Top 12 Most Well-Behaved Dog Breeds

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows how much joy these animals can bring into your life. Yet owning a dog is not without its challenges, and behavioral problems often top the list of reasons that people give away or abandon their pets.

This is unfortunate, as any dog can be taught to behave, and in reality, many behavior problems come from the owner’s inability to train or socialize their pets appropriately. That said, some dog breeds are indeed more challenging to raise than others. So, if you are looking for your first dog or you are just not confident in your training abilities, it may be advisable to find a breed that is relatively easy to raise and naturally predisposed to good behavior.

To help you make your choice, here’s an alphabetical list of the 12 most well-behaved dog breeds.

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1. Beagle

beagle
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The Beagle is a small dog that was originally bred for hunting but is now best known for their use as sniffer dogs by customs agencies at ports and airports. An extremely old breed, the earliest known records of Beagle-type dogs go back over 2,000 years to ancient Greece.

Bold, intelligent, and of even temperament, Beagles are relatively easy to train and are naturally calm dogs. While they can be a little stubborn, Beagles are excellent around children and are an easy choice when it comes to identifying the most well-behaved dog breeds.


2. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog sitting on grass
Image Credit: Othmar Sigrist, Pixabay

Originally from Switzerland, the Bernese Mountain dog is a large dog best known for their striking tri-colored coat. An old breed, they are known to have lived in the mountainous regions of central Europe since at least 58 B.C.

Strong and sturdy working dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs have gained popularity around the world. An outgoing and friendly breed, they have stable, patient, and affectionate personalities, and they are easy to train and are fantastic with children. These dogs love spending time with their families and are usually well behaved. They will bark at a stranger that approaches their home but don’t tend to bark excessively.


3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
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As their name suggests, the Boston Terrier was developed in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally bred as a cross between an English Bulldog and a White English Terrier, the breed was officially recognized and admitted to the American Kennel Club on 20 February 1893.

A small dog, the Boston Terrier has a short, smooth coat and is an easy breed to look after. They have a friendly and lively personality and are known for their stable disposition and intelligence. Boston Terriers make excellent companion dogs and family pets. They are generally quiet dogs that only bark when necessary and are another easy choice for our list of the most well-behaved dog breeds.


4. Bull Terrier

two bull terrier
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The Bull Terrier is a strong, muscular, and courageous dog that is originally from the United Kingdom. Despite their menacing appearance, the Bull Terrier is a friendly, intelligent, and even-tempered dog.

While they can be a little stubborn, Bull Terriers make great family pets and wonderful companion dogs. They are easy to care for and will be just as happy living in a house with a yard as they will living indoors in an apartment. These dogs can be quite boisterous when they are puppies but tend to settle down as they mature, and you are unlikely to have any significant behavioral issues with an adult Bull Terrier.


5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Image credit: Mário Simoes, Wikimedia Commons

A direct descendant of the small Spaniels depicted in many paintings of English royalty from the 16th and 17th centuries, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also known as the Royal Spaniel, is a small, sturdy dog with a long flowing, silky coat.

Known for their loving and affectionate temperaments, it has been said that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a noble little dog that loves all things great and small. A happy and generally healthy breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not dogs that enjoy living outside, preferring instead to be indoors as a member of the family.


6. Collie

collie
Image Credit: Yasu w, Wikimedia Commons

Originally from Scotland, where they were breed as sheepdogs, Collies are a medium-sized dog best known for their long flowing coats and distinctive wedge-pointed faces. Although long favored by aristocrats, the breed became exceptionally popular in the 20th century due to the “Lassie” movies and television show.

An almost ideal family pet, Collies are affectionate and loving dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement. They are quite sensitive dogs, so provided that they are treated kindly, they are eager to please. Collies are quite intelligent and generally respond well to training. While they will bark when strangers approach and will, if necessary, defend their home and family, they are not naturally aggressive dogs.


7. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever working dogs
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The Golden Retriever is an exceptionally popular breed that was originally developed in Scotland in the 19th century as a hunting dog. While still used for this purpose, Golden Retrievers are now far more likely to be found living in suburban homes as a family pet than in the field hunting.

Golden Retrievers are adored the world over for their super-friendly personality, their love for spending time with their families, and their calm, even temperament. Golden Retrievers generally make friends with everyone they meet, which is indicative of their true personality and the reason that they make poor guard dogs. Add into the mix that they are easy to train and are not at all aggressive, and you can see why they are considered one of the most well-behaved dog breeds.


8. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever wet look
Image Credit: GerMai, Pixabay

Like the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is an exceptionally popular family pet known for their calm demeanor and even temperament. Considered to be one of the most versatile dog breeds, Labradors are used extensively as seeing-eye dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, drug and explosive detector dogs, and in various other support roles.

The breed is highly intelligent, will respond exceptionally well to training, and is capable of adapting seamlessly to almost any domestic living environment. They are also exceptionally loyal, are typically not aggressive, and easily make our list as one of the most well-behaved dog breeds.


9. Newfoundland

Newfoundland dog
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The Newfoundland is a large and exceptionally smart dog named after the province in Canada from which the breed originates. Despite their immense size and strength, the Newfoundland is a gentle dog known for their intelligence and their gentle, loving, and calm disposition. So important is the breed’s temperament that their official breed standard lists it as the single most important characteristic.

Of course, any large and strong dog can be a handful if not trained properly from a young age, and in this regard, the Newfoundland is no exception. Newfoundland puppies require obedience training from quite a young age, as they can be boisterous, but it is something that they pick up without difficulty. Once they’re trained, you are unlikely to have any behavioral issues unless you neglect them or constantly leave them alone for long periods.


10. Poodle

Two Poodles
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Widely considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds, the Poodle was originally bred as a hunting dog and used as a water retriever throughout Germany and France from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Despite their delicate look, the Poodle is a robust, active, and well-balanced dog that has a friendly and confident personality.

Today, the Poodle is best known for the vast array of stylish and at times, eccentric haircuts that fanciers of the breed often give their pets. Poodles generally make excellent family pets and companion dogs, respond exceptionally well to training, and could be a good choice if you are looking for an intelligent, active, and well-behaved pet.


11. Pug

side view pug
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Widely considered to be one of the oldest known dog breeds, the Pug is known to have been in existence in China since about 700 B.C. First exported to the Netherlands in the 1500s, the breed quickly gained popularity among royal households throughout Europe.

Today, the breed is exceptionally popular throughout the world and best known for their friendly and clown-like personalities. These intelligent little dogs know to turn on the charm and can win hearts with just a glance from their big round eyes. While they can be a little stubborn, Pugs tend to be exceptionally friendly dogs and are not at all aggressive.


12. Vizsla

vizsla dog standing in a white sand desert
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While relatively unknown outside of Europe, the Vizsla is a medium-sized hunting dog originally developed in Hungary and used as a pointer and retriever. Best known for their striking golden-red coats, which is described in their breed standard as being “Russet Gold,” the Vizsla is a great family pet and companion dog.

Energetic, intelligent, and rarely aggressive, Vizslas are always keen to learn something new. As a breed, they are known to excel at obedience training and can be a great choice for competitive dog sports and agility or flyball training. The only issue that you are likely to have with the breed is making sure they get enough exercise, as Vizslas are not dogs that like sitting around all day, and they can become destructive if they don’t get enough mental stimulation and physical activity.

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