The Top 10 Most Trainable Dog Breeds

Many clients who I meet think their dog is the smartest, or at least very bright – probably not too dissimilar to the parents of human children. I rarely have the heart to tell them if they are wrong, but I do also try to balance this with setting realistic expectations of what we can reasonably expect their dog to achieve.

Dog intelligence is a very subjective topic and many experts over the years have tried different ways to put together lists to summarise it.

Stanley Coren PhD is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, and a recognised world expert in Human-Dog interactions. In his book “The Intelligence of Dogs” he uses his vast knowledge and research to rank all the major dog breeds in order of how easy they are to train.

So here they are, the top 10 most trainable dog breeds in the world:

Ranking of Dogs for Obedience and Working Intelligence
1. Border Collie
2. Poodle
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Doberman Pinscher
6. Shetland Sheepdog
7. Labrador Retriever
8. Papillon
9. Rottweiler
10. Australian Cattle Dog

Now not all Collies are smart – there are smart and not-so-smart individuals in every dog breed in the world. But the list above, should give you, on average, and idea of what breeds of dogs are easier to work with.

When choosing your next dog, make sure you take in to account their intelligence. If you have an intelligent dog then your biggest challenge is actually keeping them occupied – their brain is going to get bored quickly and destroy your house if you don’t train them properly and keep them busy.

If you don’t have time to keep a dog super occupied, consider getting a dog from the other end of the list – these typically are easier to keep occupied and your house tends to be a little safer.