How Smart Is A German Shepherd? Are They Really Intelligent?

How Smart Is A German Shepherd featured

There’s no doubt that German Shepherds are some of the most intelligent breeds of dogs in the world. From nose to tail, there are so much information dogs absorb at an early age. Some clever humans have even gone as far as to create a map of how smart individual dogs are. It’s pretty fascinating to see where your dog falls on the scale.

Let’s take a look at how smart is a German Shepherd and some of the things that makes this breed so intelligent, and get to know why are German Shepherds so smart!

How smart are German Shepherd ranking?

How smart are German Shepherd ranking

German Shepherds are known for their instinctive intelligence and tenacity, making them perfect family pets and reliable police dogs. The cheerful, eager-to-please breed is also a favorite among dog lovers. But are they really smart? and What do they rank highest on?

Are Germans Shepherds smart?

Yes, the German Shepherd Dog is one of the most intelligent distinct breeds of dogs in the world. They have a long history, from around the 1700s. The GSD is an excellent family dog and makes an excellent service dog. Their intelligence levels are on par with other working breeds like Rottweilers, Bloodhounds, etc

They rank high in obedience and cleverness. As a working breed, they excel in many dog sports, from tracking to herding to agility and more. One of the most notable traits of the GSD is their exceptional memory. The GSD is believed to have excellent long-term memory, which is one of the reasons why they make such great service dogs.

They are also very affectionate and loyal. But like all dogs, the GSD is prone to dog behavior problems. A German Shepherd’s intelligence doesn’t mean they don’t have common dog behaviors like chewing, digging, jumping, etc.

What does the German Shepherd rank highest on?

GSDs rank highest in “social skills” and are considered one of the most well-rounded breeds. GSDs are excellent with children and can get along with other pets (although not all are amicable to cats). They love people and want to be involved in whatever they are doing. Another trait of the GSD is their strong prey drive; that is, they enjoy chasing down small animals like cats and chasing rabbits. GSDs are also quick learners.

Coren’s dog intelligence criteria

Coren’s dog intelligence criteria rate the German shepherd as one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. The breed is known for its loyalty, obedience, and trainability.

The intelligence of the breed is measured by its ability to complete a variety of tasks, such as learning through positive reinforcement, understanding human language, and performing various tricks.

Dog cognition expert Stanley Coren categorized the breed as having average to above-average intelligence.

A dog’s smarts are often tested using toys or fantastic puzzles; this is typically done by their owner with the dog sitting by their side. Performance on the tests is typically evaluated by comparing the dog’s results to the results of reference dogs. Dogs are rated on a scale of one to five in each of the following categories:


Obedience competition is a test of a dog’s ability to perform tasks that their human handler has previously taught them. At its most basic level, an obedience competition involves one handler and multiple dogs. These competitions typically involve three types of exercises:


In heelwork, the handler walks the dog along a set of markers (usually six or eight flat stakes driven into the ground). The handler calls the dog back when they pass by the markers and gives them verbal praise and commands when they are performing correctly.


In scent work, the handler releases a scent into the air (usually an article of clothing), then has the dog search for it by finding the handler.


In scenting, the handler and dog work together to find an article of scent in its original location. This type of obedience requires very advanced scenting ability and relies on the keen sense of smell of the dog.

Many dog owners train their dogs to perform various tricks. Obedience trials determine whether a dog is skilled at executing commands, and are often used to find the best obedience line for competition. The AKC currently has two obedience levels: trial (required to earn titles) and working (optional).

Obedience training is a great dog sport that combines mental and physical stimulation with teamwork.

  • For example, when working in an obedience competition your dog will have to first learn to sit, down, stay, wait, come, follow the leader, leave it, and search.
  • Next, they will move on to higher levels of competition such as high-level heelwork and distractions. Competition obedience can be fun for both you and your dog.

Obedience titles can be earned by dogs who have passed the AKC’s Obedience Test for Beginners (OTBC) or the more advanced AKC can Canine Good Citizen test (GC3).

Both titles are registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC). To earn a Working CGC, the dog must have completed the AKC’s CGC test (GC2).

There are also non-AKC titles available, such as HRDC/SKC Good Citizen and SAPD/SDIH Search and Rescue Dog.

Some dogs excel in obedience intelligence while others prefer sport-style competition where each dog has its own handler.

How many repetitions does a German Shepherd need to learn a new command?

A German Shepherd needs about 30 repetitions to learn a new command. However, this number can vary depending on the dog’s age, intelligence, and level of motivation. If your dog has already mastered a particular command, you can modify the exercise by changing the word or command.

German Shepherd intelligence

All in all, a German Shepherd’s temperament is intelligent and loyal. They are great working dogs and are often used in law enforcement and the military. They are also popular as family pets. German Shepherds’ intelligence is above average. They are quick learners and are very obedient. They are also known for being protective of their family and home.

What is the IQ of a German Shepherd?

What is the IQ of a German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is one of the smartest dog breeds. They are known for their loyalty, obedience, and intelligence. German Shepherds have an average IQ of 108, which is higher than the average for all dog breeds. if you’re looking for a quick-witted dog why not a lovely smart German Shepherd? They are excellent family dogs, but can also be trained to work with and protect your family.

What is the highest IQ dog?

The Border Collie is considered to be the highest IQ dog. This breed is known for its herding abilities and its willingness to please its owner. Border Collies are highly trainable and are often used in agility and obedience competitions. Other breeds often cited as being highly intelligent include Poodles, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers.

How smart are German Shepherds compared to other dogs?

How smart are German Shepherds compared to other dogs

While every dog is unique and has different levels of intelligence, German Shepherds are generally considered to be one of the smartest breeds of dogs, while the least intelligent dogs include breeds like the Bulldog and Beagle.

German Shepherds are trainable, obedient, and easy to work with. They are also versatile, working as service dogs, police dogs, and even therapy dogs.

On the other hand, the least intelligent dogs are often stubborn, difficult to train, and require a lot of patience.

Other dog breeds that are known for their intelligence include the border collie, the poodle, and the golden retriever.

How to Deal With Smart German Shepherds

If you have a smart German Shepherd, you may find yourself having to deal with some extra challenges. These dogs are very intelligent and can often outwit their owners. They may be able to figure out how to open doors or gates, or even escape from their yards. If you have a smart German Shepherd, you will need to be extra diligent in your training and management of the dog. Here are some tips on how to deal with a smart German Shepherd:

  • Provide plenty of mental stimulation. These dogs need to be challenged mentally in order to stay happy and well-behaved. Be sure to give your dog plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them occupied.
  • Be consistent with your training. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and are able to quickly learn what you are teaching them. If you are not consistent with your training, they will quickly learn to ignore you.
  • Be patient. Smart dogs need a lot of patience in order to get through all the things that can go wrong in training. They also need a lot of positive reinforcement so that they know that what they are doing is the right thing. It may take longer than you want it to, but remember that you will get there faster with patience.
  • Avoid using treats that have heavy toppings such as chocolate. Instead, try using treats with simple fillings such as tuna or cheese. You can also use fresh cooked chicken or turkey breast in place of kibble or canned food. Adding a little bit of chicken or turkey to your dog’s diet can boost his overall health. It can also help with some behavioral issues. Although not all dogs will respond well to being fed more animal-based foods, it’s worth a try for many pets.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped you to understand a little more about the intelligence and IQ of German Shepherds. The truth is that intelligence is a highly subjective measurement, which means it’s influenced by many factors:

  • Personality
  • Temperament
  • Trainability
  • Level of activity

Although each dog has its own distinct personality, some breeds are more clever than others. German Shepherds, for instance, are one of the most intelligent dog breeds with great mental abilities, making them ideal choices for police and military work, as well as loyal companionship.

If you’re thinking of adding a smart and loyal German Shepherd to your family, be prepared for a lifetime of love and companionship.

What do you think?

Written by Jack

Jack is the founder of Germanshepherdsfamily, a german shepherds specific website where you'll find everything you need to know if you are a true lover of the German Shepherd breed!

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