Most Obedient Dog Breeds: Top 5 Compliant Canines, According To Experts

A well-trained pup can provide endless companionship, loyalty, and unconditional love. The most obedient breeds can be counted on to obey the commands of their owners and are prized for this ability. Our list of the top five most obedient dog breeds includes all the well-behaved pups that are well-inclined to be fast learners.

Some dog breeds even seem to exhibit a talent for following directions and mimicking behaviors as early as the puppy stage. New research out of Hungary finds that puppies instinctively imitate human actions, even without any training or a food reward. Puppies could copy someone’s behavior for a number of reasons, according to study authors from Eötvös Loránd University. They may imitate what people do as a way of navigating new situations. They could also mimic others to learn new skills or information. An alternative explanation is that imitation breeds flattery. Impersonating another creature could be an evolutionary tactic to get into someone’s good graces and up their social standing.

It usually doesn’t take long for a dog taken in by a family or individual to form a connection with his or her new caretakers. While some dogs certainly take longer than others, most begin to pick up on gestures, cues, and commands from their owners relatively quickly. It’s generally assumed that these obedient traits must first be instilled in the dog through training, at least to some degree, but a new study conducted in India finds that even stray dogs understand and respond to human gestures. These findings suggest that dogs are born with an innate connection to humans that goes beyond stringent puppy training programs or learned commands.

After thousands of years of developing alongside humanity, the most obedient dog breeds seem to have found their happy place among their human families. Obedient dogs are often considered good dogs, and when these eager-to-please pups receive the right training they can exhibit remarkable intellect. Let us know your favorite breeds in the comments below!

The List: Most Obedient Dog Breeds, According to Canine Experts

1. Border Collie

Border Collies dominate dog shows and dog sports because of their robust build and intellect. A well-trained and fully engaged Border Collie is capable of learning many commands. World Dog Finder raves, “Our top pick is the amazing Border Collie. They have the flattering title of the most intelligent dog breed in the world, so being obedient is a part of their nature. These dogs can perform complex tasks and commands. They are fantastic competitors in different dog sports, such as agility, obedience, or herding. All of that would be impossible if they weren’t so smart and complicit.”

black and white border collie
Border collie (Photo by Will Gardiner on Unsplash)

Reader’s Digest praises these hounds: “These agile, intelligent dogs are practically athletes when it comes to herding and are no doubt smarter than you think. So impressive are the pups that, as the story goes, onlookers at one of the first sheepdog trials, held in Wales in 1873, were amazed by the breed’s ability to follow hand signals and whistles to gather sheep into pens.”

Wag! exclaims: “This breed is doggone talented. Not only are they one of the top herding dogs of all time, they are also incredibly intelligent. They learn new skills quickly and follow through with their assignments. Collies are also very athletic and have a lot of energy. So if they don’t get enough exercise, they can get into trouble.”

2. Standard Poodle

The Poodle is as strong and intelligent as any breed. The Goody Pet says, “Their devotion to their owners is so strong that they want nothing but to please them at all times. This is why they are always keen on following commands and mastering new tricks. If you want a dog that does very well in obedience and agility training, dog shows, and the like, a Poodle will never disappoint. And with its hypoallergenic nature, having this dog around won’t leave you sneezing!”

black poodle on green grass during daytime
Poodle (Photo by Hans Ole Benonisen on Unsplash)

“In his bestselling book, ‘The Intelligence of Dogs,’ neuropsychologist Stanley Coren, PhD, focuses on trainability as a marker of intelligence… Poodle: Exceptionally smart and active. Bred to retrieve things from the water. The miniature variety may have been used for truffle hunting,” describes Fetch.

Mokai elaborates, “There are many things to take into account, and every pet-parent will make their own list of priorities, but for most families, a requirement that must be in the first part of the list is obedience… [Poodles are] Intelligent, owner devoted, and eager learners. (And, what’s more, they don’t shed!). They are obedient and very smart, so these characteristics make them highly trainable.”

3. Golden Retriever

Once again, Golden Retrievers have made the list! These famous dogs are well loved in America and are lauded by our sources. A&T Trained Dogs comments, “Golden Retrievers are a popular dog breed due to their beautiful appearance, loyal companionship and friendly characteristics. They are the ideal choice for a family dog as they socialize well with both younger and older children and are not intimidating to strangers around them. They are easy to train in obedience due to their intelligence and ability to pick up commands quickly.”


adult dog sitting on white sand near seashore
Golden Retriever (Photo by Justin Aikin on Unsplash)

The Spruce Pets adds, “Golden retrievers are popular family pets for good reason. They’re typically very affectionate, patient, and gentle, and they have an endearing enthusiasm for life. Goldens are known for being extremely eager to please. This, combined with their intelligence, means they’re very receptive to training. They also tend to be serious foodies and will do just about anything for a treat.”

“This sweet-faced breed has a gentle, playful, and loving nature. They are great family pets and love the mental stimulation of a good training session. These pups were actually bred to be hunting dogs! Determined and strong, they respond well to training and can become obedient and well-behaved pets,” details Bully Beds.

4. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher has a reputation as a fearsome protector and vigilant guard. These dogs are so much more than sentinels: they are also bright, obedient, and eager-to-please. Newsweek explains, “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…. 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.”

black and tan doberman pinscher
Doberman pinscher (Photo by Anna Kozakova on Unsplash)

“Dobermans might look fierce, but they are as obedient as any one of the breeds on this list. They were initially bred to be guard dogs, and that wouldn’t be possible if they weren’t complicit. You might be surprised Dobermans are among the 5 most intelligent dog breeds in the world, and they can remember a new command in as little as 5 repetitions. If their owners provide them with plenty of physical and mental activity, Dobies will be happy, satisfied, and obedient,” offers World Dog Finder.

“Due to their large size, consistent training from a young age is key, ensuring they learn how to follow dog commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay’ and ‘walk’ nicely on a leash without pulling. “The key tool for keeping your dog calm is teaching them to have great owner focus,” explains Briggs. “Owner focus does not mean forcing the dog to pay attention to us humans. It means rewarding the dog for checking in with us, no matter the situation,” states Reader’s Digest.

5. German Shepherd

This list wouldn’t be complete without German Shepherd dogs. These compliant canines are also known as Alsatian dogs in many parts of the world. The Spruce Pets claims, “The German Shepherd is another highly intelligent dog that was bred to be responsive and obedient. Thus, it’s no surprise that German Shepherds are often used by law enforcement and as service dogs. These dogs are very loyal and protective of their families. And without proper training and socialization, this can turn into aggression toward strangers.”

German Shepherd
German Shepherd (Photo by Alexander Naglestad on Unsplash)

“Often seen in police and military work, the German Shepherd is an obedient and very responsive dog. They have a ton of energy but not as high strung as a Border Collie. Thus, it is easier to deal with them if you are inexperienced with dogs. One shining quality of the GSD is their dedication to protect their families. They are always ready to defend and protect their owner from harm, which makes them a very loyal pooch to have,” relates The Goody Pet.

Wag! adds: “Due to their high intelligence, intuition, and obedient natures, German Shepherds are often used as K-9 pawlice officers, but they don’t rise to the ranks without effort. These pups undergo extensive training to become the heroes that they are. When they are off duty, German Shepherds are incredibly loyal pups that love to be around their people.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.


      1. U have no idea what breed of dog u want other than male? Depending on your home make sure u fence it. Especially it u want a larger breed. If u work out outside your home, consider the time your dog is felt alone. If your only question is about money then rethink getting a dog. I suggest a cat.

      2. I own a German shepherd he’s my service dog he’s incredibly loyal highly intelligent and sweet his name is John an he’s completely changed my life, I am truly blessed 💓

    1. I’ve owned 3 male Dobies. Their ability to learn quickly and easily is truly amazing. Equally impressive is their ability to problem solve. I’m a 76 year old grandmother who has owned/trained multiple breeds, but once you own a Dobie you’re hooked for life! Dobies are loving, disciplined, funny, and very loyal… I always feel very safe when my Dobie is with me.

  1. What about the wonderful Australian Cattle Dog? Ours was incredibly obedient. Our Weimaraner is very obedient by too, so is the recently adopted 15 breed Texas Cutie. (The Hound mixes nose prevents him from following anything except his nose). The author misses the point that ANY dog can be obedient if it is correct trained.

  2. I have 2 Whippet’s. They obey extremely well. With training any breed will obey with work, consistency and alot of treats and love. Even more stubborn breeds.

  3. I purchased a Belgian Malinois a n d
    trained it before entering service back in 1963. Mother was a single parent and living alone when I went into service. Mom complained about hair all over but her attitude changed loved him and took him in vw beetle all over. He was her protector and kept him when I got out of service. 14 years old and a wonderful companion.!!!!!!

    1. I trained many , thought to be, great working dogs! We never had any Dobies, make it in police cars? No other working breeds, other than GSDs made it to K9 police or military capability! Only GSD k9s are seen in cop cars! We’re no malinois at the time!

  4. The German Short-haired pointer is at the top of the list of really smart dogs. I have had a few and they understand everything. It is like speaking to a human

  5. I have two dobermann one was trained by a professional trainer and the other was just trained by me. Nevertheless they both showed the same talent and eagerness to obey and please me. Regardless of training thay undergo I think it is inherent on them to be that obedient and loyal to their family.

  6. How about doing actual research before publishing an incomplete article. The absence of Shelties(Shetland Sheepdog) consistently from such articles showcases a lot about how ignorant these authors truly are.

    1. You are so right @Darryl. I raised shelties and sold most of my puppies but I almost always kept at least one. They are very very loveable and obedient.
      They will do whatever makes their owners happy. I miss my shelties everyday.

  7. I’ve trained dogs for over 25 yrs! Trained my granddaughters dog to be her service dog 3 yrs ago…which he passed all certifications. 90% of all his commands are nonverbal and or sign language! He is a boxer mix and was NOT necessarily easy to train however his natural calm reaction to my granddaughter was incredible! So he was worth the time and effort!

    The breed that most amazed me is the pup we just got in February this year. I literally house broke her the first 4 days we had her home just at 8 weeks old! This past week I taught her to shake inn5 minutes and 5 days later she still remembers the command! She has learned 80% of her commands both verbally and nonverbal/sign language in record time! I’ve never seen anything like this even with all the Labs, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds I’ve trained over the years…there have been MANY! This breed isn’t just ridiculously easy to train but they’re so loveable, great for apartment life, they are amazing with children, other pets and they just love to travel! I can’t begin to express all the incredible personality traits about this breed! The only truly negative thing is their lifespan is short and some may consider their size a negative trait but the they sure don’t and we have yet to find a negative regarding their size even the amount of food they eat isn’t any more so than my Golden Lab or my Golden Retriever (both R.I.P 😢) so what breed of dog is it that should be at the top of their best easiest to train dogs? A Great Dane!!!! You’ve never had the love of a dog until you’ve had a Great Dane! The best behaved, well mannered easily trained, fastest trained dog you’ll ever have and love hands down!!!!

  8. I have always been around a German Shepherd and I love German Shepherds but my nephew where I live got a great a Dane I miss seeing your senior person and my balance isn’t perfect so it was kind of afraid when that big dog came in but let me tell you I love them sometimes I sleep in my bed with him before he kicks me out he’s the gentlest and kindness of dogs he even beats up my German Shepherd you’re absolutely right about that

  9. I love dogs so much, you can’t imagine! I have a golden retriever, and it is the most wonderful breed. He is the kindest, the most obedient and the most beloved. He knows a lot of commands, he listens well and understands me. I feel safe with him when he’s around, he’s my true friend. He can both protect and stay with me if I feel anxious. With obedient dogs, you feel more relaxed. You don’t have to be afraid that he will start barking aggressively or throwing himself at other dogs. I am so in love with this breed and can recommend it to everyone!

  10. I am a proud Pitbull owner and have been all my life I think they should be in the top 5 as most loyal and obedient dogs…they are so judged but they are the most loyal animals. Ty for allowing animal owners to leave comments

  11. Diane
    December 20, 2023
    I see your comments come mostly from purebred dogs. But let me tell you, I have a 3 year old Schnoodle. Admittedly I have had only purebred females dogs, but he is by far the smartest dog I have ever owned. I can send him for a specific toy and he understands. He is affectionate and a joy to have in my home! 🫶🏻

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