Training a new dog is hard work, and it can take time to see the reward of your efforts in full bloom — especially if you have an older pooch or one that has never been trained before. But there’s no need for despair! Many dogs are easy enough to train, even when they’re puppies.
Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years. They’ve accompanied us on adventures, helped us survive and even become our protectors. The relationship we have with dogs is a special one that many people feel too emotional about to describe in words. No matter what you call them, they’re the most loyal creatures ever known to man.
If you want to make sure that your dog brings as much joy into its life as it does yours, there are certain breeds that are easier to train than others.
Here we’ll look at some breeds that will make training them as simple (and rewarding) as possible.
The labradoodle combines all the best qualities of both Labs and poodles. They love water and playing fetch with their owners, but also enjoy cuddling up on the couch near a good book or TV show. This makes labs great family pets, who love children and other animals.
The only problem is that they tend to be very energetic and sometimes difficult to housebreak. Fortunately, this combination means that training a labradoodle puppy is relatively straightforward. Once they get used to living indoors, though, they may still want to go outside every chance they get. Other than being extra-gentle with small children, the main thing to keep in mind about training a labradoodle is not to push too much so that it becomes aggressive.
If you do give them lots of space, however, expect them to come running back to you after chasing squirrels or retrieving sticks from ponds. A positive reinforcement method like clicker training works well here. In addition to making life easier, these tricks should help your pet feel more secure around strangers.
2. Golden Retriever
They say goldies are dumb, lazy golden retrievers. Most people probably don’t think of them as “smart,” either, until someone shows them how smart they really are. These sweethearts just adore humans and are eager to please. And since they were bred specifically to retrieve birds out of lakes, they’re incredibly skilled and obedient swimmers. Of course, they love going for car rides and long walks outdoors, too.
It takes patience and consistency to teach a golden retriever everything he needs to know, but once he gets the hang of things, he’ll happily run along beside his human for miles without complaint. Training involves rewards such as praise, treats, and taking him swimming whenever you can.
You might also consider getting a leash extender or harness to prevent pulling. For indoor training, use a gentle approach, but try giving him plenty of exercise and attention. Your golden will remember those lessons for years to come.
Schnauzers love to play, which helps them learn faster than most dogs. Their high energy level also lets them burn off excess calories during vigorous games. Some schnauzers, particularly miniature ones, prefer to sit by themselves while others would rather curl up next to their owner on the sofa.
Either way, they’re usually friendly and affectionate toward people. Like many brachycephals, schnauzers actually belong to the same group of mammals as elephants, hyenas, and vultures. One big difference between schnauzers and these animals? They’ve got short legs. So, unlike most large dogs, schnauzers aren’t built to chase down prey. Instead, they rely heavily on their intelligence and athleticism to catch food. Although they’re happiest hunting rats and mice, they’d also be happy digging through trash cans looking for scraps.
Because of their keen senses of smell, schnauzers can detect illnesses in people, too. Unlike many purebreds, schnauzers often live longer lives than mutts because they typically don’t suffer from genetic diseases passed down from generations of previous owners.
Weimaraners are intelligent and active little athletes. Not surprisingly, they excel at sports like agility trials and obedience competitions. They’re also extremely loyal and protective of their families. As far as basic obedience goes, training simply requires teaching them what you want them to do (sit, stay, etc.), then praising them when they do it right. There’s no real trick to training a weimaraner except spending a lot of time doing it.
Take care to practice consistently to avoid confusing your pup. Also, don’t forget to provide adequate mental stimulation, including socialization experiences and opportunities for physical activity. Don’t worry too much if your weimarancher doesn’t start showing signs of submission immediately. His ability to obey quickly comes naturally over time.
5. Chesapeake bay retriever
Many believe that the Chesapeake Bay retriever originated in North America where its ancestor was likely a wild muskratsucker. Its name derives from the breed’s original purpose — to hunt fish. Today, the Chesapeake Bay retriever primarily hunts ducks and geese on Canada’s largest body of fresh water.
Despite its name, the Chesapeake Bay retriever isn’t the biggest or fastest boat in the fleet. Rather, it uses stealth and cunning to sneak into flocks undetected and wait patiently for its prey to swim past. At home, this versatile breed loves nothing better than lounging in front of the fire watching television or snuggling under the covers with his master.
He’s a laidback companion whose chief goal in life seems to be keeping everyone else entertained. Just be careful that he doesn’t become bored with sitting behind you on the couch. He’s known to drool uncontrollably if left alone for too long.
6. Pembroke Welsh corgi
Like border collies, pekingese (or pugs), boxers and dachshunds, corgis share similar herding instincts. Originally bred to herd sheep, today’s modern corgi mainly wants to spend his days napping, chewing and following his person wherever he happens to find himself. With proper training, your corgi will gladly greet visitors, pull carts at shopping centers, and assist elderly neighbors carrying bags of groceries.
Unless you plan to let him herd cattle anytime soon, keep in mind that your corgi won’t be able to withstand rigorous physical exertion.
Even worse, he could end up injuring himself trying to drag heavy objects across rough terrain. On the bright side, your pet will always be willing to lend a paw.
Most Englishmen agree that barking came first in the canine world. Throughout history, beagles have served important roles as watchdogs, hunters, shepherds and messengers. Today, beagles continue to serve man in several ways, including working as guide dogs for the blind and search-and-rescue workers, police officers, soldiers and veterinarians.
However, beagles’ greatest contribution to humankind lies beyond the realm of professional occupations. Through centuries of selective breeding, beagles have developed certain traits unique to their species that are sure to bring smiles to anyone lucky enough to own one. First among these attributes is their cheerful disposition.
Alongside their outgoing personalities, beagles possess excellent hearing and eyesight. Another advantage that beagles offer is their willingness to accept almost any kind of abuse from their masters. After all, they did originate as farm dogs.
8. Border collie
Although border collies are generally seen as independent thinkers, they’re still highly submissive creatures. Since their ancestors spent thousands of hours herding stubborn cows, wolves and moose, it shouldn’t surprise us that these agile dogs remain calm around larger predators. To effectively train your border collie, pick up a few useful commands like sit, lie down, heel and stay.
Then take your border collie to public places like parks, farms and trails. Practice staying close to you and paying attention to where you lead your pet. When he follows you, respond calmly to verbal cues and positive gestures. Your border collie will eventually associate walking alongside you with fun activities like swimming, hiking, biking and fishing.
9. Irish setters
This handsome spaniel spends most of his day sleeping, eating and guarding his territory. An ancient native of Ireland, the Irish setter lived throughout Europe prior to coming to America, where it became part of numerous royal households.
People originally believed that setters had supernatural powers, believing that they could predict tomorrow’s weather based upon what happened today. Today, Irish setters are popular for their lively temperaments and warm dispositions.
They love meeting new people and playing with their favorite toys. While they’re not prone to biting unless provoked, they require firm guidance to stop jumping onto guests or grabbing anything within reach. Luckily, they’re quick learners and easily trained using positive methods of reinforcement.
10. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is among the oldest working breeds in existence. It was developed by Herr von Stephanitz in Germany in 1899. Since then, this noble breed has been used in police work, military forces, search-and-rescue missions, border patrol, and more. These days, GS (as they’re affectionately called) can be found in shelters all across America being cared for by loving owners who appreciate their gentle natures. If you want to get rid of an unwanted GS, consider adopting one from a shelter instead.
Training your GS will require patience, dedication and positive reinforcement. This breed takes time to bond with but once you do, you’ll never regret it.
GS are socialized when young so don’t worry if you haven’t had pets growing up. In fact, you may find yourself bonding with them faster than you think!
11. Labrador Retrievers
Labradoodles? Labradorks? Labs? Whatever name you prefer, these friendly little furballs are some of the easiest dogs to train around.
They love water which makes them great swimmers and divers. When you see a lab puppy swimming laps at the local pool, don’t fret over his or her lack of manners. Instead, just take advantage of this natural instinct and teach him or her how to swim like a champ. Just like other water-loving dogs, labs need lots of exercise while they’re in the pool. Make sure they have plenty of room to move around without getting tangled up in anything.
Labs also enjoy playing fetch. Teach your pup to play fetch using a simple game. You can throw tennis balls, frisbee discs, or whatever else comes to mind. Larger labs are especially good at retrieving small objects such as tennis balls.
Most importantly, remember not to punish your pet if he or she drops any object. Instead, praise your pooch every time he or she successfully retrieves something. Your lab will soon figure out that dropping things isn’t a bad thing after all.
Poodles are one of those rare dogs that come in both large and small sizes. While giant poodles often serve as show dogs, smaller versions are favored by families because they’re generally calmer and less prone to chewing everything in sight.
These graceful beauties were originally bred as hunting hounds before becoming popular as show dogs. Their sleek coats and long silky tails help them keep cool during hunts. Nowadays, they can still perform these duties thanks to modern technology. However, they’re also excellent companions for owners looking for a calm lapdog.
Like other dogs, poodles learn quickly through repetition. Start teaching your pup to sit, lie down, stay and shake hands by repeating these commands over and over again until your pet understands. Once he or she learns these basic commands, you can start moving onto more complex ones.
For example, let your pooch jump on command. Use treats or toys to lure your pet towards you and give him or her a treat when he or she jumps off. Repeat this process a few times until your pup begins jumping on command… and then progress to higher levels of difficulty.
13. Boxer Dog
Boxers are one of the original American Working Breed Dogs. Originally created as guard dogs in ancient Greece, boxers today are well loved as family pets.
This muscular yet soft breed loves nothing better than spending time outdoors running, swimming, chasing sticks, catching Frisbees, or just hanging out with their humans. And unlike other active breeds, boxers actually sleep quite soundly at night.
Train your boxer to follow verbal cues such as “sit” and “stay”. Praise your pet whenever he or she stays put even for short periods of time. Eventually, you should be able to use food rewards to reinforce your commands.
Start by giving your dog lots of attention and physical interaction. As your pooch gets older, try introducing new activities gradually. Gradually increase the amount of time spent outside until your dog is spending more time doing fun tasks rather than chores.
14. Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire terriers are adorable miniature versions of larger terriers. These wee darlings are tiny ball of energy. If you have space in your home consider adding another Yorkshire terrier to your family.
You can usually tell whether someone truly adores this breed based on the number of cute photos online dedicated to Yorkshire terriers. These energetic little guys are perfect for busy households where you don’t always have time to spend with your sweetheart.
Teaching your Yorkie to walk politely on leash or behave properly in public requires patience and consistency. Set firm boundaries and enforce them regularly. A happy Yorkie means a relaxed owner and vice versa.
Dachshunds are highly intelligent and eager learners. They love to explore and sniff new places. One way to encourage this behavior is to buy your pooch a squeaky toy.
Squeaks act as verbal cues and provide enough noise for your dog to hear. Every time your dog sniffs a spot, say hello. This helps build trust between you and your pet.
Another method is to leave your pet’s favorite snack bowl filled with kibble. Whenever your dog wants to eat, offer him or her a bite first. By doing this, you’ll ensure your pet eats only what you allow.
It’s important to understand that dachshunds aren’t meant to be left alone for extended periods of time. Even though they’re smart dogs, they’re still susceptible to boredom and loneliness. Don’t forget to take your pet out for walks occasionally to prevent these problems.
Bulldogs are big boned, heavy set animals with strong jaws and powerful hind legs. Despite their intimidating appearance, bulldogs are typically very kind, quiet and gentle.
These dogs originated in England where they were used as guard dogs protecting sheep from wolves and thieves. Today, bulldogs are commonly owned by families with children as well as seniors due to their low maintenance needs.
Bulldogs are relatively easy to train. Start by rewarding your pet with treats or snacks whenever he or she sits quietly. Next, begin building verbal cues such as “Sit”, “Down”, etc. Once your pet can recognize these cues, you can add hand signals like raising your arm or leg to reinforce the message.
Your pet will eventually notice that sitting quietly leads to tasty treats. Be careful not to confuse this with sleeping. Sleeping and sitting quietly can sometimes look similar. Make sure not to wake your pet up if he or she appears to be sleeping.
One last tip is to avoid punishing your pet for barking. Barking is normal canine behavior. Rather than scolding your pet, distract it with a treat or toy. Barking provides an outlet for pent up emotions and prevents aggression.
As with other types of dogs, it takes time to establish a healthy and lasting bond with a bulldog. Spend a lot of time interacting with your pet regularly to strengthen this connection. Once you get the hang of training a bulldog, you won’t regret having one in your family.
There are hundreds of different kinds of dogs out there. Some are easy to train while others are hard. All dogs have unique personalities that determine how difficult they are to live with. So, now that you know which type of dog is right for you, why not go ahead and get one already?