Smartest dogs in the world - The Border Collie!

Narrated from: Dog Breeds

It is hard to determine which dog breed produces the smartest canines in the animal kingdom; each dog owner would naturally defend the breed of his own dog!

The Border Collie is the smartest dog breed in the world. In any “Top 10 smartest breeds” list you check, Border Collies usually come on top. The problem with “Top insert-number-here” lists is that they rarely offer any proof - you just have to rely on the author’s goodwill.

However, Border Collies have proved time and time again that they deserve their reputation. The only way to compare dog breeds in terms of intelligence is to seek out the smartest representatives of each breed – and as it turns out, the dogs that amaze the world are always Border Collies!

Three Border Collies have taken over the news in the past decade. The first to astonish the world was Rico (1994-2008) from Germany. Rico was studied by an animal psychologist after his owners put forth a ridiculous claim that their dog could understand more than 200 words – and Rico proved them right! Rico was able to identify 200 objects just by name – and he still remembered the associations even if he hadn’t heard the word for four weeks!

However, Rico was soon eclipsed by a neighbor from nearby Austria. Betsy (born 2002), was presented to animal cognition researchers from National Geographic when they put out an ad that they were looking for a few smart dogs. Betsy proved to be the pick of the pile, and she amazed the researchers as she proved she could understand 340 words – in this she became the first dog to rival the great apes! Furthermore, Betsy could grasp the concept of a two-dimensional object – she could look at a photo and then recognize the object in it!

For a dog, even a Border collie, 340 words is an impressive vocabulary. However, the USA was yet to join the race! An American psychologist from South Carolina decided to truly find the final frontier for border collies. Dr. Reid put his own pet, Chaser, through a three year training program. In the end, a documented research showed that Chaser was able to recognize exactly 1,022 different items by name! Furthermore, she was able to categorize them and performed different commands!

And the verdict: there is no final frontier with border collies! Chaser could have learned more words – but she was on a three year program! What new heights the dog Einsteins would reach – we just have to wait and see!

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