogs (GSD) ranked among the top 10 canines in the top dog intelligence class.

Breeds in this group can pick up a new command in less than five tries.

A German Shepherd can learn basic commands in a few minutes.

German Shepherds also demonstrated traits of extreme obedience.

As a result, a GSD has a success rate of 95% or more when following a known command on the first try.

Few animals own this ability. [5]

Breeds such as Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, and Blue Heeler ranked in the same IQ group as GSD.

Lower IQ Dog Groups

The worst performing groups included the Beagle, Basset Hound, and the Pekingese.

These breeds are usually quite intelligent outside of working intelligence and obedience.

Dogs in the least intelligent class needed between 80 and 100 repetitions.

These repetitions helped them learn a single new command. [6]

This meant that GSDs are more than 16 times more intelligent than the dogs in the lower classes at learning new commands.

When it comes to obedience, low intelligent dog breeds were able to obey a known command.

On the first try, they had a 25% or lower success rate.

That means that the GSDs are 3-4 times more obedient than the general dog breeds.

Dog’s stubbornness can also contribute to the low scores of the other dog groups. [7]

Since these lower performing groups can learn new exercises.

They also perform exercises well in the presence of their owners.

Other Characteristics That Make German Shepherds Smart:

  • Instinctive Intelligence
  • Adaptive Intelligence

Instinctive Intelligence

The natural skill or inherent competence that the dog owns in its genes.

This skill is known as instinctive intelligence.

All canines are born in the past for a particular function or task.

Nature did not create many breeds only for companionship.

Welsh Corgis were herding cattle, sheep, and other country animals in the past.

Yet, Corgis can round up and move animals in the desired direction.

All this with little to no human help. [8]

German Shepherds became the best utility dogs.

In other words, they were versatile worker dogs that could perform all tasks.

But, their natural intelligence lies in herding and protecting sheep. [9]

Adaptive Intelligence

Adaptive intelligence is the final component of dog intelligence.

It alludes to the dog’s capacity for independent learning.

High adaptive intelligence in dogs links to both problem-solving skills.

Also, to the capacity to draw lessons from the past. [10]

The German Shepherd is excellent at picking up vocal orders, as we already know.

As a result, this dog does not have any trouble memorizing word associations.

The German Shepherds are also trained to identify a particular scent.

They take the appropriate action inspired by the scents. [11]

This demonstrates a high level of adaptive intelligence.

They can link activities with not only commands but also smells.

Are German Shepherds Smart Dogs?

Yes, German Shepherds are smart dogs.

They are not the smartest dogs in the world.

Yet, they are the third most intelligent of all dogs.

Scientists measured a dog’s level of intelligence using two basics.

This includes working intelligence and obedience.

But the German Shepherds have many other types of intelligence.

Among which the most important are adaptive and instinctive intelligence.

When one includes their cuteness in this package, it’s obvious why they are one of the most admired pets in the world.