Discovering The 12 Most Well-Behaved Dog Breeds

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Welcoming a furry friend into your home comes with the joy of companionship, but not all dogs are created equal regarding behavior. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for a four-legged companion who excels in manners and obedience. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the most well-behaved dog breeds that make excellent companions and shine in the good behavior department.

Labrador Retriever

Black labrador dog sitting outside
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Ah, the Labrador Retriever, a true icon in the world of well-behaved dogs. I had the pleasure of spending time with my friend’s Labrador, aptly named Ace, and let me tell you, his friendly demeanor is nothing short of infectious. Ace wasn’t just eager to please; he practically radiated enthusiasm during every training session. From basic commands to fetching a newspaper, Labs like Ace showcases the pinnacle of good behavior.

Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendly demeanor and eagerness to please. They’re highly trainable, making them one of the most well-behaved breeds. 

Golden Retriever

Young happy couple holding and hugging cute golden retriever puppy
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Golden Retrievers, often called the “gold standard” for furry family members, are not just eye-catching with their luscious coats. I’ve had a golden around me my entire life, from my Aunt’s obsession with the breed to my best friends raising several at a time. These Golden retrievers are all prime examples of the intelligence and trainability inherent in this breed. Their gentle nature extends beyond interactions with family members to strangers they meet. It’s heartening to witness how their affable personality contributes to a positive canine-human dynamic.

Golden Retrievers are not just beautiful; they are also gentle, intelligent, and easy to train. Their affable nature makes them great family pets. 

Border Collie

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Border Collies are incredibly intelligent and thrive on mental stimulation. Their keen focus and quick learning make them obedient companions. If you ever get the chance to see these dogs in action, herding cattle, sheep, or even kids, you are in for a treat and will quickly realize why they are on our list of best behaved dog breeds.

Poodle

Portrait of a cute brown toy poodle at home, daytime, indoors.
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Poodles, with their distinctive hairstyles, may look like runway models, but they’re more than just a pretty face. My neighbor’s Miniature Poodle, Bella, is a testament to the trainability of this breed. Despite her petite size, Bella’s intelligence and quick learning made every training session a breeze. Poodles come in various sizes, making them adaptable to different living spaces—a bonus for apartment dwellers like my neighbor.

Poodles are not just fancy show dogs; they are highly trainable and come in three sizes—standard, miniature, and toy—suitable for various living spaces. Be careful about mixed breeds when it comes to behavior. Labradoodles and Goldendoodles can be a bit sporadic. Especially when they are younger.

German Shepherd

Beautiful long-haired German Shepherd dog lying in the autumn forest, male, with
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German Shepherds are not only loyal and protective but also known for their high intelligence. Everyone knows this, and for these reasons, they are trusted by our law enforcement to protect and serve their communities. But did know that while German Shepherds are often associated with police and military roles, their original purpose was herding.

They were developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for herding sheep, showcasing their versatility. So, much like the Border Collie, who too is know for their ability to herd sheep,  they excel in obedience training and make excellent working dogs.

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs in the meadow.
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Shelties are agile, intelligent herding dogs that excel in obedience training. Their gentle nature makes them great for families. Similar to the look of a Collie, Shetland’s are a separate breed. Although both are known as working dogs, the Shetland is a bit smaller and was often used to herd sheep in tough terrain. 

Now in the modern era, the Shetland is known as one of the best family dogs. It’s ability to be gentle and yet take command make it a great addition to parents with small children. 

Bichon Frise

Bichon frise, puppy, in autumn
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Bichon Frises are charming and adaptable. Their friendly demeanor and intelligence make them easy to train and well-behaved. I don’t always think of smaller dogs as having much “intelligence.” But with proper training and patience, the Bichon can match even the most responsive breeds. 

Doberman Pinscher

Three Doberman Pincher relaxing in the autumn park
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Known for their loyalty and intelligence, Dobermans are quick learners. Proper training and socialization contribute to their well-behaved nature. My first dog was arguably the Doberman. It’s hard to remember now because I was so young.

Thor was her name, and she was extremely protective and loyal. Back then, I was running around in my Star Wars sweats and pretending to be Randy Macho Man off the top ropes. That meant as Thor laid down, I would run across the room and drop onto her, often playing with her in too rough of a manner. My parents reprimanded me when things got a little too out of hand, but regardless, the story goes that Thor never once snapped or bit at me.

Pit Bulls

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Pit Bulls include breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature, making them excellent snuggle buddies.

I could write an entire book on this breed, being the whole influence and inspiration for taking my understanding of dogs to a new level. My Pit, Harvey, perhaps makes me slightly biased about the breed, but his intelligence goes beyond your typical dog tricks. Harvey will sit, shake, lay down, recall, etc. But what astounds me is how he seems to “read me.” These moments transcend into him being my shadow and perhaps the most well-behaved dog I have ever known.

Hundreds of dog-sitting jobs later, I can honestly say my Pit Bull is the best-behaved dog I have ever met!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Little dog Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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These small and affectionate dogs are not only adorable but also known for their friendly and easygoing nature. They adapt well to various living environments.

I can’t say I have much experience with Spaniels, but I can say those that I know never have a bad thing to say about them. However, one cautionary owner mentions in our article dog breeds owners don’t recommend that health problems can be an issue with this breed. Regardless, what I have seen of them at the local dog parks and veterinarian offices is that they are well-behaved and extremely obedient. 

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog, laying in the field
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In the realm of canine companions, Bernese Mountain Dogs stand out as gentle giants despite their imposing size. Their serene disposition and sincere desire to please make them exemplary family pets. Interestingly, our guide to the breed delves deeper into the unique characteristics that contribute to their well-mannered nature.

Contrary to their massive build, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not just popular for their size; they’re gaining recognition for their exceptional behavior. Their innate ability to balance being well-mannered and protective is a key factor in their rising popularity.

It’s essential to recognize the intelligence of these magnificent dogs. While their calm demeanor and eagerness to please make them ideal family members, keeping them mentally and physically engaged is crucial. Surprisingly, as the day unfolds, don’t be taken aback if your Bernese Mountain Dog transforms into a bit of a lazy lap dog—they’re known for their adaptability and love for cozy moments. These insights provide a glimpse into the multifaceted nature of Bernese Mountain Dogs, making them not just pets but cherished members of the family.

Papillon

Portrait of a Papillon Purebreed Dog in a Grass Meadow with Trees Behind
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Now, shifting gears to the delightful Papillon, these small wonders are more than meets the eye. My firsthand experience dog-sitting for Lucy, a charming Papillon, highlighted their remarkable intelligence and trainability. Despite their petite size, Papillons are known for their friendly and alert nature, and Lucy was no exception.

During my time with Lucy, her intelligence shone through as she effortlessly picked up on commands and displayed a keen awareness of her surroundings. It was a testament to the Papillon’s reputation for being not just cute lap dogs but also highly trainable companions.

Well-Mannered Canine Companions

Happy couple with dog labrador in the park.
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Choosing a well-behaved dog breed is a key factor in creating a harmonious relationship between you and your furry friend. Whether you’re looking for a playful family companion or a loyal protector, these breeds are sure to bring joy and good behavior into your home. Remember, consistent training, positive reinforcement, and love are the keys to nurturing a well-mannered canine companion.

Best Slow Feed Dog Bowls

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Dogs tend to be pretty food-motivated. If your furry friend is a fast eater, a slow-feed dog bowl is a great idea because it will allow them to eat at a much healthier pace. Give one of these Slow Feed Dog Bowls!

Corey Turner
Corey Turner, owner of FurBallFun.com, draws on a lifelong love for dogs and extensive pet ownership to offer a unique perspective in the pet industry. With a successful background in project management, he excels in critical analysis, precise attention to detail, and quality assurance. This expertise allows him to effectively differentiate true value from marketing hype in the pet sector. Corey’s contributions have been featured in various publications including Rockery Press Guide Books and WealthofGeeks.com. During his free time, he enjoys disc golfing, rock climbing, and bonding with his cherished FurBall friend, Harvey.