21 Dogs That Are Easy To Train



If you’ve been watching shows like Lassie and the Littlest Hobo, you might be looking to get a pet dog that’s just as smart as these canine icons. If so, you need to consider a breed that’s easy to train. When it comes to training, some breeds are far more likely to pick up new tricks than others. It’s therefore well worth knowing which pooches are the easiest to teach. 21 of the breeds that should be a breeze to train include:

1. Labrador Retrievers

If you’ve been watching shows like Lassie and the Littlest Hobo, you might be looking to get a pet dog who’s just as smart as these canine icons. If so, you need to consider a breed that’s easy to train. When it comes to training, some breeds are far more likely to pick up new tricks than others. It’s therefore well worth knowing which pooches are the easiest to teach. Thirteen of the breeds that should be a breeze to train include: bigstock-German-Shepherd-8342108

2. German Shepherds

There is a reason why these pooches are used as police dogs – they’re very quick to train and very keen to try new things. That said, they can get bored quite easily so stick to short, regular training sessions.

They are very loyal and obedient dogs who will do anything to protect their humans. These dogs have a strong protective instinct and thrive when they have a task to complete.

Apart from being used as a police dog, the German Shepherd is an outstanding sheepdog, guard dog and guide for the blind. Also, they are employed in search and rescue missions and in the military.

In addition, German Shepherds are great at tracking, obedience, agility, fly ball and ring sport.
They require a naturally authoritative owner who will be a firm and consistent pack leader. This breed needs a human who will guide them and set the rules and boundaries of behavior.



3. Golden Retrievers

These dogs are always eager to learn and will benefit most from reward-based training. This is because they’re sensitive creatures and don’t respond well to shouting and aggressive tones. A few words of praise and some doggy treats will work wonders. Make sure to exercise them well in order to avoid hyperactivity and obesity.

Like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers are intelligent dogs who simply love to please their humans. In addition, they are friendly, patient and gentle with kids. Loyal and loving, a Golden Retriever is not a good guard dog, but is an excellent watchdog. Also, they achieve remarkable results in retrieving, hunting, tracking, narcotics detection and competitive obedience.

Golden Retrievers are great at performing tricks, as well.  Retrievers need their humans to be happy, but will only thrive if their master displays proper leadership and guidance.


4. Boxers

Boxers tend to be very intelligent and pretty eager to learn. However, you should make sure they know that you’re the boss as these dogs need dominant owners. They can also get bored quickly, so you need to vary your training routine.

These energetic and curious dogs are ideal dogs for competitive obedience. Boxers get along great with kids and other animals, if socialized properly from an early age. Remember that this breed requires a firm and confident owner who is able to achieve pack leader status.

However, in the hands of a naturally authoritative human, Boxers will be eager to please and quick to learn new things. And they are always willing to learn and play. They are also very protective dogs who will be friendly towards people with no bad intentions.
Excellent watchdogs, Boxers are used in military and police work.

5. Standard poodles

Poodles may look regal and pretty but they’re also pretty smart. They are adept when it comes to obedience training, but they can become frustrated if they experience failure. You therefore need to keep training relatively simple to start with.

In addition, Poodles do not react well to harsh discipline. When the owner is calm and confident, chances are Poodles will do wonders. One of the most trainable breeds, the Poodle can be trained to hunt. Further, they are good at performing tricks.

This breed enjoys spending time with humans and doesn’t like being left alone. They are great with kids and other dogs and like to play. Also, they are friendly towards strangers and like to be in the spotlight. Unlike the smaller varieties, the Standard Poodle has lower energy levels, but needs more physical and mental activity.

6. Rottweiler

This breed has a high level of intelligence, making them ideal for training. However, they don’t respond well to aggressive training so use positive measures to encourage learning. With this type of dog you need to be gentle but firm. All these dog breeds can be easily trained as long as you utilize the most appropriate methods based on their personality and disposition.

Because of their size, Rotties need to be trained from puppyhood and they require a master who will guide them. They are excellent at competitive obedience and have extraordinary results in military and police work. Natural guard dogs, Rottweilers are reliable dogs who adore their human family. Faithful, bold and protective, they will do anything it takes to keep their humans safe.

If they are properly trained and socialized from an early age, they will be good playmates to kids and will get along well with other dogs and household pets.

7. Papillon

Also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, Papillons are very easy to train. They are intelligent and self-assured, and fairly easily follow instructions. According to the Papillon Club of America, Papillon breeders recommend dog agility, rally obedience, and obedience work for them because of their intelligence and energy levels.

Although they are easy to train, they can be difficult to housebreak. In order to get along well with other animals, Papilons need to be socialized from an early age.

Just because they are small dogs, it doesn’t mean that you should allow them things that you would forbid a larger dog. Since small breeds are prone to the Small Dog Syndrome, make sure to provide constant leadership and clearly set the rules of behavior.
When their human is a confident pack leader, Papillons are well-behaved dogs who can be trusted with kids

8. Pomeranian

These frisky little dogs are named after the Pomerania region in Central Europe – today part of Poland and Germany. They are a very friendly, playful and energetic breed of dog that bonds very easily with their owners. The key to their training should be positive reinforcement, since they respond extremely well to it.

Like the Papillon, the Pomeranian also falls victim to the Small Dog Syndrome and therefore needs a firm and confident human who will know how to handle a small breed. They are independent, inquisitive and high-spirited dogs who are eager to learn and love to play. Excellent companion and show dogs, Pomeranians are also good watchdogs.

As long as you clearly show them what is allowed and what is forbidden, Poms will be exceptional pets who enjoy learning new tricks and get along great with every member of the household.

9. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a herding dog breed and was ranked #11 in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, making them ideal for training. Their herding mentality, ability to easily orient in space, and quickly follow instructions given by their owner has made this dog breed one of the most popular ones.

A highly intelligent breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is always willing to please their owner and learn new tricks. They are exceptional show and obedience dogs and can be good guards and watchdogs.

Make sure to exhibit leadership and set the rules of behavior because you don’t want your Corgi to develop the Small Dog Syndrome. Since they are naturally not trustworthy with people, they have to be properly socialized when still young. Once they receive training, Corgis will be excellent family pets who can be trusted with kids and other animals.

10. Collie

The Collie dog breed originated in Scotland and Northern England and they are a herding dog breed, same as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. When it comes to Collie breeds, the one you should be looking into is the Border Collie – they are the most trainable of all the Collie breeds. They are extremely energetic and agile dogs with amazing stamina that enables them to run almost an entire day without getting tired.

They are very intelligent dogs who can be highly trained and who thrive on praise. They are masters of dog sports, excellent at competitive obedience and make outstanding sheepdog.

Border Collies need a lot of mental and physical activity and people who are not ready to devote their time and energy to them should not adopt this breed. In order to make them really happy, Collies need a consistent pack leader, plenty of exercise and a job to occupy their minds.

11. Shetland Sheepdog

The main characteristic that makes Shetland Sheepdogs so good to train is their willingness to please their owner. They have loads of energy and they will do whatever you ask of them or at least try their hardest to do so.

In addition, their herding instincts are very strong, so they will run all day and try to herd anything that moves, including other animal species and cars, but with good training all this can be used as an advantage.

They are good guards and watchdogs and like to be kept busy. Since they are very intelligent dogs, they need something to occupy their minds. However, bear in mind that a Shetland Sheepdog is highly sensitive to the tone of their owner’s voice and they will not listen to your commands if you are too severe (or if they sense that you don’t mean what you say to them).

12.  Keeshond

Originally called the German Spitz, more specifically the Wolfspitz, Keeshonds are very playful dogs with quick reflexes and strong jumping abilities, making them ideal for competitions. They are very quick learners and often pick up things that the owner did not intend for them to learn.

In order to train a Keeshond, you have to be a consistent owner who will explain to the dog what you want from them. When their humans are pack leaders, these dogs can easily be trained to perform. Keeshonds instinctively know when their family is in danger, so they make excellent watchdogs. However, they need to be taught to stop barking after the first warning bark.

Like all other dogs, they need to be socialized from an early age and then they will get along great with kids and other animals. Bear in mind that they have a strong personality which needs to be restrained – they need to know who the boss in the household is.

13. English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels rank 18th in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, being of excellent working intelligence. They should be trained with a lot of rewards and positive reinforcement because they can be easily stressed by loud noises and by rough treatment or handling.

But the rewards of the properly trained English Cocker Spaniel far outweigh the somewhat increased difficulty of the training. Apart from not responding to harsh discipline, they will not listen to their owner if they sense that they are the dominant one in the relationship.

This breed requires a confident pack leader and humans who don’t know how to exhibit leadership should adopt a more submissive dog. Since they are playful and affectionate, they will have a lot of fun with kids. Additionally, they are good with other domestic animals – if socialized from puppyhood.


14. Australian Cattle Dog

This is a breed that is very strong-willed and has a thing for testing boundaries. They also like being dominant, so if you plan on training them, you better be a consistent and firm leader – this is an absolute necessity for training them. Despite this, they are fairly easy to train because of their high intelligence and willingness to please their masters. You should start training them as early as possible – it will help you establish yourself as the leader in your pet-owner relationship.

One thing that’s interesting about this breed is that they are incredibly fun to watch when they are working. They have long tails that they use as a rudder to maneuver, and they are short and stocky; they might not appear very graceful but just wait until you see them run. They are very fast and agile, and it’s very amusing to see them in action.


15. Border Collie

Border Collies are one of the agilest dogs out there – medium-sized and muscular for their size, they can be trained to do just about anything. They are also avid problem-solvers, and they love nothing more than a good challenge set before them. Border Collies are excellent observers and you wouldn’t believe how intelligent they are. In fact, there’s a rumor that they can understand more than 150 different orders if trained properly.

Make sure to train them early. The earlier they begin learning commands, the better. Don’t be fooled by their sweet appearance and cuddly behavior – they like being in charge and will seize every opportunity you give them. Just stick to positive reinforcement and a confident but gentle tone and you’ll be fine. Don’t treat them harshly since they have a sensitive nature and don’t respond well to punishment.


16. Bloodhound

Stubborn and very intelligent, Bloodhounds can spot a soft person from a great distance, and they will abuse this knowledge. Not that they will do any concrete harm, they will simply seek (and usually find) a way to manipulate certain situations. It’s imperative that you are consistent and confident when you train a Bloodhound – just make sure you don’t overdo it, don’t be stern or forceful because they won’t respond well to it. In fact, you will just achieve the completely opposite effect.

Bloodhounds excel at tracking activities and they are happiest when given the opportunity to track something. These types of activities can keep them occupied, entertained, and most of all, happy for quite a long time. If you’re a hunter, you won’t have to devote a lot of time to training a Bloodhound – tracking comes naturally to them, although they won’t say “no” to treats and positive reinforcement from time to time. What’s more, they are so good at tracking that they are often used as police dogs.


17. Norwegian Elkhound

Elkhounds are very intelligent and can be extremely stubborn at times. Not to worry, though, firm leadership and consistency will completely defeat their rebellious side, allowing you to easily train them if you’ve got enough patience and time. They are incredibly energetic and many experts would suggest exercising them before engaging in training sessions. It will drain their batteries just enough to prevent them from being frantic and it will help them stay focused.

Once you have established leadership and trained your Norwegian Elkhound into some obedience, you should focus on working on their agility, seeing as they are fairly dexterous. They love being on obstacle courses because it gives them the means to burn off all the extra energy, which they have in abundance, and to keep their minds sharp and focused.


18. Basenji

This is a funny pooch with a funny name, but don’t think they are lap dogs, no. The Basenji is intelligent, independent, and proud, and they love deciding whether or not to follow a command. Patience is key, let them analyze every option but then find a way to reinforce their positive behavior with treats, pats on the head or some nice words and a kind tone. They love when you talk nicely to them.

The Basenji is, without a doubt, one of the most intelligent breeds out there, and they simply love problem-solving activities. This is a good place to start if you’re looking to engage their minds for a longer period of time since they won’t give up until the problem is solved or until you present them with an even more challenging one. They are also very agile and excel in lure courses.


19. Hungarian Vizsla

The Hungarian Vizsla is a breed that’s fairly easy to train, just look out for their inborn stubbornness. Even the pups can get stubborn from time to time! But it’s the pups you should be focusing on if you plan to have an obedient Vizsla – just make sure you are calm and assertive all the time. Vizslas are not exactly your classic dominant dogs, but they are curious and strong-willed, so they have the need to test boundaries more often than other breeds, especially if you don’t give them enough exercise.

All training sessions should be done with utmost praise and constant treats, although it’s quite alright to be firm with Vizslas when they don’t listen to you.

Once you have basic obedience out of the way, don’t be afraid to jump to advanced activities straight away. Vizslas love being tested and they love showing good results. Also, keep in mind that they tend to be overprotective.


20. Bernese Mountain Dog

If you’re one of the few lucky people to own this gentle giant, you’re in for a special treat. Despite their monstrous size, Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually as docile as a dog can be. This means you should never treat them harshly, they will get incredibly sad and they will never forget that you were mean to them. Give them lots of positive reinforcement and a few treats and you’ve earned a life-long friend who will do anything to appease you.

They are sometimes stubborn and slow to learn, but can achieve everything with enough patience. Once you overcome their initial stubbornness, they actually do quite well in basic obedience training and you should have no problem moving onto advanced training sessions and agility courses. They might be huge and everything, but they can actually move quite fast and don’t have a problem with performing some smooth tricks.


21. Belgian Sheepdog

Belgians are highly trainable and excel at advanced obedience, agility, and trick training. They are incredibly perceptive, capable of reading the smallest of movements and facial expressions. They are also famous for being “in tune” with their trainers – they are literally always one step ahead of you, performing tricks before you even finish your command.

Don’t be fooled by their trainability – Belgians are not the best choice for a first-time dog owner. They are very, very, VERY manipulative and can get out of control with people who don’t know how to remain consistent during training or to deal with all of their tricks and attempts to put themselves in charge. If you’re feeling confident, just remember that positive reinforcement is the best way to train a Belgian Sheepdog. Harsh disciplinary actions usually result in avoidance and stubbornness.

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