These Are the Easiest Dog Breeds to Housebreak

Training and taking care of a dog is a lot of work. That’s one of the reasons why so many Americans choose dogs who are easy to traineasy to groom, or just all around easy to own. But many first-time dog owners, especially, are worried about another harrowing part of the process of bringing a new dog home: figuring out how to housebreak a puppy. Fortunately, you can always choose a breed with a reputation as one of the easiest breeds to house train.

Of course, no matter which breed you choose, you can’t expect a puppy to magically know what to do. Training a puppy still requires some work. But read on to discover the breeds that typically require less work than others when it comes time to housebreak a new dog.

1. Australian shepherd

Australian shepherd

Australian shepherds are pretty cleanly puppies. | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Cuteness points to the Australian shepherd as a dog breed that usually proves easy to housebreak. The Nest reports that Australian shepherd puppies naturally want to keep their living space clean, so crate training works particularly well for this breed. The publication reports that an Australian shepherd who stays in a crate for part of the day will quickly learn not to go to the bathroom in the house. That’s especially true if you use positive training techniques like rewarding your puppy with praise or treats when she relieves herself outside.

Next: This dog breed takes well to crate training. 

2. Bichon Frise

A small beautiful and adorable white bichon frise dog standing on the lawn and looking cheerful.

They’re pretty smart cookies. | f8grapher/iStock/Getty Images

Cuteness characterizes the Bichon Frise as one of the dog breeds that typically proves the easiest to housebreak. PetPlace concurs, and notes that these dogs are also quite smart and don’t shed very much. The Nest recommends crate training for this breed, too, noting that this method “can be remarkably effective for Bichon Frise puppies.” Even after your dog has been housebroken, he should feel comfortable spending time in his crate when he wants some time alone or needs a secure place to take a nap.

Next: These dogs love to please their owners. 

3. Border collie

Border Collie Puppy With Paws on White Rustic Fence III

They aim to please. | JLSnader/iStock/Getty Images

Wag Walking puts the border collie on the list of the easiest dog breeds to housebreak thanks to their high intelligence. The Nest reports that “Border collies aim to please their owners by responding crisply to commands.” That can work to your advantage when you need to housebreak a new dog.” Even at the puppy stage during housetraining, kindness and praise readily motivate your handsome young border,” The Nest advises.

Next: This dog breed can make housebreaking easier. 

4. Boston terrier

Boston terrier

It can be a challenge, but just like for any puppy. | Studio-laska/iStock/Getty Images

The Nest reports that the Boston terrier numbers among the dog breeds that prove easiest to housebreak. But Boston Terrier Secrets still characterizes the process of housebreaking as a “challenge.” That should give you some important perspective: Even for dogs who take easily to housebreaking, it’s still a process. Both you and your dogs will likely make mistakes. But you’ll both get through it with some patience!

Next: These dogs don’t want their house to smell bad. 

5. Brittany

Brittany dog breed

They are naturally clean dogs. | Pharaoh Hound/Wikimedia Commons

Cuteness also recommends the Brittany to potential dog owners looking for a breed that’s easy to housebreak. Ty the Dog Guy concurs, noting that these dogs “are naturally clean, and they do not want smelly surroundings.” But the AKC notes that “They’re probably too smart for their own good. Although obedient, a Brittany wants to know what’s in it for her. So much sass.”

Next: This dog breed can learn what to do within a few days. 

6. Doberman pinscher

Doberman posing by a Ravine

Dobermans are pretty adept at potty training. | Thanu_Media/iStock/Getty Images

Cuteness also suggests the Doberman pinscher as a dog breed you should consider if you want a dog who will take easily to housebreaking. The Nest reports, “Potty training is not a challenge for this highly skilled and intelligent breed.” In fact, the publication reports that most of these dogs will “catch on within a few days of training with positive reinforcement.” Doberman pinschers don’t want unpleasant odors around their homes. So as The Nest puts it, a Doberman “practically trains himself, but he still needs your guidance in the beginning.”

Next: These dogs learn quickly. 

7. German shepherd

German shepherd in a summer day

They’re known for their intelligence. | keleny/iStock/Getty Images

Wag Walking characterizes the German shepherd as one of the easiest dog breeds to housebreak. According to the publication, “The German Shepherd is a protective breed, learns quickly and is very hard working. Its ability to learn commands quickly makes it an easy dog to potty train.” PetHelpful adds that “If you do your part, German Shepherd puppy potty training will be quick and relatively painless.”

Next: This rare dog breed numbers among the easiest to housebreak.

8. Kai Ken

Kai Ken dog

They’re pretty rare. | Canarian/Wikimedia Commons

According to Wag Walking, the Kai Ken, a relatively rare Japanese dog breed, also numbers among the easiest breeds to housebreak. “They are almost always cheerful, and since the dog learns commands swiftly, it is easy to potty train,” the publication explains. Wag Walking also reports that these dogs can be stubborn, but they can sometimes be house trained “within a matter of days.”

Next: House training is a breeze with this popular dog breed. 

9. Labrador retriever

Beautiful labrador retriever dog in the park,

There’s a reason they’re the most popular breed in the country. | sanjagrujic/iStock/Getty Images

Wag Walking also puts the Labrador retriever on the list of the easiest dog breeds to housebreak. According to the publication, “They take commands easily so potty training them is usually a breeze.” That’s just one of the reasons why Labrador retrievers remain the most popular dogs across the United States. A few other reasons to love this breed? Labs love children, live long and healthy lives, always want to help you out, and typically have adventurous and playful personalities.

Next: This dog breed stays clean, and wants the house to stay clean, too. 

10. Maltese

White maltese dog lies on carpet and looking ahead

He’s got a strong bladder for a little dog. | baloon111/iStock/Getty Images

PetHelpful reports that the Maltese is one of the easiest dog breeds to housebreak. “Some small dogs have problems holding their bladder, probably just because they do not have much room down there,” the publication explains. “This tiny dog (usually only 2-4 kilos, or about 4-10 pounds) might be expected to fit in that category, but he does not.” These dogs are very clean and as an added bonus, don’t smell.

Next: These dogs are sometimes housebroken before you even bring them home.

11. Miniature schnauzer


They take easily to obedience training. | Elen11/iStock/Getty Images

PetHelpful also places the miniature schnauzer on the list of dogs you’ll find it easiest to housebreak. “Some puppies will even be housetrained by the time they leave the breeder’s home,” the publication explains. “But of course if you change the training method (using pads instead of grass, for example) it will set the dog back a little.” These dogs also take easily to obedience training.

Next: This dog breed catches on very quickly.

12. Shar-pei

Shar Pei dog

You need to establish yourself as the leader of the pack. | Chloe Victoria Photography/iStock/Getty Images

The Nest also puts the shar-pei on its list of the dog breeds that are easiest to housebreak. The Nest characterizes this dog breed as “easy to train,” and notes that they typically catch on to house training very quickly. But the publication does have some advice. “Remember that shar-peis can become dominant, so establish your dominance early, stick to a routine and reward your shar-pei for his good potty training behavior, and you’ll eliminate accidents in the house quickly.”

Next: You can housebreak these dogs within a few days. 

13. Shiba Inu

Shibu inu jumping in the snow

Cleanliness and obedience are two different things. | irontrybex/iStock/Getty Images

PetHelpful puts the Shiba Inu on its list of the easiest dog breeds to housebreak. The publication notes that though these dogs don’t prove easy to obedience train, you can typically housebreak one within a few days. (Cleanliness comes naturally to them!) Wag Walking reports that this breed displays the “natural fastidiousness that often accompanies hunting breeds. Tapping into this natural instinct while potty training your Shiba Inu may make potty training your dog more successful and less stressful.”

Next: This dog breed responds well to positive training.

14. Shih Tzu

Shih tzu

They can be stubborn, but they like treats. | Elenasendler/iStock/Getty Images

PetHelpful also characterizes the Shih Tzu as one of the easiest dog breeds to housebreak. However, The Nest reports that these independent dogs can prove “stubborn to train, especially when it comes to housebreaking.” But not all hope is lost! The Nest advises, “Tempt your dog to potty outdoors with treats and praise. Consistent, positive training methods work well with this breed and should have your dog eliminating outdoors like clockwork in no time.”

Next: These dogs learn quickly. 

15. Standard poodle

Dog show

They’re highly intelligent. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Cuteness suggests the standard poodle as another breed that typically proves easy to housebreak. The Nest reports that this highly intelligent breed responds well to training. The publication even adds that “With patience and consistency, house training your new poodle can be a quick, even enjoyable, process.”

Read more: The 21 Easiest Dog Breeds to Own

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