Lily is a 10 and Javelin is a 9.5. There are a couple of things Lily does that Javelin just doesn't seem to be able to pick up including drinking from a bottle with water pouring or dripping out and understanding to pick up whatever leg feels leash pressure to make it easy to detangle them.
Both of my poodles are training for high level obedience and rally, so their brains are well worked and their skills are extensive and diverse.
Both of mine are a 10, far and away smarter than any other dog I've had except for our golden retriever, who is up there (and is a doll, but has way less personality imho). They have a high vocabulary (I can talk to them like I do young children), Maizie especially is an exceptional problem solver, like with puzzle toys, they learn things in several repetitions vs. dogs at training class that take several sessions, and they are just like people to hang out with.
I would rank Riley as a 10. He quickly picks up new things and actively solves problems. Avery is showing sparks of high intelligence. We are still working on getting his brain in learning mode, so I place him at an 8 right now. When all else fails, he strongly leans on the cuteness factor.
There was a famous toy poodle named Chanda Leah (1993-2006) who made the World Guinness Records.
"She was hailed as the 'World’s Smartest Dog' by both Ripley's Believe it or Not and The National Enquirer due to a repertoire that included over 1000 tricks." (link)
Chanda Leah is my personal measuring stick for what 'smart' really looks like in a poodle, and she'd be a 10 for her genius. I've seen circus dogs in the 9 & 10 range too.
I'm a tough judge when it comes to smarts, so for me, realistically compared to Chanda Leah, my own poodle Bella would score maybe a 5, which to me falls in the range of 4 to 6 for all dogs, although I have known a few really dense dogs.
Bella knows basic commands, a lot of words for a dog such as names of different foods, get the toy vs. get the ball or get my socks, fetches, was easily house broken, and can find her way out of a blanket (Blanket test), and has decent manners. It's the basics of what I'd expect of any poodle to be able to do.
In terms of giving and receiving affection, being intuitive, and just being a great companion, Bella would be a 9 to 10. Car rides would be a zero. Getting groomed would be a 1.
I used to have huskies and retrievers, compare them to milo. Milo gets a 10, compare him to obedience or any other poodles that does sports here, milo is probably a 7 or 8.
he knows all basic commands and i do obedience with him daily, he knows a mixture of tricks from beginner to advanced. i do know he is a super fast learner. i taught him left or right paw in about 2 days. he understands a lot of words and can tell me very clearly what he wants and need by gesturing. that took ages with my first lab. i dont have any dog sports events near me so we dont do any of that but i think he will enjoy agility.
I'd rate Noelle at a 10. She picks up what I want to train her super fast. Within three tries, she has a new behavior figured out. I notice this especially during rally when we walk in the ring and see Master level signs. We've only been training for Rally four months and she already knows every sign from Novice through Master.
There's an app for that, ZM, called Pocket Rally. I have it on my iPhone. We just run through all the signs every day. Noelle knows all of the moves and what's expected, but she's not very graceful with some signs, like moving down. We still have work to do on making them fluid, but the understanding is there. She learned to pivot the first time I pivoted right and asked for a sit. Rally makes sense to Noelle. Traditional obedience? Not so much.
I give my Molly a 10! It is an astounding thing watching her think! Her ability to work out a problem , follow a direction, or make me understand what she wants, always amazes me. I talk to her in sentences many times, and her understanding of words is phenomenal! She is very easy to teach!
I love to break down intelligence into components because I have seen so many dogs have a type of intelligence for some tasks at the expense of others. What I like about my mini so far is that he ticks off so many categories at top marks that just make him a pleasure to live with.
So I have owned both herding breeds and gun dog breeds. Both of them possess specific smarts that put them ahead of the field in their tasks - nobody needs to teach a herding dog how to herd (they start when they are pups and same goes for bird sense in gun dogs - they innately know what birds do and how they act). Even my poor Stanley( English Pointer) who was such a doofus in everything else, put him in an open field with grouse and wow!
What I love about Poodle intelligence is their ability to connect to our emotions. I have had velcro dogs before that were attached to me at the hip but the Poodle seems to truly care about my well being physically and emotionally - sounds a little corny but that it what it feels like. Louie also applies that to other people and to dogs as well. When Louie meets strange people or dogs he seems to approach them with a very curious "What's your story" If the people are not dog-people he figures this out within seconds and is smart enough to just let it go. My Dalmatian on the other hand would desperately try to pull out all the stops to get them to love him, which could be annoying at times. If dogs he meets are not friendly he just ignores them - I don't really have to monitor his interactions with other dogs (I do of course but I know he has immense smarts about him and will avoid all conflict). My prior dogs were more difficult with other dogs - they either were perfect victims (too gentle to defend themselves) or would become bullies if given the chance.
His ability to understand conversations and words are becoming a thing in this house. He always knows when we talk about him - code word "Poodle" is out - because he knows he is "the Poodle". He knows when we go out - and he knows whether he will come or not - probably by deduction more than conversation.
I would give him a 10 of 10 because of the different types of intelligence he displays. Emotional intelligence - very few repetitions needed to teach new behavior - retaining commands after being shown them once and also the length it takes him to offer alternate behavior if what he is doing doesn't work. I have had dogs that despair if the one behavior they offer doesn't work and are very slow into offering an alternative behavior - if ever. The faster they try something new and the more variety they can put into this, the more intelligent they are. Poodle is getting top marks in my book on all those accounts.
Almost forgot - how Louie can tell what are his toys and what are my grandson's alone deserves a ten - it has to come to the point that I ask him - "Is this yours?" when holding up a toy - if it is his - he will put it in his basket, if it is my grandson's he will put it in the toy box in which it belongs - there are categories: cars, dinosaurs, stuffed animals etc....
I've got to say, my Spoo is a 10 also. Not only is he way smarter than any other dog I have even had, but smarter than any other dog in our town. It actually gets kind of embarrassing as there are a lot of people who will point him out and tell perfect strangers that he is not only the smartest, but the best trained, kindest, etc, etc.
I actually wonder sometimes if he is smarter than I am! He is also my Service Dog, so I am very lucky indeed