The 7 Best Dogs For First Time Owners

The 7 Best Dogs For First Time Owners

Author WDF Staff


Getting a dog is possibly one of the best things you can do in your life; it is undoubtedly a thing that will bring you a lot of joy. You are already taking the right first step and researching the best dogs for first-time owners.

Different breeds indeed have different temperaments and characters. If you decided to get a pureblooded dog, a big advantage is that you can be reasonably sure of their future character. Of course, individual dogs can also vary, and you might end up with a dog that is not a typical specimen of the breed, but more often than not, you will get a dog whose character is mostly known.

What to look for in a dog if you are a new owner?

Asking yourself this question is an excellent place to start your search for a new dog companion. There are a few basic principals you should follow when deciding on an ideal dog breed to bring home, and they are:

  • Size
  • Energy levels
  • Buying or adopting
  • Grooming requirements

Ideally, you should go for a dog you know you will be able to take care of. If you are a new and inexperienced owner, maybe don’t go for the largest breeds like the Caucasian Shepherd or English Mastiff. If you live in a smaller apartment - do the same. Size is important when choosing the right dog breed.

Energy levels are also very important. Don’t just think about how active your new dog will be; think about how active you are. Try and be as honest as you can. If you aren’t active now, it is most likely that a dog will not change that, and you will end up with an unhappy dog whose energy requirements are not fulfilled.

dog running

Decide whether to buy or to adopt. Pureblooded dogs can be expensive, but they come with a lot of perks. You can be 90% sure about their energy level, character, size, dietary requirements, and shedding. If you decide to adopt, that part can be somewhat unknown.

Grooming is another important aspect of your decision. If you have a busy schedule or just plain and simply hate pampering your dog, then getting a breed that requires a lot of grooming might not be the best option. 

Picking a dog can be tricky and if you are looking for a full guide on choosing a breed for yourself, take a look here.

Here is the list of 7 best dog breeds to get if you are a first-time dog owner.

1. Shih Tzu

The lovable little Shih Tzu is one of the best small dogs for first-time owners. They are relatively active and enjoy being around their people. They are naturally peaceful and docile. They have a lovely temperament that makes them a treat to be around. The Shih Tzu has a thick, beautiful double coat, so a decent amount of grooming will be required. If you are looking for a small dog and becoming a new dog owner, the adorable Shih Tzu should be a serious candidate.

shih tzu

2. Poodle 

One of the most significant advantages the Poodle has is that it comes in four size varieties (according to the FCI) or three size varieties. You can pick a Toy, Miniature, Medium, or a Standard Poodle. Toys are the smallest and best suited for people who love grooming and taking care of their luscious coats. These dogs are extremely intelligent, so training them shouldn’t be a problem, even if you are not the most experienced trainer in the world. You can read more about Poodles here.


3. Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog can be an excellent pick for active novice owners. This is a breed that has a biddable character, friendly temperament, and calm disposition. It is one of the most popular choices for families that are getting a dog, and it is clear why. These dogs have thick coats and make for excellent cuddling and playing partners.

bernese mountain dog

4. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a breed that has to be included in this list. It is the most popular pet choice for Americans for over 20 years, and they don’t show signs of letting this prestigious title get out of their paws. These dogs are intelligent and extremely friendly. They get along with everyone, even with cats and other pets. Owners often forget how active these dogs can be and fail to give them their daily exercise dose. The Lab is easy to train and can learn new tricks and commands after only a couple of repetitions.

labrador retriever

5. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever remains the most popular family dog breed. They are reasonably active and have a beautiful double coat that makes them extraordinarily fluffy and soft. These dogs are also pretty intelligent, so training should be easy. They do come with a downside, and that is that they shed - a lot. If you decide to go for a Golden, make sure you invest in a good vacuum cleaner that can handle all the loose hair. These dogs love water but can quickly get the “wet dog” smell, so proper care, grooming, and bathing will be necessary. 

golden retriever

6. Greyhound

Despite being one of the tallest dog breeds out there, the Greyhound makes an excellent pet for first-time owners. They might have been bred for hunting and running, but that doesn’t mean they do that too often. They are actually pretty lazy and will most likely enjoy laying in a soft, warm spot all day. These dogs don’t require any special grooming and are fairly clean. However, they do have a strong prey drive, so it would be best that this is the only pet in your household.


7. Pug

The adorable Pug has unique features that make them highly desirable. Not only can they not be mistaken for any other breed, but they also have great characters that go very well with first-time dog owners. They are very friendly and will get along with anyone that wants to be their friend. Socializing your new Pug will be a thrill, and these dogs will love making friends. They have a short and smooth coat that is relatively easy to maintain and doesn’t require special care.


World Dog Finder team