According to canine intelligence trials carried out in 1994 by Stanley Coren (with help from the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club), the German shepherd ranks above the golden retriever for work, obedience, and intelligence. The rankings placed German shepherds third and golden retrievers fourth overall.
The number one position went to the border collie. Poodles were ranked number two. The Doberman pinscher took number five, followed by the Shetland sheepdog, Labrador retriever, Papillion, Rottweiler and the Australian cattle dog. These rankings are not set in stone, and individual dogs can display higher or lower intelligence levels compared to the breed average. Early socialization and obedience training goes a long way in determining individual intelligence.