The Most Intelligent Dog Breeds, Ranked by Cognitive Ability 

The fact that dogs are incredibly lovable isn't the only reason they've been there for humans from the Stone Age onward.  

Dogs' intelligence is tailor-made for humans; breeders have selectively selected for the most amiable canines to share our lives with for millennia.  

According to the famous canine researcher and professor Stanley Coren, PhD, who notes in his seminal work  

The Intelligence of Dogs that the smartest dog breeds have always been more than just man's best friend. 

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Coren says that all three stem from a dog's innate drive and skill to interact with people, 

whether that's through reading human body language and responding appropriately with barks, motions, or orders. 

According to Coren, most dogs can understand around 160 words, and some can understand 250 or even more.  

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