November 30, 2020

These Are the Most Obedient Dog Breeds

By haziqbinarif

Every dog has the potential to add meaning to your life, but don’t let those adorable puppy dog eyes blind you. Some are better suited to being obedient pals, while others have the potential to cause repeating conflicts within the household.

While you may be drawn to a certain type of dog, their lifelong behavior comes down to science. Some dog breeds are biologically wired to misbehave. While there’s nothing wrong with adopting a dog that has a mind of its own, doing your research before adopting a new pet assures you’ll match with a dog breed you have space, time and energy for.

Luckily, for wannabe dog owners, a ranking by Stanley Coren has you covered with a quick analysis of the most obedient dog breeds. Coren, a neuropsychology researcher and professor of canine psychology at the University of British Columbia, published the book The Intelligence of Dogs in 1994. In it, each dog breed is ranked on a scale of obedience, given Coren’s analysis that a dog’s genes make up 51 percent of its behavior.

The other 49 percent is based on the dog’s environment, meaning an owner and lifestyle do have an impact on how each dog will generally behave. But genetically, Coren’s evaluation named some dogs to be truly intelligent, and willing to corporate with human commands, more so than others. Here are the top 26 most obedient dogs.

Laborador Retriever
A Labrador Retriever rests in its pen on the final day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 11, 2018.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images/Getty

Most obedient dogs

These pups are expected to listen to their owners’ commands on the first try around 95 percent of the time. That’s loyalty if we’ve ever seen it.

1. Border Collie

These pups rand 35 of 196 in popularity, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), and it’s not because of their intelligence. Border Collies are notoriously bright, but equally energetic. That means, they’re not right for an owner who doesn’t have the time or space to occupy the dog’s athletic needs.

2. Poodle

One of the most controversial dog breeds is actually one of the smartest. Though poodles appear to be arrogant to some non-poodle-havers, the breed is more than willing to work with their owners to reach true companionship.

3. German Shepherd

One of America’s most popular dogs, the German Shepherd, is also one of the smartest. Ranked second by the AKC, they’re widely beloved because of their “loyalty, courage, confidence, the ability to learn commands for many tasks, and the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones.”

4. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers truly are the golden dog. Ranked third most popular by the AKC, Goldens are considered top-tier family dogs because of their loving personalities and want to please.

5. Doberman Pinscher

Obedient and loving, Doberman Pinschers are known for loyalty to their families. This makes them one of the best guard dogs out of the top 39 most obedient breeds.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Lassie was loyal and beloved by many, and her real-life ancestors follow suit. Shetland Sheepdogs are notoriously happy and intelligent, so much so they’re known to take on the same spirit as their human family.

7. Labrador Retriever

America’s favorite dog breed is indeed one of the most obedient. No. 1 on the AKC’s popular breeds list, Labrador Retrievers are considered one of the most affectionate breeds of dogs, in addition to being highly obedient by nature.

8. Papillon

The first small dog on the top obedient breeds list is the loving, good-spirited Papillion. In addition to being willing to learn, Papillons are great dogs when it comes to agility, either in competition or daily life.

9. Rottweiler

Another legendary guard dog, the Rottweiler puts family first. The AKC describes the breed as a “guardian” and doesn’t take for granted the big dog’s loyalty to its loved ones.

10. Australian Cattle Dog

These athletic dogs were bred to hunt, and their sports-inspiring spirit makes them genetically ready to obey. Australian Cattle Dogs are “true-blue loyal, famously smart, ever alert, and wary of strangers,” according to the AKC.

Still Really Obedient

Coren’s next grouping are dogs that should respond to their human’s command on the first try around 85 percent of the time.

11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

While this widely-beloved breed has made its way into pop culture (thanks, Queen Elizabeth) it’s not necessarily the best at listening. Corgis fall in the top ranks, but are considered independent and “sensitive” by the AKC. That doesn’t mean they aren’t smart, though.

12. Miniature Schnauzer

These bearded good boys are “bright, friendly, trainable companion[s], small enough to adapt to apartment life but tireless enough to patrol acres of farmland,” the AKC writes. That means no matter your pup’s purpose, be it work or family, they’re expected to listen wholeheartedly.

13. English Springer Spaniel

Another hunting dog ranks on the most-obedient list. English Springer Spaniels were originally bred for birding, but their outdoor smarts have evolved them into one of the most playful family dogs.

14. Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervuren)

One dog that’s expected to be “possessive” of loved ones is the Belgian Tervuren. Their loyalty is unmatched, which makes for a friend and protector, according to the AKC.

15. Schipperke, Belgian Sheepdog

These small pups are known to be somewhat obedient but may be better described as troublemakers. They’re willing to follow orders, but just as willing to investigate anything new with a natural sense of curiosity.

16. Collie, Keeshond

There are many reasons to love the small Keeshond breed, as their considered friendly and energetic. But one of the most-known features of the dogs is their facial coloring, which can make the dogs look like they’re wearing glasses.

17. German Shorthaired Pointer

Another athletic dog is “willing to please” according to the AKC. Pointers are great hunting companions, but just as eager to be friends with their masters as they are ready to chase fallen prey.

18. Flat-Coated Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, Standard Schnauzer

There’s a tie for 18th place in Coren’s opinion. These three breeds are known to be equally willing to follow commands, though they’re very different in terms of looks. All are known as family dogs, though, which may group them similarly.

19. Brittany

If there’s a breed known for optimism and an upbeat personality, it’s the Brittany. These dogs, bred for hunting, are athletic but want to be involved heavily in their owner’s lives at home. That doesn’t mean they’re comfortable cooped up inside, though. Brittany owners should be ready for lots of outdoor adventures with their furry friend.

20. Cocker Spaniel

Spaniels are known, in general, for their sporting ability, and that doesn’t change with the small Cocker Spaniel. In addition, though, the dogs are ultra-loving, making them great for households with children.

21. Weimaraner

These steel grey dogs are known for boisterous energy as well as intense love for their family. The active breed makes for another great companion for children, as well as adults who are willing to give the dog as much exercise as its wild demeanor demands.

22. Belgian Malinois, Bernese Mountain Dog

Another tie sees the Malinois and Bernese Mountain Dog as equals. These big-breed dogs are eager to please their owners with a “hardworking” or “strong” attitude, this AKC pages quote.

23. Pomeranian

Another small dog with an eagerness to learn is the Pomeranian. The versatile dogs are great for small spaces, like apartments, because they can be entertained in or outdoors, even with little space.

24. Irish Water Spaniel

These curly-haired cuties are primed with energy and a willingness to participate. While they’re not necessarily a popular, American dog breed, ranking 159 out of 196 on the AKC website, these pups are known to be incredibly hardworking.

25. Vizsla

Another hunting dog isn’t only committed to persevering in outdoor sports. Vizslas long for human companionship and probably aren’t the right fit if you plan on leaving your dog home alone all day.

26. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Not only are these Corgis ready to defend their families, but their sturdy, hardworking nature makes them great dogs for energetic families. “Well-socialized Cardis are especially fond of kids and agreeable with other pets,” the AKC claims, which should make them a top-contender for well-established families with children, pets and active lifestyles.

For the least obedient dogs, Coren’s list continues here.

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