10 of the Easiest Dog Breeds to Train

While all dogs can be trained, some breeds seem to have an easier time learning commands. There are several reasons for this. “The idea that breeds are easy or difficult to train is relative. The American Kennel Club’s nearly 200 breeds are designed to perform specific roles,” said Mary R. Burch, Ph.D., director of AKC Family Dog . “In the beginning dogs helped people herd, hunt, and guard, and over time they became companions. Some breeds proved to be excellent service dogs or competitors in sports such as agility.”

Burch recommends knowing your dog’s abilities. “With that in mind, a key question in training is what your breed was created for and what type of training would you like to do with your pup?” For example, if you are trying to train a Border Terrier to be a hunting dog, when terriers are better suited to therapy work, this will likely lead to disappointment. If you have an active lifestyle of your own, let him accompany you on long walks or runs, or sign up for agility training competitions to channel your herding instinct. They also enjoy hunting trips, field trials, and other canine sports such as agility, obedience, and tracking. Mental challenges such as learning tricks and playing with puzzle toys are also attractive to them. Breeds of dogs, however, should never replace physical activity, and dogs should not be left alone for too long as this can lead to separation anxiety or even destructive behaviors if left alone for long periods of time.

That means, all dogs are trainable. “One trick to working with the less trainable breeds is to use the solid behavioral principles like shaping (baby steps) and positive reinforcement,” says Burch. “Another thing to do is start where the training has a carefully sequenced curriculum, like the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program, in which all breeds have been successful.” Take into account these breeds that are known to be very trainable.

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