Top 9 Dog Breeds That are Easiest to Train

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Poodles
  • Border Collies
  • German Shepherd
  • Pumi
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Papillon
  • Golden retrievers
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Labrador retrievers 
  • Conclusion

Article at a Glance 

  • Considering a dog’s breed is vital when getting a new puppy
  • Getting an easy-to-train dog may be best for some pet owners
  • There are a number of dogs that are very easy to train

Are you thinking about getting a new dog but aren’t sure which dog breed to choose? When most future pet owners think about choosing a dog breed, they think about the cuteness and compatibility factor. Future dog owners also often take into consideration their lifestyle. For example, if you’re an active person, you may want to look for a dog that’ll go on runs and hikes with you. 

One other factor to take into consideration is the dog’s trainability level. If you don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands, it’s important to find a dog that’s easy to train. Keep reading to learn about the nine dog breeds that are easiest to train. 

1. Poodles 

If you’ve ever watched dog shows on TV or in-person, you’ve probably noticed that poodles often make it to the final rounds. With their healthy combination of intelligence, versatility, and playfulness, it’s no surprise that poodles make ideal dog show competitors. Even if you’re not planning on placing your dog in shows, poodles still make great pets in terms of trainability. Poodles are also very social pets and can easily interact with humans and other animals. They also mix well with dogs of other ages and breeds. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when training your poodle:

While poodles have a reputation for being snooty dogs, if you keep up with trimming their hypoallergenic fur and issuing firm commands, then you’ll have a well-trained dog in no time. 

2. Border Collies 

Border collies are also incredibly easy to train. While border collies have a lot of enthusiasm, they also know how to remain calm. 

Border collies are loyal, independent, and calm in a crisis. For this dog breed, reward-based training tends to work best. Border collies also appreciate when you mix up their training routine. Here are some general tips to keep in mind when training a border collie:

  • Socialize your border collie early and often
  • Be firm but gentle, as border collies tend to shut down when they’re treated harshly
  • Meet your border collie’s exercise needs by taking them on long walks and playing catch in the park

Once you’ve taught your border collie basic commands such as “sit” and “stay,” you can move on to more difficult tricks to keep their brand sharp and energy levels under control. 

3. German Shepherd 

There’s a reason you often see German shepherds as police dogs- they’re loyal and easy to train. At their core, German shepherds are smart and devoted dogs who love having a job to do. In addition to working in law enforcement, German shepherds also often work as guide dogs and search and rescue dogs. 

German shepherds have a lot of energy, so it’s best to have a big space to train them in, such as a yard or field. Here are some tips to keep in mind for training your German shepherd:

  • Socialize your German shepherd early so they can grow up to be friendly and calm 
  • German shepherds love to chew on things, so teach your dog to use its mouth right
  • Don’t be afraid to use food as a reward
  • Train your German shepherd commands in different places (and know you may need to do so each time from scratch)
  • Get your German shepherd’s jumping under control when it’s a puppy, so it doesn’t become a problem later in life

German shepherds work tirelessly and want nothing more than to please their handlers, so you should have no problem training this dog. 

4. Pumi 

The Pumi is a Hungarian herding dog that loves to cuddle up to its owner. The Pumi is known for being bright, social, energetic, and intelligent. They are quick and fearless dogs, and the breed is capable of moving large flocks of animals on narrow roads that connect pastures in Western Hungary. With its circular tail and curly fur, you might not guess that this unassuming dog was born to do tough work. But, Pumis are happy to try new things and love the challenge of a fresh command. Pumis love reward-based training, so make sure to stock up on lots of treats when practicing commands. 

Training your Pumi should begin as soon as you bring it home, and you should aim to keep your training sessions energetic and interesting, as Pumis tend to get bored with repetitive commands. Also, make sure to use a lot of positive reinforcement with your Pumi, as this dog breed doesn’t respond well to harsh correction. 

5. Cardigan Welsh Corgis 

While corgis are best-known on Instagram for their fluffy backsides, these dogs are also incredibly easy to train. Cardigan Welsh corgis are not to be confused with their petite cousins, the Pembroke Welsh corgis. While Pembroke Welsh corgis are also highly trainable dogs, Cardigan Welsh corgis are known for being a bit more trainable due to their agility, loyalty, and intelligence. 

Like other types of corgis, Cardigan Welsh corgis were originally cattle-herding dogs, and they’ve retained many of their cattle-herding instincts throughout the centuries. One of the best things about Cardigan Welsh corgis is that they make great city dwellers, so you won’t need a big yard to train your pup. Cardigan Welsh corgis also don’t need a lot of outdoor time. As long as you give your pup mental stimulation and consistent engagement, it’ll be well-behaved in no time. 

6. Papillon 

The papillon is perfect for those who want a small dog that’s easy to train. Unlike many other small dog breeds, such as Pekingnese, pugs, and Japanese chins, who are often unbothered by their human companions, papillons love to please their owners. 

Papillons are known for being active, curious, and eager to learn. While they need a lot of exercises, they’re generally willing to try anything when it comes to training. Papillons respond best to consistent training and positive environments, so if you stick to a schedule and give your papillon plenty of love, it’ll reward you with good behavior. When leash training, papillons do best with a soft harness. They also respond well to verbal commands and structured activities. 

7. Golden Retrievers 

Golden retrievers have long been the favorite, all-American family dog. Not only are golden retrievers cute and lovable, but they’re also very easy to train. While golden retrievers aren’t known for being super intelligent, they do pick up habits quickly. Golden retrievers also love their owners and just want to make them happy, so you should have no problem getting your golden retriever to follow your commands. 

The only real drawback to training golden retrievers is if you want to raise your pup to be a guard dog. Because golden retrievers love to make new friends, they tend not to make very good guard dogs. Otherwise, golden retrievers love it when you make their training sessions fun, and they respond best when their owners turn their training sessions into games. Golden retrievers also respond well to reward-based training and positive reinforcement. 

8. Doberman Pinscher 

While many people think of Doberman pinschers as aggressive guard dogs, this stereotype only perpetuates because they have an undying loyalty toward their owners. Doberman pinschers are bright, intuitive, and fearless, making them some of the most trainable dogs around. Aggressive behavior only comes out in Dobermans when they feel like there’s a threat to their home or family. Otherwise, these dogs are surprisingly affectionate. 

Doberman pinschers are also incredibly hard workers, and they retain information from training sessions very easily. 

9. Labrador Retriever 

Gentle, versatile, and quick, it should come as no surprise that labrador retrievers make the list as one of the most trainable dogs. 

Like German shepherds, labrador retrievers have impressive resumes when it comes to previous work environments. You’ll find labrador retrievers working as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and companion dogs. However, much like golden retrievers, they don’t make the best watchdogs. Because Labrador retrievers were originally raised as hunting dogs, they’re easy to train and can learn a range of skills fairly quickly. They also have an even-keeled temperament and love exploring the outdoors. 

Easiest Dog Breeds to Train: Time to Choose Your Breed 

Now that you know which dog breeds are easiest to train, it’s time for you to decide which breed is best for you and your home. If you’ve had your heart set on a dog breed that isn’t on this list, don’t fret!

Virtually all dog breeds are trainable- some breeds just take a little extra patience and ingenuity than others! If you plan to get a puppy, check out this guide to learn how to help it sleep through the night!
Written by Mead Johnston

Mead is an experienced dog trainer, writer, and lover of animals. She has always been surrounded by animals and had a passion for learning more about them every day. This passion grew tremendously when Mead brought home a Great Pyrenees x Golden Retriever named Mac in 2018. Mead has continued to learn more about dogs whenever possible and wherever possible, while also helping so many wonderful clients. Her goal is help her clients and their dogs become confident in their daily lives. As a dog trainer, she often helps clients who are starting off with a puppy or they might have an older dog that is presenting challenging behaviours. Mead believes in the all-natural uses of Pet CBD to help our furry loved ones live longer, happier and healthier lives.

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