The Easiest Dogs to Train – A Top 5 List

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a seasoned pro, everyone knows that training a new dog is difficult. If you’re looking for an easy-to-train dog, the following is our top 5 list of the easiest dogs to train. Each of these breeds is known for its high intelligence and affection for its family. Just keep in mind that just because a dog is easy to train, that doesn’t mean that she’ll require less maintenance than any other breed, or that she’ll require any less love, exercise, or attention.

What Makes a Dog Easy to Train

There are certain characteristics that make these breeds the easiest dogs to train. Breed, physical traits, and motivations all contribute to if a dog is easy to train. The dog breeds on this list are considered trainable based on how they rank on the following:

  • Food-motivated: Dogs that can be motivated by food are considered easy to train. However, some dogs aren’t motivated by food. If this is the case for your dog or a dog you know,  you can learn other training methods here.
  • Temperament and demeanor: This only contributes to trainability if there are other dogs in the home or around during training.
  • Focus level: Dogs that are able to maintain focus will be easier to train than dogs that are easily distracted.
  • Eager to please: Dogs that are eager to please their owners will typically be eager to successfully complete commands and receive praise, making training easy.

The Easiest Dogs to Train

Border Collie

Border Collies are eager to please and rank highly on the intelligence scale. Their eyes intensively focus, a trademark of their herding nature. They are highly energetic and need outlets for this energy. This energy, however, plays a role in why they are one of the easiest dogs to train. Border Collies need a job to expend their energy and please their owners. Any training including agility, herding, and obedience work will improve a Border Collie’s happiness. Because of their high energy levels, they also require a fairly long walk each day, or multiple walks, and they thrive when they have space and can run.

  • Motivated by Food: Yes
  • Temperament: Reserved
  • Focus level: High
  • Desire to Please: High 

the easiest dogs to train

Labrador Retriever

Like herders, Labrador Retrievers have high energy, mentally and physically. They need lots of physical activity and training early on. Because they have historically been bred as hunting dogs, they are fairly easy to train but do need outlets for their high energy levels. Labs are also highly affectionate and friendly, meaning that their desire to please their owners is high. In addition to this, Labs tend to be just as friendly to other dogs as they are to humans. This breed is also known for its intelligence, which enables it to pick up on training quickly. There’s a reason why most service dogs are Labs!

  • Motivated by Food: Yes
  • Temperament: Friendly & outgoing
  • Focus level: Medium-high
  • Eager to Please: High

the easiest dogs to train


Poodles are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Poodles are eager to please and are highly athletic. These dogs were historically bred to hunt, which attributes to their eagerness to please their owners. Like the other dogs on this list, poodles need plenty of exercise to expend their energy. Poodles are very easy to train and are highly obedient despite their high intelligence. They are very people-oriented and want to be a part of the family. Their training programs should be fun and positive in order to keep them interested.

  • Motivated by Food: Yes
  • Temperament: Friendly/outgoing
  • Focus level: Medium-high
  • Eager to Please: High

the easiest dogs to train


Papillons are often looked over because of their size, but this doesn’t make them any less intelligent than any other dog on this list. Despite their size, they have medium to high energy and need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Papillons are companion dogs and have a tendency to misbehave if left alone for long periods of time. However, they can bond with other pets as well as humans if you can’t always be around. 

  • Motivated by food: Yes
  • Temperament: Friendly/outgoing
  • Focus level: Medium-high
  • Eager to Please: High 

Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans live to protect their owners. That being said, this trait can make them reserved around strangers. Dobermans are very intelligent, are quick learners, and are very eager to please, but without proper training and care can become unmanageable. However, with proper training and socialization from a young age, they are known to be very loving companions. 

  • Motivated by food: Yes
  • Temperament: Alert & reserved
  • Focus level: Medium-high
  • Eager to Please: High

Get Dog Training Help From Fon Jon Pet Care 

If you do decide to get a dog, keep in mind that they are a significant responsibility and need loving attention. It’s very important to socialize and train your dog from a young age. In addition to this, if you already have a dog at home that isn’t one of the easiest dogs to train, we provide dog training services to help make training your dog easy for you.

Fon Jon Pet Care has been serving the San Diego area for more than 30 years. We can help you with your dog training, dog daycare, and dog boarding needs. Call us today at 858-490-2117 or contact us on our website.

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