Is there anything better than a new dog in your home? We think not. Adorable pups brighten our lives and make every morning a touch more interesting, and they’re even better when they’re agreeable and eager to learn. With that in mind, we’ve sourced five dog breeds that are a joy to work with. Highly intelligent, they absorb information like sponges and more often than not make every effort to toe the line. Like any breed, these dogs require love and attention, but with a firm, fair approach, you’ll find you can’t go wrong.

Labrador Retriever

The faithful Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in all of the United States several years running. And it’s easy to see why. A social, loving friend of the house, these low-maintenance animals are easy to train and with their calm temperament, they’re often used as rescue dogs.

Top tip: Labradors can be known to jump on strangers. It’s their way of being friendly. Use your assertiveness early on to curb this behavior.

German Shepherd

The pride of Germany, these dogs are hugely courageous animals that make wonderful guards and lifelong friends once they know you. To strangers, they can be a tad aloof, but that’s normal. The German Shepherd should be trained from a young age and can be taught to perform almost any task due to its immense intelligence.

Top tip: When buying a German Shepherd, look for confidence. A German Shepherd that is low in confidence is an anomaly and will problematic down the line.

Golden Retriever

Get your Golden Retriever in an obedience class and it’ll remember its lessons for the rest of its life. These dogs are wonderful company and always eager to please. If you have a young family, a Golden Retriever will make a wonderful addition to the team.

Top tip: Don’t be strict. The Golden Retriever has a delicate personality.


You may be surprised to know that the poodle ranks as the most intelligent dog on this list. According to Dr Stanley Coren’s 1994 “intelligence list”, the poodle is second behind only the border collie. A voracious appetite for knowledge means poodles learn quickly and particularly adept at latching on to twee games and tricks.

Top tip: Choose an area on your daily walk where your poodle would be best-served going to the toilet. Once you have an area mapped out, let your poodle choose the final spot. Dogs prefer having a choice and will be more obedient as a result.


The “Rottie” is a powerful black and tan descendent of Germany with a fierce protective spirit and a loyal nature. Unlike the other dogs on this list, the Rottweiler very much needs training, so be sure to start early. It might be an idea to get professional help. But once properly taught, the Rottweiler makes a loyal companion.

Top tip: Train your Rottweiler while still a pup, especially if you live with young children.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a fair and balanced list if we were only focusing on the good. We hate to say it, but if you’re looking for an easily-trained friend, these breeds are probably best avoided.


With energy to burn in spades and a neurotic sensibility to boot, you’ll have your hands tied with a dalmatian in the house.


Don’t let the adorable countenance fool you. Pugs can be exasperating, especially once bored.

Chow Chow

Granted, they look adorable, but chow chows want to be the leader. When you’re looking to martial a pet into line, that’s not necessarily a good thing.


Beagles have incredible noses and are often used by drug enforcement agencies. More often than not they follow their nose more than their leader, so be warned.