It is very important to teach your dogs some commands so that they can be obedient and socialized. And as you know that the dogs perform the actions by command words. It means they memorize the word and as they hear the word with the right tone then they perform the action. Now in this situation, a common curious mind can ask, “can’t we keep teaching them these words like we do with our children and make them smart like them?”. Or, is there any limitation? What is the limit of a dog to learn these words?

According to some researchers, the dog’s mental abilities are compared to a 2 to 2.5 years old human child. They can learn some words, count up to 4 or 5 and do some basic arithmetic. An average dog can learn 165 words that include signals too. Whereas the super dogs can learn up to 250 words. Super dogs are those dog breeds that are in the top 20 percent of dog intelligence that includes Border collies, Poodles, German Shepherd, Golden retrievers, Doberman, Sheepdog, and Labrador retrievers.

The above data is partly based on a study done by a Border collie named “Rico”. Rico was able to understand more than 200 simple words. But this study came to a question when we met “Chaser”. Chaser was also a Border collie female dog who was able to identify 1022 nouns. That is insane. This put the above whole research in question.

So, what is the limit is a dog’s word intelligence? Who is this Chaser and is there anything else you must know? There may be many such questions that your mind may be chasing for right now. So, In this blog, I will try to cover everything about a dog’s intelligence and about their limits. Keep reading till last because there are many interesting facts hidden below. 😉

How many words can a Labrador retriever learn?

smart labrador

Labrador retrievers hold the 7th smartest dog breed position in the world. So, they can learn about 250 words. They can count up to 4 and 5. Labradors can learn some basic calculations like 1+1 etc. These are not the only words that these smart dogs can learn. There are many other intelligent things that they can do.

  • They can identify the body signals
  • They can observe the location of a valuable thing (basically treats)
  • They can find the better routes to reach any place
  • They can learn to operate some basic machines like latches.
  • They can read the human body language.

Right now the dog’s mental ability is getting compared by the chimpanzees. Those animals that you used to think are the smartest after humans. But your furry friend can have much better intelligence than them.

There are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), Adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems), and working and obedience (the equivalent of ‘school learning’, something that we train them). In a data of 208 dogs, judges found that not all dog breeds are equal in terms of intelligence.

Some dog breeds are much smarter than others. And some are the dumbest. So, it does matter which dog breed you are choosing if you want a smart dog. Of course, the training has its own importance but it also matters that how much your dog can learn.

The smartest dog breeds in the world.

smartest dog breeds

How smart is your dog? It depends on many factors. And your dog’s breed is one of the major one. If your dog is in the top 20 percent of the smartest dog breeds list then congratulation, Your dog is a super dog. He can learn about 250 words if you train her well. And if you are thinking to get a new smart dog then the below list can help.

Below are the top 20 smartest dog breeds in the world:

  1. Border collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German shepherd dog
  4. Golden retriever
  5. Doberman pinscher
  6. Shetland sheepdog
  7. Labrador retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian cattle dog
  11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  12. Miniature Schnauzer
  13. English Springer Spaniel
  14. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)
  15. Schipperke
  16. Belgian Sheepdog
  17. Collie
  18. Keeshond
  19. German Shorthaired Pointer
  20. Flat-Coated Retriever

In the above list, you can see that I have bolded the top 11 dog breeds. This was not a mistake, I have done it by intention. I have bolded them because I will highly suggest one of them if you are searching for a smart dog breed. If you are looking for a family dog with good intelligence then I will suggest you Labrador retriever here is why. And if you are a kid and your parents are not getting ready for a labrador then this blog can help.

Meet Chaser, the smartest dog in the world.


I have saved the most interesting topic for the last. Do you remember the name Chaser I have talked about at the start? It is a female Border collie dog. As you can see in the above picture a white and black mix border collie, she is Chaser. And she is not a normal Border collie dog. That sweet dog is the smartest dog in this world till we have seen it. Chaser was able to identify 1022 nouns. Her master John Pilley was a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Wofford College in South Carolina.

Chaser with 1000 toys

He introduced chaser 1000 toys and introduced them to her by giving each a specific name. Chaser was such a smart dog that she could identify those toys by their name. Not ever then she could identify the toys with their groups. For example, she has many balls each having a specific name. But she was able it identify the ball by some adjectives like the ball that is the smallest, ball that is biggest or the ball that jumps a lot, etc. You may be thinking why I am so much excited about this dog. Then you should watch the below video and then you will get my point about why I am so much excited about this dog.

Source: Nova PBS

Have you seen the video? Now you know what I was talking about. This is the intelligence that a dog can have. You just need to teach them with a positive attitude. If you want to read more about Chaser then you can read it on the AKC website. Chaser is not the only smart dog that we have witnessed till now. There were many out of which the other most popular dog before Chaser came in was Rico.

Rico the another smart dog

Rico was also a Border collie dog breed. This dog was able to recognize more than 200 simple words. All the studies done on the dogs’ intelligence were partially based on this dog’s study. You can still read about Rico on many popular websites like The Guardian, WebMD, etc. These articles witness how popular Rico was before Chaser came in.


After reading about Rico and Chaser, a question comes to mind, “Is this it?”. I mean You can see the evolution in dogs’ minds. Rico knew 200 words and then we had Chaser with 1000. Dogs are getting smarter with time and we have progressed from a caveman. Is it possible that a time will when we will be able to talk with these awesome furry friends as we do in humans? Anything is possible. 🙂

Whatever be the future but there is one thing for sure that your canine friend is way more intelligent than you think. Just make a good positive bonding with him and you will have a great true furry friend.

What you think about the dog’s intelligence? Let us know in the comment.

Suman Kumar Sahni

I am Suman and I am a crazy dog lover. Actual not dog but I love all the animals. But the cute puppies have some special corner in my heart. I have spent my entire life with dogs since I was 10 years old. So, I think I know what a dog wants from we human. It's Love. And I am trying to spread that love for dogs in this world through this website.

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