As much as we wish it were true, dogs aren’t born with inherent knowledge of our silly human rules. Even the most trainable dog breeds don’t automatically know that they’re only supposed to potty outside or that human shoes are not for chewing. They have no idea that you want them to walk nicely with a loose leash instead of pulling you down the street. All dogs, regardless of breed, learn skills and behaviors through training and life experiences. Training is important and necessary if you want your dog to be obedient and well-mannered. But while every dog is an individual, it’s a fact that some dog breeds are easier to train than others.
If you’re hoping for an obedient and well-trained family member, these most trainable dog breeds are your best bet. They’ve been chosen based on their intelligence and willingness to learn.
There’s a reason why the Lab has been the most popular dog breed for nearly 30 years running. It’s the same reason why they’re so often chosen as service dogs, police dogs, and therapy dogs. This versatile breed is a hunting dog at heart, but they’ve been bred for decades to work well alongside humans. They are eager to please and learn new skills quickly. Their puppy energy might tire you out at first, but consistent training can transform a mischievous Lab into an obedient and loyal family member.
Don’t confuse a Golden Retriever with a Labrador Retriever, but these two trainable dog breeds do have certain similarities. For one, both breeds respond quickly to training. Goldens are another type of hunting dog, and they love being around people. They’ll do just about anything to make their favorite people happy. A lot of the time, this involves entertaining us with their goofy personalities.
Often lauded as the smartest dog breed there is, the Border Collie is capable of leaning some pretty amazing tricks and behaviors. A Border Collie named Chaser knew thousands of words, and these herding dogs are smart enough to do everything from wrangle large livestock to diagnosing diseases. It’s important to note, however, that Border Collies are extremely high energy. Their minds are always working, and they need physical and mental stimulation to keep them focused. It won’t be hard to channel all their energy into training, but a bored Border Collie can be hard to handle. They belong in households where the humans are committed to both training and exercise.
English Springer Spaniel
Keeping up with the Border Collie’s all-day energy is the English Springer Spaniel. The AKC describes this medium-sized dog as being “friendly, playful, and obedient.” They’re part of the sporting group, and they thrive when they have an important job to do. That job could be retrieving fowl for a hunting partner, or it could be joining the family on a long hike. Whatever it is, they’re happiest when they’re around people. Training is usually a matter of finding the right motivation and clearly conveying a desired behavior. This trainable dog breed will pick up new skills easily.
As one of the smallest most trainable dog breeds, the Havanese is both social and intelligent. These little dogs are especially popular for city dwellers as they adapt well to apartments and aren’t as big into barking as other small dog breeds. Bigger dogs usually get all the glory when it comes to learning tricks and cool behaviors, but the Havanese can steal the show with their magnetic personalities and ability to learn new skills quickly. They’re typically well-mannered, even as puppies, and their natural obedience and trainability comes in an adorable package.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
There’s more to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi than those irresistibly fluffy butts. A lot of people love this low-set dog for its obvious cute factor, but Corgis are also highly trainable and well-mannered. Do you think the Queen of England would allow her herd of Corgis free range of her palaces if she couldn’t trust them to behave? A Corgi will require regular training, same as any other dog, but they’re typically receptive to learning new skills.
Training a dog is a rewarding experience for both ends of the leash. It’s about more than learning to sit on cue or bring back a ball. It’s building a foundation that sets a dog up to be a valued part of a family. When they’re well-mannered, obedient, and willing to learn, there’s no limit to the kind of things you can do together.