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Oh, the German Shepherds… dogs with a lot of qualities, but the thing they are most known for is their intelligence. The real question is why are German Shepherds so smart?

These pooches are one of those dog breeds that are very popular, and people who may not adore dogs will know about this breed.

When it comes to their appearance, they are large dogs that can seem dangerous, and even aggressive for someone who has a one-on-one meeting with them. The German Shepherd breed is usually compared to Dobermans and Rottweilers not only because of their strong appearance, but also for their coat colors.

German Shepherds come in different colors so there is something for everyone. But, today, we are not here to speak about their beauty, we are here to go in-depth about the German Shepherd’s intelligence.

There is a lot to go through so let’s start.

Why Are German Shepherds So Smart?

german shepherd dog jumps up in the airgerman shepherd dog jumps up in the air

When you think about a dog’s intelligence, a lot of us usually think only about their ability to learn tricks, but there are many more things that go into determining whether or not a dog breed is intelligent.

Why is this breed so smart? Well, mostly it is because of their genetics. This means that these dogs were bred to be hardworking and intelligent dogs. They were bred to be herding dogs, or to be even more precise, to herd sheep.

This is the reason why this intelligent breed has the word shepherd in their breed name. To perform this job well, they had to have many qualities, and all of those qualities go into the aspect of intelligence.

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Even today, this dog is a working dog, and they are used for many different things. Some of the things that these dogs do are:

Police dogs

Military dogs

– Service dogs

– They can sniff bombs

– They can sniff some specific health issues with we humans

They can smell drugs

– They are sheepdogs

We made a list of things that make this breed of dog one of the three most intelligent dogs in the world. The only two dogs that are before a GSD are a Poodle and a Border Collie.

Here are the things that make a German Shepherd one of the smartest dog breeds.

1. They Have An Intelligent Nose

Nose of german shepherd puppyNose of german shepherd puppy

Oh, yes… you read that right. These dogs have an incredible ability to smell anything around them, and even things that are far from them. Not only that, but they remember the smell of anything you want to teach them.

Even a German Shepherd puppy will showcase this ability.

Their powerful and smart nose was one of their main working tools when they were herding sheep. They had to protect the herd from intruders like wolves. They were able to smell the wolf from afar and alert of danger.

Today, their nose is used for many different purposes. The most incredible thing that this third smartest dog can detect with their keen sense of smell is breast and prostate cancer.

Today, a German Shepherd dog is used to find bombs and drugs by sniffing around. Some people like to call them the sniffers.

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Many dogs were tested to see how they will perform in these tasks, and some of them were Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and many more. The GSD is the one that showed the best results.

2. Their Ability To Learn Fast

Obedience training is not something that you will need for these dogs, even when you don’t have a lot of experience. Dog owners can sometimes be overwhelmed when they need to teach their dog something new.

This is the dog breed that will remove all those worries. Whatever new command you decide to teach this dog, you will do it in no time.

Even when they are adults, they have no problem with learning new things.

The speed at which a dog learns things is one of the factors that is tested in Coren’s test. This is a test that was created by a man called Stanley Coren, to measure canine intelligence.

It will not surprise you when we tell you that German Shepherds are the ones that excelled in this test.

3. They Have Instinctive Intelligence

German Shepherd Dog runningGerman Shepherd Dog running

A lot of dog breeds have something that is called instinctive intelligence. This means that a certain breed was bred to fulfill a certain task. Because of that, they developed something within their DNA that they will instinctively know and do.

A German Shepherd has developed a lot of things that they just naturally know. Their protective side comes from them protecting sheep for a lot of years. With that protectiveness, they developed a set of new skills that they just became good at.

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Because of that, they are used in military and police forces.

4. They Have Adaptive Intelligence

High intelligence comes with a dog being able to adapt to a lot of situations. This is a dog’s ability to almost learn by themselves. Full blooded German Shepherds are very good at remembering things and being able to solve new problems that are similar to the ones they saw even once.

They also naturally know certain commands. An example of this is when you tell your German Shepherd that it is bath time. They will naturally get up and go to the bathroom.

5. They Are Good In Problem Solving

The German shepherd dog lies with children's toysThe German shepherd dog lies with children's toys

This is also one of the things that make them one of the smartest breeds within the whole dog kingdom. You can give them any puzzle game and they will be able to solve it in no time.

The first puzzle toy that you give them might take them a bit longer, but the second one will be a breeze for them to solve.

This is also one of their natural abilities.

These types of games are amazing for these dogs since they need to be mentally stimulated on a daily basis. You can also increase the intelligence of dogs by giving them puzzle toys.

6. They Have Obedience Intelligence

These dogs are just programmed to listen to their owners or anyone who is giving them commands. You will not need a lot of repetitions to make a German Shepherd listen to you.

For example, you have a Siberian Husky that is naturally a goofy and stubborn dog. You will need to tell them a command more than a couple of times for them to listen to you.

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This is the reason why German Shepherds are extremely trainable dogs. German Shepherd owners can really consider them to be lucky because they will not spend a lot of time training their dogs.

7. They Are Chameleon Dogs

military german shepherd dog sitting outdoormilitary german shepherd dog sitting outdoor

This trait is mostly showcased with military German Shepherds. These dogs have the speed, the possibility to communicate with their handler, and to stay on the low.

They thrive in situations that are complex and overwhelming. German Shepherds do not get flustered. When they have a job to do, they concentrate only on fulfilling the task that they are given.

When they are searching for bombs, they go off-leash in their expedition. They can go long distances, and the handler does not need to worry about the dog roaming around and not getting the job done.

8. They Are Good With Reading Body Language

German Shepherds only need to look at you to know how you are feeling. If, for some reason, you get angry at them, you don’t even need to say anything. If you look at them a certain way, the dog will know that you are angry.

They are also good at showing how they are feeling. They will use a certain tail position or ear position, combined with a bark, or two to tell you how they are feeling.

They also know how to direct you to a certain thing that they want. This way, you will not need to think a lot to figure out what your dog is trying to tell you.

More About The Breed

german shepherd running in the fieldgerman shepherd running in the field

We already mentioned that these dogs are one of the most popular breeds in the world, and this is also according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). We saw that they are intelligent and why they are intelligent.

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These dogs are also very beautiful. They come in many different colors. They have a dense coat that you need to be prepared to see everywhere around your home.

It is proven that these dogs are the biggest shedders out of all the other breeds that exist. This is sometimes the reason why some people decide not to get a GSD. If you have allergies to dogs, you will have a lot of problems with this dog. You should probably go with a different breed.

They are amazing family dogs. GSDs are known to get along great with kids and other animals. Even though they are naturally friendly, you need to socialize them properly.

To Sum It All Up

We listed all the reasons as to why German Shepherds are so smart. As you could tell, these dogs have a lot of natural abilities, and are one of the most trainable dog breeds.

Even when you do not have a lot of experience with dogs and dog training, you will not have a hard time training this dog. A lot of breeders love to train their puppies since they absorb everything even at a young age.

We can all agree on the fact that this dog is just the whole package. They have it all, and if you decide on getting one, you will be very lucky.

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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