Best Dogs For First Time Owners

So, you’ve never owned a dog but looking to become a fur parent soon. Good for you! Even without prior experience with pups, there are certain breeds that make life easier for you. What are your best bets?

Golden Retrievers are not just good-looking pooches but they’re highly trainable, agreeable, and always eager to please their owners. But if you like something compact and low-shedding, Yorkshire Terriers are a good choice. We also couldn’t recommend enough the super sweet and affectionate Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for newbie pup owners.

If these 3 dogs seem to fit the bill, you may be able to find a few more in our list of the best dogs for first-time owners. Have a look at these cuties that are a mixture of good looks and a shining personality – a great combo new fur parents want in their four-legged babies!

22. Golden Retriever

Image from Instagram:@goldenhanahope

The epitome of versatility, Golden Retrievers are typically found in any type of household – families, couples, singles, elderly folks. They do well with anyone because of their adaptability and agreeable personality.

These are large dogs, however, which means they could use a bigger space in your home. But if this is not an issue to you at all, you will have no problem keeping a Golden as your first pup.

21. Yorkshire Terrier

Image from Instagram:@nao.408

A compact and fun “starter” pooch for newbie owners, Yorkies can offer years of love, affection, and laughter in every home. They are sweet fellows who want nothing more than to make their owners happy.

Maintenance may be a bit challenging initially for new fur parents, however. Yorkies require regular grooming because of their long hair. But it should not be an issue at all considering all the other amazing things that this breed has to offer.

20. Japanese Chin

Image from Instagram:@triple.chins

Japanese Chins are perfect for novice owners for a number of reasons. These are intelligent and trainable dogs that can easily pick up on your instructions and follow them right away. They are also easy-going, so you won’t have to deal with any stubborn streaks here.

The only thing that may be a bit of a challenge to newbies is grooming this pooch. Chins have a dense, long coat that requires regular brushing. But if it’s not an issue to you at all, these canines are excellent in your welcoming abode.

19. Coton de Tulear

Image from Instagram:@coton.mallang

Loyal and loving, what’s not to like about the Coton de Tulear? This is a tiny and affectionate pooch that enjoys nothing more than to cuddle with you on the couch. Cotons are laid-back, which makes them suitable for seniors, as well.

If your type of pet is one that does not bark a lot, easy to train, and super affectionate, Cotons tick all of the boxes.

18. Norfolk Terrier

Image from Instagram:@polly_norfolk_terrier

Active folks looking for a fun pet will adore the Norfolk Terrier. This energy bunny can chase a ball or romp around for hours, making them ideal for people who like to stay active. They enjoy hikes, long walks, and even long drives – anything that allows them to spend more time with you.

But one thing to note – they can become lonely when left alone for several hours. When they get lonely, they become a little too yappy. So if you think you can give plenty of time and attention to this cutie, he should be the perfect pet you’ve been looking for.

17. French Bulldog

Image from Instagram:@bullyking_maurice

Frenchies make first-time pup owners’ lives easier by simply being themselves. They are adaptable, friendly, and sweet fellows who just like to give love. Not a fan of grooming too often? This is not an issue with Frenchies because their short hair makes them easy to care for.

Owners who are not too crazy about exercising or staying active a lot will love Frenchies. These pups require little exercise, so they can just do their regular walks and spend hours on the couch with you.

16. Chihuahua

Image from Instagram:@leni.crazydoglady

At under 6 lbs and barely a foot tall, the Chihuahua is a super portable and space-friendly dog. They can fit easily in your purse, so you can take them with you absolutely anywhere – a day trip at the park or a train ride to grandma’s house!

They are a little bit vocal, though. So, early training is a must to keep their barking under control. Thankfully, training is not an issue with these babies because they are inherently smart, obedient, and with a strong desire to please their owners.

15. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Image from Instagram:@hafren_corgi

Cardigan Welse Corgis are agile and smart pups that first-time owners will adore. They possess a strong drive to protect, something typical of a herding dog. So, with these fellows by your side, you shouldn’t worry. They do their best to keep you safe at all times.

Although they are easy-going canines, they do require early socialization and training to become less suspicious of strangers. But this should not be a problem because of how obedient these fellows are.

14. Border Collie

Image from Instagram:@titanium_lady_sia

A combination of brains and brawn, the Border Collie is a smart and sturdy fellow who is a delight in every first-time owner’s home. These pups love to play just as much as to cuddle up with you for hours.

If your idea of a pup is one that’s always eager to join you on trips or show you cool tricks, Border Collies are your pal. They make your life much richer, happier, and better overall!

13. Shiba Inu

Image from Instagram:@daily_shibas

Never owned a single dog in your entire life? No worries – Shiba Inus make things easy for you with their sterling character. They are fastidious creatures that like to keep themselves clean, so that’s a plus point for folks who like a neat dog – literally.

Additionally, Shibas are intelligent canines. They can learn and master new tricks pretty easily, so these dogs can give you plenty of entertainment and warm your heart.

12. Basset Hound

Image from Instagram:@chuck_thebasset

A natural hunter, Basset Hounds are always curious and adventurous – a great combo for folks who love the wild outdoors. These dogs are also very loyal to their owners and would do anything to please them.

But when not out hunting, Bassets enjoy lounging in the house with you. They are laid-back and well-mannered, making them a great fit for first-timers and homes with other pets, as well.

11. Pomeranian Dog

Image from Instagram:@ollie.the.pomeranian

A cute and dainty lap dog, the Pomeranian is a fun pooch for new fur parents. They are fluffy pooches with an abundance of coat, which is thankfully not exactly high maintenance. Regular brushing is a must, which should not be too hard to do considering their compact sizes.

With proper training, Poms should be an excellent first pet for canine lovers. They can quickly learn tricks and love to perform silly antics to make you laugh.

10. Boston Terrier

Image from Instagram:@emboradogs

When deciding on your very first pup, it’s important to consider your lifestyle. Boston Terriers make things easy for you because of their adaptable personality. Whether you have young kids or elderly folks in the home, Bostons should get along well with them all.

These are social pups that simply adore people. They are also quite endearing and sensitive, so they can sense what you may be feeling and adjust their behaviors accordingly. No wonder they are excellent for new fur moms and dads!

9. Shih Tzu

Image from Instagram:@marshthepup

Another tiny pooch with a big, loving heart, the Shih Tzu was originally bred for the Chinese royalty. These are mild-mannered pooches that are versatile, intelligent, and calm. They do not show aggression and can fit very well into any household.

Great as lap dogs, they are always ready to give you a cuddle when you need one. Most importantly, they are hypoallergenic dogs, making them suitable even for allergy sufferers.

8. Pug

Image from Instagram:@pugpicker

If what you want is a low-maintenance pooch, you can never go wrong with a Pug. These dogs are easy to groom, thanks to their very short hair. This is excellent for first-timers who want a canine buddy that does not take too much work to own.

Pugs may not be super smart but their desire to please their owners make them trainable – even for newbies. They shouldn’t cause any trouble at all.

7. Bichon Frise

Image from Instagram:@bomthebichon

Always smiling and eager, the Bichon Frise is more than a ball of fluff. These cuddly babies are smart, attentive, and obedient. They like to please their favorite humans, which makes them suitable for first-time owners.

While their coat may seem just a bit too thick, it is actually hypoallergenic. They do not shed as much, so allergy sufferers should not have any problem with these cotton ball-like canines.

6. Poodle

Image from Instagram:@teddimonster

No matter what size you get – standard, miniature, or toy – Poodles are always a good choice for new fur parents. They are intelligent and affectionate fellows, so you can easily train them or cuddle up with these cuties.

As they are naturally brainy, mental stimulation is a must to keep them well-balanced. Puzzle games and similar activities are regarded to be a constant favorite of these adorable pooches.

5. Labrador Retriever

Image from Instagram:@bearthewhitedog

If you do not mind having a big dog in the house, the Labrador Retriever should be a good choice as a very first pup pet for you. They are obedient and playful, so these dogs should be ideal if you want to exercise more.

You can often see Labs with their active owners who like to run, ride their bikes, hike, and be out in nature. If this is the kind of lifestyle you have, then this pooch should complement it perfectly.

4. Dachshund

Image from Instagram:@pebblezsaus

Low and long, Dachshunds are an excellent family pet. They may have stubby legs but these pooches can run and chase something quickly. This is why they should be perfect as an adventure companion.

When not busy chasing and getting active, Doxies enjoy a good cuddle with their favorite humans. They are also quite loyal and will do anything they can to keep you safe.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Image from Instagram:@una_thecav

There can never be a much better cuddle buddy than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These compact-sized charmers are calm and mellow. So, they should do well with first-time owners who want an agreeable pet.

Training should also go smoothly with a King Charles. They are eager to please and obedient, so it should not take too long until they master your commands.

2. Basenji

Image from Instagram:@basenji_kd

Famous for their cat-like grooming habits, the Basenji is another fine dog for first time owners. They’re also relatively odorless, or at least, zero doggy odor. So, that’s a huge factor for folks who like pups without that wet dog smell.

Most importantly, these are high-spirited and amusing pets. You can easily tag them along to your adventures or road trips when you need a fun buddy to be with.

1. Papillon Dog

Image from Instagram:@papillontails

Apartment dwellers who are looking to own their very first pup will easily fall in love with the Papillon. This 11-pounder pooch is pretty tiny and barely 11.8 inches tall. With such a compact size, how difficult could it be to care for this canine?

Plus, Papillons are natural sweethearts. They are easy to train, intelligent, and highly affectionate to their owners. These canines are versatile and adaptable, too, so they can fit right into your lifestyle.

Related Questions

Which Dog Is Best For Apartment Living? The best dog for apartment living is one that is compact, hypoallergenic, and not much of a barker. Great choices for this kind of dog include a Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, Pug, Shih Tzu, and Boston Terrier. These are mild-mannered, small dogs that are easy to maintain and trainable, too.

Is It Cruel To Crate A Dog While At Work? If your dog is already well-trained, there is no need to crate him. It may be uncomfortable for a dog to stay in a crate, especially if you work full time. Thus, you can dedicate a space for him in your home where he can roam freely, play, and eat. And yes, you can have a dog if you work 9 to 5, as long as the breed you get is not prone to separation anxiety when left alone.

What Is The Most Low Maintenance Dog? Low maintenance dogs are usually those that do not require regular grooming such as the French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, and Pug. However, there are also some disputable breeds that are considered low-maintenance because they do not shed as much, such as the Poodle and Bichon Frise.

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Pete Decker