Due to an inborn fearlessness and deep stamina, the Doberman is one of the most popular of guard dogs. Smart and assertive, they can easily be trained for dominance or docility. Because of their past as war and police dogs, they may appear fearsome, but they are actually quite gentle. Their loyalty and acuity make Doberman's great additions to the family.
A very affectionate and popular breed, the Golden Retriever is highly regarded for its intelligence. They can learn well over 200 commands, making them indispensable companions, both in the home and in the workplace. Loyal, loving, and patient, with a willingness to please and a love of learning, this is a fabulous companion pet to bring into your family.
The German Shepherd was originally bred specifically for intelligence. Smart, courageous, and protective, the Shepherd is one of the most dependable of companions. They learn tasks after only a few repetitions, and obey first commands nearly always the first time it is given. They are eager to learn new tasks, as this gives them direction and purpose -- very important for a Shepherd. Besides being used for herding animals, they are often used as guard dogs, police dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and have even been trained by the military for parachute jumps.
Easily trainable, steadfast, and sharp-minded, Poodles flourish in human company. Even with the frou-frou hairdos Poodles are sometimes made to endure, they can be quite effective as guard dogs, especially the standard sized Poodles. In fact, the “poodle clip,” was created specifically for the working Poodle, so that it could swim more effectively while still having fur to protect its organs as it went about the business of hunting and retrieving in the water. The Poodle excels at training and obedience, and also loves creative play time. This is what has made them so popular as circus performers. But, this can be a drawback as well. If left alone to boredom, Poodles can be creative about finding ways to amuse themselves, sometimes finding trouble along the way.
The Border Collie comes in at number one. Because of their extraordinary intelligence and high energy, it is essential to give Border Collies an occupation or purpose, or you may well find your home wrecked upon your return from a long day at work. They have an intense connection with humans, making them ideal work and home companions. However, keep this in mind: Border Collies invariably will not do well unless they are with people who are as high energy as they are; they do best with humans who can participate in dog sports with them. Also, because of their background as herding dogs, they may be frustrated by small children, as their inability to herd the children as they deem fit is confounded. For the right human, the Border Collie is well behaved, exceptionally good at learning, and a true-blue companion.
Image: Tambako the Jaguar / via Flickr
An animal’s tendency to overpower another, in character or in activity
The property of being sharp; in veterinary medicine, usually refers to the quality of an animal's vision.