The Top 13 Easiest Dog Breeds to Train

easiest dogs to train

So many of us want to be dog owners, but it’s understandable to be concerned about your ability to train a dog. 

Younger dogs can be high-energy but eager to learn and listen to what you’re teaching them. Older dogs may be calmer but have likely already developed certain habits that may go against what you want them to do. 

No matter what, it’s important to train your dog to prevent them from acting up around friends, family, and other dogs. An obedient dog will understand your expectations and behave for you, which is better for you as their owner and for them as your dog.

Easiest Dogs to Train

Now, let’s get into some specifics about the easiest dogs to train. These dog breeds are smart, obedient, and eager to please their owners. These three characteristics make them the easiest dogs to train. 

Labrador Retriever

easiest dog to train

There’s a reason the Labrador Retriever is consistently one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These dogs are intelligent, eager to please, and have a naturally friendly nature, which makes them willing to learn and listen to their owners. 

This breed especially thrives in an environment where positive reinforcement is the main method of training. Reward-based training will always provide them with the motivation they need to listen. 

Every lab I’ve ever encountered is high energy, so they’ll require a lot of physical stimulation, but their social nature makes it easy to learn new tricks and become well-behaved with a little bit of patience.

Border Collie

easiest dog breeds to train

The Border Collie, like many herding dogs, is incredibly intelligent and possesses a strong work ethic. They have an innate desire to work hard and learn everything you throw at them. 

A unique feature of the Border Collie is their ability to solve problems. These working dogs excel in training classes and truly enjoy mental stimulation. 

Their strong herding instincts mean they are highly responsive to cues and have a great ability to follow directions. The Border Collie forms deep bonds with their handlers and aims to please them, resulting in a strong motivation for training. 

German Shepherd Dog

easy dogs to train

Every German Shepherd I ever encountered had this natural intensity that can make them intimidating at times, but they’re one of the easiest to train dogs because of their obedience and ability to take commands. 

German Shepherds are great service dogs and have a long history of military and police work. They are highly intelligent and able to adapt to different situations with consistent training.

Papillon 

Papillon 

A lot of people associate certain breeds with being more intelligent because of their size. Small dogs often get the short end of the stick in that regard, but I can tell you, you’ll be surprised by how intelligent the Papillon is. 

Papillons are one of those dog breeds that are easy to motivate with the right methods. They prefer positive reinforcement and are one of the easiest dogs to own because of their portable size. 

Papillons are known for their agility and can excel in activities like obedience, agility courses, and even advanced tricks. This makes them a great choice for pet parents looking to get into dog sports or obedience training. 

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Along with Border Collies, Golden Retrievers are consistently ranked as one of the easiest dog breeds to train because of their gentle nature and natural instinct to please their owners. They are fun and loving and have a strong desire to develop a bond with you. 

Goldies thrive with consistent training, and they love human interaction from both you and anyone who comes their way. These dogs also work as guide dogs and have become one of the most popular breeds for emotional support animals. 

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher training

The Doberman Pinscher is easily trained because of its natural loyalty. These dogs respect their owners, and their sharp focus is what makes training sessions simple and easy for them. As is the case with most dog breeds, these dogs respond well to praise and rewards. 

Dobermans are great family dogs because they will keep an eye out at all times and stand guard whenever you’re sleeping or away from the home. It’s important to socialize them when they are young and provide consistent routines and expectations. 

Poodle

easiest to train dogs

There are many varieties of Poodles, with each being a highly intelligent breed. These dogs are hypoallergenic, graceful, and naturally curious. This set of traits is what makes them constantly want to learn new things to strengthen their bond with you. 

As a young child, my grandparents had a Poodle, and the one thing I always noticed about him was his desire for challenges. My grandparents had him trained to fetch things from the refrigerator and even perform small tasks around the house. 

These are one of the best dogs to train, which makes them great for dog owners who are new or inexperienced with dogs. 

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie is a strong-willed breed with natural instincts from their time as working dogs. Like many herding dogs, they understand how to follow commands, and they have a great sense of direction. 

Shelties respond well to positive reinforcement and are always looking to do things to make you happy. Avoid negative reinforcement like shock collars or overly difficult training leashes. 

One of my favorite things about this breed is their loving and affectionate nature. They love to curl up next to you and strengthen their bond. As far as a herding breed goes, these dogs have to be my absolute favorite. 

Australian Shepherd

easiest puppies to train

Australian Shepherds thrive in dog training because of their herding instincts and ability to follow commands. Since they were originally bred for herding sheep and cattle, they are one of the easiest dogs to train as a simple house dog. 

Aussies thrive on mental stimulation and are quick learners, making training sessions engaging and rewarding. Positive reinforcement, including treats, praise, and play, helps them stay motivated and focused. 

Their natural drive to work closely with their owners and their strong desire to please make even crate-training a collaborative and enjoyable experience.

Border Terrier

Border Terriers have a lot of spunk and tenacity. Originally bred as hunting dogs, they love to chase, which can cause issues if a pesky squirrel lures your pup away. You’ll want to make sure to train these dogs to stay in the yard.

These intelligent dogs are highly motivated by treats and playtime, and they’re receptive to learning new things, which makes them common candidates for professional dog training. 

As far as dog ownership goes, Border Terriers are one of the easiest dogs to train, which makes them a great choice for new pet owners and inexperienced dog owners. 

Boston Terrier

easiest dogs to train and take care of

The Boston Terrier is called the “American Gentleman” because they are a delightful breed with a lot of charm. They’re well-behaved, calm, and easy to train. 

Bostons thrive on positive reinforcement, responding eagerly to treats, praise, and affection during training sessions. Their moderate energy levels and adaptability suit various living situations, such as apartment complexes. 

One thing that always sets this breed apart is their appearance. They have a compact and muscular body. Their tuxedo-looking coat patterns make them a desirable breed, but their social nature is part of what makes them one of the easiest dogs to train. 

Corgi

Corgi

Whether it’s a Pembroke Welsh Corgi or a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, they are easy dogs to train. These breeds have a strong work ethic and affectionate nature that makes them always want to please you. 

Their unique appearance is why people love them, and their ability to handle basic obedience training makes training sessions easy, interactive, and enjoyable. 

Look for expressions in your dog’s face because this breed shows actual emotions. No matter what type of Corgi you have, you’ll find great companionship and an easy-to-train dog in your pup. 

French Bulldog

easiest breed to train

Frenchies are rapidly becoming one of the most popular dog breeds not only because they are easy to train but because of their endearing appearance. Everyone loves their compact size, expressive face, and unique ears. 

French Bulldogs are one of the easiest dogs to train because they are naturally intelligent and quick to pick up on commands. That said, some Frenchies are known to be stubborn and territorial, so this is something you’ll want to address early on. 

Tips for Training Your Dog

I have years of experience as a dog trainer and as the son of a professional dog trainer, so I’ve seen quite a few things. Most dogs experience a lot of the same issues, and they’re not always breed-specific. 

Here are some dog training tips that will help you and potentially prevent having to send your pup to obedience school. 

Start Early – It’s never too early to start training your dog. By starting at a young age, you’re instilling the right habits and behaviors so your dog knows what to expect.

Establishing a routine will help your pup understand you better. Don’t feel like you’re being too tough because dogs prefer a world where they can anticipate what’s going to happen next. 

Keep Training Short – Dogs have short attention spans, so you want to make sure to keep your sessions as short as possible. Reserve 5-10 minutes in your day to focus on one specific item and always end with something positive. 

Be Patient – No matter what, you need your pup to associate training with a positive experience. If they start to think that training involves yelling and anger, then they will not want to participate and will do everything in their power to avoid it. 

Understand the Role of Socialization – While socialization and training may not seem to have a connection, they absolutely do. Socializing your dog when they are young is important because it helps them understand how to behave around other dogs and people of varying sizes, shapes, colors, and behaviors. 

FAQs

Which Breed Is Often Considered to Have the Highest Level of Intelligence?

Border Collies are known for being one of the smartest dog breeds because of their ability to solve problems and learn quickly. 

Which Dog Breed Is Difficult to Train?

Afghan Hounds are considered one of the most difficult dog breeds to train because of their fierce, independent nature. That’s not to say they can’t be trained, but they’ll require a more experienced dog owner. 

What Characteristics Does the Best Training Dog Have?

As you read through this article, you’ll notice that all the dogs possess certain traits. These are intelligence, eagerness to learn, focus, and adaptability. These traits help your dog have the mentality and personality needed to learn new things. 

What Are the Essential Steps for Someone Who Is New to Training Dogs?

If you’re reading this and thinking, “What am I in for,” don’t panic. Even if you don’t have one of the easy breeds to train, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed. Educate yourself on basic training principles, start with simple things like sit and come, and always use puppy treats and toys to reinforce good behavior. This is also important for their physical and mental health.

Conclusion

Many dogs like Australian cattle dog and miniature Schnauzer are one of the smartest dog breeds and are highly trainable, but they couldn’t make it to our list as we wanted to keep it short and streamlined.

That’s all, folks! Choosing a dog breed that is easy to train is always a smart choice, especially if you don’t have the experience or time to devote to them. Like I’ve said time and time again, don’t expect anything out of your dog, even if they fit the description of an “easy dog.” 

Each dog is unique, so it’s important to follow the right steps, teach them early on, socialize them, and be patient. 

Coty Perry
Meet Coty, a passionate writer residing near Scranton, Pennsylvania. An avid animal lover, he grew up around various dogs, learning valuable lessons about responsible pet ownership. Coty believes in raising awareness about animal rights and strives to improve the lives of pets everywhere. With two adorable cats, Cozmo and Marley, he experiences the joy of having "dog-like" feline companions. Coty's favorite animal, the capybara, holds a special place in his heart due to its gentle nature. With seven years of writing experience and contributions to reputable websites, he's excited to share his expertise in dog training and health with our readers.

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