Whether you are determined to raise the next agility champion or you just want to teach your dog simple commands, having a breed that is easy to train can make things less complicated for both of you. Today, we’re exploring exactly what makes a dog easy to train with treats for dogs and which of the top dog breeds are the easiest to train.
What Does a ‘Trainable Dog’ Mean?
You may have seen certain dog breeds described as “highly trainable,” but do you know what this actually means? This term refers to a collection of characteristics that makes a dog easier to train. Trainable dogs are very engaged with the world around them, curious about new things, and eager to please their humans. They are also very attentive, able to maintain their focus for the duration of the training session, and to retain the commands they learned over time. Finally, they are also highly motivated by rewards (usually food motivated by puppy chews) which incentivizes them to perform the behaviors in order to get the reward.
Certain breeds tend to rank more highly in these characteristics than other breeds, making them easy to train. However, when seeking out a trainable dog breed, it is very important to keep in mind that all characteristics — including trainability — can vary widely from individual dog to individual dog within a breed and even within the same litter. Just because you adopt a dog from a highly trainable breed doesn’t mean that they will automatically be attentive, eager to please, and very food motivated by bully sticks for dogs.
The first weeks of a dog’s life are also very crucial for their training development, even though puppies aren’t ready to learn official commands until you bring them home around eight weeks of age. Prior to that, they need to be socialized with the rest of the litter, as well as with people so they learn how to act (i.e., no biting hard, no jumping up, etc.). If you are getting a dog from a breeder, check their reputation beforehand and make sure they are properly socializing the puppies from the start. Otherwise, you might end up with a difficult-to-train dog, no matter the breed.
What Is the Easiest Dog Breed to Train?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can talk about the easiest dog breeds to train. While there is no single dog breed that is better than all the others in terms of trainability, some of them do rank more highly in trainability than other dogs. Some of the easiest dog breeds to train include:
- Labrador retrievers
- Golden retrievers
- Border collies