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10 Popular Dog Breeds for First-time Owners

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Deciding on what type of dog you want to get as a first-time pet owner can be exciting and a little overwhelming. There are several factors to consider, some of which include maintenance, training, and how well the dog would fit in your life or your household, making it a challenge choosing what dog breed to have as a first-time owner. 

The good thing is that certain dog breeds have specific and predictable characteristics that make the decision-making process easier. Although breeds have distinct traits such as prey drive, trainability, and aggression towards strangers, each dog is unique. The environment the dog grows in may have a significant influence and supersede these traits. It is important to remember that characteristics specific to dog breeds may not predict how a particular dog will act. 

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In this article, we will be looking at some dog breeds that are suitable for first-time owners. 

Table of Contents

10 Best Dog Breeds for First-time Owners

When choosing a dog for the first time, it is essential to choose a dog that matches your energy and attention level. If you want an energetic dog that you can go running with, choose an athletic dog with endurance. If you prefer a lazy dog, then it’s best to avoid dog breeds with high energy. You may want to consider dogs with low maintenance as your first dog, especially if you don’t have lots of time for grooming. You can also consider foster dogs from rescue homes as they have already been house-trained and well socialized. They are better dogs for beginners since puppies require a lot of training, socialization, and maintenance. 

Some of the best dog breeds for first time owners include: 

Pug

Pugs are friendly dogs with adorable faces, making them a perfect dog for someone that needs a laid-back dog. They are sweet animals with a wonderful temperament, a rare characteristic for a dog that size. Pugs enjoy a good play session, but their short noses and legs make breathing and running a challenge. They have a short coat that requires little maintenance. Pugs weigh about 14-18 pounds and stand at 12-13 inches tall. Pugs also get along with everyone and are a joy to own. Unfortunately, Pugs are often riddled with health problems due to their cute short noses. Therefore, it is essential you have the money and resources for potential health problems that may arise from owning a pug.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is an adorable, fluffy dog that is ideal for households with children of all ages. Their hypoallergenic coat makes them the perfect pet for people suffering from allergies. Bichon Frise have a lovable and attentive demeanor that makes them very easy to train and thrive in human company. They can be a little shy with strangers at first but are quick to warm up to anyone. This dog breed stands at 9-12 inches and weighs about 7-12 pounds. They have a curly white coat that may have traces of cream. The Bichon Frise has a life expectancy of 14-15 years. 

Golden Retriever

This dog breed is another contender on the list of best dog breed for first time owners. Golden Retrievers are happy and lovable dogs that are eager to please and excellent with children of any age. They are intelligent and capable of thriving in any household. Goldens also have high energy levels and require lots of exercises to keep them from being bored and in good shape. Exercise may include intense activities like running, hiking, and playing fetch. Training a Golden is crucial but not difficult; they are very eager to learn and can do many things. Golden Retrievers have long coats that require regular grooming. They weigh around 55-75 pounds and stand at 21-24 inches. 

Labrador Retriever

Playful, intelligent, active, and obedient are qualities that can be used to describe Labrador Retrievers. These dogs are perfect for homes that offer lots of attention, exercise, and training. They are loyal, well-behaved dogs that are happy relaxing in the home as they are running in the park with their owners. Labs are famous for their love for food and would happily eat anything edible within their line of sight, so they tend to become overweight. This can be managed by regular exercise and limiting dog treats. Labs are very easy to train and have an easy-going temperament, making them a dog breed for first-time owners. They have a short, dense double coat that comes in chocolate, black and yellow colors. They stand at 21-25 inches and weigh 55 to 80 pounds. Labrador Retrievers have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. 

Maltese

The Maltese is a popular dog breed that is jovial and affectionate that is well suited in any environment as long as it is a loving one. They are intelligent dogs that make them easy to train, although they can be tricky to housebreak. They are always up for some quality family time, and they are a great addition to any family.

Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a dainty, small dog breed. It is a lap dog that typically bonds closest with a single owner but can still do well in families. This fog is better suited for older children but can adapt to any living environment. The Pom can be a stubborn and aggressive dog that requires training to provide structure and boundaries. Poms are bright and moderately active with an oversized fluffy coat. Fortunately, their coat is not as high-maintenance as it looks. Regular brushing is generally all you need to keep your Pom looking good.

Greyhound

Greyhounds are initially racing dogs. They’re bred to run in short spurts after fast-moving objects, so they’re not ideal off-leash work or homes with small animals. They are, however, calm and affectionate companions that are great for many new dog owners. Greyhounds have average energy levels. They love a good sprint but are content to hang on the couch. Greyhounds are of average intelligence and have very short coats. They are long and leggy dogs and weigh about 60-70 pounds and stand 27-30 inches tall.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These are cheerful little dogs that are great if you are seeking a cuddle buddy. They are great lap dogs that love nothing more than spending time snuggling with their owners. They possess a calm demeanor, and their attentive nature makes them respond well to training. They are also very eager to please. Although they have slightly fewer noses than pugs, they are still susceptible to similar health challenges. While they may enjoy staying on the couch, it is good to encourage them for a little physical activity like taking a walk in the park. Cavalier King Charles spaniel has long coats that require regular brushing. They possess average intelligence and are small dogs that weigh about 13-18 pounds and stand only 10 to 13 inches tall. 

Papillon

The Papillon is a small dog breed with a very big heart. This cheerful and amicable dog can do well in a variety of households. The dog breed gets along with children, but they must be gentle. The papillon enjoys an active lifestyle. It can function as a lap dog and exercise partner. The papillon does not need a lot of exercises but wants a chance to play and run around. The breed is easy to train and requires only moderate grooming. The Papillon has a long, straight coat with a single layer. The coat is white with markings and a mask of color, usually black, red, or sable. It weighs about 6 to 10 pounds, stands at 8 to 11 inches, and has a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. 

Shih Tzu

This is another adorable small dog breed with a big heart. This dog was bred to be a companion for Chinese royalty. Because of this, they do not have strong hunting instincts and are unlikely to show aggression. This makes them ideal for households with small children and other pets. Shih Tzus are playful in a cute way and form strong bonds with their owners. They are lap dogs that love nothing more than curling on your lap. They have a wild, independent streak, so you shouldn’t spoil them too much; otherwise, they become little terrors. A Shih Tzu has medium-high energy and enjoy activity. They possess long coats that have to be maintained by regular grooming. They are very intelligent dogs that weigh about 9 to 16 pounds and stand at just 8 to 11 inches tall. 

While any of the dog breeds would be an excellent choice for a first-time dog owner, there are many options out there. It can be easy to get caught up in a lot of cute puppy pictures, but it is crucial to remember the commitment you are making to bringing a dog into your home and becoming a dog parent. 

It is necessary to make sure you provide love, structure, and exercise to any dog you are bringing home, as this is the key to raising a happy and healthy dog.

Victor Anunobi
Victor is a content developer and designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. He enjoys environmental photography and reading sci-fi books. On days when he is not writing or designing, you can find him watching endless cat videos on YouTube.
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