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12+ Most Obedient Small Dog Breeds

12+ Most Obedient Small Dog Breeds

What makes a dog obedient? Usually, an easily trainable dog is thought to be smart. And there’s no question that intelligence plays a role in how quickly a dog learns new things. Genetics and individual personality also play a major role in how likely a dog is to be obedient to its owner.

The most obedient small dog breeds are easier to train because they’re more receptive to learning new things. They retain what they learn and are eager to please their owners by following commands. In fact, they often enjoy training sessions as much as playtime because of their strong desire to please.

In comparison, the least obedient dog breeds don’t seem to retain their training as quickly or easily. But that doesn’t mean they’re not smart. They just display their intelligence in less productive ways, such as becoming escape artists or learning how to open the cabinet where you keep the dog treats.

While it’s true that all dogs can be trained, certain breeds take more time and patience to train than others. While the results are worth the effort, the breeds we’re talking about today tend to be easier to train and eager to learn.

What is an obedient small dog?

An obedient small dog is a small dog that is eager to please, learns quickly, and retains what he’s taught. Although he still requires patient and consistent training, he picks up new things easily and obeys commands readily.

Small dogs are usually classified as any dog being under 16-inches high at the shoulder. They can weigh up to 17 pounds and are popular for apartment dwellers, city life, and family pets.

The Most Obedient Small Dog Breeds

Here are the most obedient small dog breeds that outshine all the others for their outstanding intelligence, eagerness to learn, and strong desire to please. No matter which breed you choose, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement will be required to support your training efforts.

1. Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer

The miniature schnauzer may look a lot like a grumpy old man, but he’s actually a happy and active family-friendly small dog.

The miniature schnauzer may look a lot like a grumpy old man, but he’s actually a happy and active family-friendly small dog. Schnauzers were originally bred to hunt vermin, so intelligence and obedience are a must for this breed.

Schnauzers enjoy family life and have plenty of energy to keep up with the kids. Consistent and patient training will reward you with an affectionate, well-behaved companion.

2. Toy Fox Terrier

toy fox terrier

Toy fox terriers are happy little dogs that love to sit on your lap, but they’re also fit enough to keep up on a long walk.

The toy fox terrier makes a fantastic family pet, but it was originally bred to hunt vermin like fox, mice, and rats so it does have a high prey drive. That being said, these happy little dogs love to sit on your lap and they’re fit enough to keep up on a long walk.

Keep in mind that the toy fox terrier is a working dog, so he can become bored if he doesn’t have an active lifestyle. Get him involved in flyball, agility, obedience, or something similar and he’ll catch on quickly.

3. Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Pomeranians are adorable little fluff balls that look more like a stuffed animal than they do a dog.

Pomeranians are adorable little fluff balls that look more like a stuffed animal than they do a dog. But they are much smarter than you would think at first glance. These little cuties are known to be extremely talented tracking, obedience, flyball, agility, and therapy dogs.

Teaching a Pomeranian to be a good housedog should be pretty simple, especially if you’re consistent, patient, and start young before any bad habits become second nature.

4. Havanese

Havanese

Havanese is an incredibly intelligent pet that’s very loyal to its family and craves companionship.

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba. They have long, silky hair, expressive eyes, and a cuddly nature that makes them an ideal pet for an individual or family. The origins of the Havanese are unclear, but most believe they’re a crossbreed of poodle, bichon, and Shih Tzu.

Havanese is an incredibly intelligent pet that’s very loyal to its family and craves companionship. They are obedient, playful, gentle, and affectionate. They are fairly energetic, so they’ll enjoy a long walk, trips to the dog park, or a game of fetch every day.

5. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsch Corgi was a favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth because it is incredibly smart and obedient.

The Pembroke Welsch Corgi was a favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth because it is incredibly smart and obedient. Throughout history, corgis have been used to herd and drive animals that are 50 times larger than they are.

These days, they’re mainly kept as family pets or trained for agility and other doggie sports. They’re incredibly quick to learn whatever you want to teach them and they’re definitely one of the most obedient small dog breeds around.

6. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire terrier, also called the Yorkie, is one of the most popular small dog breeds.

The Yorkshire terrier, also called the Yorkie, is one of the most popular small dog breeds. This breed originated in England during the 19th century and is known to be intelligent, playful, and full of energy.

They’re a breed that loves attention, so they may become stressed if left home alone often. However, they make an excellent companion for someone who’s home a lot or a family who wants a dog that enjoys playtime as much as cuddles.

7. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

The Boston terrier makes an intelligent, wonderful companion that’s obedient and easy to train.

The Boston terrier makes an intelligent, wonderful companion that’s obedient and easy to train. It makes a loving, playful family pet, especially if you’re looking for a pup that can keep up with the kids for a game of fetch in the backyard.

Interestingly, the Boston Terrier has a famous ancestor named Sergeant Stubby. He served in World War I for 18 months and saw at least 17 battles. Stubby was so smart that he is even given credit for capturing a German Spy. You really can’t go wrong with such a smart, obedient companion!

8. Papillon

Papillon

The papillon is an adorable and obedient small dog with ears that look like butterfly wings.

The papillon is an adorable and obedient small dog with ears that look like butterfly wings. Although the breed descends from different types of spaniels, it was mainly bred to be a lovable lap dog, and it fulfills that purpose perfectly.

That being said, the papillon is incredibly intelligent and quick to learn new things, providing you’re willing to take the time to teach them. They pick new tricks, obedience training, and they make ideal agility dogs, too.

9. Dachshund

Dachshund

Dachshunds were bred to hunt vermin and have even been used to find missing people with specialized training.

Dachshunds were bred to hunt vermin and have even been used to find missing people with specialized training. They’re extremely loyal and make fantastic family pets that are easy to train if you’re willing to put a little time into it.

This long-bodied pooch comes in three varieties: long-haired, wire-haired, and short-haired. Whichever one you choose these little dogs are full of personality and eager to please.

10. Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

The Sheltie was bred for herding livestock, so they are incredibly smart and obedient.

The Shetland Sheepdog can range in size from small to medium size. This breed was bred for herding livestock, so they are incredibly smart and obedient. Nicknamed the “Sheltie” for short, this breed also makes a playful and fiercely loyal family dog.

Be warned that shelties are always on guard and can be barkers. However, they are also very trainable and can be taught not to bark when it’s inappropriate. Shelties are often used for agility competitions, and they are extremely obedient, especially if you start young before they develop bad habits.

11. Chihuahua

Chihuahua

The tiny chihuahua is not only one of the smallest dog breeds on the planet, but also one of the smartest.

You may be surprised to learn that the tiny chihuahua is not only one of the smallest dog breeds on the planet, but also one of the smartest. With consistency and a little practice, they’ll pick up and retain new commands relatively quickly.

Throughout this breed’s history, they’ve been used as actors on television because they’re so trainable and easy to handle. These adorable palm-sized critters make fantastic family pets and they’re great for apartment and city dwellers, too.

12. Miniature or Toy Poodle

Miniature Poodle

Poodles are thought to be one of the most intelligent and easy to train dog breeds.

Poodles are thought to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds. A miniature and toy poodles are some of the most obedient small dog breeds because they’re not only eager to please, but they also pick up and retain new things quickly.

These lovable little furballs are quick to learn because they were originally bred for hunting where obedience and intelligence are a must. Throughout history, they’ve been used to perform tricks because they’re so quick to learn.

More Highly-Intelligent and Obedient Dog Breeds To Consider

Many dog breeds are easy to train if you’re willing to put in the effort. The following breeds are also worth considering if you’re looking for a dog that’s easy to housetrain and teach basic obedience skills:

  • Border Terrier
  • Australian Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Silky Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Fox Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Jack Russel Terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • West Highland Wight Terrier

Frequently Asked Questions About The Most Obedient Small Dog Breeds

· Which small dog breed is the most trainable?

The most trainable small dog breed is the poodle. This breed is very obedient, learns quickly, and responds eagerly to its owner and positive training methods. That being said, poodles are both smart and physically active, so they require regular mental and physical stimulation.

· What is the most well-behaved small dog breed?

Poodles, bichons, and Havanese are generally considered the most well-behaved small dog breeds. That being said, good behavior can be taught to almost any dog with patience, consistency, and lots of positive reinforcement.

· What are the least obedient small dog breeds?

Some of the least obedient small dog breeds are the Pekingese, Skye terrier, Sealyham terrier, and Maltese. In general, these breeds are more independent and less eager to please, so they take longer to train and require more patience. That said, there are exceptions to every rule and your experience may be different from the norm.

Wrapping Up: Tips for Training Your Small Dog

Teaching any small dog basic commands requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Here are some tips to set you and your pup up for success.

  • Reinforce good behavior with positive reinforcement, especially affection and treats.
  • Have short training sessions every day to help your pooch retain whatever you’re trying to teach him.
  • Start small with things like sit and come before moving on to leash training or tricks.
  • Set your dog up for success by minimizing distractions.

And most importantly, do not scold or punish your dog if he makes a mistake. Studies show that these methods do more harm than good. Keep training sessions fun and enjoyable for you and your dog by being enthusiastic and positive.

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Anna Marston
Anna is a full-time veterinary technician with more than 20 years of experience in the pet care industry. She resides in Upstate New York with her hubby, daughter, and a menagerie of fur-babies.

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