We have all heard people claim that certain dog breeds are easier to train than others. It can be difficult to decipher how much of this is true, and how much is just an old wives tale. Dogs that are easy to train have a specific set of traits.
What Traits Make a Dog Easy to Train?
- Eager to please (cooperation)
- High level of intelligence
- Food / Ball / Toy / Praise motivated
- Ability to focus (attention span)
Dogs that are easy to train
As part of our research we polled actual owners of the breeds listed below. These owners rated their dogs level of trainability, to conclude, we then converted those numbers into percentages to create this chart.
|Breed||% of owners that rate this breed easy to train|
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||84%|
|American Stafforshire Terrier||90%|
|German Shorthaired Pointer||89%|
#1 on our list of dogs that are easy to train is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This breed is eager to please, however they must be trained with a gentle approach.
They are very food motivated, and as a result do best with a reward based training program.
These dogs have the tendency to “train their owners” if they’re not careful.
This breed is very smart and loving, therefore they make great family pets.
They are a “soft dog”, and for that reason should not be subjected to harsh training methods.
Common training challenges with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Recall (due to high prey drive)
- Mild stubborness
|** Out of the 559 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners we surveyed 84% said this breed is easy to train.**|
The Lab is a dog that is particularly eager to please its owner.
This breed has some wonderful qualities. For instance, they are very smart, hardworking, and highly food motivated.
All in all, this is a winning combination for a highly trainable dog.
Common training challenges with the Labrador
- Jumping up on people
- They can be hyper and overly boisterous when they are young.
|** Out of the 287 Labrador owners we surveyed, 92% said this breed is easy to train.**|
#3 on our list of dogs that are easy to train is the Standard Poodle
The standard poodle also makes our list of dogs that are easy to train.
The standard poodle is often known for its high intelligence, and also for having a strong willingness to please.
This breed is hyper-focused on its owner, therefore making them highly trainable.
They are especially quick to pick up on housebreaking.
Additionally, this breed would be a good candidate for advanced obedience.
Common training challenges with the standard poodle
- Excessive Barking
- Poodles can become anxious or stressed in a chaotic environment.
|** Out of 249 poodle owners we surveyed, 96% said this breed is easy to train.**|
Goldens are cheerful and alert dogs. Moreover, they are very owner focused.
As a matter of fact, they are eager to please, and very bright.
Not only are they bright, but some Goldens are known to outwit their owners on occasion.
Common training challenges with golden retrievers.
- Jumping up on people
|** Out of 328 golden retriever owners we surveyed, 92% said this breed is easy to train.**|
#5 on our list of dogs that are easy to train is the Australian Shepherd
This dog is a very intelligent, as well as an independent thinker.
This breed is a herding dog, and as a result, they must be able to think for themselves.
Despite this dog being easy to train, they are not always obedient.
Common training challenges with Australian Shepherds
- This breed can be stubborn
- Can be a handful for novice dog owners
|** Out of 244 Aussie owners we surveyed, 91% said this breed is easy to train.**|
RELATED POST: Best Farm Dogs | LGD’s, Ratters, Herding
Above all, this protection dog is one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
In fact, they rank as the 5th smartest dog in the world according to psychologist Stanley Coren.
The doberman thrives on strong leadership and consistent training.
Common training challenges with the Doberman.
- The Doberman can be stubborn, especially if the training is not consistent.
|** Out of the 92 Doberman owners we surveyed, 95% said this breed is easy to train.**|
#7 on our list of dogs that are easy to train is the Blue Heeler
The Blue Heeler learns commands and tricks very quickly, wether he chooses to do them on command is another story.
Although this breed is very smart, a significant amount of time must be put into training them.
Common training challenges with the Blue Heeler
- This breeds natural instincts often conflict with training
- Independent thinker with a mind of their own.
|** Out of 283 Blue Heeler owners we surveyed, 90% said this breed is easy to train.**|
The Sheltie is a highly trainable, therefore making them a cooperative breed.
They accept training well, and surely are very intelligent. According to their owners, this breed is a breeze to train.
Common training challenges with Shetland Sheepdogs
- Can be stubborn
- Known to outsmart their owners at times.
|** Out of 58 Sheltie owners we surveyed, 97% said they are easy to train.**|
#9 on our list of dogs that are easy to train is the American Staffordshire Terrier
The Staffy learns quickly due to their intelligent nature.
This breed can be very motivated by food, thus making the training even easier.
Common training challenges with the American Staffordshire Terrier
- Can be stubborn (firm, consistent training is needed)
|** Out of 100 Am Staff owners we surveyed, 90% say this dog is easy to train.**|
#10 on our list of dogs that are easy to train is The Border Collie
The border collie is ranked as the smartest dog in the world according to psychologist Stanley Coren.
His book “The Intelligence of Dogs” explains his methodology.
They learn new commands, and tricks quickly, however, they don’t obey blindly if they don’t see the value in what’s being asked of them.
Common training challenges with the Border Collie
- Not always eager to please
- Often push their boundaries
|** Out of 119 Border Collie owners we surveyed, 95% said they are easy to train.**|
Next on our list of dogs that are easy to train is the German Shorthaired Pointer
The shorthair is an eager participant in training, however, you need to be interesting enough to keep their attention.
They are smart, pick up new things easily, and in addition, are very food motivated.
Common training challenges with the GSP
- Prone to counter surfing
- Heeling can be a challenge
- Jumping up on people
- Housetraining can take a bit longer with this breed.
- Extended puppyhood. German shorthaired pointers are known to mature around the age of 2.
|** Out of 367 German Shorthaired Pointer owners, 89% said they are easy to train.**|
The Puli is a very intelligent breed.
With the proper training approach, they can be capable of advanced obedience.
In fact, some say this breed trains themselves.
This dog is known to be very easy to house train.
Common training problems with the Puli
- Very independent thinker
- Can be willful
|** Out of 15 Puli owners we surveyed, 93% said they are easy to train.**|
We chose 12 breeds for this survey that are commonly known as dogs that are easy to train.
Based on our research, it appears that the Shetland Sheepdog is the easiest breed to train out of these 12, according to their owners.
However the Standard Poodle, Doberman, and Border Collie is nipping at its heels.
Even though a dog can be easy to train, that still doesn’t guarantee it will be the best pet.
Each breed has its own unique challenges.
There is no such thing as the “perfect” dog, so do your research, and find the “perfect” dog for you.
We hope you enjoyed our list of dogs that are easy to train.
Please share, it really helps us out.