The Top 10 Easiest Dogs to Train

Picture of a Border Collie

When it comes to choosing a dog for a family pet, one who is amenable to learning the things necessary to be a well-mannered companion tops the list of most potential pet owners. While not all dogs will go on to become obedience stars, every pooch needs to learn basic essential commands which form the foundation of good canine manners and life skills. Still, when it comes to training, some dogs are much more responsive to learning new things than others. Choosing a breed that is easy to train will help to set you up for success in your efforts to teach your pooch to be a good canine citizen. When it comes to learning, what are the top ten easiest dog breeds to train?

What Makes a Dog Easy to Train?

There is no question that all dogs, regardless of breed, are capable of learning. However, some dog breeds will put your training skills to the test, making you wonder just who is training who! If you want to add a pup to your family that will enjoy learning and pick up new skills with ease, the breed you choose will be very important.

Are There Qualities That Easy to Train Breeds Have in Common?

Yes, when it comes to dogs who thrive when learning, there are certain traits they exhibit that are more prevalent in breeds who are known to be easy to train. One of the most important qualities you are looking for in an easy to train dog is the desire to please you. Dogs who take great pleasure in making their owners happy will automatically have a greater drive to succeed at learning even the most simple tasks. Dog trainers refer to this quality as “biddable,” essentially meaning a dog who is desirous of pleasing his people.

Some dog breeds are very independent natured. While it may be that this spirit was selectively bred into the dog over centuries to equip him to fulfil a specific role, that same characteristic automatically makes the dog harder to train because the dog has been hardwired to make his own decisions not to take external direction.

Another essential quality in an easy to train breed is the ability to focus. A dog who lacks the ability to pay attention for short periods of time while you train a new activity is a dog that will prove a training challenge. To help aid your dog in learning, you will want to be certain to keep training sessions short, fun, and to end on a high note. To keep your dog interested, you want to always leave him wanting more.

It is also helpful if the breed you select is easily motivated by food, play, or toys. Since the most effective training methods find their basis in rewards, a dog who is happy to work for treats, a toy, or play time is the ideal training companion.

Dogs who are innately intelligent are often well-suited to learning obedience commands and more complex canine skills. A smart dog’s mind is always going and brain games and training are a great way to keep this type of dog mentally stimulated. For a dog of high intellect, training is extremely rewarding.

So, armed with these facts, just what breed is the one for you? Here is our list of the top ten easiest breeds to train:

Border Collie

Picture of a Border Collie

The Border Collie hits all the high points when it comes to a dog of easy trainability. Fiercely intelligent, in possession of a high drive, and with the desire to please his people, the Border Collie picks up new skills with ease and loves to train.

Golden Retriever

Picture of a Golden Retriever

The friendly Golden Retriever is a family favorite breed. A dog known for his gentle ways and athletic ability, the Golden Retriever has the focus and intelligence to master learning new tricks and commands easily. Golden Retrievers are often used in competitive obedience since they possess a natural drive to please their people.


Picture of a black Standard Poodle

The Poodle is often referred to as a “canine Einstein.” One of the most intelligent dog breeds alive today, the Poodle excels at nearly everything he applies his paw to. You will find the Poodle is an eager training companion who retains information well.

 Australian Cattle Dog

Picture of a Australian Cattle Dog

One of the less common breeds on our list, the Australian Cattle Dog is a working dog who is known for his intense loyalty to his family. This breed is most content when given a job to do. In the absence of involvement in work, the Australian Cattle Dog will need something to keep his brain sharp. This breed does very well in performance sports such as Rally-O and competitive obedience. You will find the Australian Cattle Dog enjoys training as much as you do!

 Miniature Schnauzer

Picture of a Miniature Schnauzer

Like the Border Collie, the Miniature Schnauzer is a dog with energy to spare. A dog of natural intelligence and with a drive to work, you will have fun trying to keep up with this powerhouse pooch. The Miniature Schnauzer is not for the novice owner. Though this breed likes to learn, he sometimes takes great delight in seeing if instead of you training him, he can train you!


Picture of a Papillon Dog

The Papillon is an active little breed with lots of energy that needs expending on a daily basis. The Papillon benefits from mental stimulation and applying his brain to learning new things is a great way to keep his mind healthy. Papillons thrive in the limelight and are known to be quite intelligent. You will find a Papillon fun to live with and easy to train.

 Bernese Mountain Dog

Picture of several Bernese Mountain Dogs

An exceptionally friendly breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog is an easygoing pooch that loves to be where his people are. The Bernese Mountain Dog thrives when given the opportunity to train and eagerly picks up new skills. A breed who loves the outdoors, you will have a great time training in fields, forests, the beach…wherever the mood strikes!

 Border Terrier

Picture of a Border Terrier

When it comes to terriers, the Border Terrier is a pretty zen kind of guy. The Border Terrier is known to be a breed who loves to train and assimilates new skills with seemingly little effort. This happy little dog does love to please, making him ideally suited to a family who is looking for a pooch who will be easy to train.


Picture of a Havanese

The Havanese is a breed that bonds very closely with his family. This deep attachment makes him up for a training adventure whenever you are. The Havanese is a smart little dog who loves to be at the center of his owner’s world, making him very willing to learn new skills.

Labrador Retriever

Picture of a Labrador Retriever in the forest

The Labrador Retriever enjoys great popularity and is considered the #1 family dog in the United States. Labrador Retrievers excel at learning new things whether their newly acquired skills are for work or for play.

Ready to get your next easy to train dog?

Consider one of the breeds on our top ten list. You’ll have a ball teaching your pooch new tricks to show off to all of your family and friends!



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