Training is one of the most effective ways to keep companion animals safe and secure. When prospective pet owners begin looking for a new dog, one of the first thoughts that may come to mind is trainability and whether certain breeds are more readily trainable than others.
The pet food manufacturers at Honest Kitchen indicate that many factors can make a difference in how easily a dog will train, and breed is just one of them. Certain traits can suggest trainability, but how the animal was bred, raised and socialized can affect how well a dog takes to training as well.
The American Kennel Club reports that certain dogs are more willing to comply with owner requests, while others are bred to work independently and may be less likely to immediately respond to commands from their owners.
Certain traits can make some dogs a little easier to train than others. For example, dogs that are food-motivated and enjoy being around people may be more easily trained than those without such traits. Though there’s no guarantee any dog will take to training, the following are some breeds that are generally considered training-friendly.
- Border collies: Collies are bright and energetic dogs that like to herd with their agility and intelligence.
- Australian shepherd: Another herding dog, Aussies have a natural focus on their owners and are bred to work with those owners in challenging environments.
- Doberman pinchers: Dobermans are smart and attentive to their owners. They have traditionally been employed as guard dogs and require careful training and socialization to be tolerant of strangers.
- German shepherds: These workhorses serve many different roles because of their affinity for learning tasks. Like Dobermans, look for a well-socialized German shepherd to avoid anxiety and wariness with people.
- Poodles: Poodles are popular because they don’t shed much, but also because they are an intelligent, obedient and versatile breed.
- Golden retrievers: Golden retrievers are not the No. 1 family dog for nothing. Goldens are very intelligent and amiable. They often will do anything to please their owners. Labrador retrievers also take to training well and are very affectionate.
- Papillon: Smaller dogs are often dubbed “stubborn” or “independent.” But papillons are incredibly smart and trainable and are naturally focused.
The pet advisement site K9 of Mine warns that some of the smartest, most easily trained dogs may not necessarily be the easiest to live with. They can get bored easily and destroy things around the house if they can’t keep their minds occupied. This is a factor to consider when selecting a breed as well.