Some dog breeds are notorious for being obedient and easy to train. Other breeds, however, are in no rush to come, heel, or fetch—content on perpetually ignoring their owner’s desperate commands. But where are pups more likely to obey their owners and where are they most likely to star in a doggy shame video online? To find out where the most obedient dogs live, we surveyed more than 3,100 dog parents online with at least 50 respondents in each state. Respondents rated their dog’s obedience level on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being not obedient at all and 5 being the most obedient. We also asked a series of supplemental questions centered around teaching obedience in both new puppies and fully-grown canines.

The States with the Most Obedient Pups

The states with the most and least obedient dogs

On average, dogs across the nation were rated 3.37 out of 5 by their owners when it comes to obedience. This is certainly not a bad score, but clearly, there is room for improvement. So, are there any individual states with canines that do what their owners ask?

Florida has the most obedient dogs with an average obedience score that is 6.79% higher than the national average. Utah and Arizona are home to the second and third most obedient pups, ranking 6.31% and 5.39% higher than the national average, respectively.

Of course, rambunctious dogs need homes, too. According to our results, they live in Washington, where they are, on average, 7.42% less obedient. Dogs whose names are “Hey!”, “Stop that!”, and, “I said no!” also live in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, among other states. We have hope for pups in Kansas and New Mexico, who are just 2.35% less obedient than the average.

How Dog Parents Train Their Pups

Infographic about how well Americans train their dogs

The onus of obedience level doesn’t fall squarely on the pups themselves. We also questioned dog parents to see how they train their dogs. Interestingly, two-thirds of dog parents started their pups early, training them from the first year they were born. Male dog owners have a high sense of their own training prowess, with 49% thinking their dog is better trained than others. One in five dog owners employ outside help, sending their dog to obedience training classes.

By far, the most common training tool is food, with 38.3% of dog owners using it as positive reinforcement for good behavior. A dog crate is the second most popular, with 16.3% employing its use. Other popular training tools include a gentle leader collar/leash and training pads.

But how well do these training tools work? Overall, very few American dog parents are comfortable letting their fluffy friends run off-leash in public. Percentages vary between generations, but 8.6% on average are completely comfortable with it. On the other end of the spectrum, 48.4% of boomers are highly uncomfortable with it.

When Dog Training Goes Wrong

Common challenges when training dogs in the U.S.

In some cases, dog obedience is situational. For example, 57% of dog parents say their dog listens better at home than in public. On the other hand, 45% of millennial dog parents say their pup listens better to them than their partner. For 33% of females, their dog’s lack of training prevents them from doing certain activities with their dogs like going out to eat or going to the dog park. Finally, 19% of Gen Z dog parents claim that their dog’s naughty behavior has made them reconsider committing to another canine friend.

If you are considering a dog yourself and are worried about bathroom accidents in the house, don’t be. Housebreaking was only an issue for 6.65% of survey respondents. Instead, consistency, separation anxiety, and socialization were the biggest concerns, with 21.6%, 14.1%, and 12.7% claiming so, respectively.

Final Thoughts

While training a dog can feel like a difficult undertaking at times, we know that dogs are beings of unconditional love. We enjoyed finding out which states have the best and worst trained dogs and taking a deeper look into the challenges and shortcomings of training dogs.

It’s important to ensure your pup has a sharp mind and a healthy body. One Vet, always provides 5-star subscription-based veterinary service right at your fingertips. You’ll be in contact with licensed veterinarians 24/7 through their virtual vet clinic to make sure your dog gets the absolute best care. Learn more today!

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Special Reports Team