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12 Best Dog Breeds for First-time Owners

Sviat Oleksiv
Sviat Oleksiv
9 min read Mar 21, 2023
12 Best Dog Breeds for First-time Owners

Choosing the right dog breed can be a daunting task, especially for first-time dog owners like you. To help you out, I'll introduce you to the 12 best dog breeds for novice owners like you, considering factors such as temperament, energy level, and trainability.

Let's go!

Labrador Retriever

They are a fantastic breed for first-time dog owners for many reasons. Not to mention that they are incredibly handsome dogs with short, dense coat and comes in various colors. 

Seeing a Labrador Retriever for the first time is challenging to resist bringing them home. They are very friendly and outgoing dogs with excellent temperaments, making them a popular choice for families. 

They are also brilliant and trainable dogs, which means they can easily be taught a wide range of activities and commands. This is perhaps one of the most significant advantages of owning a Labrador Retriever.

They are fast learners, which makes them great at obedience training and other activities like agility, hunting, and flyball. They also excel in activities like dock diving.

Aside from their incredible trainability, Labrador Retrievers are known for being typically great with people and other animals, making them easy to socialize and get along with.

When owning a Labrador Retriever, it is important to note that they require regular exercise. They are also prone to specific health issues, and potential dog owners should be prepared to provide the necessary care, including regular exercise and a healthy diet. 

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known to be friendly, gentle, and perfect for families with kids or other pets. Golden Retrievers are easy to train because they are super smart and eager to please. 

They'll be fetching your slippers and bringing you the newspaper in no time!

Now, you might be asking if Golden Retrievers require a lot of space or a big backyard to be happy.

These dogs are adaptable and can do well in all living situations as long as they get enough exercise and mental activities. Whether you are in an apartment or on a farm, these dogs will indeed thrive.

And here's a fun fact: Golden Retrievers love water

So, by getting a Golden Retriever puppy, you might have a new swimming buddy.

Of course, no dog breed is perfect, but Golden Retrievers are pretty low-maintenance compared to other breeds. 


They are the pawfect companions for first-time owners who want a loyal, intelligent, easy-to-train dog.

Poodles are fantastic for first-time owners because: 

  • they're a snap to train
  • they have a super friendly
  • and outgoing personalities.

They also have a hypoallergenic coat that makes them an excellent fit for folks who have allergies. They're well-known for being good with kids and other pets and adaptable to different living situations.

Plus, Poodles are pretty versatile in their abilities too, and you might find them working as therapy dogs, guide dogs, or even on search and rescue missions. 

Their curly, non-shedding coat also needs regular grooming, which can be a fun way to bond with your new pet.


Beagles are small to medium-sized breed dogs that is famous for having a: 

  • great personality
  • super friendly demeanor
  • extreme loyalty to their owners
  • good relationship with children and other pets
  • and a short, easy-to-care-for coats.

This makes them a perfect choice for first-time owners who want a loyal companion that is also excellent choice for any families.  

They're an active breed, so they require regular exercise, which can be daily walks or playtime in a fenced yard or dog park. 

They also have a strong sense of smell and love to follow their nose, so they should always be kept on a leash outside a secure area. You can also provide a treasure-hunting game where you hide treats for them to locate.

Beagles can sometimes be stubborn, but they are also intelligent and eager to please their owners, which means they can learn quickly with positive reinforcement and a gentle approach.


Boxers are a remarkable breed of dog that usually comes in medium-sized. They are loyal, playful, and full of energy. Boxers love people, especially kids, so they're a perfect family pet.

They're often called the "Peter Pan" of the canine world because they never grow out of their puppy-like personality. 

Boxers require regular exercise to keep their energy in check, but they also love snuggling up with their owners and being affectionate. Boxers have short, smooth coats that are easy to care for.

Boxers are also known for being very protective of their owners, which can make them excellent guard dogs. They're fiercely loyal and will defend their family when necessary.  They’re also a playful companion that's also easy to care for.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their friendliness and affectionate nature, making them a popular choice for first-time dog owners who want a lap dog or a faithful companion.

This regal and adorable breed is known for being: 


  • particularly good with children and other pets
  • gentle and sweet natured family pets
  • easy to train and love to please their owners
  • and ideal choice for novice dog owners.

The King Charles breed can be prone to specific health issues, such as heart problems and ear infections. So, keeping up with regular veterinary check-ups and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is essential to keeping this furry dog healthy and happy.

Bichon Frise

These pups are small and packed with a big personality known to be friendly, playful, and affectionate, making them an excellent companion for first-time dog owners. 

The Bichon Frise are also hypoallergenic dogs that are good for anyone with allergies. Bichon Frises are very social dogs and love being around people, making them a great choice for families.

They are also easy to train and can adapt well to different environments. This is a big relief for new dog owners who may not have much dog training experience. But it is crucial  to note that their fluffy coats may require regular grooming.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are small dogs loved for their loyal and affectionate nature. They make great lap dogs and enjoy spending quality time with their owners

They are also known to be low maintenance and are a great option for first-time dog owners. You don't have to worry about extensive grooming or exercise requirements

However, it's important to remember that Shih Tzus have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent tangling and matting, but their size makes it super easy!

Shih Tzus are gentle and friendly and get along well with children and other pets. They are easy to train, although they can sometimes be stubborn. 

They adapt well to smaller living spaces like apartments, making them an excellent option for city dwellers.

Additionally, like many small dogs, Shih Tzus can be prone to dental issues, so brushing their teeth regularly and providing appropriate chew toys to promote good oral health is essential.


Despite being known for their racing abilities, Greyhounds are gentle, calm dogs that make fantastic pets for first-time owners.

They are usually very patient and relaxed and get along famously with children and other pets.

Greyhounds are also eager to please their owners, making them a breeze to train. These dogs are usually quite sensitive and respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle training techniques.

Another reason why Greyhounds are an excellent choice for first-time owners are: 

  • they're pretty low maintenance
  • they don't require a lot of grooming
  • they're not as high-energy as other breeds
  • and they don't need to be exercised as much.

Greyhounds are usually quite content with several daily walks and lounging with their owners. However, since they are sight hounds, they have a strong instinct to chase after small prey. They should be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced area when there are other pets at home or when you are outside. 

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier are well-known for being: 

  • affectionate and friendly
  • excellent choice for first-time dog owners
  • and  loyal and loving companion.

Their short and smooth coat requires little maintenance, making them an easy-to-care-for pet. What's great about Boston Terriers is that they're playful and energetic, making them ideal for families with children who want a dog that can keep up with their energy levels. 

They're intelligent and responsive to training, making them easy to train using positive reinforcement techniques. You can teach them a wide range of commands and tricks, which will help keep them mentally stimulated.

Boston Terriers may be prone to health problems such as respiratory issues and eye problems. 


Dachshunds, or "wiener dogs" are a super cute and playful dog breed known for being friendly and good with kids and other pets.

Dachshunds can be prone to back problems because of their long spine and short legs. This means it is important to keep them at a healthy weight and avoid letting them jump up and down from high surfaces. This can put extra strain on their backs and might cause some problems.

Dachshunds can also be stubborn and headstrong sometimes. It is important to be consistent with their training and socialization to ensure they grow up well-behaved and obedient.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel are famous for their playful, friendly, and affectionate nature, making them an excellent fit for families with kids and other pets. 

Regarding personality, Cocker Spaniels are happy, lively, and affectionate with their families. They're social dogs who enjoy spending time with their humans and playing with them. They're also known for being quite vocal and may bark at strangers or other animals.

Cocker Spaniels are highly intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement training. They're eager to please their owners and are usually easy to train, which is good for first-time dog owners who may be new to dog training.


Getting a dog can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for everyone, but it's essential to choose a breed that suits your experience, lifestyle, and personality. We hope our list of the 12 best dog breeds for first-time dog owners has inspired and guided you in finding the perfect furry friend. They're a great addition to any family, and their loving nature will surely win your heart!

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