10 Easiest Dog Breeds to Train: Which Is Best For You?
So you are looking for an easy to train dog?
Well first things first... No dog is 100% easy to train. But there are dog breeds that are easy to train compared to certain breeds like the Chow Chow and Shiba Inu, that are amongst the hardest dogs and very difficult to train.
If you're going to commit to owning a dog, then you need to be prepared to commit to a regular training schedule.
Without proper obedience training, your canine will not respect you as the owner and does what it wants when it wants.
You need to set boundaries and make it be known that it is not above you in the pecking order. While canine training can be a tedious task, the difficulty varies in part due to breed type.
If you are a first time dog owner, or are nervous about getting a stubborn dog, then thinking about what the training will require is very important. And difficulty can vary great from breed to breed.If you are looking for a perfect guard dog to train, then you can check out our Collection of the Best Guard Dogs, many of whom make fantastic working dogs and service dogs.
The following list represents the easiest dogs to train. All of them are smart dogs.
This doesn't necessarily mean that the job will be a walk in the park, but training one of these breeds will certainly save you needless headache.
But before we dive into the list, lets just take a very quick look at what is expecting when training a puppy.
Dog Training Basics
A new home is a big deal for a new puppy or dog. You cannot just expect them to fit right into your life right away, and all to be perfect. It can happen, but don't count on it.
A new puppy, or dog, will need to be trained in the following:
- Understanding and respecting commands
- Potty training
- Leash training
- Socializing with other dogs and people, and getting used to new places
You can find lots of info on these aspects of dog training, to help you learn how to train you puppy in our articles here.But one thing we should say now is that training should always be a happy experience for a dog, and not stressful. We always encourage positive reinforcement to be used when you train a dog.
1. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd Dogs trainability makes them one of the most trusted and utilized canines by law enforcement. They are known for their good memory and can learn to obey simple commands with as few as five repetitions.
When it comes to German Shepherds, it is especially important to establish a hierarchical structure in which you are at the top of the household ladder.
All house training needs to be done around this hierarchy system.
Perform the following steps to show that you are the leader:
- Never let your dog crash on the furniture
- Only feed your dog AFTER you have eaten
- Take away its toys when play time is over because they belong to you
- While you should never hit your dog, you can punish it by scolding it, placing it in another room, or putting it in a crate as a form of time out
2. Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans are extremely loyal and overprotective of their owner. This is why they are frequently used by security personnel and correction facilities. They are also highly sociable animals and constantly crave owner attention. You can actually use this to your advantage during obedience training.
Reward your Doberman with attention and affection whenever it obeys you and give it the cold shoulder whenever it does something inappropriate. This is a form of reinforcement training that is just as effective as rewarding it with kibble.
The Maltese is a petite canine belonging to the toy group. It is the very type of breed you’d expect to see being carried around by female celebrities and treated almost as if it was a fashion accessory.
Aside from their cuteness, the Maltese is also loved for being one of the easiest dogs to potty train. Since they are so petite, even if they do relieve themselves indoors, the mess won’t be as troublesome. Always watch your dog to see if it’s sniffing and circling the house. This is usually a sign it’s about to answer nature’s call.
Take it outside to let it do its business and reward it with a treat immediately after. It will soon associate doing its business outside as a positive behavior and alert you whenever it needs to go.
The Maltese also has the advantage of being a very clean, fastidious dog, and is amongst the easiest dog breeds to potty train.
Due to their robust and musculature stature, Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs and as cattle herders for farmers. To properly train this breed, you have to use a firm approach.
You have to prove your authority over it or else it will do as it pleases. By firm, this doesn’t mean resorting to physical discipline or anything of that sort. It means immediately scolding it in a firm voice or ignoring its plea for your attention if it engages in wily or undesired behavior.
It’s also advisable to keep training sessions short, preferably 15 minutes or less. While Rottweilers are among the easiest dog breed to train, they do have a fairly short attention span and can become less trainable if the session drags on too long.
The Rottweiler is a very faithful breed, and is at the very top easiest dog breed to train at commands.
Due to their origins as a herding dog, Collies by nature are hard workers, intelligent, and exceptionally loyal. Their eagerness to please means that they will often obey their owner but only if proper training is instilled.
When it comes to training, a traditional reinforcement approach is best. Reward your collie for good behavior. If it does not follow your command, simply withhold the reward until it complies. Collies also have a natural instinct to herd moving objects.
As such, it may try to herd small children or other small pets around the home or when at a park. When on a leash, simply and gently tug the leash along with a firm “no” when it attempts to go into herding mode.
Vizslas are very affectionate and people-oriented. They are even sometimes referred to as Velcro dogs because they always follow their owners around. Training is also fairly easy, though they do have a tendency to become distracted.
Training should always begin near the home where there are minimal distractions. Once they become adept at obeying your commands, then it’s time for the next phase. Repeat the training in an area like a crowded park where multiple distractions present themselves.
7. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are often used as guide dogs due to their obedient nature. While they can be boisterous and overly exuberant if not trained, they are always eager to please their owner and will obey as long as you set boundaries.
When it comes to retrievers, it’s a good idea to begin training after it has undergone an exercise session. This breed has a lot of energy and can easily lose interest or get distracted. Exercising before training will burn off that pent up energy and keep them focused.
This breed loves kids, and they can learn well from a responsible child. So if you want your child to teach your puppy, the Golden Retriever is the easiest to train for a youngster from this list. Amongst other breeds the Labrador Retriever is similar in its adaptability with kids to train than others.
8. Shetland Sheepdog
Start with indoor housebreaking by laying out some newspaper as a makeshift pooping and peeing area. The trick is to leave behind a small trace of its urine every time you clean the pile and lay out fresh paper. This way, it will return to the spot in the future as it learns to associate the scent as the designated restroom.
It’s also important to incorporate alone training if you work the typical 9 to 5 job. This will get it used to its owner not being around without tearing up the home or barking incessantly. Alone training is best done by setting a set schedule where you are gone for short periods
Poodles are often associated with dog shows and pageants. However, they are also commonly the breed of choice for obedience competitions. The reason for this is their easy ability to train and accurate response to human commands. Since poodles have a tendency to get distracted, it’s best to turn the training into a game.
You can, for example, play the catch-me game at a park. Calling its name while it’s running after you will subliminally instill its name as a cue command. Reward your dog with a hug, belly rub, and a treat when it catches up to you.
The Border Collie: The Smartest Dog breed to train of them all?
The Border Collie is a breed that perhaps has every personality trait to make them easier to train than just about any other dog breed.
In fact a Border Collie dog owner will insist that when it comes to dog training, learning, working and obedience, the Border Collie is the best dog breed out there.
They love to learn, listen and be active. In fact mental stimulation is a must for this breed. It is the reason that they make one of the most popular farm dogs, as they are very quick to learn, and love what they do. A Border Collie is never happier than when it is applying the lessons learnt from its training.
They are not a particularly stubborn breed either. So if you want to train your dog, rather than hire a dog trainer, this is a great choice.
Just be aware that this is not a breed for a quiet life. They are a very mentally and physically active breed. This intelligent dog likes to be busy, bouncy and out and about. Great with kids to, they are a perfect family dog for an active household.
Is every pup from these dog breeds easy to train?
Just because you bring home a puppy breed that is known to be among the easiest dogs to train does not mean you can put in minimal effort and expect immediate obedience.
The process still requires time, patience, and 100% engagement and effort. Nevertheless, training any of the breeds on this list will make the process less troublesome, but it isn't guaranteed for every puppy. In every litter there will be puppies that are easier to train than others.