Hardest and Easiest Dogs to Train

Ready to find out if the dog of your dreams will be easy to train? Read on to learn more about what makes some dogs easy to train and others hard to train.

While the pandemic fueled a surge in pet adoptions, many worried that those pets would end up back in shelters. The good news? Most of those pets are still living with their new owners.

However, the sudden surge in pet ownership did raise questions for new dog owners. Why is it that some dogs seem easy to train while others seem to have a mind of their own?

The truth is that generalizations about breeds aren’t always the best indicators of each dog’s unique behaviors. However, you can get a general sense of the hardest and easiest dogs to train based on common breed traits.

Ready to find out if the dog of your dreams will be easy to train? Read on to learn more about what makes some dogs easy to train and others hard to train.

The Easiest Dogs to Train

As we mentioned earlier, generalizations won’t tell you everything that you need to know about your future dog’s temperament. You could adopt any one of these breeds and discover quirks or behavioral patterns that make training difficult. That said, these breeds are often cited as the easiest to train overall.

Border Collies

Border collies are a herding breed, which means that they thrive on direction and responsibility. They are eager to learn from you and engage both their bodies and brains in training sessions. However, it’s important to remember that because these are high-energy dogs, neglecting to train them or exercise them could lead to mischievous behavior and trouble-making.

German Shepherds

German shepherds are working dogs and shepherd owners will often tell you that without a job, their dogs start to get anxious and overactive. German shepherds are highly intelligent and devoted to their owners, which is why you’ll often see them working as service dogs and K-9 officers. If you want a dog that you can train to do more than just sit and stay, consider a German shepherd.

Labrador Retrievers

There are a lot of ways to approach dog training, and the most common involves treats. Not only are Labradors smart and loving, but they’re also some of the most food-motivated dogs on the block. If you want a friendly breed that’s willing to learn any new trick or task in exchange for a snack, Labrador retrievers are the way to go.

Pit Bulls

Pit bulls are some of the most misunderstood dogs in the world because of their undeniable power. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are willing to train aggression into their pit bulls, but that doesn’t mean that pit bulls are inherently aggressive dogs.

In fact, pit bulls are intelligent and eager to please. They can learn new tricks with less repetition than a lot of other breeds. Be prepared to wrangle in all of that muscle (leash training and socialization are a must), but you’ll find a great companion in an easy-to-train pit bull.


Thanks to their unusual shape and sweet faces, corgis are a fan favorite. They’re also easy to train—as long as you’re willing to commit to the process. Corgis are some of the smartest breeds you can find which lends to an ease in learning, but their high intelligence also means that they’re strong-willed and require firm repetition before they’re going to listen.

Standard Poodles

Over the past few decades, we’ve seen an increase in doodle breeds thanks to the hypoallergenic qualities of standard poodle fur. However, poodles (and doodles) are also popular because they’re smart, calm, and great at hunting and tracking. That said, standard poodles aren’t as easy to train as they are highly trainable, and you may want to pick another breed if you’re new to dog ownership and dog training.

The Hardest Dogs to Train

What about breeds that are on the other end of the spectrum? Some dogs aren’t known for being easy to train, even if they make great companion animals. Discover dog training classes here if you love hard-to-train breeds and need some help getting started.


If you’ve ever met a chihuahua, you know that they tend to have a frantic energy that can make them a lot of fun to be around—but not easy to train. It’s hard to hold the attention of a chihuahua. Because they’re so small, you might also find that staying on their level to teach them new tricks can lead to aches and pains.

Basset Hounds

Basset hounds aren’t easy to train because they’re motivated by little more than their powerful noses. However, they can be easy breeds to own overall. Basset hounds are loving, low-energy, and would rather spend the day snoozing by your side than learning how to shake or roll over.


Like Basset hounds, beagles fall into the scent hound category and will follow their sense of smell anywhere. Unlike Basset hounds, however, beagles are high energy and stubborn. Cute as they are, beagles aren’t going to listen to your commands if they pick up an interesting scent.

English Bulldogs

You can find hundreds of videos of English bulldogs for a reason: they’re goofy and charming. They’re also not known for their intelligence. You can find a best friend in an English bulldog, but you may not have much success teaching commands to this breed.

Dog Training: Are You Up For the Challenge?

Few things are more rewarding than training a new dog. However, not all dogs make that journey simple. While each dog is unique, this guide will help you distinguish between the hardest and easiest dogs to train based on common breed traits.

Looking to capture professional-quality photos of your canine companion? Take a look at our pet content to get pet photo inspiration.

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