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janbb's avatar

What breeds of small dog are particularly sweet and easy to train?

Asked by janbb (54952points) 3 weeks ago

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24 Answers

jca2's avatar

Poodle. Bred totally as a companion dog.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Poole’s are sweet I know miniatures (not toy) are trainable. They are medium sized so not really lap dogs. They still retain the retrieving behavior they were originally bred for.
I have had a yorkie that was easy to train. I have a Chihuahua now that you can train but it takes work. Chihuahuas are sort of dim.

hmmmmmm's avatar

I know it’s technically not really a breed, but I’m attempting to type this with a mini labradoodle on my lap. She’s 25 pounds of cuddle. She doesn’t bark very much, and never needs a leash. She’s really the easiest (and best) dog I’ve had or met.

But I think the above answers are right – it’s the poodle. Brilliant, sweet dogs.

jca2's avatar

From what I understand, Cavaliers are guaranteed to have heart problems due to some breeding issue.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We are Jack Russell fans. Small, super sweet but still fun, active dogs. Very little maintenance and usually very smart.

cookieman's avatar

We’ve had great luck with Maltese and Havanese. Very lovable and wicked smart. Great house dogs.

We just got a Mini-GoldenDoodle puppy who came to us fully trained at 3-months. Very teachable.

And, all three breeds do not shed. Bonus!

longgone's avatar

I’m going to go against the flow here: I would advise against a poodle or -doodle. I would also be wary of most terriers. Here’s why:

When you say “easy to train”, what do you really mean? Do you want or need a dog who is very attentive and listens well, or are you looking for a laid-back companion who’s happy and relaxed? For the sake of this question, let’s assume you cannot have both – I think I remember you asked a question about that a long time ago.

Here it is.

In my experience, the smart dogs – attentive ones who were bred as hunters or herders – can make very difficult pets. Poodles are whip-smart and extremely trainable, but that attentiveness comes at a price – lots of them turn out to be nervous, even fearful. Terriers were bred to be independent hunters, and their energy level and curiosity makes them fun to be around. However, that same energy level is a lot to handle in daily life, and when you don’t keep them sufficiently amused they will find their own entertainment.

If it has to be a small dog, I would recommend a pug or French Bulldog, but one that is bred to be like the original version – none of the crazy short snouts. Alternatively, if you can vow to spend ten minutes a day on whistle training for the first year of your puppy’s life, Beagles make amazing cuddle companions and are usually very friendly and extremely chill. There’s a reason why they are the most common laboratory dogs. Beagles are hunters too, of course (hence the whistle training), but they are much less independent.

That said, there is a lot of variation within breeds and I am just talking statistics here. You might get lucky with any dog, and even the perfect puppy can be completely ruined by a careless or clueless breeder.

LostInParadise's avatar

My brother has a havanese that he trained to do various tricks. It is sociable and mild tempered. I believe my brother sent it to an obedience school. I don’t know how much of a difference that would make.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Our neighbors have a Cavalier and it never shuts up. I don’t know if that’s typical. Beagles bark a lot.

I like French bulldogs, but I’ve never lived with one. There are a couple in the neighborhood I meet often while they’re on their walks. They are calm and friendly.

kritiper's avatar

Welsh Corgis are very smart and sweet, not high strung like some small dogs.

janbb's avatar

My preference is for a hairy or furry dog. Love the look of terriers but would not get another one.

@longgone Yes. If I get one, it won’t be til the spring but would be looking for an easy going companion, rather than
Intellectual one.

Was thinking of a cavy or Maltese. I love the mini-Doodles too.

And I’ll probably talk myself out of it.

rebbel's avatar

I don’t know if you want to know a breed that isn’t easy to train?
If yes, a Chihuahua – Dachshund cross (at least my brother’s) isn’t the easiest to train.
He’s sweet, though.

janbb's avatar

I don’t like chihuahuas. Bad experiences with other people’s.

hmmmmmm's avatar

To connect this with the egg question, mini doodles are great at hanging out with chickens as well.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Chihuahuas are hit or miss. Mine is social and nice to everybody.

jca2's avatar

Bassetts are very easy going but not easy to train.

They’re also heavy, and need to be picked up to put into the car.

They’re very sweet animals. However, they have a real dog smell.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Dachshunds are sweet. The long-haired ones are almost as cute as corgis.

janbb's avatar

Anyone have Maltese experience?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I filed this question. I think Cato will be our last big dog. Maybe our last dog, period.

longgone's avatar

“Anyone have Maltese experience?”

Yes. Usually too sensitive for my tastes, and same for Cavaliers. Would you consider an adult dog? That’s the safer choice, especially if you can get a trainer to come along for an evaluation of the dog’s temperament.

I second Bassets, though they aren’t really small dogs.

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snowberry's avatar

I have a corgi and red heeler mix that is simply remarkable. She’s the most people oriented dog I’ve ever seen, is amazingly quick to train, and she’s got a very sweet personality. On top of that, she’s gorgeous, with red freckles on the white of her face, bib and legs.

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