11 Highly Trainable, Easy-to-Teach Dog Breeds

These dog breeds are eager to please and ready to train, and not just because they're smart, but because they love their people.

Published April 1, 2023

Easiest Dogs to Train


There are several factors that go into a dog breed's trainability. Many breeds are highly intelligent, but they're not necessarily the easiest to train. Easy-to-train breeds are eager to please, less independent, and better able to focus than other breeds.

Golden Retriever


Golden Retrievers are famous for how trainable they are. They love to please their owners and will learn quickly. They are also very intelligent, so they can be trained for a wide variety of activities, including obedience, agility, and tracking.

In the 2022 AKC National Obedience Championship, there were 20 finalists. Of the 20 finalists, 10 were Golden Retriever dogs. That's saying something!


  • Highly motivated by food
  • One of the most intelligent dog breeds
  • Eager to please their pet parents



Poodles make great training partners. They have a high level of intelligence, and with proper training, they can be taught almost anything you want them to do. Poodles are also very loyal and willing to please their owners. This makes them good companions for children and adults alike.


  • Excited to try new things; turning training into a game can be beneficial for this breed
  • Considered one of the smartest dog breeds
  • Well-known for excelling in obedience, agility, and tracking competitions

German Shepherd


German Shepherd Dogs can be trained to do almost anything, but it takes a lot of time and patience. However, with the right trainer, you can teach your dog some exceptional skills. German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs that learn quickly.

In fact, they're so obedient they are commonly employed as service and therapy dogs, police dogs, and military working dogs.


  • Easy to train due to their attention-seeking behavior
  • Eager to please their owner
  • This breed trains best with structure and routine

Belgian Malinois


There's a reason the military has chosen this breed to be employed as their working dogs. The Belgian Malinois is an excellent hunter and tracker, and does well with obedience training. They have an innate ability to follow commands and are always willing to please their owners.


  • Due to their high energy levels, they can withstand long training sessions and remain attentive
  • Eager to please with positive reinforcement methods, such as praise
  • Strong work ethic results in this breed wanting to have a job at all times
Fast Fact

The Belgian Malinois Triquetra's Cajun Roulette Queen ranked within the "Top 20," coming in at No. 18 overall in the 2022 AKC National Obedience Championship event.



The Papillon is a small and agile dog. Members of the breed are known for being smart, gentle, and very easy to train. They are easy to potty train as well, making Papillons an excellent choice for first-time dog owners.


  • Can be easily distracted, but are easy to train with praise and treats
  • Eager to please with consistent training methods
  • High energy levels allow them to be trained in short spurts throughout each day

Border Collie


Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs with a strong desire to please their owners. They respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques, and can be easily trained to perform tasks such as "Sit," "Heel," "Down," and a recall command with a little practice and patience.


  • Ranked #1 in intelligence by Dr. Stanley Coren
  • Four Border Collies ranked in the Top 20 in the 2022 AKC National Obedience Championship event
  • Instinctive with the ability to understand cues provided by owners easily

Bernese Mountain Dog


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very intelligent dog that can learn quickly. They have a strong desire to please you and will work hard to do so. The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very easy dog to train, especially if you start early and keep the training sessions short and frequent. This breed is more sensitive than others, and if scolded or punished, they will shut down. As with all other breeds, positive reinforcement is necessary.


  • Ease of training is partially due to their love for people
  • Food-driven and can be encouraged heavily through use of treats
  • Ability to adapt to nearly any situation

English Springer Spaniel


English Springer Spaniels are highly trainable, thanks to their hunting background. They are very smart, so they can pick up commands quickly. Their intelligence and responsiveness make them perfect for obedience work. English Springers are also known for their loyalty and affection toward their owners, which makes them great with children and other pets.


  • High intelligence level makes them fast learners
  • Bond strongly to their owners, making it easier for them to read cues
  • Train the best with short, calm commands

Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retrievers are easy to train because they have a devoted personality that makes them eager to please their owners. They love being around people and will do anything for attention, so it's not hard to get them to listen when you need them to do something. Labrador Retrievers also bond strongly with their owners, which makes training easy for everyone.


  • The Lab Quantum's She's Red Hot Came in 4th place at the 2022 AKC National Obedience Championship event
  • Members of the breed are very keen to please
  • Their love for their owner is a major driving force behind their trainability

Doberman Pinscher


Doberman Pinschers make great, responsive training partners. They come from a long line of dogs that have been used for generations as hunting and guard dogs, so they are naturally obedient and eager to please. Doberman Pinschers love to work and can be taught complex commands with ease.


  • Dobermans are high-energy, so plan to offer them a lot of exercise and play
  • Members of the breed enjoy pleasing their owners
  • They do beset with firm yet consistent training and a strong routine



Rottweilers are big goofs who love to please. In fact, they're among the easiest breeds to train. Rottweiler puppies will obey commands with ease and enthusiasm. They are smart and always ready to work, but may have a little stubborn streak, on occasion.


  • Even though they have a tough reputation, rotties love working with their handlers
  • While this breed is easily distracted, they do best through short, consistent training sessions
  • Their strong work ethic helps with trainability

Find The Best Breed to Be Your Training Buddy


All dogs can make exceptional companions and loving pets, but some breeds are just more willing to work with you. These dog breeds have proven they love to train by consistently ranking in obedience championships and serving in high-demand jobs. Take the time to research any breed you are interested in and find the best fit for your training style.

11 Highly Trainable, Easy-to-Teach Dog Breeds