This page is part of the Command Training section of the Dog Science
Workshop, which is an element of the Dog Science Network
The Dog Breeds with the Best Potential to be Obedience Trained
Benjamin and Lynette Hart wrote a brilliant little book called The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior (1988). Unfortunately, the work is currently out of print.
The Harts interviewed 48 veterinarians and 48 obedience judges and asked each of them to rank-order 56 of the most popular dog breeds along 13 characteristics. Then, they compiled the results to make it possible to compare each of the 56 breeds, one to another, in some essential ways. Fortunately, obedience training potential was one of the variables about which the Harts polled the experts.
Please note that, although the Hart's study did not address happenstance training, it is the opinion of this author that the best obedience dogs are also the most responsive to happenstance work.
The Best Breeds for Obedience Work -- Taken from The Perfect Puppy
|#1 Rating: The poorest obedience dogs
Located here at the top of the chart are the breeds that are the
least likely to do well at obedience work. As you work your
way down the chart, the breeds in each successive group hold
greater promise as obedience dogs than did their predecessors.
|#2 Rating||West Highland White Terrier
|#3 Rating||Scottish Terrier
Old English Sheepdog
| #5 Rating
Middling Bad Obedience Dogs
| #6 Rating
Middling Good Obedience Dogs
German Shorthaired Pointer
|#7 Rating||Norwegian Elkhound
|#9 Rating||Labrador Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
English Springer Spaniel
|#10 Rating: The best obedience dogs
Located here at the bottom of the chart are the breeds
that are the most likely to do well at obedience work.