The Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

many different breeds of dogs

First-time dog owners often have a hard time deciding on which dog to adopt. There are so many breeds out there, and each one is different!

Some dogs require more maintenance than others, while some might be better suited for apartment living. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best breeds for first-time owners.

The Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

There are many breeds that make a great first-time dog. The best one for you depends on the amount of time and energy that you want to invest in your dog.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are fun-loving, playful, and gentle. They are a great choice for someone who wants to be active with their dog. Shih Tzus love the company of others so don't worry if you live in an apartment!

They are also great around children. Just be sure you keep an eye on any small children as the Shih Tzu is rather petite itself. An untrained child can accidentally cause harm to a dog this small.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one breed that has taken the hearts of many dog lovers.

They love to be around people and are an excellent companion for those who live on their own or with other animals in the home.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming, but they do require regular brushing because of their long hair.

Cavaliers also need at least a walk a day, so make sure you have time to give this loving pup what they need. If you do, they'll be sure to spend the rest of the day on your lap.


You might know the Whippet's larger cousin, the Greyhound. If you like the looks of the Greyhound but want a smaller dog, the Whippet might be a great choice.

They're also an excellent dog for a first-time owner. They are active dogs and need a lot of room to run. They are sprinters though, so they can usually get their energy out in small bursts.

But if you have enough space outside your home, the Whippet will show their love by following you around wherever you go–inside and out!

Labrador Retriever

One of the most popular dog breeds around is the Labrador Retriever. They are a great choice if you're looking for a dog who will love your children and be gentle, but they need to be socialized early.

The Lab is known as a “workaholic,” so they need plenty of exercise. They are excellent swimmers, which makes this breed perfect for people with waterfront properties or those living in warmer climates.

The breed typically ranks in the top three of most popular breeds by the American Kennel Club for a reason. These playful pups can be the life of the family if socialized well.

Golden Retriever

This Golden is a sturdy and muscular dog. They are also one of the most intelligent breeds. They need a lot of exercise, so they might not be for everyone.

The Golden Retriever (learn more) is considered to be gentle and affectionate with children and other animals. They are patient, get along well with strangers, and can learn tricks like sitting up on command easily.

However, because this breed needs plenty of activity (and attention), Goldens may not work as well in more hectic households or those without lots of time to spend outdoors.

Their coat also requires regular brushing to avoid mats and tangles.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This gentle giant is an excellent companion for first-time dog owners. It is a very intelligent breed that learns quickly and loves to please its owner, which makes training easy.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is also gentle with children but needs plenty of exercise– they will get bored without it!

The Bernese can make the perfect family pet because they are happiest when interacting with their human companions in addition to other pets in the household.

Like all breeds, this one has some specific requirements: They need daily brushing and regular trips to the groomers every six months or so.

This giant pup may not be ideal for city dwellers who live in small apartments without yards; his size could result in knocking over furniture (and people) if they cannot get their energy out.

Dog Breeds for the Seasoned Dog Owner

Dog Breeds for the Seasoned Dog Owner

We hate to say that any breed should be avoided because every dog deserves to be in a loving home. Some breeds are simply known to be a little more difficult to train and are best suited for seasoned dog owners.

Some breeds you might consider “advanced” include:

  • Shiba Inu
  • Beagle
  • Border Collie
  • Siberian Husky
  • Dalmatian

Any one dog from these breeds can be wonderful, loving companions. These breeds overall are known for either being stubborn or very hyperactive.

Hopefully, this listing has given you some ideas on what type of dog to get for your first time.

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