The Easiest Dogs to Train for a Well-Behaved Pup

Choosing a dog to adopt can be a difficult process. You want to make sure that you pick a dog breed that suits your lifestyle and will easily adapt to any training you need to give to them. When selecting a dog breed to adopt, you may want to keep in mind some of the easiest to train dog breeds. Their natural affinity for learning commands can make the entire obedience training process much easier.

In this article, we will discuss which characteristics make a dog trainable. Then, we’ll give you a comprehensive list of the easiest dog breeds to train and what makes them so simple to work with. Read on for everything you need to know!

Which Characteristics Make a Dog Trainable?

All dogs can be trained to some extent, but some dog breeds have certain characteristics that make them slightly more trainable than others.


While a dog’s intelligence can vary from personality to personality, there are certain breeds that are likely to pick up training faster and will have no trouble remembering multiple commands. The most notable dog breed for intelligence is the Border Collie, which is known for its ability to learn hundreds of unique commands and item names.

Working Dog Genes

Dogs breeds that have historically been given working roles, such as sheepdogs or German Shepherds, are likely to pick up training commands quickly. This is because they are genetically predisposed to understanding commands. They have a certain enthusiasm for working with their owners that other dogs may not possess.


Being able to maintain focus is a very important characteristic when it comes to training a dog. Breeds that are not easily distracted and are able to stay calm despite being surrounded by loud noises and lots of people will be easier to train. You may also find that dogs that can stay focused will have a more pleasant temperament and will not be too anxious or overwhelmed to learn new commands.


You may have heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” and to a certain extent that is true. The younger the dog that you are training, the easier it will be for them to pick up commands and build on previous training to form complex behaviors; older dogs can be more stubborn and training resistant, especially if they have developed bad behavior habits over the years. That being said, persistence and consistency are key and you can train a dog of any age as long as you are committed.

The Easiest Dog Breeds to Train

These dog breeds are naturals at picking up any kind of training and can be a great choice if you are looking to simplify obedience training for your new pup.

Golden Retrievers

golden retriever outside

One of the most popular dogs in America and often considered the quintessential family dog, the Golden Retriever is incredibly easy to train. They may not be the highest rated when it comes to intelligence, but they make up for what they lack in loyalty, patience, and a general willingness to please. Golden Retrievers are very enthusiastic about learning and helping their owners, and they are able to pick up more complex commands, which makes them a great choice for working as a service dog.

The only thing you may not be able to train a Golden Retriever for, however, is acting as a guard dog. These lovable pups enjoy making friends with every stranger they come across.

German Shepherds

German shepherd running outside

The German Shepherd is a dog frequently seen in a working position; from police dogs to rescue dogs and service dogs, this breed has a serious enthusiasm for learning commands and enjoys the challenge that training brings. As such, they are quite easy to train. If you are considering adopting a German Shepherd, keep in mind that they do need a lot of exercise, so frequent walks and access to an outdoor area are a must.

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retriever outside

Similar in temperament to the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever is easygoing and often finds themselves in working positions. They make excellent guide dogs thanks to their enthusiasm for learning commands and their ability to build on complex skills.

The one issue you may have with a Labrador Retriever is that they are a little bit too friendly and may be easily distracted by their environment. However, this characteristic can be brought to a minimum with training, which Labradors are very responsive to. And much like the German Shepherd breed, you should give the Labrador lots of exercise to keep them happy.


happy poodle puppy in lap

You may be surprised to see this breed on our list, but all types of poodles are surprisingly versatile when it comes to learning new commands and exhibiting their intelligence. Poodles pick up training quickly and generally have a laid back yet playful attitude that allows them to take things in stride and learn without issue.

Border Collies

border collie outside

Often thought of as one of the smartest dog breeds around today, the Border Collie is an amazingly easy to train breed. They are experts at learning versatile commands and can easily adjust to more complex tasks. Border Collies are also great working dogs and love to be out and about with their owners on a daily basis.

It is important to note that while Border Collies are among the easiest of dogs to train, they do need a constant source of mental stimulation and tend to be workaholics; only adopt a Border Collie if you have enough time to exercise them regularly and enough work for them to help you out with on a daily basis.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian cattle dog outside

The Australian Cattle Dog is a lesser-known dog breed but it doesn’t lack talent when it comes to picking up commands. They are a fairly intelligent breed and can be quite determined, so you are not likely to encounter any stubbornness or resistance to training. The Australian Cattle Dog enjoys new mentally stimulating activities and will happily follow along with every training session you provide.

Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer outside

Another dog breed with a people-loving disposition, the Miniature Schnauzer enjoys being around its owners and will work hard to please them. They enjoy learning new tricks and have a good set of intelligence that allows them to pick up commands quickly. Plus, they are active and will enjoy going on outdoor adventures with you no matter the time of day.

The only downside about owning a Miniature Schnauzer is that they have a tendency to bark a lot. You will need to train this behavior out of them as soon as possible if you want to build up good habits with your pup.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdog outside

The Shetland Sheepdog is both agile and intelligent, making them perfect for outdoor tasks. This breed thrives in a working environment and easily picks up new tricks or learns complex behaviors. As the name suggests, the Shetland Sheepdog is the perfect breed for training to herd. They are also likely to form strong bonds with their owners, increasing their overall obedience abilities.


Papillon on a couch

A small but mighty entry on this list, the Papillon is an active, happy breed that loves to learn new tricks and commands. They easily pick up on what their owner is trying to convey, but they can be a little bit clingy and need a consistent training routine to keep them occupied. Inconsistent training with this breed may result in bad behaviors, so it is important to stick to your training routine with this intelligent, energetic pup.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinscher running outside

Even though Doberman Pinschers are known for their ability to become aggressive and destructive, they are a surprisingly easy to train breed. More experienced dog owners may want to consider this breed, as it takes firm training and consistency to break any bad habits and keep your dog in line.

That being said, the Doberman is a fiercely loyal breed and can be quite intelligent. They pick up new skills quickly and are able to be trained for a number of working professions, such as working as a guide dog, a guard dog, or as a search and rescue dog.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh corgi in grass

Not to be confused with their cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi (this breed is more petite and stubborn), the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is determined, agile, and intelligent. They are quite active and, despite their shape and size, are able to complete a number of active outdoor tasks.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis learn new tricks easily and don’t need a lot of space for exercise; this dog breed can easily adapt to an apartment as long as they are provided with adequate mental stimulation.


Rottweiler sitting outside

Much like the Doberman Pinscher, the Rottweiler has a natural instinct for being more aggressive and territorial than other dog breeds. However, when trained firmly and consistently, these bad habits can be transformed and your Rottweiler will be much happier on a day to day basis.

This breed is intelligent and enthusiastic when it comes to learning new commands; they typically need a job to keep them happy and will do well working as a police dog, a guard dog, or a herder. Make sure that your Rottweiler has plenty of time for mental stimulation and exercise, as this is what will temper its behavior and make it more friendly.

Professional Training Tips for Educating Your Dog

puppy giving a paw to owner

These professional training tips can help get you started training a dog of any breed and setting up good habits between yourself and your pup.

Start With the Basics

Once you’ve decided to train your dog, it is important to start with the basics. This means training simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” or “come.” Not only will these commands help establish a basic bond of obedience between you and your dog, but they will also provide an introduction to your dog’s training routine. Teaching basic commands first will also allow you to start working your way to more complex tasks. It is difficult to start off teaching harder skills because many dogs may be resistant to the training process, no matter how easy they are to train.

Consistency Is Key

Keeping up with your training routine is the key to instilling good behavior in your dog. You should make sure that you are training them on a regular basis and reinforcing past skills in addition to teaching new ones. This will help keep your dog alert, familiar with their tasks, and ready to learn new skills.

Learn Dog Body Language

Understanding your dog’s body language is incredibly helpful when you start to train them. Using their body language, you can gauge whether or not your dog is understanding you or if they are uncomfortable with their current tasks. This, in turn, can help you tailor your training sessions together to be their most effective and the least stressful for the both of you.

You can read more about understanding a dog’s body language here.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the best thing you can do for your dog while training them. This training method involves giving out treats and praise when your dog successfully completes a task or command and only correcting bad behaviors with a firm voice. There is no yelling at the dog or displaying aggressive or negative behaviors in this training type, as these can scare the dog away from training altogether.

Maintain Your Dog’s Health

The best way to encourage your canine friend to do their best in training is to make sure they are taken care of in every aspect of their life. Make sure that they are in good health, have adequate mental stimulation, and are generally comfortable at home in order to bring out the best in your dog. They’ll love you for it and training sessions are sure to go much more smoothly as a result.

Easy Training for an Obedient Pup

Training a dog can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Any dog can be trained with the right amount of patience and commitment, but if you want to give yourself a head start on this process, you can adopt any of the dog breeds above for easier training. Each of the breeds we’ve listed are naturals at following their owners’ commands, learning complex tasks, and showing the utmost commitment to their trainer.

If you’d like to pick a dog that’s not only easy to train, but could also become an amazing service dog, check out our Service Dog breed recommendations.