smart-morkieDogs can be smart in different ways; for example some dogs may excel at learning new tasks. Others may seem very, very smart because they are able to read your mind! Others learn tricks so easily that their intelligence must be high.

How smart is the Morkie compared to other breeds, and how is dog intelligence even measured?

According to famed pet behaviourist Stanley Coren, PhD, author of Born to Bark, there are three major types of dog smarts:

  1. instinctive intelligence (what a dog is bred for), 
  2. adaptive intelligence (what a dog can learn by itself), and 
  3. working and obedience intelligence (what people can teach a dog to do). 

Comparing breeds can be hard for the first two types, but there’s a wide range in brainpower among breeds in the last category — working and obedience intelligence.  

The Top Ten Smartest Breeds

On that scale of ‘trainability’ the Border Collie is the smartest dog around. But Poodles, Labs, Rottweilers and German Shepherd Dogs are no slouches either.  Here’s a list of the top 10 smartest dogs, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC):

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd Dog
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Bloodhound
  10. Rottweiler

Bottom of the class 🙁

  • Afghan hound – least trainable of all dogs,
  • Beagle
  • Bulldog
  • Mastiff 

All dogs are very clever when it comes to social interaction, with each other or with their humans.  In fact, the average dog can learn 165 words – and smarter breeds, up to 250. That’s like a 2 year old child. 

Dogs raised in a mentally stimulating environment can learn faster and will seem smarter. 

Are the smartest dogs the best pets?

Not necessarily. In fact very smart dogs can be challenging. They often need more attention and can be very demanding.

So what about the Morkie?

The only way we can really rank the Morkie, is by looking at his parents, the purebred Yorkshire Terrier and the Maltese. 

Here’s how Dr. Coren ranks them:

Dog intelligence ranking

So is your Morkie more on the “smart” Yorkie side, or more Maltese intelligence?


If you’re a Morkie owner, you probably rank your pet as THE smartest of all dogs.  After all, Morkies’ sweet nature and willingness to please, make him the best dog around!

So how smart is YOUR Morkie?