Study Reveals Dog Breeds Easiest to Train – Is Your Pet On the List?

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

When it comes to finding a four-legged companion, one of the most sought-after qualities dog owners list is trainability. While every dog has their unique personality, certain breeds tend to excel in learning new tricks thanks to their sharp minds and are more than eager to please their owners, making them obedient in addition to their intelligence. But which breeds are among the rare ones to boast both traits – and much more? Well, you don’t have to wonder any longer. The researchers at the University of Helsinki from Finland have published a  new study that finally unveils which dog breeds are easiest to train, and the results might surprise you!

According to the study results, the Australian Cobberdog (a purebred  Labradoodle) is one of the ideal dogs to train. To follow are the  Golden Labrador and Australian Labradoodles. Surprisingly, the team of scientists determined that so-called designer dogs, or mixed breed dogs have the best focus when it comes to training, winning over their purebred counterparts. 

These results are all the more impressive when you realize that the study team gathered an enormous behavioral survey dataset containing information on 11,000 dogs across 300 different breeds. By studying specific traits, such as insecurity, training focus, aggressiveness and dominance, energy, dog sociability, human sociability, and perseverance, researchers were able to narrow their results to only a few perfect candidates. 

At the very top of the list as the easiest dog breeds to train were – besides the mixed breed dogs –  Border Collies, Indian Pariah Dogs,  Peruvian Hairless DogsXoloitzcuintle, Wolfdogs,  PoodlesShetland SheepdogsLagotto Romagnolo, and many others. 

In addition to praising these intelligent, eager-to-please dog breeds, the list also included a few breeds that are the most difficult to train. These included bull-type terriers at the very top, followed by sled dogs, schnauzers, scenthounds,  Chinese Crested Dog, and others – so if you’re inexperienced with dog training, these dogs might not be the best fit for you.


However, Dr. Salonen, one of the leading researchers on this project, stated that “based on our research, personality traits are extremely complex and have astounding similarities between dogs, humans, and other animals”. Furthermore, she states that “All dogs are individuals, and all breeds have different traits, but the breeds differ in what kind of personality most dogs within each breed have.” In other words, while some breeds are more likely to be easy to train (and vice versa) it’s not a rule set in stone – your pet is as unique as you are.

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

More by Angela Vuckovic