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A Wonderful List of Dog Breeds That are Easy to Train

Easy to Train Dog Breeds
There are over 400 breeds of dogs―pure as well as mixed breeds included―and not all of them are easy to train. Some respond well to training, while others are averse to it.
Gauri Huddar
Last Updated: Jun 7, 2017
Did You Know?
Pet365 conducted a survey of 1,000 dog owners in the US and the UK, and found that 'sit' is the most well-known command, with 9 out of 10 dogs knowing how to put their bums on the floor when told.
Considering that dogs have been selectively bred for centuries, there are quite a few breeds that have been bred to possess a keen mind. These dogs are inherently intelligent and curious, and learning new things, tricks, games, commands, words, comes naturally to them. No extra efforts, bribes or coaxing is required to make them follow commands. In fact, these are the breeds who will be all charged up when they hear the word training, run around in circles with excitement, and hop into the car before you have had the chance to open the door fully for them!

This DogAppy article introduces you to the breeds who will eagerly lap up all the commands and training that you instruct, and will emerge top of their class with ease. They will be the ones who will be so eager to follow the trainer's commands, that their bottoms will barely be touching the ground.

For the sake of convenience, I have clubbed together similar breeds in a group, instead of listing them in order of intelligence alone, but even in a group, there are some who will do better than others. Let's take a look at these overachievers then ...
Border Collie
Border Collie dog running
Rank : #1
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Collie dog running
Rank : #16
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Collies, specially Border Collies, are often cited as the most intelligent canines. They were bred to be herding dogs, which means they are natural herders, and also have an innate protective instinct. They are high energy dogs, and need a purpose in life to be happy and stable. Collies without any mental stimulation and physical activity tend to grow frustrated over time, become difficult to handle, and may suffer from behavioral problems. They are at their best when they have a lot of exercise, training, and mental activity.
Poodle dog running
Rank : #2
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
A people's dog, the Poodle is a very intelligent breed which is ranked high in the list of trainable dog breeds, and are highly skilled at many different things. These dogs are spunky and full of mischief. They love obedience training, agility, herding, tracking, dog sports, and regularly win awards in most of these events at competitions. Poodles are very instinctive, sharp, and energetic. They do get bored easily, if they are not given enough mental stimulation and exercise. If they are not occupied, they will find ways to amuse themselves is what owners warn.
Herders and Shepherds
German Shepherd
German shepherd dog
Rank : #3
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland sheep dog
Rank : #6
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Australian Cattle Dog
Australian cattle dog
Rank : #10
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Australian Shepherd
Australian shepherd dog
Rank : #42
No. of Repetitions : Between 25 and 40
Shepherd dogs are specifically bred for intelligence. The Australian Sheepdog is ranked #42, but owners and trainers take issue with this, and attest to the fact that they are very trainable, and their eagerness to learn is exceptional. Hence, I decided to make an exception and include them in this list.

Shepherds are intelligent, alert, and always eager to learn new things. They are naturally protective, and hence, make excellent guard dogs. Because of the ease with which the can be trained (specially German Shepherds), they are often popular with the police force, and are trained to be police dogs, sniffer dogs, and also as search-and-rescue dogs. Many of them have also been used in helicopter rescues, and have also been trained to jump using parachutes. They make excellent companions, and are excellent guide dogs for the blind as well as wonderful therapy dogs. They are obedient, and usually, more than 95% of the time, obey commands given to them the first time.
Golden Retriever
Golden retriever
Rank : #4
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Labrador Retriever
Wet Labrador retriever
Rank : #7
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Retrievers have become extremely popular over the years as ideal family dogs. They are very playful, great with children, very affectionate, easy to train, and eager to learn and please. They are also famous for their patience and pleasing and calm temperament, and hence, they are also used as therapy and guide dogs. They are capable of learning between 200-400 commands. They love agility and training, and owing to their intelligence, they excel in both these things. When trained as guide dogs, they make very able and affectionate companions for seniors as well. Labs are also sometimes known to self-train, by observing repeated actions that humans perform, and imitate them.
Doberman Pinscher
Doberman pinscher dog
Rank : #5
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
A Doberman's upright stature and serious expression belies a gentle soul. They are very loyal to their masters, and very affectionate as well. Doberman Pinschers are fearless, brave, and confident, making them excellent guard dogs, Their potential rally shines through when they are trained to be guard dogs, but then they also do not need a lot of training to guard. Guarding comes pretty instinctively to them. Although this breed has often been stereotyped as aggressive, it has moved away from this stereotype, and today, is known for its even and comparatively calmer temperament, and as a wonderful and loyal family dog.
Papillon dog
Rank : #8
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Papillons pack a formidable personality in their small size. Playful and full of stamina, they have no idea that they are structurally small, and act likewise. Wonderful companions, Papillons make wonderful watchdogs, and are easy to train as well. Their size belies their exercise needs, and they are pretty playful and full of stamina. They are curious, love to explore, and make great companion dogs.
Rottweiler dog
Rank : #9
No. of Repetitions : Less than 5
Similar to the Doberman, the undesirable portrayal of Rottweilers in the media and movies has caused this dog's popularity to suffer, and all for nothing. Often shown as dangerous, aggressive, and ominous creatures, Rottweilers are far from any of those things. They are fiercely loyal and courageous companions, and are slowly inching up again in the popularity charts. They are easy to train, and hence, any issues with dominance or aggression can be taken care of in the early stages of the dog's life with proper training. Rottweilers are renowned for their acute and stoic nature, and are frequently trained to be police and guard dogs.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke welsh corgi
Rank : #11
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Pembroke love chasing, and once they find something to chase, it is very difficult to contain their excitement. There is whole list of things that this breed is good at. Herding, agility training, obedience training, tracking, fly ball, and showmanship. They are eager to please, and hence, they learn new commands enthusiastically, and are highly intelligent and smart dogs. They are also suitable to be trained as watchdogs due to their alert and watchful nature. Pembroke's are known for their loving nature as well as their tendency to demand attention from their family. They form close bonds with their owners, and love following them around everywhere.
English Springer Spaniel
English springer spaniel
Rank : #13
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Brittany Spaniel
Brittany spaniel in snow
Rank : #19
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
English Cocker Spaniel
Black cocker spaniel
Rank : #18
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
American Cocker Spaniel
American cocker spaniel
Rank : #20
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Spaniels are very loving, friendly, eager to please, and fairly obedient dogs. They also possess a very pleasant and happy temperament, and their tails are always wagging, which is why they are fondly called "happy dogs". Spaniels are quick to pick up commands, and being eager to please, they learn many commands in a fairly short time. They are quite athletic, and enjoy obedience training and agility. Spaniels are usually pretty alert, and if trained accordingly, can prove to be good watch dogs. They are known for their optimistic attitude, but do not do too well when away from their family. They are extremely devoted and loyal, and bond strongly with the family, which makes them wonderful pets.
Keeshond dog
Rank : #16
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Fondly nicknamed 'The Smiling Dutchman', the Keeshond is a smart and intelligent dog that is easy to train. They excel at agility and obedience training, and are also sometimes used as guide dogs. They need to be trained with gentle and reward-based training methods, since they do not respond well to raised voices and forceful methods of training. Keeshonds are wonderful pets even for inexperienced owners, and can make great watchdogs. A bored Keeshond will develop behavioral problems, and hence, it is necessary to ensure that adequate amount of exercise is given to it.
Weimaraner dog
Rank : #21
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Since Weimaraners were bred to be hunting dogs, they have excessive stamina that is hard to burn off, and hence, you will rarely find these dogs lacking energy, even when they get on in age. While they do require a lot of exercise, Weimaraners are great indoor dogs since they are very attached to their family, and enjoy spending time in their midst. While there are concerns about the stubbornness of this breed, this is easily taken care of with proper training, and well, they are easy to train which is why they are on this list.
Vizsla dog standing in green field
Rank : #25
No. of Repetitions : Between 5 and 15
Vizslas are very friendly, energetic, smart, and caring. They are quite cunning though, and are known to manipulate the trainer when being trained, resulting in them eating all the treats without actually obeying all the commands. This does not mean that they are difficult to train. They just need to be handled smartly, and be trained with a firm hand. One quality that Vizslas are known for, is "crying" when they are upset or separated from their owners. Vizslas are very loyal and affectionate, and are often called "Velcro dogs" because of their tendency to 'stick' with their owner at all times if permitted.

The breeds mentioned here are some of the most intelligent, but they are not the only ones by a long shot. To a great extent, intelligence is an individualistic trait, and hence, cannot be accurately generalized for everyone. Many other breeds, too, display a sharp and keen mind. These are just a few examples.