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Intelligence comes in many forms, even in dogs, so it's hard to say whether one breed is really "smarter" than another. The bumper sticker "My border collie is smarter than your honor student" may be an exaggeration, but border collies are considered the smartest breed in training and obedience.
In terms of social intelligence -- the ability to communicate and cooperate with others -- dogs are very clever. Experiments show that dogs will purposely fool people and other dogs to get what they want.
Not only can old dogs learn new things, but new challenges also can help hold back the mental decline that's sometimes a part of aging. Comparing breeds can be hard for the first two types, but there's a wide range in brainpower among breeds in working and obedience intelligence.

But tests show that dogs can count up to four or five and understand the idea of addition and subtraction. Not only can they interact well with other dogs, but they are very good at communicating with humans.
Dogs raised in a mentally stimulating environment learn faster than dogs raised in a boring one.
This could be due to selective breeding for skills that require intelligence -- such as hunting, guarding, guiding, and shepherding. Canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome in dogs is often compared to Alzheimer's disease in people. But smart dogs can be more demanding; they tend to need more attention and may be more high-strung and quicker to react in both positive and negative ways.

The others, in order, were poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers, Dobermans, Shetland sheepdogs, Labrador retrievers, papillons, Rottweilers, and Australian cattle dogs. They were considered the least "trainable" breed, followed by the basenji, bulldog, chow chow, borzoi, bloodhound, Pekingese, beagle, mastiff, and basset hound.

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