A popular trait that many would-be pet owners look for in a new dog is how intelligent it is. The thinking goes that if a dog is smart, you can train it easily. However, despite intelligence being an important factor when choosing a dog, their personality can make your efforts a struggle.
It’s not uncommon for highly-intelligent animals to have a stubborn streak, so you must choose a dog breed with an eager-to-please attitude, too. With the right amount of positive-reinforcement and genetic predisposition, finding the perfect canine for this goal may only require a small amount of research and knowledgeable advice from an experienced dog trainer.
To get your search for the perfect furry companion started, below is a list of the top ten dog breeds that are the most trainable:
1. Australian Shepherds
For some dogs, learning a new job to perform is second nature and a requirement to keep them happy. The Australian Shepherd is a great example of this personality. Aussies are well-known for their dedication to those that care for them and are also famous for being extremely intelligent and athletic. This combination of traits makes Aussies great pets for owners who need a high-energy dog to help out on the farm or exercise regularly.
When researching Australian Shepherd Puppies for sale, it’s important to assess your availability for interacting with your new dog. This breed expects to play hard and be mentally stimulated and will not settle into a couch potato lifestyle.
It’s impossible to say enough good things about Poodles as a breed. Not only are they practically brainiacs on the intelligence scale, but their personality is all about pleasing their owners, which makes them highly trainable compared to other dogs. Combine all of these traits with their beautiful stature and athletic ability, you can easily get involved with an agility training club and teach your pet complex maneuvers and tricks for fun.
3. Border Collie
If you want a dog that can learn quickly and doesn’t question authority, Border collies are a fantastic option. Their intelligence isn’t only on display when performing, either. These furry friends are tuned in to what their owners feel. It’s important to note that much like Australian Shepherds, this breed needs to be kept stimulated and busy. Whether you take them to the park for a few hours a day to wear them out or have them herding your livestock, they are never happier than when at work.
4. Manchester Terrier
You may be surprised to see a terrier breed on this list, but those of the Manchester dog breed are an exception to their cousins’ normal stubborn and feisty demeanor. This breed loves to be kept busy with something to do, which makes training much easier. Their intelligence is on par with other canines in the working class category, so take advantage of their keenness to learn. Training that is entertaining and somewhat challenging will help keep their independent attitudes under control.
5. German Shepherd
Without question, German Shepherds have proven their intelligence and obedience for hundreds of years. These canines thrive on a sense of service and are the first choice for military and law enforcement support. Training comes easily for these larger dogs, but make sure they also receive adequate socialization, so they don’t become aggressive toward strangers or in unfamiliar situations.
6. Labrador Retriever
Much like the Poodle, Labrador retrievers are enthusiastic learners that want to impress their owners by doing whatever they are told. These gentle-natured dogs are famous for their retrieval skills, hence their name being so direct about what they do best. If you like to go fowl hunting or simply want a companion to run and play fetch with, Labradors are an outstanding choice that surely won’t disappoint.
If you would prefer a pet that will shadow wherever you go and loves to learn, the Hungarian Vizsla offers all of these traits and more. They want you to be happy, so training this breed is pretty straightforward. However, you will need to ensure this wiry-framed dog gets oodles of exercise because they don’t like to lay around all day. Vizslas have high energy levels to burn, so you can’t keep them cooped up in the house all day.
8. Golden Retriever
A breed that can be easily trained using treats and praise is the Golden Retriever. These long-haired pooches are extremely gentle creatures that love to show affection and have unmatched patience. Their enthusiasm makes them endearing, while their intelligence makes it possible to teach them how to do certain tricks or learn how to fetch things for you. Just be aware that they love food so much they would eat until they turned into a huge furry balloon.
9. English Springer Spaniel
This adorable dog will bring excitement, energy, and enthusiasm to any household it lives. Much like a Boxer, the English Springer Spaniel is always happy and ready for fun. Because it’s a people pleaser, behavior training is easy. This makes it the perfect daily jog companion; kids love playing with these excitable dogs.
If you want a pet that doesn’t let anything get by them, you’ll love the Keeshond. This breed is extremely smart, gentle, and easy to train. Because they are extremely curious and make great watchdogs because they will alert you if anything is out of the ordinary. This behavior can lead to their barking becoming a nuisance, so be sure to train them to prevent them from annoying your neighbors every time someone passes by.
If you want a smaller dog that is just stubborn enough to be cute but willing to learn commands, you will love the Havanese. Compared to other small dog breeds, the Havanese is easier to train if using positive reinforcement. Their personality is about pleasing their owners, but sometimes they simply want to do their own thing for a little while. Still, this breed has succeeded in obedience competitions, highlighting its willingness to perform on cue.
Choosing the Best Dog for Your Home
At the end of the day, countless breeds of dogs are highly trainable if done in a way that appeals to the animal’s personality. This is why doing your research beforehand can ensure you get the best behavior and skills out of your pet. Consider what you want your pet to do and if its breed was bred for your purpose. Matching your needs with the dog’s traits will help you create a strong bond with the animal and increase the likelihood that it will obey you unconditionally.