13 Easiest Dog Breeds to Train

Here at Newsweek, we love dogs ... all of them. Big and small, fluffy and wirehaired; we rate each pup 10/10. But we have to admit that some breeds are more difficult to train than others (I'm looking at my dachshund on this one.) Some canines love to express their independence, while others are born to please their owners.

If you're a new dog owner, you may be looking for a friend who shows early signs of obedience. Choosing a pet by breed is a great way to assure they'll have characteristics you're looking for and behaviors that will align with your lifestyle. Of course, you can find a reliable friend in any dog; behavior isn't totally based on breed. To make your search a bit simpler, here are the 13 easiest-to-train breeds according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Border Collie

Border Collie
A border collie competes in the Flyball during The World Dog Games at Acer Arena on October 31, 2009, in Sydney, Australia. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images/Getty

These loving and loyal herders are considered the "workaholic" of the dog world, according to the AKC. That makes them a perfect pet that's willing to do whatever it takes to win the affection and praise of their human loved ones.


An owner sprays his poodle's hair with hairspray before the poodle class at Crufts dog show March 9, 2003, in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Scott Barbour/Getty Images/Getty

One of the more popular dog breeds globally is known to be brilliantly obedient. Poodles have long been associated with fashion and luxury, but that doesn't mean they're an accessory. The pups are actually one of the most intelligent breeds, and they'll be more than willing to learn new tricks with you.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd
Rumor the German shepherd poses for photos after winning "Best in Show" at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, February 14, 2017, in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty

Notably used by police forces and other first responders, German shepherds may not be a surprising addition to this list. The big dogs are not only wildly smart, but they're fiercely loyal. If you're looking for a dog eager to follow your commands, protect you and love you unconditionally, look no further.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retriever
A golden retriever is seen in Central Park as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 18, 2020, in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images/Getty

These pups are arguably some of the best-looking canines out there, but they have much more potential than looking adorable in your photos. Golden retrievers have intelligent brains behind their giddy smiles, and their pure devotion to family makes them one of the most trainable breeds to have in a home with children.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
A Doberman wears a baseball scarf as he walks the bases during "Bark at the Park" night after the game at Safeco Field on April 17, 2018, in Seattle, Washington. Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images/Getty

Known mainly for their major protection skills and intimidating looks, Dobermans may not be your first guess when it comes to obedient pups. They deserve a spot on the list, though, because of their loyalty to their owners and willingness to obey.

Shetland Sheepdog

Maddie, a Shetland sheepdog from Louisiana, smells a man's fingers backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 13, 2012, in New York City. Michael Nagle/Getty Images/Getty

This is another herding group pup that is eager to please, learn and be a generally well-behaved companion. Not only are Shelties known to be wonderfully responsive to their owners, but their intelligence allows many to excel in agility competitions and other canine sports.

Labrador Retriever

A Labrador looks out from its bench on the third day of Crufts Dog Show at the NEC Arena on March 11, 2017, in Birmingham, England. Matt Cardy/Getty Images/Getty

The top dog breed in America is known for its cheerful, sometimes whimsical behavior. Like the others on this list, Labs are eager to learn and behave (well, most of them. We all know a Lab who loves to eat socks, right?) They're highly sociable and do their best to live up to each owner's expectations.


A Papillion in the Agility Ring during the first-ever Masters Agility Championship on February 7, 2014, in New York at the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images/Getty

These tiny pups are surprisingly athletic. Along with their energetic complex, Papillons also make for agility champions and are up to the challenge of any new trick or routine.


A Rottweiler competes in the Working Group during the second day of competition at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Matthew Eisman / Contributor/Getty

Another guard dog makes the list with an incredible dedication to family. They're notably eager to learn as puppies, and the AKC advises: "Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie's territorial instincts in a positive way."

Australian Cattle Dog

cattle dog
Rusty an Australian blue cattle dog sits on the back of Kinnon & Co's Cobb & Co Stage Coach on March 25, 2011, in Longreach, Australia. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images/Getty

These pups, also known as Blue Heelers, are known to be smart and easy to train. Loyal to their family and not always welcoming to strangers, they're ready to follow commands from those they trust.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Queen Mother Corgis At Clarence House. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images/Getty

Iconic in British history, and making waves in America as trending pups, the corgi is ever-eager to learn and achieve. Both loyal and compassionate and independent, corgis aren't clingy but love their owners all the same.

Miniature Schnauzer

Mini schnauzer
A miniature schnauzer competes in the Terrier Group during the second day of competition at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Matthew Eisman / Contributor/Getty

These small dogs are ready for anything. Family life? They excel in kindness. Learning new tricks? Sure, they're smart enough for anything. Need them for defense? Though small, they're mighty.

English Springer Spaniel

english springer spaniel
Twiglet, a two-year-old English Springer Spaniel, poses for portraits in a garden on April 23, 2018, in Sydney, Australia. James D. Morgan / Contributor/Getty

Bred as hunting dogs, these spaniels are ready to follow your commands. Unlike some sports group pups, they have an incredibly loving side and love to snuggle up with family after a long day of exercise.