The Top 15 Dog Breeds That are the Easiest to Train

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: March 15, 2024
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You don’t have to be an expert to train a dog but you do need patience and determination. Dog owners (especially the inexperienced ones) can get overwhelmed and sadly this is one reason why so many dogs end up in rescue shelters. Some days your pup listens to you, then the next day they ignore you and it is easy to become disheartened. But not all dogs are the same! Here we have researched the top 15 dog breeds that are the easiest to train and looked at the reasons why.

In general, dogs that are intelligent are more likely to understand what you want them to do but that is not enough! They must also be highly motivated (by rewards) and must form a strong bond with their humans or at least be eager to please them. Let’s take a look at the planet’s most trainable pooches.

Border Collie

Black and white border collie running on the green grass

The highly intelligent border collie picks up new skills easily.

©Aneta Jungerova/

These guys are the workaholics of the dog world. They like nothing better than following orders all day long. When you combine their high intelligence with their desire to please, you have the perfect conditions for a successful training session.


Beautiful silver toy poodle with open mouth and wind-blown fur isilated on a black background

The poodle is a lot more than a pretty face.

©Natallia Yaumenenka/

Don’t let that poodle cuteness fool you, these dogs were bred as water retrievers and have not lost their moves! They love to learn new commands and tricks and excel at canine sports requiring obedience.

Golden Retriever

Golden retriever dog swimming in river

One of the most popular breeds in the US is the golden retriever.

©Zheka-Boss/iStock via Getty Images

They may be the silly clown of your family but this breed has a strong gun dog heritage that makes them easy to train. Goldies thrive in busy households and are extremely keen to please their human family making them ideal for first time dog owners.

German Shepherd Dog

Beautiful german shepherd dog, smart and easy to train on the edge of the forest in Hungary

Ever-vigilant German shepherd dogs are easy to train.

©Barat Roland/

The police and military would not use this breed if they were hard to train! The German shepherd dog is one of the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet but need a job to do or they get bored!

Shetland Sheepdog

portrait of two happy friends dogs puppy and Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland sheepdog has a strong herding instinct.

©Annaartday/iStock via Getty Images

The strong herding instincts of Shetland Sheepdogs make them a highly attentive breed and that is a good starting point for any training! Added to this is their superb intelligence and eagerness to please their human companions.

Doberman Pinscher

German pinscher standing tall in front of shrubs

Using the correct techniques, Dobermans are easy to train.

©Dora Zett/

If you choose the correct training techniques, Doberman Pinschers are easy to train. You will need to start at an early age and use a command with a visual clue and then reward. They are eager to please and will soon get the hang of it.


Papillon running and leaping in the air

Little and eager to please – Papillons are highly trainable.

©Elizabeth Dee/

The lovely little papillon is a toy breed that originated in France. They weigh a maximum of nine pounds but even little dogs need to be trained. Luckily, they have a strong desire to please you so you have a head start!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

cute dog redhead pembroke welsh corgi standing a skateboard on the street for a summer walk in the park

Train your Pembroke Welsh corgi with positive reinforcement.


Some corgis are so clever that they become psychiatric service dogs! They are highly motivated and very intelligent which is ideal for successful training. Only use positive reinforcement and let their natural enthusiasm do the rest.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog im Herbst

The working Australian cattle dog can be trained to a high standard.

©Fischer S./iStock via Getty Images

Even though they are not recommended for first-time dog owners, Australian cattle dogs can achieve a high level of training. These are working dogs who have a low boredom threshold and need a job to do to keep them happy.


Young woman training and playing with puppy on grass, in park. Rottweiler dog puppy details

Start early training a Rottweiler.


This breed looks quite intimidating and scary but they are actually highly trainable and pick up new tricks and commands quickly. However, things can go badly wrong if you don’t train them correctly so they are most suited to experienced dog owners.

English Springer Spaniel

English springer spaniel sitting down looking out over the countryside.

Use toys and treats to train your springer spaniel.

©Jeff Dalton/

You have a couple of options for rewarding your English springer spaniel for good behavior. They love toys but are also highly motivated by food. This gives you the upperhand when it comes to training them.

Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer purebred dog giving high five.

They can be a bit stubborn but miniature schnauzers are highly trainable.

©Natalia Bostan/

These little dogs are clever but can be stubborn so you need to patient and persistent. However, many owners have achieved excellent results with them. They are also super playful!


vizsla running on beach with frisbee

Highly energetic Vizslas love training sessions.

© Raykova

This breed needs a lot of mental stimulation but you can use that to your advantage. They will relish a training session! Vizslas are also eager to please and form a strong bond with their owners.

Blue Heeler

Australian Cattle Dog Blue Heeler

Your blue heeler will want to impress you.

©Tatyana Consaul/ via Getty Images

Also called Australian cattle dogs, these dogs form a strong connection with their owners and like nothing more than impressing them. That makes them a great dog to train but you will need to constantly come up with new challenges.

Pit Bull Terriers

pitbull staring into distance

Not all pit bulls deserve their unfortunate reputation.

©Viola Polikarpova/

The poor pit bull terrier has an unfortunate reputation and people tend to either love them or hate them. In the right hands, they can respond very well to training and will be very well-behaved dogs.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Aleksandr Zotov/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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