By Linda Cole
If you’re willing to put in the time and commitment needed to train your dog, any canine can and will learn. However, some breeds are easier to train than others. A dog’s intelligence plays a role in training, but so does a willingness to pay attention so they can learn. Keep in mind, though, each dog is an individual and the ability to learn depends on how committed you are and the method you use to train them. All of the dog breeds on the list below are highly intelligent; it’s their eagerness and ability to learn that makes them among the easiest breeds to train.
The Border Collie, as you may know, is considered at the top of the list in intelligence. He has an eagerness and need to learn as much as he can. A Border Collie’s mind is always going, and he is capable of learning so much more than most owners realize. He loves competition and excels in agility, sheepdog trials, Frisbee competitions and obedience. If you’re looking for a happy, smart and energetic dog, this is a great breed –but only if you know what you’re getting into. Border Collies are for owners who understand the dog’s work ethic and need for lots of exercise which keeps them from developing behavior problems.
The Poodle was bred as a water dog and the traditional cut wasn’t meant to be for show. The purpose of the “Poodle cut” was first done by hunters to help protect the dog’s joints when he was in the water. The hair is left around the joints and specific parts of the body to protect vital organs from the cold water. The Poodle is ranked in the second spot behind the Border Collie in intelligence and does very well in obedience training as well as agility, hunting, tracking, rally, and in the show ring.
The German Shepherd is probably the most versatile working dog of all of the breeds. An athletic, loyal, and powerful dog, the GSD has the heart and intelligence to excel at a variety of jobs. They are used as seeing eye dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, in search and rescue, mine detection, avalanche rescue, on bomb squads, drug detection, guard dogs, for herding, protection, in police work and for tracking. This dog is also exceptional at agility, Schutzhund, herding, Frisbee, obedience training, flyball and endurance.