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The Best Dog Breed For…

From smartest to most social, find out which breeds top the list in a variety of categories.

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Have you ever wondered which breeds are the smartest, the fastest, the best with other dogs? Look no further! We asked Gina DiNardo, American Kennel Club Executive Secretary and expert on all things breed related, for the low down on which dogs are the best fit for a whole array of activities and situations.

Q: Which breeds are fastest?

The Saluki is one of the fastest breeds in the world. Contributing to the Saluki’s stamina are his heavily padded feet that help to absorb the impact that running has on the body. 


ThGreyhound is the fastest breed of dog and has a natural tendency to run. They can go from 0 to their top speed of 45 mph in just six strides.


The Vizsla can reach speeds up to 40 mph. Not only is this breed fast, but he is also known for his endurance.


The Whippet is extremely athletic and known for his speed and power. Whippets are capable of running at speeds up to 35 mph.


The Borzoi has top speeds around 35 – 40 mph. While they are fast, they don’t have a ton of endurance.


Q: Which breeds are smartest?

Poodles are considered one of the most intelligent breeds as they learn quickly and are easy to train. They are also known for having long memories.


The Border Collie is well-known for their intelligence. The almond eyes are the focus of a wise expression—an intense gaze, the Border’s famous “herding eye,” is the breed’s hallmark.


Doberman Pinschers are vigilant, courageous, and relentless. Dobermans can learn quickly but are quite sensitive and intolerant of rough handling or inconsistent training.


German Shepherds are a highly attentive breed, and have a great ability to ignore distractions and focus on work. They have been trained to perform an incredible range of jobs.


Golden Retrievers are an exceptionally intelligent breed and are well-suited to become service dogs. They take their work seriously with jobs like hunting and field work, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, and enjoy obedience and other competitive events.


Q: Which breeds are good with other dogs?

Beagles are loving and lovable, happy, and companionable—all qualities that make them excellent family dogs. They are also pack animals and being in their pack (whether it's human or canine) adds to their joy.


Basset Hounds are famed for their easygoing, good-natured demeanor. As a pack hound, they also easily accept the companionship of other dogs.


Border Collies have strong herding instincts and are bred to get along with other animals.


Golden Retrievers’ gentle temperament and playful nature make them a pro at making friends, both human and canine.


Labrador Retrievers tend to be enthusiastic about everything, which include meeting new canine friends.

Q: Which breeds are easy to train?


German Shepherds were bred to be versatile, trainable, and willing workers. Their defining attributes are loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones.



The commanding Doberman Pinscher is a fearless and loyal companion. They are enthusiastic workers and are renowned for their ability to learn and retain their training.


Poodles are extremely intelligent, keen to work and eager to please. They learn quickly and are easy to train. They are also quite sensitive and have long memories.


Golden Retrievers are friendly dogs who are very trainable and eager to please. They can be silly and fun, but do not underestimate their brain power.


Border Collies are whip-smart workaholics and learn remarkably fast. They observe and analyze everything they encounter, are extremely reactive to sound and movement, and have a strong herding instinct.


Q: Which breeds make the best therapy dogs?


Greyhounds are ideal therapy dogs as they are quiet, gentle, and sweet. They move fast but just as equally love to slow down, lay down, and be petted for long periods of time.


Labrador Retrievers are calm, patient, sweet, and affectionate. They are happiest around people, so visiting nursing homes and schools will be the highlight of their day.


Saint Bernards are patient and attentive at the same time. Their protective attitude and warm, cuddly looks make them ideal therapy dogs for children.


Golden Retrievers are outgoing, trustworthy, people-oriented, and relatively easy to train. They take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behaviour into adulthood.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very sociable, adaptable, willing to please, and easy to train. Their cheerful nature and trainability make them naturals at dog sports as well as wonderful therapy dogs.

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