There are certain breeds who are thought to be more apt — and eager
— to learn new things. In fact, to own some of these dogs, you’ll probably want to
come up with new tricks and tasks on a regular basis to help keep them entertained. If you’re
active and have the time to devote to training, then you’re in the right
place. If not, well, some of these dogs may be more than you bargained for. In
general, these trainable dog breeds are also very energetic and intelligent, so don’t expect them to settle for snoozing on the couch all day.
From the brainy Border Collie to the versatile Labrador
Retriever, meet 10 breeds that can be easy to train.
Border Collies usually like to learn — and do — new things
whenever possible. This "workaholic" dog breed rarely sits
still, so it's up to you to keep him busy with jobs and canine sports. Train him in
agility, obedience, flyball, freestyle and (of course) sheep herding. Who knows? Maybe he could be the next Chaser,
a Border Collie who knows a thousand words.
The versatile Lab can be a companion, show dog, hunting dog,
canine athlete, guide dog, service dog, sniffer dog, search and rescue dog, and
therapy dog, among other things. So as far as training goes, if you can teach it, the Lab can
probably learn it. But you'll need to do your part to train him properly. If
you've seen or read Marley and Me,
then you know what a Lab puppy is capable of doing to your home when left to his own devices.
You'll likely need an arsenal of tricks, commands and games to keep
the energetic and intelligent Australian Shepherd busy and entertained. Take
advantage of his generally trainable nature by teaching him tricks you both find fun. Agility, flyball, flying disc games and herding trials can be great ways to spend time together and burn off some of his energy. But if you fail to fill his days with activities, the Aussie will
probably find a (destructive) way to entertain himself.
It's hard for us to believe that the Border Terrier isn't more
popular. The breed tends to be good with children, is pretty laid back compared to
other Terriers, can adapt to a variety of living situations and is usually considered highly
trainable. He often excels in dog sports like agility and can be trained
to do therapy work.
German Shepherd Dog
As a generally intelligent and active breed, the German
Shepherd needs a job to do. Thankfully, the breed
typically responds well to training; learning new tricks is one of many things he
usually enjoys. Start training him from the first day you get him, so he doesn't
develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging and food stealing.
She may be tiny, but that doesn't stop the typically brainy Papillon
from needing plenty of exercise and activities to fill her day. And we mean
it. You'd be surprised how much damage
and noise a bored Papillon can create! Besides teaching her tricks and taking her
on plenty of walks around the neighborhood, engage her mind and body by
training her to do dog sports.
The Poodle may be known for her looks, but she should be
revered for her brains. Thanks to her heritage as a circus dog, the typically
intelligent breed is often capable of learning all sorts of tricks and commands. Just
don't let her outwit you (at least not too often), as she also has the potential to be rather stubborn.
Another smart breed, the Shetland Sheepdog is usually capable of
picking up almost any trick you care to teach her, especially if it's related to
agility. Besides basic commands, impress your friends by teaching
her to jump through a hoop or over a bar.
Surprised to see the Doberman on this list? Though he may have a
reputation as an attack dog, if properly trained and socialized, he can be
a friendly and stable companion. He needs an owner who will give him interesting tasks to do, or out of boredom and loneliness, the Dobie may
become destructive and live up to his aggressive reputation.
The Miniature Schnauzer's typical ability to learn combined with his
high energy level can make him a prime candidate for agility and
obedience competitions. Just keep in mind that this Terrier likes to bark, so
curbing that behavior is one thing you'll want to teach him early on, and it's probably not something he'll ever stop doing entirely.
Of course, please remember that each dog is an individual, and your training experience with them will comprise many factors, such as the dog’s overall health and temperament, as well as your own expertise. So though a breed on this list might be more likely to be trainable, that’s never a guarantee that the pup you bring home will take to learning tricks with ease.