A well-trained dog is a loved and welcome family member. While almost any dog can be trained well if you start early and use the right techniques, the average owner is not a training expert. If you ultimately want an obedient, easy-to-live-with dog - without having to spend a large portion of your time focused on training for two years - then you can give yourself a head start by choosing a breed known for its trainability. Here are four such dog breeds.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador retrievers are the most popular dog in the U.S., and for good reason. These lovable dogs are friendly, outgoing, and easy to train. They truly aim to please. Enroll your lab in an obedience class at three or four months of age for socialization and to learn the basics, and you should be all set. Especially when young, labs do have a lot of energy to burn. Make sure they get plenty of exercise so they don't become too mischievous.
Labs come in yellow, black, and a rich chocolate brown. They weigh up to 80 pounds; females are a little smaller. Labs make excellent family dogs, and they are healthy overall. However, they do shed heavily and require weekly brushing to keep their coats in good condition.
2. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are very easy-going, calm dogs that are great with children. They're easy to train, although they do require socialization early on to ensure they're comfortable around other dogs and people. Golden retrievers like to be with their people; they do not like being left alone for long periods. Some are more playful than others, always begging to play fetch or tug-of-war.
Golden retrievers have long, golden coats and shed heavily. Many require regular shampooing and visits to the groomer. Hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip does not fit properly into the socket, is common in golden retrievers, so make sure the breeder you buy from has tested their dogs for this condition.
Poodles have gained the reputation of being proud show dogs, and they certainly can be. However, a poodle can also be a great choice if you're looking for an easily trained family pet. Poodles are incredibly smart and respond well to positive reinforcement in training. They do well in sports that involve agility and tracking, too.
Another benefit of poodles is that they come in three sizes. If you're looking for a tiny dog, choose a toy poodle; they're no more than 10 inches tall. Miniature poodles are 15 inches and under, and standard poodles are larger dogs, weighing 50 to 60 pounds. All poodles have a hypoallergenic coat that requires careful grooming and brushing. They are prone to epilepsy and immune disorders, although good breeders know to test for these traits.
4. Australian Shepherd
If you prefer a more high-energy dog who can participate in events like disc, herding trials, obedience, and agility, then an Australian shepherd may be the perfect choice. These dogs are easy to train as long as they're able to get plenty of exercise. They are not apartment dogs and can be destructive if confined to small spaces without activity. With enough space and attention, however, their intelligence really shines.
Australian shepherds have a thick, wiry coat. They only shed twice a year and require occasional bathing when dirty. Australian shepherds vary greatly in size. Some are only 35 pounds, while others weigh as much as 65 pounds. Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and eye diseases are common in these dogs, so make sure your breeder offers a health guarantee.
All four of these dog breeds are easy to work with and make excellent companions. However, basic behavioral training is still important when your dog is young. If you're looking for a training program in the Sacramento area, contact Elite Dogs Training And Boarding. We offer puppy development classes, basic obedience, and more.