Eight of the best behaved dog breeds

One of the best behaved dog breeds, a Bernese Mountain Dog sitting in yard
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to choosing a furry friend to join your family, finding a well-behaved dog breed is often at the top of the wish list. A dog with good behavior not only makes for a harmonious household but also ensures a positive and enjoyable experience for both owners and their four-legged companions. 

Whether you're a first-time owner or an experienced dog lover, the breeds included in this roundup are known for their obedience, sociability, and natural inclination to please, making them a joy to live with. Even better news, they’ll make teaching important skills and habits like how to potty train a puppy or how to stop a dog from pulling on a leash a whole lot easier.

It’s worthwhile noting that all dogs differ in personality no matter what breed they are. We spoke to animal behaviorist, Caroline Wilkinson, about finding a well behaved dog breed. Here’s what she had to say, “When researching what makes the best behaved dog breed, you firstly want to decide what you want from a new dog in your life. Do you want them to be high energy - ready for long hikes or running? Do you want them to be more laid back, a complete sofa snoozer? Or perhaps you want to compete at a dog sport with them."

"What makes the right dog for your household will be different for everyone,"  she explains, “But for the average pet home, we want a dog who is comfortable around people as a starting point. Those who have been bred to either work alongside a human as a team or those who have been bred to be a lap dog – purely a companion animal – can be easier to train than those more independent breeds.”

If you want to uncover examples of these breeds, stick with us. Our list of eight of the best behaved dog breeds will guide you toward finding a canine companion that embodies obedience and will make an excellent addition to your home.

PetsRadar’s best behaved dog breeds

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

best behaved dog breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are calm, patient, and cuddly dogs. They can adapt easily to almost any environment, which makes them a great option for families, elderly folks, and an ideal breed for first-time dog owners. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very sociable and affectionate, so don't be surprised if they fall in love with everyone they meet. 

2. Golden Retriever

best behaved dog breeds: Golden Retriever

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There's a reason why Golden Retrievers are so popular: they're by and large incredibly well-behaved. They're excellent family dogs, wonderfully affectionate, and are usually easy to train. 

Whether you're looking for a cuddle buddy or a run partner, the Golden Retriever is sure to fit the bill. Just picture them exactly like the dog in Disney Pixar movie Up: great with children, gentle, loving and kind. It's a no-brainer. 

3. Boston Terrier

best behaved dog breeds: Boston Terrier

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Boston Terriers are an easy dog to take care of, and are also usually quite well-behaved. They are both friendly and energetic, but like cuddling just as much as the next dog. Boston Terriers are usually fairly quiet, and don't bark all that much.

They're incredibly affectionate, but they will need some exercise to ensure they don't get too hyper! Boston Terriers both love children and make great companions for the elderly and apartment dwellers alike. 

4. Beagle

best behaved dog breeds: beagle

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Beagles are gentle, sweet and amicable with almost everyone they meet. They are great dogs for families with young children thanks to their keen intelligence and energetic spirit. 

As long as you make sure they get consistent training, Beagles can be incredibly well-behaved dogs but they do have an occasional tendency to be a bit stubborn, so you'll want to train out that behavior quick. But the Beagle's sweet disposition and desire to please make them a great choice for almost any family.  

5. Bernese Mountain Dog

best behaved dog breeds: Bernese Mountain Dog

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Bernese Mountain Dogs are definitely some of the best behaved dog breeds. They're incredibly affectionate dogs that are often big ole sweethearts. They're calm and patient, which makes them great companions for families with children. 

They're also considered one of the least aggressive dog breeds, which means they'll be kind and calm to almost anyone they meet. Bernese Mountain Dogs may be big, but they're mostly just giant cuddlers that can double as a pillow. 

6. Labrador Retriever

best behaved dog breeds: Labrador retriever

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The Labrador Retriever is incredibly kind, caring, and sweet by nature. These dogs are very trusting and gentle, which makes them a fantastic fit for elderly people, families with young kids, or new dog owners.

They're also incredibly smart and tend to be easy to train, which means you hopefully won't have to spend too much time teaching them good behaviors. Labs are energetic, however, so make sure they're getting plenty of exercise or they may channel that energy into some unwanted behavior.

7. Border Collies

best behaved dog breeds: border collies

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Border Collies are eager to please and incredibly affectionate, with an impressive intelligence that makes them fairly easy to train. You'll usually find them in the field as working dogs, but they are also gentle-natured and enjoy a good cuddle.

Just make sure they're getting exercise everyday to burn off that energy. Collies are smart, kind and can easily fit into your home with the right training and mindset. 

8. Australian Shepherd Dog

Australian Shepherd Dog

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Australian Shepherds are widely recognized for their exceptional behavior and are often praised for their good manners. There are several reasons why this breed stands out in terms of behavior, such as their intelligence. Due to their cleverness and eagerness to please, Australian Shepherds are known for their trainability. 

They thrive on mental stimulation and enjoy having a job or purpose, which contributes to their overall well-behaved nature. Originally bred as working dogs, Australian Shepherds possess a strong work ethic. They have a natural inclination to follow instructions and perform tasks, which translates into obedient behavior in various settings.

Whilst you're here, you might also be interested in finding out the what the best dog breeds for remote workers are or how about which are the best dogs for hiking.

Caroline Wilkinson
Caroline Wilkinson

Caroline Wilkinson is a Certified Animal Behaviourist. She is a Full (assessed) Member of the APDT and INTODogs – as well as a Registered Training Instructor (ABTC). Caroline is also a Certified Real Dog Yoga Practitioner and an Applied Canine Zoopharmacognosist. 

Ashleigh Gibbs
Digital Editor

Ashleigh is Digital Editor on PetsRadar. With over 8 years of experience in print and digital media, she has acted as an editorial lead on a variety of projects, with animal themes a keen interest. As an avid animal lover, you can often find Ashleigh checking out the newest trends in animal care or looking at cute cat videos on TikTok.