Top 10 Dog Breeds Best for First Time Dog Owners

Owning a dog for the first time is like introducing yourself to a new best friend. Many people love dogs due to their playful and loyal nature, so you can assure yourself of a great adventure ahead with your new furbaby.

Dogs come in various breeds and sizes. You should be aware of the type of breed you consider having for the first time since their characteristics vary accordingly.

Take into consideration if you are looking for an active dog that will take a jog or walk with you in the morning, or owning a breed that is good around children, or maybe around senior citizens. If you are a person who stays at home and wants companionship, consider a calm dog breed that will stay with you while you relax at home.

Ask yourself how you would like to picture your life with your new furbaby best friend. Usually, instincts are reliable. Learn the pros and cons of each breed of your choice, and when you find the perfect breed, go for it!

Here is some useful information on the TOP 10 dog breeds recommended for first-time owners:

01. Golden Retriever

credit: Pexel

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 24 inches
• Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
• Life span: 10 to 12 years
• Easy to raise?: 5/5

Golden Retrievers are smart dogs. They are loyal companions to their owners and are easy to raise. No wonder they are one of the most popular pets all over the world. They can easily get along with other kinds of pets, too. With their charming smile and playful nature, who would not love to own this type of breed? They are good as therapy dogs for people who need emotional support.

▼ Pros:
• They are good-natured and happy-go-lucky types.
• Easy to raise and care for.
• They can be trained. Golden Retrievers have speed, agility, and very good intelligence.
• They have skills to support limited-ability individuals.
• Good around children and love to be a part of a family.
• Playful for the first 3 to 4 years.
• Not aggressive. They don’t bite or bark unnecessarily.

▼ Cons:
• Always hungry. With their size, they tend to go overweight if overfed.
• Needs to work out daily. They may become overweight, restless, and drooly without it.
• Hair shedding everywhere! You will need to brush off extra hair with a lint brush twice a year.
• They don’t feel at ease being alone all day (especially when you go to work!)
• Health problems. Be sure to avail of pet health insurance since they are prone to various diseases during their life span.

02. Labrador Retriever

Credit: Pexel

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 24 inches
• Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
• Life span: 10 to 12 years
• Easy to raise?: 5/5

Labrador Retrievers are people-oriented. They are friendly to humans and other animals, too. Their enthusiastic personality makes them good around children, and they also are good service dogs to disabled individuals. A playful new dog owner should opt to have a Labrador Retriever since this breed has high energy and loves the outdoors. They excel in everything being taught to them. Hence, the Labrador Retriever can be trained to do more complicated skill sets. If you love long walks outdoors, get this breed to ensure confidence and safety.

▼ Pros:
• Although with minimal health issues, they are a healthy and active breed.
• They are temperamental which makes them good pets and easy to train.
• Perfect around children for protection and can be good service or support dogs.
• They can adapt to the environment and with other animals

▼ Cons:
• They shed too much hair, not recommended for owners or family members with allergies.
• Their energy is very high, they need to exercise! If you are not an outdoor person, this breed is not recommended.
• They need food to be motivated. Otherwise, they tend to be lazy at times.
• They have a distinctive smell.

03. German Shepherd

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 22 to 26 inches
• Weight: 50 to 90 pounds
• Life span: 7 to 10 years
• Easy to raise?: 5/5

German shepherds are known for being loyal guard dogs. Hence, they are easy to train. First-time owners prefer German Shepherds because they make good companions and great family pets due to their sharp personalities. They are also preferred by the military as service dogs since they are a very smart breed that easily follows commands. If you prefer to have a lifelong intelligent furbaby in your home, choose a German Shepherd.

▼ Pros:
• Quick to follow commands, so training them is easy
• Very loyal to owners
• Attentive guard dogs
• Highly intelligent
• They ‘have your back’

▼ Cons:
• Nervous around strangers
• They shed too much hair occasionally
• Prone to Hip Dysplasia and other health problems
• Needs a lot of exercises
• One of the most expensive breeds

04. Poodle

Credit : Pexel

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 18 to 24 inches
• Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
• Life span: 12 to 15 years
• Easy to raise?: 4/5

A standard poodle is one of the most chosen breeds of dogs by first-time owners. They are beautiful and stylish. They are very active even when they are still puppies. This breed loves to run and play to let off its energy. Their fur can be styled and should be brushed daily. Their fur is known to be hypoallergenic, so it is safe to have them around children and individuals. You will enjoy having a Poodle in the family. Its life span is longer than other breeds. This highly intelligent breed is one of the choices for new owners.

▼ Pros:
• They have a long life span
• They are sociable and can live with other breeds and other types of non-pet animals
• Their fur so not shed so much
• Fun around people and very highly active
• One of the most intelligent breeds.

▼ Cons:
• They are prone to separation anxiety from their owners
• They may be good watchdogs. However, they do not attack intruders
• They are sensitive to a noisy household. They tend to be aggressive with loud noises.
• They need to be groomed frequently.
• They are often misjudged due to their peculiar temperament

05. Yorkshire Terrier

Credit: Pexel

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 7 to 8 inches
• Weight: 8 pounds
• Life span: 11 to 15 years
• Easy to raise?: 3/5

The Yorkshire Terrier is a petite breed of dog and can only grow to a maximum weight of 7 pounds. Their fur resembles more like human hair than dog fur. This breed is recommended to new owners dealing with pet allergies, though they require constant grooming and bathing at least once a week. The Yorkshire Terrier is a good breed for those living alone or for a family with older children. They are strong and agile and tend to bark a lot. First-time owners will enjoy having a Yorkshire Terrier due to its energetic nature. Never a dull moment with them.

▼ Pros:
• Good companions. They can adapt to any environment due to their small size.
• They are sociable and energetic
• They are naturally healthy. No need for too much exercise.
• Minimal hair shedding.
• They come in various colors to choose from.

▼ Cons:
• They do not adapt too well to other dog breeds. They prefer being around other Yorkshire Terriers.
• They may be energetic, though they do not prefer to play rough.
• They have the “territorial attitude”
• They are not good guard dogs
• High maintenance grooming

06. Pug

Credit: Pexel

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 10 to 13 inches
• Weight: 14 to 18 pounds
• Life span: 13 to 15 years
• Easy to raise?: 5/5

First-time owners will love having a Pug in their home since this breed loves to make its owners happy. Their fur is manageable and does not need high maintenance, and only needs weekly brushing with not much hair shedding. They are easy to train and love their owner’s companionship. The Pug can adapt well in a home in the city or otherwise. Also, this breed is known to be “Brachycephalic”, or ‘brachy-headed’ dogs, which means they are broad-headed and have distinctive looks. The same goes for other breeds like bulldogs, boxers, and Pekingese.

▼ Pros:
• Family friendly. Can adapt to children, senior citizens, and other pets
• Not barky, unless they recognize an intruder
• Can easily be taught simple commands, but very loyal to owners
• They respect your furniture and carpet
• They sleep most of the time but are playful when awake. Loves tug-o-war and catch-and-fetch games

▼ Cons:
• They have separation anxiety. Pugs don’t like being alone most of the time.
• They have a low tolerance for outdoor weather changes. They should be at room temperature always.
• Expensive vet bills due to Pug’s health issues. They are prone to sinus and throat, as well as eye infections.
• Can be lazy at times, and loves to eat and sleep, leading to over-weight
• This breed snores a lot and is very loud, which can be bothersome.

07. Great Dane

Credit: Pexel

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 28 to 30 inches
• Weight: 110 to 175 pounds
• Life span: 7 to 10 years
• Easy to raise?: 3/5

Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds in the whole world. Don’t be scared to have one of these in your home if you are a first-time owner. They are known to be gentle giants. Danes are good with children, and they tend to be watchful of them when parents are busy. Although their stature intimidates a lot of people, they are good-natured dogs and very loyal to their owners. You won’t regret having a Great Dane in your home. A famous animated Great Dane children would surely recognize is the best friend of Shaggy who screams, “Scooby Doo, where are you?”

▼ Pros:
• They are bred very well for hunting wild boar
• Adapts very well with other breeds of dogs and other animals
• Protective of their owners and their family
• Moderate exercise required
• Happy-go-lucky breed

▼ Cons:
• If untrained when they are still young, they tend to be hard to manage when fully-grown
• Drools a lot
• Even with their stature, they tend to have health problems
• Short life span
• Not suitable for small spaces or apartment-type homes

08. Pomeranian

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 8 to 14 inches
• Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
• Life span: 12 to 16 years
• Easy to raise?: 4/5

First-time owners will love the Pomeranian breed since they are loyal and affectionate towards them. They are a playful, friendly, and lively breed, though they tend to be aggressive to prove their worth to their owners. They may be small in size but are easy to train, and they respond well. They are quite a noisy breed when they sense danger and intruders to protect their territory. Although they get along well with other breeds, they will prove their worth and be bossy at times. They can be trained to stay home alone.

▼ Pros:
• This breed is popular and easy to find. A common choice for new owners.
• Emotional support dogs
• Can be trained to be more quiet than usual
• High energy and can go for moderate walks
• “Good things come in small packages”

▼ Cons:
• If not trained at an early age, they are a noisy breed.
• Although they can stay on their own at home, they cannot be left alone outdoors
• Wants to be independent, to come and go on their own
• Health issues with their eyes and ears are common with this breed
• They tend to be bossy

09. Shih Tzu

© Edinburgh News

Basic Breed Information:
• Height: 7 to 11 inches
• Weight: 8 to 16 pounds
• Life span: 10 to 16 years
• Easy to raise?: 4/5

Shih Tzu is a small breed. They are adorable and affectionate towards their owners. This breed is known for its long fur that resembles human hair, similar to the Yorkshire Terrier. Shih Tzu dogs descended from regal breeds, so they tend to be content to be indoors most of the time. They are a lively breed that loves children and trusts their owners easily. Most owners are fond of their long hair that some of them even braid the female dog’s fur or tie their hair with a bonnet. With their thick fur, they need to be monitored so the dog won’t overheat during the hot season.

▼ Pros:
• A good companion and thrives well with their owners
• Does not shed too much fur
• A quiet breed, they can live in apartments
• Confident and playful, a good watchdog for kids
• The only breed with various colors to choose from

▼ Cons:
• Can be stubborn, takes extra effort to train
• High maintenance needed for grooming (at least 30 mins. a day)
• Prone to serious health issues. They are very sensitive to the smell of tobacco.
• One of the arrogant breeds.
• Not a suitable breed for hot and humid areas.

10. Mixed breeds


Mixed breeds are often up for adoption and found in shelters. First-time owners are recommended to adopt by visiting the nearest shelter. Mixed breeds or ‘mongrels’ are the happiest when they are adopted into new homes. They also have specific needs, and their personalities vary. Depending on your lifestyle, you may choose the perfect ‘mutt’ that will adapt very well to you and your family.

▼ Pros:
• Common appearance, unlike a full-breed dog
• Unique personalities that make them great pets
• Fewer health issues
• Increased energy
• They tend to live longer

▼ Cons:
• Adult size is unspecific
• Their temperaments are hard to predict
• More expensive than a pure breed dog
• Mixed breed pregnancies make birth deliveries difficult at times
• Complicated mixed breed outcome

There you have it. Although there are more breeds of dogs suitable for new owners, these are the top 10 breeds that are mostly chosen by them. Choose the best breed that suits your lifestyle and can immediately connect with you. Ensure their energy level and attention match yours. You may want to pass on breeds that are too independent, stubborn, or unpredictable since some are not suitable for domesticated living, such as Akitas and Australian cattle dogs. Anytime you are ready to own your first dog breed, always remember: “Adopt, not Shop”.

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