List of small easily trainable dog breeds

Updated November 21, 2016

Small dog breeds can sometimes be difficult to train and are prone to behavioural problems if not properly raised. One common problem is small-dog syndrome whereby dogs become aggressive because owners think the dog's behaviour is cute and do not correct bad behaviour. This is not true of all breeds, as some are naturally intelligent and have loyal instincts that, with the right training methods, can make a well-behaved dog.


The papillon is a small breed classed in the toy dog group. It grows to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighs around 4.54kg. It is a delicately built breed with a long, straight coat and large ears. The breed is friendly, intelligent and easy to train as long as you establish dominance. Firm training and socialising make papillons into a good family dog.


The toy and miniature poodles are both small breeds. The miniature stands at about 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 7.71kg. The toy stands at 10 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 4.08kg. Both types are highly intelligent and are among the easiest breeds to train. Firm training and socialising will quickly make the dogs obedient and calm.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland sheepdog is essentially a miniature version of the rough-coated collie. The breed grows to 16 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 12.2kg. They have the loyalty and intelligence of the bigger breed along with a docile nature. The breed is often eager to please so they will pick up training quickly and, as long as you follow firm training and socialisation, they make good companion dogs.


The schipperke is a small dog with a foxlike body and face. It grows to 13 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 8.16kg. The breed is by nature loyal and devoted to its owners and rarely aggressive. It has a lot of energy and high intelligence, so it enjoys to learn, making it easily trained.


Classed as a toy dog, the Pomeranian grows to 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs up to 3.18kg. They have a thick, fluffy coat and a short muzzle. It is an active breed with high intelligence. The dogs enjoy learning new things and are inquisitive. The breed also has an independent streak, which makes them less clingy than other small dogs.

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