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12 Of The Easiest Dog Breeds To Train

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on August 8, 2018

Most people looking for a dog want a breed that’s easy to live with. Easiest dog breeds to train tops many desired “wants” when looking to bring a new dog/rescue dog into a person’s life. While all dogs can be trained, there are some that are easier than others.

All dogs are individuals, of course, so this list is a broad generalization of which breeds are usually fairly easy to train basic obedience and house manners. If you’re looking for a breed that’s easy to train for advanced and competition obedience, these might work for you also! If not, you’ll have a well-behaved dog that probably knows a fancy trick or two!

(Note: we’ve omitted some of the most common competition breeds, such as the Border Collie and Belgian Malinois, because these dogs are primarily bred for work and although they’re “easy” to train for the experienced trainer, they are usually far too much dog for the novice owner.)

Our list of the easiest dog breeds to train:

#1 – Poodle


All varieties of Poodle – Standard, Miniature and Toy – are incredibly intelligent dogs that are eager to please and pick up training very quickly. You will find the poodle on several lists as being one of the easiest dog breeds to train. Don’t be fooled by their fancy hairdos, as the breed is even-tempered and aims to please their humans.

#2 – Golden Retriever


Golden Retrievers aren’t the smartest dogs, but they are dedicated to their owners and very eager to please. Because of this, they are one of the most easily trained dogs because they are forgiving of their owner’s mistakes (think inconsistency) and enjoy learning new behaviors.

#3 – Labrador Retriever


America’s favorite dog, the Labrador Retriever certainly offers potential dog owners a lot to think about. They are sweet, fun-loving dogs that are easy to train and want nothing more than to keep their owner’s happy.

#4 – Collie


Both the Smooth and Rough Collies are large herding dogs that were bred to be independent workers yet sensitive to their owner’s needs. They are intelligent dogs that are easy to train as they are not so energetic that the average owner will not have trouble keeping up.

#5 – German Shepherd Dog


The German Shepherd Dog is considered to be the Jack-of-all-trades in the dog world. They are intelligent and simple to train, making them a top choice for many dog owners all around the world.  This breed needs a job to stay happy, but enjoys training and can succeed in a variety of dog sports. 

#6 – Papillon


Most toy breeds are stubborn and difficult to work with, but the Papillon is a hidden gem in the group. These dogs are very intelligent and quite eager to please. Small but active. this is a breed that enjoys learning new behaviors and does very well in various dog sports.

#7 – Cardigan Welsh Corgi


The older and larger of the Corgis, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a strong-willed, independent herding dog but is intelligent and sensitive to their owners. They need a job and enjoy learning new behaviors, so basic obedience and house manners should be a breeze.

#8 – Pembroke Welsh Corgi


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the more popular of the Corgis and is an active, stubborn breed that needs a consistent owner to instill house manners. That said, they are sensitive to their owners and enjoy having a job and learning new tricks.

#9 – Shetland Sheepdog


The Shetland Sheepdog appears to be a smaller version of the Rough Collie, but they are slightly more active and do well in various dog sports. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train.

#10 – Swedish Vallhund

Photo credit: “Västgötaspetsar” by Sören T Eriksson – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Similar to the Corgis, Swedish Vallhunds are a dwarfed herding breed that were bred to work independently but pay attention to their owner’s desires. They are active and intelligent dogs that need a consistent owner but are relatively easy to train.

#11 – Border Terrier


The Border Terrier is a terrier and therefore has some stubbornness to its personality, but they are sweet and affectionate dogs that are relatively eager to please. Because of their desire to work, they are easy to train and do very well.

#12 – Pumi

Photo credit: “Hungarianpumi” by Taru T Torpström. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Pumi is a Hungarian herding dog that is intelligent and active. The breed needs a job, but their desire to work make them fairly easy to train. They are affectionate dogs that do well in many different dog sports.

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