It’s every dog owner’s dream: a well-trained, good-mannered canine friend. But some dogs are easier to train than others, making them a better choice for first-time owners who need a more reliable pet.
While there is no breed or type of dog that is harder to train than another, certain characteristics do make some dogs more difficult to train.
Smaller dogs are easier to train than larger ones as they inherently have less power and energy. If a large dog is not kept busy with physical and mental exercise, it will invent its own fun by tearing up your house or yard, digging holes in your garden, or chewing on your shoes.
Larger dogs also need more expensive pet supplies like high-quality dog foods, beds, leashes, and training crates.
The Nature of the Beast
Some breeds are naturally more obedient than others. Likely due to their history as working animals , herding breeds like Border Collies and Old English Sheepdogs make great pets because they are easily trained, eager to please, and not easily distracted. These breeds require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy, even if they are left alone for long periods.
Others that tend to be harder to train include hounds like Beagles which were bred for independent hunting lifestyles. While wonderful pets, hounds can often seem less interested in pleasing their owners and can be difficult to train as a result.
Some dogs, such as the Bull Terrier, are not naturally obedient but can be successfully trained if introduced to training early and often.
A pup’s personality should be considered before bringing it home; getting an independent breed like a hound without giving it lots of exercise and mental stimulation will only lead to a rebellious, destructive dog.
Personality goes deeper than breed, however; an energetic dog can be tamed by training and exercise while a couch potato may need more drastic measures like medication or behavioral therapy. Knowing your dog’s personality is key to successful training.
What Are You Training For?
Does your main priority revolve around taking your pup for a nice, long walk each day? Or do you want to work with your dog on more advanced skills like agility or search and rescue?
Training needs will determine what breed of dog is best suited to your lifestyle. Dogs bred for specific tasks need to be trained for those tasks in order to be happy and fulfilled, and breeds used to hunt on their own need extensive exercise and mental stimulation.
Different breeds of dogs have different skills and needs and some may not be suited for first-time owners or those with less experience. Puppies also vary – an 8 week old Border Collie puppy will require a lot more training than an 8 week old Labrador Retriever puppy.
No matter what breed of dog you have, there is always some degree of training involved in order for it to be a well-rounded member of the family. It can take several months or even years to train larger breeds so patience is key when taking on a new pup.