Where should I start when looking for a dog?
Choosing a breed of dog to bring into your home for the first time might be an intimidating task. There are hundreds of different dog breeds to choose from, and many of them are hybrids of two or more different types. What really separates one dog breed from another, and which dogs make the ideal pets for novice dog owners?
Your dog’s breed will have an effect on its physical appearance, personality, and even potential health problems. Some dog breeds are predisposed to become too stimulated, while others may have trouble with their backs. First-time dog owners should think carefully about their lifestyle and expectations before making a final decision on which breed to bring into their home.
If this is your first dog, you’ll want to know about some of the greatest breeds out there for novice owners. Here are some breeds to consider if you want a good first dog.
15 Best Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best dog breeds for first-time owners.1 Whether you’re looking for a small dog, a large dog, or something in between, there’s a dog for you on our list.
1. Mixed Breeds
Without mentioning any specific breeds, mixed breeds are a great choice for a first dog. Mixed breeds get some traits from different breeds, and those traits can vary quite a bit based on the breeds. Many mixed breed dogs are medium size, which is also a benefit if you’re looking for an easy breed to take care of.
Boxers are smart, active, and love to have fun. While boxers can get fairly large, they’re far from the largest of dog breeds, which makes them a little easier for first-time owners. Boxers also have short hair, so they don’t shed as much as longer-haired breeds.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a good small breed for first-time dog owners. This breed only grows to be about 18 pounds on the higher side, and they love to cuddle and spend time with people, which makes them great dogs for smaller homes and apartments.
Friendly dogs are great, and that’s exactly what you get with a papillon. These toy-breed dogs are friendly and energetic, so they’re a great choice if you have young children around the house.
5. English Springer Spaniel
If you want something a little larger, English Springer Spaniels are wonderful dogs for first-time owners. Keep in mind that this is a longer-haired breed, so you may have to do a bit more cleaning.
All types of poodles are great if you’re looking for an active, smart dog breed. There are standard poodles, smaller miniature poodles, and even smaller toy poodles. As a long-haired breed, regular grooming is crucial with poodles.
7. Wheaten Terrier
Originating from Ireland, Wheaten terriers make great farm dogs. Wheaten terriers are on the lower end of the medium-size spectrum, and they’re great with children, making them an excellent family breed.
Whippets are well-behaved around children and other dogs, so they’re great if you’re looking for an easily manageable first dog. Whippets are very playful and only reach about 40 pounds, so they’re great with kids.
9. Labrador Retriever
Labs are one of the most classic dog breeds, known for their infectious energy and friendliness. While labs aren’t always the calmest, they’re a great all-around medium dog breed.
10. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are an excellent toy dog breed if you want something smaller for an apartment or crowded house. While they only reach about 15 pounds, shih tzus pack a lot of playfulness in a small package.
11. Yorkshire Terrier
Another toy dog breed, Yorkshire terriers are affectionate and fun to be around. The biggest problems with this breed is their long coat and the fact that they take some extra socialization training in order to play well with other dogs.
Pomeranians may be small at just 3-7 pounds, but they’re bold and energetic for their size. While Pomeranians are a lot of fun to have around, they’re better for families without kids.
13. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are another traditional big dog type, and they are renowned for their intelligence, friendliness, and loyalty. Because of their intelligence and loyalty, golden retrievers are often used as therapy dogs. If you don’t keep up with their grooming, a golden retriever’s longer hair may go everywhere.
14. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise is a small dog that is a great all-around family pet. This breed is known for being great with families, young children, and other dogs, and they’re playful and peppy.
Weighing just over 20 pounds as adults, Basenjis are a good smaller breed because they’re smart and independent. However, some Basenjis may not be great around smaller children and other dogs.
What to Consider Before Getting a Dog
If you’re thinking about getting a dog, you should consider whether you’re in a good position to be a pet parent right now. Here are some of the things you should consider before you get a dog:
- Your work schedule
- Your household environment
- Whether you have other pets
- Your upcoming travel schedule
- Your financial situation (for breeds that are prone to health issues)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most challenging dog breeds to train?
Beagles, rottweilers, Siberian huskies, basset hounds, Chinese shar-peis, and Afghan hounds are among the most difficult dog breeds to train. It’s only a fact that some dogs have more energy than others, while some are more headstrong. First-time dog owners, especially those without access to a training group or professional trainer, should avoid getting a breed of dog known for being difficult to train.
What is the best dog breed to own?
There are several aspects to consider when determining which canines are appropriate for first-time owners. A little dog might be more manageable in a cramped apartment or house with young children. You may want to consider getting a Wheaten terrier if you’re looking for an energetic dog that thrives in rural settings. If you want a loyal and loving friend, think carefully about the breed of dog you bring into your home.
What are the easiest dog breeds to take care of?
The lowest maintenance dog breeds are those that demand the least time and effort from their owners in the ways of training and grooming. Regardless of the dog’s breed, however, owners should expect a significant time commitment when caring for their pet. When you adopt a pet, you’re taking on a significant responsibility.
Which dog breeds have the most health issues?
There are lots of dogs that are prone to health issues as a result of the breeding process. Some of the breeds that are susceptible to health issues include2:
- Siberian huskies
- German shepherds
- Labrador retrievers
- Shih tzus
Because these breeds can be harder to care for due to their potential for health problems, they may not be ideal for first-time dog owners.
There are many excellent breeds of dog available today; it would be difficult to make a bad choice. The most significant considerations in selecting a breed are your family’s preferences, your lifestyle, and your home’s physical setting. You may select a terrific friend if you keep to our list of breeds that are suitable for first-time dog owners.