Best Dogs for Training

Best Dogs for Training

While every dog is trainable to some extent, some breeds are particularly suited for the purpose. Read on to know about the best dogs for training and some valuable tips to train your pet pup.

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Usually, when we are considering a dog’s smartness, what we really want to know is the level of his trainability. Even though intelligence is a significant factor in any dog’s learning ability, all breeds possess their own unique personalities, instincts, and genetics – all of which can determine how trainable they are. For instance, certain breeds are more capable of coordinating with humans, while others work better independently.

Distract-ability is another major factor. Is your dog concentrating on the instructions you are giving him, or are there any other environmental elements that are attracting his attention? Bloodhound, for instance, is a breed that is dominated by its sense of smell – which means that they will almost always outdo a well-trained dog.

Obviously, training methods are also influential. If you wish to excite and engage your dog, you need to come up with rewards that he will put in the effort for. Moreover, if you can make the training more enjoyable, it is possible to train almost every breed.

Having said that, certain breeds are certainly more trainable than others, and in this blog, we will be discussing some of the best dogs for training:

1. The 10 Best Dogs for Training:

1.1 Border Collie

These dogs are workaholics yet whip-smart. They can learn fast and are almost keen for more than you have to offer. Hailing from the United Kingdom, the Border Collie is not only intelligent but highly athletic and acrobatic. In fact, it is you who will have to improve your skills if you want to keep up with a Border Collie – no wonder that it is considered the world’s leading sheepdog.

1.2 Poodle

Do not be fooled by the cool fur coat – the poodle is not only intelligent and hardworking, but also desirous to please. Moreover, they are highly agile and obedient – not to mention that their extreme sociality and ability to adjust wherever they go. The breed could either be from Germany or France, but many experts also believe that it is a descendant of Asian herding breeds. Toy, standard, or miniature, this breed will gladly accept whatever teaching lessons you offer it.

1.3 German Shepherd

These dogs are the perfect choice for military and police jobs – and for good reason. They will work tirelessly and make sure that they do whatever it takes to please their owners. Although they may not have the problem-solving capability of Border Collies or the intelligence of poodles, their unmatched versatility more than makes up for it. No other dog breed can brag being a herding dog, guide dog for the disabled and blind, attack dog, and drug dog. Have you ever noticed a poodle that could herd sheep or a Border Collie that could guard military installations? The German Shepherd breed is the perfect combination of purpose, temper, and loyalty.

1.4 Golden Retrievers

You will find the Golden Retriever on the top end of almost all ‘popular dogs’ lists, thanks to its friendliness, beauty, eagerness to please, and of course, trainability. Although they might not be the best when it comes to hunting or trialing, you will be hard-pressed to find a more obedient breed. They can act a bit silly at times, but do not let that distract you from their tremendous brainpower and social skills.

1.5 Doberman Pinscher

Another common military and police breed, the Doberman Pinscher was initially trained in order to protect tax collectors. This means that these dogs have an excellent intuitive sense, and are able to expertly distinguish friend from foe. Moreover, they are extremely brave and will remain loyal to you right until the very end. Enthusiastic workers, the Doberman Pinschers are renowned for their learning and retention ability. Besides, they have a strong desire to please their owners, which, once again, makes them extremely trainable. Several experimental studies and expert evaluations have declared this breed as the most intelligent. This is why it is highly preferred as a war dog, guard dog, and for personal defense.

1.6 Shetland Sheepdog

Every sheepdog is intelligent and highly trainable, but the Shetlands seem to be more attached to their owners compared to their jobs, giving them a huge edge in terms of herding. This breed is affectionate, playful, and ever-ready to learn more behaviors. They are highly suitable for dog sports like obedience trials or agility. Alongside being intelligent and trainable, these dogs are reliable, active, and alert.  It has been found out that a Shetland can learn new commands after just five repetitions, and can instantly obey a command.

1.7 Labrador Retriever

Another very popular choice of breed, the Labrador Retriever is not only a versatile hunter but also a quick learner. Their extroverted nature and desire to please makes them very usable for service work. Originally from Canada and United Kingdom, the Labrador Retriever is highly strong and muscular. They are highly obedient and extremely adept at anything that is related to water, which is why their ancestral duty has been to retrieve ducks. Remember that retrieving is extremely complex (far more complex than fetch) and requires several months of training. The Labrador comes away with the ribbons and medals at any breed field trial around the world. The Labrador is genetically intelligent, and is able to carry eggs while keeping them intact. Law enforcement agencies have been using this breed to detect and screen. Unsurprisingly, then, this highly trainable breed is also America’s favorite.

1.8 Papillon

This best toy dog is extremely agile and skilled at agile tricks. Furthermore, it is highly obedient and has excellent general social behaviors. Papillons are quick studies, extremely curious, eager to learn, and always willing to make their owners happy. Moreover, they highly enjoy exercising and performing. Breeders have recommended dog agility, rally obedience, and obedience training for Papillons. Also, a fun-fact: The Papillon was named as such because of its butterfly-like pair of ears.

1.9 Rottweiler

A highly imposing breed, the Rottweiler is massive, and a real protector who never fails to rise to the occasion. Although they might not be as sensitive as the Doberman Pinscher, Rottweilers do have the advantage of herding. Remember that this breed is not only trainable, but training is one of its biggest sources of happiness – a major benefit, considering their humungous size and immense power. The Rottweiler is alert, courageous, confident, fearless, steady, and obedient. Thanks to these qualities, it is often used as a police dog, military dog, and for search-and-rescue purposes.

1.10 Australian Cattle

This breed is extremely active and determined. One of the more independent-thinking dogs on our list, the Australian Cattle can work tirelessly whenever there is a task to be performed. Furthermore, training helps these dogs attain a sense of achievement. In terms of temperament, the Australian Cattle is cautious, reliable, loyal, obedient, and extremely protective. It particularly enjoys structural training and is capable of overcoming challenges. Adequate training allows this breed to better other breeds in areas such as endurance, athleticism, agility, obedience competitions, weight pulling, fly-ball, Schutzhund, and intelligence. This breed stands out as a drug dog, police dog, wildlife tracker, and therapy dog.

2. Tips to Train Your Dog

Even with the most intelligent and trainable of dogs, there are certain tips and tricks that can help you achieve faster and better training results – some of which we will be discussing next:

2.1 Be wise in choosing your dog’s name

Choosing a name is one of the most enjoyable parts of bringing home a new dog. But, what you might not know is that there are certain dog names that are more effective for training. You should pick a name that is short and ends with a strong consonant, as this will enable your pet to hear it clearly. Some examples of such names are ‘Ginger’, ‘Jack’, or ‘Jasper’.

If you have brought in an older dog as a pet, it is likely that they are used to their current name by now. However, that does not mean that you cannot still change their name and start afresh. This is particularly helpful if your furry friend has emerged from an abusive home or situation. Dogs can adapt easily, so, they should not take much time to get used to and respond to their new name.

Regardless of the name that you choose, make sure that it is associated with pleasant and enjoyable experiences and clear of negative ones. Your dog should associate their name with other enjoyable activities such as dinnertime and walks.

2.2 Select house rules

Before giving your dog a new home, be clear about the things they will be allowed to do. Will they be permitted on the furniture or the bed? Is there any part of your house that will be off-limits? Determining the rules early can alleviate confusion for both you and your dog.

2.3 Establish a personal den

Much like humans, a dog needs and relishes his personal space. Hence, make sure that your pet has his own sleeping place as soon as possible – an example of such a place would be a crate. Your dog will enjoy this safety and comfort, and this will benefit their health and behavior. Do not forget to reward your pup in return for good behavior.

2.4 Help relax your dog

It is natural for a dog to feel nervous around its new home. In order to make them comfortable, you can place a ticking clock and hot-water bottle close to their sleeping area. This will imitate the heartbeat and heat of the dog and enable them to calm down in their new surroundings.

 This suggestion is particularly crucial for a dog that previously resided in a loud or noisy shelter, or if it has had a rough early life. Any measures you can take to increase your dog’s comfort will be beneficial for both of you.

2.5 Teach your dog to respond when called

The very first command that your pet should learn is to show up whenever called by its name. When it does respond, be sure to appear extremely excited and use a great deal of positive reinforcement. Also try using the ‘come’ instruction the next time you find your pet distracted with toys or food. As your dog gets older, you will be able to observe the many benefits of teaching this command early on.

2.6 Train during ‘dog times’

Dogs and puppies stay in the moment, which means that they forget things minutes after doing them. Therefore, if you spot your dog doing something that goes against the rules, you should instantly implement the training technique you have selected. This way, your pet will be able to form the link between the correction and behavior. Constantly repeating this action will help reinforce their learning.

2.7 Discourage nipping and biting

Instead of telling your pet off, pretend to be in a great deal of pain every time they nip or bite you – a loud or sharp yell will do just fine. Many dogs will be so surprised by this that they will stop instantly.

If a verbal cue is not helping, trade your leg or hand for chew toys. This switch trick is also helpful if your puppy has suddenly discovered the many joys of nibbling your favorite pair of shoes. A bone or toy will be preferred, anyway, and your pet will thank you for the swap. If nothing works, simply ignore your pet – this will help interfere in the nipping or biting process.

3. Final Word

While almost every breed can be trained with the right technique and time, certain breeds are easier to train. We hope that this blog on the best dogs for training will help you decide on your newest training pup. Regardless of whether you pick a dog from our list or not, our training tips will certainly help you tutor your pet in the right manner.