10 Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

Dog Breeds for First Time Owners Breeds

Have you been considering getting a dog lately? Picking a dog on your first try might be a tricky affair: there are just so many factors to consider.

Some dogs can bark too loud or snore too loud. Others may just be so aggressive towards strangers that you can’t ever have people over without locking them up in a room.

For families with children, there’s also the concern of how the dog will react to children, and vice-versa. A little homework can go a long way, particularly since you’re thinking of welcoming in a new family member who will hopefully be staying with you for a long while to come.

The first thing to do would be to make a list of “To Have” and “Have Not-s”, to help you categorize what you’re looking for in a dog. Speak to your local veterinarian, because chances are that they’ll have a whole range of useful information.

Perhaps you could even consider adopting a dog: did you know that 25-30% of dogs in a shelter are purebreds?

These decisions are difficult, but don’t worry, because we’re here to guide you to the most adorable, low-maintenance, loving, and easy to train dogs there can be: in short, the 10 best dog breeds for first-time owners!

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs are nothing short of a bundle of joy, despite the ridiculously long name and heritage! Once you get over how regal it sounds, these dogs are actually quite cute and lovable.

They are incredibly playful, so they love chasing balls and other objects. The good news is that they’re extremely adaptable, fearless, and also patient: qualities that make them indispensable to a first-time owner.

These gentle creatures are great for families with kids and very affectionate too. And the fact that they are highly sociable just means they won’t take too long to make friends with your friends and family!

Add to that, the only thing you need to do by way of grooming brushes its coat: absolutely no trimming required!

2. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise are small, cheerful, mischievous and affectionate creatures. A little like soft toys to look at, their disposition is perky and good-natured, which make them ideal for families.

They are known for their gentle temperament, which is good news for the owners with small children. Another thing that should make them appealing to new owners is how low maintenance they are: they hardly shed and don’t need much grooming.

They are good apartment pets, but also energetic which means you can expect to spend some time taking them out on walks or playing with them. Incidentally, if you are prone to allergies, this might be one of the best breeds for you – but do check with your doctor before you decide to adopt.

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

This is one of those decisions that are really a no-brainer. Fit for an apartment? Check. Low-maintenance? Check. Basically, prepare to put a lot of checks in your “To Have” list. These “American gentlemen” are well known for being a clever, good-natured, sturdy breed.

Their wonderful temperament makes them excellent companions for people of all age groups; coupled with a rather high IQ. A brisk walk every day is all the exercise they’ll need, so go ahead and be lazy.

They are also conveniently small and very quiet: one big problem that dog-owners face is angry neighbors complaining of the dog barking at midnight, but that won’t ever be an issue here. An added bonus for new owners is that these dogs require little grooming as well.

4. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

It’s no wonder that the Labrador retriever has been consistently ranked as THE most popular breed. These dogs come with a stable temperament, high intelligence and loyalty: not surprisingly, they make excellent pets for both families and singles.

They are enthusiastic, outgoing, and trusting to a fault. They are ideal companions for kids and for the blind.

They are completely non-aggressive but they do tend to bark a lot when excited. New owners may need to get used to a lot of shedding: just learn to groom your dog and you’ll be fine. The lack of training can adversely affect these dogs, therefore be sure to make that a priority. You may even need to train them so that they don’t walk off with strangers!

5. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

While we’re on the topic of retrievers, let us also look at another of those pets that are very popular with families.

This beautiful dog is a delight to look at, and a pleasure to own. Sweet in disposition, they are extremely adept at skills like hunting. Their water-repellant coats shed seasonally and require regular brushing, but that’s something you may get used to.They are also very reliable, friendly, kind, trustworthy and intelligent, which makes it an easy task to own and train them.

Owning a golden retriever can turn out to be a very satisfying experience because of their eagerness to please, love for games of fetch, and overall good-humored nature. Ignoring their active nature, however, may lead to certain behavioral problems.

6. Brittany


These are generally considered to be really athletic dogs, and are extremely easy to discipline with just a stern word. They are also very eager to please, very affectionate and extremely loyal.

Your Brittany will need a lot of time and attention, so they make for a perfect first-time pet for active families. Like most dogs, they shed, but you can keep that in control by brushing their coat (which they love!): No special technique or tool required in taking care of them! If you have an aversion to the “stink” of dogs, then this dog should fit right in. Word of caution:

They are mostly recommended for people living in houses with yards, even small ones, because of their excessive need for activity!

7. Papillon


The Papillon was once known as the “dwarf spaniel”, when it was lounging around in the arms of great lords and ladies in court. People think of them as lap dogs, but the Papillion is actually of a very active nature and doesn’t fit into a sedentary lifestyle that well.

While the combination of small child + small dog is hazardous, if you have other pets like cats, this is probably one of the few dogs that will be the right choice for you. Also, if you want to participate in dog sports, then this is the one for you. Just attend an obedience class; keep a firm hand so as to not spoil your pet, and you should not have any problems at all!

8. Pugs


Pugs are generally considered a great choice for new owners. They shed very little, and the only maintenance they require is a bit of regular cleaning of the folds of skin.

That apart, they are well behaved, extremely affectionate, and not at all difficult to handle. You may even be surprised how affable they are, despite the somewhat mean expression that they have.

They are perfectly happy to sit around with you, and just as happy following you around, which is just saying how energetic they can be. Pugs are also small, playful, and incredibly friendly so it shouldn’t be difficult to make friends with your new pet. However, they can be rather noisy: they have a loud bark and they also snore rather loudly.

9. The greyhound

The greyhound

The greyhound is a dog that is famous for its active nature and characterized by a love for racing. It is often thought that these dogs that must need space to run around, but they are also surprisingly adaptable to lounging on the couch. Retired race greyhounds are especially suited to new owners.

These warm, gentle creatures have very minimal grooming needs so you don’t have to worry too much about that. They do need to get their fair share of exercise, but you should be fine as long as you remember to put them on a leash when outside: spot anything that moves or runs, and their instinct will just kick in. Don’t bother keeping up if that happens, you’ll inevitably fail!

10. Poodles


In many ways, a poodle can be a great dog for a first time dog owner. They have a great instinct and are extremely attentive, which means that your dog will try to follow and learn everything you show them.

Remember, though, that like the papillons, poodles need your guidance. How authoritative you can be will determine how well you can train them; if you have no problem with that, then a poodle will be an excellent pet!

Their faithfulness and intelligence mean you can probably train them quite easily, but again, remember to be firm-handed. The only down-side is that you will need to take them to a professional groomer every three to six weeks, so consider this only if that’s not an issue.

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