Being a first-time dog owner is not an easy task. Even though it can be challenging, it is a truly fulfilling experience. First, you should start by choosing the right breed that is a perfect match for you and your family.

Since every dog has its specific needs, besides the breed, you should know more about the dog’s size, energy level, coat type, grooming needs, friendliness, and, in general, personality. So, we will present 9 best dogs for first-time owners. Let’s dive in.


1.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a low-maintenance breed. It is a small but athletic,
affectionate, cute, and generally quiet dog. Cavaliers can adapt to many lifestyles, for
example, living in a country environment or an apartment in town.

They are very good with both children and adults. Also, they are open with strangers, so you
do not need to worry about sudden attacks because they are laid back in nature. Regarding
their energy level, it will be enough for them to exercise daily to maintain good health.

In addition, they are very trainable dogs and respond well to all basic training. Speaking
about their coat, it is medium-length, so basic grooming is a must, as well as, regular brushing
to avoid knots in the hair.

Further, they are known for being successful therapy dogs. On top of all that, they are
incredibly loyal and devoted canine friends.


2. Papillon

Papillon, or in other words, toy dog, is a small, friendly, and adaptable breed with a big
personality. They are happy no matter the environment they live in.

Even though Papillons get along with children, they are not too friendly when hanging out
with other animals. They are a great an exercise partner since they are quite athletic
and lap dog due to their size.

There is no need for a lot of exercise, but they enjoy playing and running around, as well as
learning new skills. Indoor and outdoor activities are always a good choice.

There is no need for owners to have any special training skills since they are easily trainable. Moreover,
they need only moderate grooming.


3. Whippet

Whippets are lean and elegant dogs. Even though they are a racing breed, Whippets are
excellent and loving house dogs.

However, plenty of exercise is important because they adore running outdoors.
Most of the time indoors, they are pretty quiet; they even barely bark and sleep a lot.

Also, these dogs are naturally attached to people, making them cheerful and happy when kept
inside. Furthermore, they are friendly with strangers and children.

When it comes to their coat, it is very short and easy to care for, so a weekly brush and
occasional bath would be enough. Because of their short coat, they should have
doggie jackets if living in cold areas.

On the other hand, their personality is a bit mischievous, so it would be a little difficult
to reign in during training sessions.


4. Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are medium-large in size and best known as family dogs. They are lovable,
cute, affectionate, loyal, intelligent, active, and friendly.

Goldens have the ability to easily adapt to any household. Their outgoing personality contributes
to excellent relations with kids of all ages as well as strangers.

Speaking about exercising, they need a fair amount of exercise to remain in good shape and
prevent boredom. Further, they would also enjoy intense activities like hiking or running.

Since Goldens are obedient and love to learn constantly, training sessions are not difficult.
These qualities attribute to their use as service dogs.

In addition, the breed needs good, regular brushing at least once a week. Goldens have an annual
shedding spree twice a year requiring extra brushing to avoid tangles and mats.


5. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small, cute dog with a big heart. They are known for once being bred as
companions for the Chinese royal family because of their great temperament.

Because of the way they are bred, they rarely show aggression toward others. Also, they can
easily adapt to any household. Their lively and friendly attitude dominates, so they are always
in a good mood for playtime.

Moreover, they do not require much exercise but are always alert and enjoy any activity.
When it comes to their coat, it is long and needs regular grooming to avoid any knots.


6. Labrador Retriever

This breed is one of the most popular in the U.S. and is known for its outgoing personality.
Labs are smart, affectionate, friendly with everyone, and very energetic.

They can easily adapt to most environments. Their relationship with kids is exceptional, and
they have a strong bond with their families since they are intensely loyal.

Speaking about exercising, they are very active dogs who love intense activities such as
hiking, running, or fetch. With labs, regular walks are a must.

In addition, they are very smart, love to learn new things, and can be trained to do almost
anything. Also, they are big on cuddles and adore snuggling.

Unfortunately, Labs shed quite a bit even though their coat is short and thick. However, with
regular brushing and occasional baths, it is manageable!


7. Greyhounds

Greyhounds are lovely dogs, and they were originally bred as racing dogs. Even with their background,
they are calm and tend to be somewhat lazy. So, this breed is suitable for an apartment or a family
home as long as they have good sprints a few times a week.

When it comes to regular exercising, a walk or two on a daily basis will be enough. Also,
Greyhounds are social and tend to bond with one family member specifically.

Further, they love to hang on the couch and snuggle like lap doggies. Their coat is very short,
and like Whippets, they will need a coat if living in colder areas.


8. Poodle

This versatile dog breed is exceptionally smart, sweet, and makes a great companion. They
can easily adapt to any environment and do well in any size of living quarters.

Poodles are loyal, loving, and playful which makes them a perfect match for first-time
owners. Moreover, since they are a high-energy breed, they need a lot of exercise, mental
stimulation, and training. Because of their high intelligence, they respond well to training.

Finally, when it comes to their coat, they require regular grooming and combing to keep it


9. Boxer

The Boxer is a lovely, cute, medium-large, and guardian dog. This breed is known for its
desire for human affection.

They are especially close with children and have a lot of patience. Boxers tend to be
protective because they are guardians by nature. If you lead an active lifestyle, the Boxer will
be a great choice since they need daily exercise as well as a strong foundation of training.

Even though young dogs of this breed can be a little hyperactive, they are very trainable and
will enjoy your attention. In addition, they need little grooming since their coat is short.


The Verdict

When it comes to getting a dog, everyone has their own criteria. Regardless, first-time
owners should consider all the parameters that are important when choosing a new canine
friend, such as breed, energy level, type of coat, and friendliness.

First, you should consider the breed and its characteristics and then compare it with
your lifestyle. It is important that you and your family perfectly match with the dog to keep
both the dog and yourselves healthy and happy. Above, we listed some of the best breeds for
first-time owners.

Natasa Dragojlovic is a vet student and author for TruePetStory. Her love for our four-legged friends
made her pursue a career as a vet, but her writing career hasn’t suffered either.

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