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If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, you may already have your heart set on one particular breed or another. But if your furry friend is to become a beloved and well-behaved part of the household, you may want to be sure you are choosing a breed that is known to be readily trained. 

Several factors, such as age or physical and mental health, for example, can affect how easily a dog learns. Some trainers say adult dogs learn more rapidly than playful puppies. But while opinions vary widely among breeders and trainers, these five breeds are at the top of most lists, suggesting the smartest and easiest breeds to train:

  1. Labrador Retriever – Arguably America’s favorite dog, Labrador Retrievers are sweet, fun-loving dogs that are easy to train because they want little more than to make their owners happy.
  2. Golden Retriever – Like their Labrador cousins, Golden Retrievers are good-natured, which makes them receptive to training. They are also very loyal and will do just about anything they are asked to please their owner.
  3. Border Collie – Herding dogs that were bred to be independent workers, collies are nonetheless sensitive to their owner’s needs. They are said to be intelligent dogs and easy to train, but not so energetic that the average owner will have trouble keeping up.
  4. Poodle – All varieties of poodle, Standard, Miniature and Toy, are seen as incredibly intelligent dogs that are eager to please and pick up training very quickly. They are typically even-tempered and aim to please their humans. 
  5. German Shepherd – The German Shepherd is considered to be the Jack-of-all-trades in the dog world. They are intelligent and simple to train. Having a job, such as protecting a family, keeps them happy. They enjoy training and can succeed in a variety of dog sports.