Owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibility. Dogs need a safe environment and a nutritious diet. They need veterinary care. Plus, they need exercise, attention, and plenty of training. It’s no wonder that in addition to searching for a dog who’s easy to own, many people want a dog who will easily learn new tricks (or learn to relieve himself outside). If that sounds like you, you probably want a dog who’s easy to train.
To be clear, you’ll still need to spend plenty of time training your dog. And dogs who are easy to train often still need lots of your time and energy. The most intelligent dogs might understand what you’re saying but decide they have something better to do. And dogs with deep herding or hunting instincts will find it difficult to ignore those impulses. But the dogs who are easiest to train will quickly associate commands with actions. And most of the time, they’ll want to please you and follow your instructions.
Check out 18 dog breeds that have a strong chance of quickly learning what you teach them. They might not be the easiest dogs to own, but they have the potential to learn some impressive tricks.
1. Australian shepherd
The Australian shepherd can learn anything you can teach him. But you need to keep him busy and entertained. In fact, you’ll probably need to continually devise new games and challenges for this highly intelligent dog. As the American Kennel Club explains, this breed’s “strong work drive can make Aussies more dog than a sedentary pet owner might bargain for. Aussies are remarkably intelligent, quite capable of outthinking an unsuspecting novice owner.”
The United States Australian Shepherd Association reports these dogs are highly trainable and “easily housebroken because they are intelligent and eager to please.” But you’ll need to channel your dog’s energy to keep his behavior under control.
Next: A gentle giant that’s easygoing, and wants lots of interaction with people