Which Puppies Are The Easiest To Train?

Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting time in both your life and theirs. It’s a unique experience and a new relationship that will likely last for many years to come. That’s a big responsibility, of course, and demands that you make your choice of which puppy to adopt wisely.

For a young family living in an apartment, for example, a Saint Bernard is probably not the best dog breed to choose. Someone living on a vast farm and looking for a buddy to ride the range might not want, for example, a Chihuahua, as they don’t get around very quickly on their tiny legs.

One huge factor to consider when adopting a puppy is how easy or difficult they will be to train. If I’m being honest, some breeds are much easier to train than others. Depending on your situation and household, a puppy that’s difficult to train might be too much to handle.

I was thinking about this subject the other day when I was helping a friend choose a new puppy. She was concerned that she’d never had a puppy before and wasn’t sure she could train it well. That got me to thinking; which puppies are the easiest to train?

The answer is that many dog breeds are relatively easy to train, and some train more quickly than others. Border Collies have long been thought to be the easiest to teach, as well as German Shepherds and Poodles. There are, to be sure, several more breeds that make training a pleasure, just as there are some that make it a chore.

If you’d like to know more about which puppies are the easiest to train, I invite you to continue reading. I’ve got the small, medium, and large dog breeds that are easiest to train below for your perusal. If choosing a puppy that’s a breeze to train is your goal today, read on.

All Puppies can be Trained (Some Just Want it More than Others)

Here’s the thing about puppies; you can train all of them. It’s simply a matter of how long it will take, how much energy you’ll need and how stubborn your puppy is. Even the hardest to train puppy still can be taught; you just need to be diligent, persistent, and not give up on them (or yourself).

Remember that a puppy that’s not as easy to train doesn’t mean it’s any dumber than other, easier-to-train puppies. Some pups may not have an interest in learning what you’re teaching. Other puppies may show their intelligence differently, just not in being trained. So, again, just because a puppy isn’t easy to train doesn’t mean it’s a simpleton or dumb.

Top Small Breed Dogs that are Easy to Train

Small dogs are easier to train in some respects because they can’t push back as much. For example, leash training. If you have a larger St. Bernard puppy on a leash, there’s a good chance they can tug your arm out of its socket. On the other hand, a Chihuahua simply doesn’t have the power, or weight, to give you much resistance when leash training. Still, some small dog breeds are stubborn as heck, so getting them trained might not be an easy job. The small breed dogs that are the easiest to train include the following:

Bichon Frise

Cheerful, charming, and craving attention and love, this small dog breed is one of the easiest to train. They love to be the center of attention, too and will stick to you like glue. (Teach them to dance on their hind legs, it’s adorable!)

Border Terrier

Used for hundreds of years to hunt foxes, this small dog breed is a breeze to train as they’re very good-natured and quite intelligent. (They’re also pretty good with kids.)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

One of the more attractive dog breeds (those long, floppy ears are precious!), the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, loves to please their owner(s). To do that, they make training a pleasure and pick new skills up quickly.

Jack Russel Terrier

While this small breed thrives on routine, they’re very devoted and sociable. The best way to train them is in short, sweet bursts so that they don’t get bored. You can also expect them to surprise you with their cleverness.

Top Medium Breed Dogs that are Easy to Train

Medium dog breeds are some of the best for families with small children. They can take a bit of abuse from the little ones without freaking out, but they aren’t so big that they’re too much to handle. Some of the world’s favorite dog breeds are in this group, too, including the following:


Whippets, when adults, can reach speeds of up to 35 mph! As puppies, though, they’re easy to train, athletic, and learn fast. They’re also a wonderful breed for folks who like calm, quiet dogs, as whippets rarely bark or make a fuss of any kind.

Border Collie

Border Collies will do almost anything to please their puppy parent, although as puppies, they’re a lot to handle. Some people say they’re difficult to train, but research on the subject shows that the opposite is true.


Very protective, Boxers are easy to train as long as they get enough exercise and attention. They also make fantastic guard dogs despite their fun, attention-seeking nature.

Shetland Sheepdog

Curious and energetic, this breed is athletic and, as adults, surprisingly graceful. They do tend to bark a lot, which might not be something you want in a puppy or dog. On the other hand, for folks who like to know if someone is at the door immediately, they’re perfect.

Top Large Breed Dogs that are Easy to Train

The only difference between training small and medium-sized puppies and training large puppies is the weight. Of course, weight doesn’t become a factor for a few weeks, even for the biggest dog breeds, during which time you should socialize and train your large breed puppy as often as possible. That way, by the time they’re huge, they’ll be a gentle-ish giant. Some of the easiest large dog breeds to train include:

German Shepherd

German Shepherds have a long history of service in many industries, including police work and as guide dogs. They’re athletic, great with families, and one of the easiest large dogs to train.

Labrador Retriever

America’s Most Popular Dog, the Labrador Retriever, is right up there with the German Shepherd in terms of high-intelligence service jobs. They’re also certified smart as regular AKC’s National Obedience Championship winners. 

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are often depicted as mean and even ruthless. (Alpha from the Disney movie Up is a perfect example.) However, the exact opposite happens to be true as they are generally loving and sweet companion animals. Training this large breed should include a lot of socialization. That will help them to be calmer as adults.

Alaskan Malamute

Strong, athletic, and indomitable, this large breed is highly intelligent and one of the easier breeds to train as pups. They get bored quickly, though, and need constant attention and playtime.

Final Thoughts

Which puppies are the easiest to train? The answer would be that many of them are, although the breed makes a big difference. You, the puppy parent, make a big difference also. If you’re diligent and dedicated, you’ll be amazed at what you can teach your precocious pupper. Take your time, be patient, and you can train practically any puppy.

I hope you liked today’s blog and that it answered your questions about which pups are easier than others to train. Please take a look at all of my other puppy blogs if you’d like to learn more and become the best puppy parent you can be.