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15 Easiest Dogs To Potty Train

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on March 20, 2021

If you’re a new dog parent, you probably want a dog that’s easy to care for. Certain dogs are the easiest to potty train, giving you a sense of relief right off the bat. No one wants their house smelling like pee, so the faster you can potty train a new dog, the better. Of course, every dog will learn new things at their own pace, but some are known for their intelligence and fast learning abilities.

So, if you’re new to this whole training thing, then perhaps you could consider one of these 15 dog breeds. The easier a dog is to potty train, the less you’ll have to stress about accidents in your home.

What Makes a Dog Easy to Potty Train?

No matter how smart a breed should be, you can never expect a dog to magically be potty trained. All puppies need some training, so you need to be comfortable with a little hard work. Adult dogs who have never had a loving home might also need to be potty trained. So, even if you’re looking to adopt a fully trained dog, you should prepare yourself just in case.

dog peeing on tree

Here are some signs that a dog might be easy to potty train:

  • They’re considered a working breed.
  • They’ve lived in a home environment before living with you.
  • They’re eager to learn new commands.
  • They listen well.

But most importantly, potty training has to do with the humans more than the dog. You need to be willing to put in the effort and consistency that training requires, especially if you have a puppy. If your family isn’t on the same page for your dog’s potty training, it will only make it harder for you and the dog.

So, don’t blame the dog’s breed. Two dogs of the same litter could have different attitudes when it comes to training. Sure, some breeds are known for their willingness to potty train, but it’s never a guarantee. So, choose your dog based on their personality, not their breed stereotypes.

Related: Our Top 11 Picks For The Best Indoor Dog Potty

What Dogs Are the Easiest To Potty Train?

Some breeds have a reputation of being more agreeable and obedient than others. Those traits often make the potty training process much better. So, here are 15 dog breeds that are more likely to ace their potty training lessons.

Easiest Small Dogs to Potty Train

It’s common for smaller dogs to be more difficult to potty train. That’s because humans can be more lenient with them and their smaller accidents. But with an assertive human and an obedient dog, you’ll find success in no time. So, what small to medium dogs are easiest to potty train?

#1 – Havanese

Havanese are playful, child-like dogs. They love to joke around and have fun, but they’re also eager to please their loved ones as much as they can. These little dogs love learning new tricks and they easily adapt to new environments. Since they love to learn, they’ll often pick up potty training much faster than other small breeds.

Havanese puppy resting

#2 – Shiba Inu

If you want a dog that’s born housebroken, Shibas are the closest you’ll get. As long as they have easy access to the outside, they’ll likely start learning fast. Shiba puppies like to make sure they do their business as far away from where they sleep as possible. Thus, even at a young age, they’ll try to hold their bladder overnight. Cleanliness comes naturally to these little dogs, which is why they’re often potty trained in record times.

Shiba Inu Potty Training

#3 – Bichon Frise

Bichons are gentle, charming, and intelligent. When crate trained, Bichons also pick up potty training quickly since they don’t like to pee in their sleeping space. Like Havanese, they’re eager to please, making potty training a walk in the park. These adorable pups can also be very alert, so once they learn where to do their business, they won’t hesitate to let you know when they need to go.

Bichon Frise outside

#4 – Miniature Schnauzer

Schnauzers of all sizes can be fast learners, but Miniature Schnauzers are especially attentive and reliable. Some Schnauzers might pick up on potty training only days after they come home. But that’s only if you’re gentle, positive, and consistent. Schnauzers can be sensitive, so harsh punishments might deter them from learning new skills.

Miniature Schnauzer potty training

#5 – Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus have a reputation of being stubborn and independent, which aren’t the qualities you’ll want for house-training. But luckily, they’re also loving, food-motivated dogs. So, with enough praise and attention, they’ll happily do whatever you ask them to. Tempting a Shih Tzu with tasty treats is the key to getting them to do their business outside.

Shih Tzu learning tricks

#6 – Maltese

These tiny pups might have tiny bladders, but they’re also quick learners. So, as long as you take them out often and encourage them using positive reinforcements, they’ll learn what to do in no time. Maltese are often potty trained before they even arrive at their new home. And as a bonus, they’re one of the dog breeds that smell the least.

Maltese potty training

#7 – Papillon

Papillons make great pets because they closely bond with their humans and they always want to please them. They learn commands in no time, as long as you use positive reinforcement. If they know potty training will make you happy, they’ll do their best to learn it for you. Their compassion also makes them great therapy dogs.

Papillon dog in leaves

#8 – Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have a lot of energy and short attention spans. Thus, training can be a more tedious process for them. But with an assertive human, they can be potty trained in no time. Boston Terriers learn best from patience, consistency, and of course, positive reinforcement. The two of you will also form a closer bond while training.

Boston Terrier training

Easiest Large Dogs to Potty Train

Several large breeds are known for their abilities to work on the farm, as service dogs, or as police canines. Those breeds are often easiest to train in a home setting too. So, which large dogs are easiest to potty train?

#1 – Border Collie

Border Collies are one of the smartest dog breeds, making them also one of the easiest dogs to potty train. They have natural herding instincts and can start herding sheep with little to no training. So, with plenty of kindness and praise, you can teach them basic concepts in no time. To keep their mind busy, you might also want to teach them some advanced tricks too.

Border Collie outside

#2 – Labrador Retriever

Like Border Collies, Labs are also easy to train because they’re a working breed. You’ll often see Labs as service dogs, therapy dogs, and sometimes even police dogs. With positive reinforcement training, these dogs can pick up on any tricks in no time. If you’re willing to complete plenty of training sessions with this dog breed, training will be easily manageable.

Labrador Retriever puppy in training

#3 – Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers might look tough, but they’re very sensitive and eager to please. They’re intelligent and fearless when they have to be. So, a dog capable of search and rescue duties should have no problem learning where to do their business. With plenty of love and rewards, they should pick it up in only a few days.

Doberman Pinscher

#4 – German Shepherd

These strong police dogs can learn so many advanced tricks, so potty training won’t take much time at all. They’re hardworking and willing to do whatever they can to make their humans proud. They need a human who is assertive but still encouraging. Once your German Shepherd masters potty training, the future training opportunities are endless.

German Shepherd Dog Potty Training

#5 – Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are intelligent herding dogs, much like Border Collies. They can quickly master their duties in a farm setting, so they’re fast learners in home environments too. If you crate train your Australian Shepherd, they’ll likely pick up on house-training even sooner. They don’t like to soil their sleeping area and they love spending as much time outside as possible.

Happy dog outside

#6 – Standard Poodle

Poodles might be known for their good looks, but they should be appreciated for their brains too. Standard Poodles are highly intelligent and respond well to new commands. Like all dogs, they need patience and consistency, but it won’t take them long to learn where the bathroom is. Poodles are a little more stubborn than Labs, but they can be just as obedient with the right trainer.

White standard poodle

#7 – Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs make great family dogs. Not only are they adorable, but they’re also happy and well-behaved. They’re more clever than they seem, and they always want to ensure that they make their humans proud. They’re a popular breed because they pick up on new rules and commands quickly, which includes potty training.

Bernese Mountain Dog puppy potty training

How to Potty Train Your Dog

Learning which dogs are easy to potty train is about so much more than the dog’s breed. A good dog parent will also need to be consistent, assertive, and patient. Working with your dog is the best way for both of you to find success.

Create a Routine

Puppies learn best from a routine. If they eat, play, and go to the bathroom at regular times, they’re more likely to understand the schedule. Make sure everyone in your household is on the same page for your dog’s routine to avoid confusing your pup. Even if you adopt an older dog, a routine can still help them get comfortable in their new surroundings.

Take Them Outside Often

Frequent bathroom breaks are crucial, especially if you’re training a young puppy. A puppy can usually hold their bladder for about one hour for every month of age. Don’t push their limits when it comes to bathroom breaks because more is always best for avoiding accidents. At first, take your new dog out every two hours until they get the hang of it. Bathroom breaks are especially important after they eat, play, or wake up.

Yorkie potty training

Use Positive Reinforcements

Positive reinforcements are the key to any type of training. When your dog relieves themselves outside, reward them with a small treat, a toy, or praise. The reward should come immediately after they do their business so they can associate the action with something good.

Work on Crate Training Too

Pairing potty training with crate training is the perfect way to multi-task. Dogs who are crate trained also pick up on house-training faster. Dogs don’t like to do their business in the same area as they sleep. So, as long as their crate isn’t too big, they’ll be more likely to hold it while in their crate. The crate should be used as a comfortable, safe space for your dog and never a punishment. Following those ideas will help your dog learn to enjoy their crate time and not want to urinate in their crate.

Be Patient and Consistent!

Training a dog won’t happen overnight. You’ll need to stay consistent with your methods and be patient as your pup figures it out. A dog can’t learn where to do their business without your help. So, choosing one of the easiest dogs to potty train can be helpful, but you need to be willing to put in the work too.


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