There are many exciting milestones in our lifetimes, but bringing a dog into your life is one of the top five. If you’ve been reading up on puppy training and think you’re ready for the responsibility and joys of pet ownership, you may suddenly realize the importance of choosing the right breed.
If you want your first pet experience to be the best possible, consider everything from temperament to size and general care before bringing a new furry friend home. Below are our top ten best breeds for first-time dog owners to help you decide.
1. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This dog breed is famous for its connection to British royalty and flexible nature. Whether you opt for a standard size or toy version, their loving attitude toward children and laid-back nature is ideal for first-time owners. They love to lay around as much as chase a squirrel in the backyard and possess upbeat personalities that match their adorably large eyes and silky coats. So don’t be surprised if you just can’t say no when run into Cavalier puppies for sale!
2. Golden Retriever
One of the most popular family dogs in existence is the Golden Retriever. Well-known for their affable personalities and affection for their families, this dog is the perfect choice for first-time owners. Just make sure you have the time and energy available to give this breed regular exercise to help them stay out of mischief if bored. It’s a great option if you want motivation to get out and walk more too! Just make sure to have a brush on hand to groom its coat regularly.
An equally great first-time dog is a Labrador. Much like retrievers, these furry friends have wonderful temperaments and are quite sociable with other dogs. These pooches love to get outside and enjoy a good walk or romp around the park, so pick up some frisbees and balls for playing fetch to keep them happily worn out. When it comes to maintenance, their coats are significantly shorter than retrievers. You won’t need to brush them as often, not that they don’t love the extra attention!
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
If you’ve always wanted a big, furry teddy bear around the house– look no further than the Bernese Mountain dog. These animals get fairly large, but with their laid-back personalities and fluffy coats, you’ll have the living teddy bear you’ve always dreamed of owning. Plus, they are very family-friendly and will ensure you get plenty of exercise by going on daily walks.
Luckily, they aren’t high-energy canines, so a hike or stroll around the neighborhood easily meets its activity demands. Just be sure to have a reliable groomer on standby; their fur can be challenging to maintain if you have yet to own a dog before.
5. Yorkshire Terrier
For many would-be pet owners, limited living space is the primary reason they have yet to bring a dog home. Unfortunately, this is a common issue for those living in smaller apartments, but there are still options!
Take the Yorkshire Terrier, for example. These canines range between 2 to 7 pounds and barely hit 8″ tall at most! This small size means they won’t require a ton of exercise or a ton of room to run around. However, a Yorkie’s loyalty to its owner is hard to match and is often on display with its tendency to bark. Puppy training can help you get its vocal nature under control early on and overcome its sometimes stubborn nature.
If you want a dog that will make you laugh until your sides hurt, a Boxer is one of the best breeds to choose from as a first-time owner. These large furballs love to clown around and come with a lot of energy for playtime. Lots of exercise is always a great way to keep these excitable pups calm and out of trouble. Focus their natural excitement by signing them up for dog training classes early. They’re super smart, so it won’t take long for them to get with the program and not assault all your guests with slobbery kisses.
7. Springer Spaniel
Similar to the Cavalier King Charles and Cocker Spaniels, the Springer Spaniel is a hybrid of both with much more energy. This dog is ideal for new pet owners that live active lifestyles. Since these pups have high intelligence, they’re a joy to train and a pleasure to snuggle with after a long day on the go. Maintenance is fairly simple; just brush its coat to avoid troublesome knots and tangles regularly.
Pomeranians are popular lap dogs (Queen Victoria had 35!) that have the perfect balance of energy, affection, and spunk. Much like Yorkies, this breed needs daily playtime but not overly exhausting exercise. You’ll love how friendly and outgoing their personalities are and will find they make a great addition to your household.
Size-wise, these adorable furballs can range anywhere from 3 to 20 pounds, so it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable breeder to determine how big your puppy could get. Also, because they have dense fur, probably due to their Spitz sled dog heritage, brushing these animals to keep shedding under control regularly is important.
If you’re looking for a dog that offers a mix of energy and couch potato, look no further than the Whippet. This breed loves to snuggle, so plan on sharing your seat on the sofa or easy chair with this furry friend. They are extremely loving and people-friendly dog that makes first-time ownership less challenging. However, they aren’t quite as smart as other breeds, but luckily, early training with treats can help you teach them the ropes quickly.
10. Bichon Frise
Another great first-time dog breed is the Bichon Frise. These are great lapdogs that look like fluffy cotton balls with legs. You’ll love their happy demeanors and willingness to make new friends. Because they don’t get overly large, exercise needs are moderate since they aren’t extremely energetic. Whether you want to lay around and watch tv or go on a short walk around the block, Bichons will love every minute.
Another plus is that you don’t have to keep their coat long and groomed. If it’s too much effort, you can have a groomer and keep it trimmed short for easier maintenance.
Get Ready for Many Happy Years Ahead
As a prospective dog owner, selecting the best dog for your lifestyle and living situation is a must. While all puppies are cute, they eventually grow up and have their own quirks and breed characteristics that could create a beautiful pet ownership experience or one that is overwhelming for you and the dog.
While this top ten list isn’t definitive, the breeds shared with you are a great starting point for choosing the ideal canine to bring into your home. Owning a dog is a significant commitment, especially for breeds that can live upwards of twenty years. Always consider any long-term plans you have for yourself and how these goals could impact your relationship with your new furry companion. The importance of being ready for a dog is paramount, you can check our previous blog on lockdown dogs and make sure you have asked yourself all the questions needed before committing.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.