Have you been wondering why small dogs are more common lately? It is not only about the fact that they are easy to keep even in the small apartment or they shed much less than bigger breeds.

Small dogs are smart, they don’t just amaze their owners with new things that they learn every day, but they are also great companions and playmates for younger children. So what are the top 10 smartest small dog breeds?

There are hundreds of small breeds and the smartest among them are poodles, Shetland sheepdogs, papillons, and welsh corgies. Lots of terriers are as well famous for their intelligence such as Yorkshire terriers, fox terries, rat terriers, and cairn ones.

It is not enough to choose a smart dog, it is very important that the dog suits you and your lifestyle. Some of these pups are active, others not. Some are good for apartments, another requires living in a house with a yard. Keep reading to learn a bit more about every dog from the list of the smartest dogs out there.

10 Smartest Small Dogs

Now that we have piqued your interest in them, here is a quick list of the 10 smartest of small pets.

1. Poodle – The Smartest Small Dog

three Poodle

No prizes for guessing why this breed is number one on our chart! The poodle is the most popular variety of breeds and can qualify both as a hunter and as a companion dog. The standard poodle is slightly larger and can come across as a hunter. On the other hand, miniature and toy poodles are tiny and great companions for younger children.

They are very simple to train, attention seekers that they are. There is no way you can ignore their cute and naughty antics all day long. There is only one caveat. Poodles are naturally very dominating, and it is important to keep interactions with them in such a way that they do not overwhelm you or allow it to overcome you.

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2. The Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog

There is no surprise element that Sheltie has made it to the top three entries on this list. The fact that it is intelligent comes across easily because it has always been used as a herding dog.

Because of its genetic predisposition to perform tougher duties, it has a great danger sensing capability along with the ability to grasp easily whatever it is taught to do. Because of its high mental caliber, it can learn and perform a lot of complex activities.

3. Papillon

Papillon smart

You wanted the smartest small dog, and you have a Papillon. This dog will stay small always. The maximum reaches as an adult is about 10 pounds! We think it is one of the most adorable ones with those cute butterfly-shaped ears.

Don’t go by its size, Papillon are the most extrovert of dogs, and they love to go out, learn new tasks and perform them and indulge in a host of activities.

If you are looking for a playmate for your little army, then Papillon, with its intelligence, is the one for them. Luring them with rewards and kind training works best for them.

4. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog

Once used to drive camels and as an essentially herding dog, a lot of dog lovers will vouch that it is a multitasker of sorts. It comes across as a dwarf herding dog, but you will be mighty impressed with its repertoire.

What is there that it cannot do! It can take part in sports with any other activity that is kindly taught to him. It is easy to make it yours if you give it a little of your time and energy alone. This is one super-smart dog that comes with absolutely no strings attached.

5. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

It is impossible to have a list of the smartest small dogs and then not have a Yorkshire terrier on it! This smarty dog with a charming personality can lift your mood on the lowest of days.

It is capable of getting involved in sports and other small activities. It is an asset to have a dog home with young children and seniors who are looking to pass some quality

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6. Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier

This brilliant dog with a penchant for digging is going to fill your day with endless hours of fun and laughter. It is an amazing watchdog and is recommended for homes with children and oldies for its incredible playfulness. It is not an aggressive breed altogether. Their keen observation and sense of smell once had them being trained to exterminate pests from the farms.

Fox terrier was the official choice of the White House when Prezi Hoover stayed there. It was the executive first pooch! The dog may be exceptional hunters and make your garden safe for very young children.

7. Rat Terrier

Rat Terrier

In the twentieth century, rat terriers were mostly employed as farm dogs. Thanks to its excellent hunting abilities, it made a mark there. If it is on our list, then it is because of its acute sharp sense of hunting underground as well as on the surface.

It will compliment a family that will keep it well with kindness. The breed is very obedient and agile. Sometimes it makes us wonder how a small body like that can house endless energy like that! The breed is super loyal and can be quickly trained to understand commands in any spoken language.

8. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon 1

These adorable social doggies must be on your radar if you are looking to have a lasting and fun-filled companionship with them. They are these cute hairy fellas that are so easy to train that you will seriously run out of ideas to keep it occupied. It requires intense playing and walking. The breed was first made in Belgium to trap rats and hence the name.

They are an extrovert breed that has no stranger anxiety, and that is the reason perhaps why these cuties can be easily trained.

9. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Frank L Baum, who wrote the classic Wizard of Oz, had a Cairn terrier throughout Dorothy’s journey from her home in Kansas to Australia. That should be an indication of how loyal and trustworthy this small and cute little smart pooch is! The breed was initially developed to deal with Scottish farm pests, but thanks to its obedience and energetic demeanor, it has become a favorite of most dog lovers.

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The dog has is almost crazy about digging and hunting out small animals. While training, it is suggested not to make it too redundant and choc a bloc for him. 

10. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

The breed is a cross between a schnauzer and poodles. The fact that it is hypoallergenic may seem to be a great plus point for people who suffer from allergies, etcetera.

They may look similar to terriers, but they have a completely different temper. They are extremely very active and very easy to train. They have powerful characters and are a pleasure to have around.

There is a number of breeds, that unfortunately didn’t make it to the top 10 but they are still one of the smartest small dogs and great companions. Among them are border collie, miniature poodle, spaniels, and french bulldogs.

From the large dog breeds, we can mention the smartest as well: german shepherds, rottweiler, Doberman pinscher, labrador retriever, golden retriever, and Australian cattle dog.

That brings us to the end of this beautiful list. A dog can fill your day with fun. And a smart dog can be an asset!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the dumbest small dog?

Afghan Hound is officially the dumbest big dog but among small breeds, Basenji is leading. This dog is hyperactive and very difficult to train even the basics. Of course owners of both breeds disagree with this fact.

What is the easiest small dog to train?

Toy Poodle is officially the easiest dog to train. Like the other types of poodles, they are very smart and loyal. Among the other breeds, you should pay attention to terriers like Norfolk, Yorkshire, or Manchester.

What is the healthiest small dog?

All terriers are quite healthy and long-living. Manchester Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, and Norwich Terrier are definitely small dogs that with balanced food and good training can live with you for many years.

Which small dog is most obedient?

According to American Kennel Club (AKC) poodles are the most obedient, smart, and loyal breed. If you want to have a perfect small canine friend at your house, Toy Poodles might be the right choice.

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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".