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What are the Easiest Dogs to Train?

Your pup already scores high marks for cuteness, wags, and heart-melting. But how does he fare when it comes to sit and stay? Don’t worry, you’ve got this. Training your dog as a puppy will help you create a bond and minimize unwanted behavior. Potty training and sitting on command may seem not quite as fun as tricks like shake and roll over. However, these skills make all the difference later on—especially at the dog park. 

That being said, there are certain breeds that are easier to train than others. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the easiest dogs to train.1  From big to small dogs, check out our comprehensive guide to learn more about the easiest dog breeds to train for you. 

Easiest Big Dogs to Train

Though it may seem more challenging to train larger dogs, there are plenty of breeds that take to obedience dog training like they were born for it. Here are four breeds that can make dog training a walk in the park. 

#1 German Shepard

German shepherds are the go-to dog breed as a service dog and guard dog. Due to their intelligence and obedient nature, this working dog breed is popular worldwide. They’re also incredibly loving and can be giant goofballs when presented with their favorite chew toy. 

The one catch with a German Shepherd dog is that because of their tendency to be overprotective, it’s important to train them as puppies. That way, they can channel their incredible energy into this intelligent dog breed’s best qualities. 

#2 Labrador Retriever 

Ask a dog trainer what words come to mind when they think of a labrador retriever. Chances are they’ll say “loving,” “easygoing,” and “so cute.” These traits make labrador retrievers an incredibly popular family pet worldwide and one of the easiest dogs to train. 

When it comes to training, they’re also stars. Labrador retrievers respond well to direction and learn tricks easily. Why? This breed is extremely food motivated. Sit? Stay? Shake? Yup, there’s almost nothing a lab won’t do for a yummy treat, so make sure to have a stash nearby when training dogs. Just keep the lid on tight, labs are notorious gluttons and mischief-makers. 

#3 Border Collie 

One of the smartest dog breeds out there, border collies were literally bred to obey commands. Just ask generations of Scottish shepherds who have relied on this herding breed to herd sheep. Intelligent beyond belief, border collies excel when it comes to following hand gestures and sounds such as whistling. These dogs are extremely quick learners, so it’s best to start their training early as puppies. 

#4 Doberman Pinscher 

Dobermans make excellent watchdogs and are surprisingly loving and affectionate—unless they feel threatened. Extremely protective of their dog owner, these dogs will go to the ends of the earth to keep their family and home safe. This is why it’s essential to start their training early to make sure they learn proper obedience. 

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Easiest Small Dogs to Train

Smarties sometimes come in small (adorable) packages—this is especially the case for the small dog breeds. These four breeds respond well to direction and love learning new tricks. Just make sure to always keep some treats on hand—positive reinforcement is perfect for your canine friend. 

#1 Miniature Schnauzer 

These wiry-haired dogs are spunky and playful by nature. When trained well, they can become stalwart watch dogs. Miniature schnauzers are known to be stubborn and suspicious of strangers, so make sure to properly train your schnauzer as a puppy. Proper discipline is essential starting early on and will make your relationship with your puppy so much better. 

#2 Poodle

Though on the list of small dog breeds, poodles come in all shapes and sizes. Poodles are a strong choice for anyone who wants an easygoing and lovable animal that’s straightforward to train. Sharp as a whip, poodles need plenty of mental stimulation. Challenging games are a favorite of this intelligent dog breed—you’ll be amazed by their ability to pick up new tricks. And to top it all off, these types of dogs don’t shed

#3 Papillon

Named for their butterfly-like ears, it’s easy to see why papillons are a favorite among dog-owners worldwide. A prime example of a toy dog, the papillon is highly energetic and playful. Misleadingly delicate, these doggies are very athletic. They aim to please and do well with agility tricks, such as obstacle courses and hurdles. You’ll be surprised by your papillon’s ability to keep up with bigger dogs. 

#4 Border Terrier

Border terriers are one of the most low-key dogs around. Their calm and affectionate nature makes them one of the easiest dogs to train. A favorite among people everywhere, border terriers thrive in obedience training and love to work. They also do extremely well with obstacle courses and mazes.

What Are the Most Difficult Dogs To Train?

You’re probably wondering what dogs are the most difficult to train. The truth of the matter is, any breed is difficult if not trained correctly or if the training is started after bad habits have already been developed. So really, it depends on the dog. 

In general, dogs with stubborn personalities and a lack of listening skills are a lot more difficult to train. Make sure to research various breeds before picking out your new pet, it’ll make a world of difference down the road for every dog owner. 

Here are a few breeds that are known to be a little bit more challenging to train:

  • Alaskan malamute
  • Basset hound
  • Shar pei
  • Beagles
  • Chow Chow
  • Mastiff
  • Greyhound

Trust Your Pup with AskVet

It can be tough training dogs, and you’ll undoubtedly have a lot of questions and concerns when you bring your new dog home for the first time. That’s where we come in. 

At AskVet, we are here to help you make the transition into training your new puppy an easy one. Our community of fellow dog owners and certified veterinarians is here to support you on your dog behavior training journey. Whether you need tips on how to make your puppy come on command or stop running after squirrels, help is just a click away. 



  1. American Kennel Club. 13 of the Most Trainable Dogs.



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