15 Best Dog Breeds For Novice Pet Owners

February 10, 2019


If you’re thinking about getting a dog but you’ve never owned one and are a bit intimidated by the whole idea, you are at the right place.

Sure, it seems like a lot of work. You have to walk your pooch regularly, train him while he’s just a pup, groom him, make sure the little scoundrel won’t destroy your apartment or make your neighbors hate you because of the constant barking, but the great thing is that there is a wide choice of breeds to choose from, and many of them are excellent for beginners like yourself.

We will try and make your decision a bit easier by narrowing down the list to 15 most suitable dog breeds for people who are about to get their first pup ever.

15. Brittany

The Brittany is one of the greatest first-dog choices, especially for owners and families with very active lifestyles.

This medium-sized breed is almost always lively and exuberant, which requires frequent walks, exercise and stimulation.

This makes the Brittany perfect for an owner who also likes to exercise and spends a lot of time outdoors.

This orange-white ball of fur is happy, friendly, eager to please, and the great thing is that they do not require a great deal of grooming, which makes them suitable for first-time owners.

As for the training, they are extremely intelligent and highly sensitive to discipline, so it won’t take you long before this pup learns his manners.

14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are extremely friendly, loyal and obedient pooches who love to be around their owners as much as possible, which makes them perfect for those pet owners who are looking for a lap-dog.

They will make an excellent first pet for an inexperienced owner since they are naturally well-behaved, loyal, intelligent and very easy to train.

On the other hand, it is important to point out that this breed is lively, requires a lot of exercise and can be quite energetic, thus is much more suitable for a house with a yard than for living in a small apartment.

Also, this breed requires much attention and separation anxiety can become a real issue, so you might want to think twice before getting the Spaniel if you’re away from home a lot.

13. Greyhound


One would presume that this very old European breed which is as fast as the cheetah would be highly active, energetic and lively, however, the Greyhounds are actually quite mellow, easy-going and laidback.

Another misconception about the breed is that they are aggressive, due to muzzles worn during the races, but the reality is that this long and lanky pooch is actually rather friendly and loyal to their owners.

They are loving creatures which enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs very much. Since they are calm and laid-back, the breed is great even for the most inexperienced future dog owners, especially as their short coats are extremely low-maintenance.

12. Papillon


The Papillon, also called the Continental Toy Spaniel, is a friendly, smart and easy to train small-size dog breed, making them perfect first-dog choice for new dog owners.

The Papillons are quite intelligent, trainable and self-assured dogs that have a very easy time learning new tricks. They can be quite sociable with children and strangers, but are generally reserved around new people.

On the other hand, don’t let their small size deceive you. Though small in size, these balls of fur have huge personalities, and will perceive themselves as big dogs if you let them.

This is also the reason why they can be tricky with kids. These pooches need a strong-willed owner to let them know who the boss is. Other than that, they are excellent and easy-to-handle companions that can easily adapt to living in almost any conditions.

11. Puggle


This extremely cute breed is, as you might have already guessed from the name, a crossover between Pugs and Beagles. Definitely a win-win combination.

Wisconsin breeder, Wallace Havens, bred the first Puggle back in the 1980s. By 2000, Puggles were being sold commercially to pet owners wanting to own a different, distinctive dog.

The Beagle is a friendly and sociable family dog, but their notoriously curious energy makes them a handful when it comes to keeping them close while not on the leash. Their owners must be quite knowledgeable about how train a dog, which is why the breed might not be the best choice for beginners.

However, when you cross a curious Beagle with a Pug, you definitely get the best of both worlds, and it comes in this super cute package called Puggle.

10. Shih Tzu


Looking for a small dog with a lot of character? Look no further as Shih Tzu may be a perfect choice for your first dog.

Shih Tzus are loyal, affectionate, outgoing, alert, and though they are quite intelligent, training and proper socializing must start at a young age.

They are great as watchdogs, but are also extremely playful, gentle, and easily form strong emotional connections with the owner.

Some Shih Tzus are prone to developing behavior problems, but these cases are quite rare. These small size, cute and fluffy pooches appreciate a strong-willed pack leader for their owner, so as long as you don’t spoil this ball of fur, Shih Tzu should prove an excellent companion for a novice.

9. Bichon Frise


This one is simply bred to be a companion dog. These small and fluffy bundles of fur are affectionate, cheerful, entertaining and above all, obedient, which makes them perfect for inexperienced owners.

Bichons are friendly and happy by nature, while also quite independent, intelligent and easy to train, which makes them rather easy to live with.

If you travel a lot, this pooch is definitely for you as they love to travel and won’t cause any problems on trips. They are great family dogs since they are excellent with children and enjoy the company of other pets and animals, while also being great watchdogs.

Needless to say, Bichon Frise is the whole package.

However, some can develop behavioral problems, which include obsessive barking, separation anxiety, snapping and biting, but this can be omitted if you train them well while they are still puppies.

8. Pomeranian


The breed (also known as PomPom) was named after the Pomerania region in Central Europe, and they became widely popular because of their popular owners, the British royalty.

Just like Bichons, PomPoms are cute, fluffy, intelligent, loyal, but also feisty, so don’t let their fluffiness and cuteness fool you as these balls of fur are quite independent, bold and are said to have minds and personalities of their own.

They perceive themselves as much bigger than they really are, and are very curious and alert, which makes them good watchdogs also.

In order to be friendly with other pets, they need to be properly socialized with other animals while still puppies.

7. Boston Terrier


Nicknamed American Gentlemen of Dogs, Boston Terriers are loyal, people-loving, sweet and intelligent pooches, which makes them an excellent choice for families that are getting a pet for the first time.

Being the breed that is gentle, faithful, well-mannered, loving and good-natured, this ball of fur will be your perfect companion, but as they are also quite alert, you will get yourself an excellent watchdog as well.

However, they do need proper and frequent mental and physical exercise, otherwise they can become high strung. They are not difficult to train, but they do need a strong leader who will succeed in teaching them who the boss really is.

6. Shetland Sheepdog


Though often confused with a Collie due to their almost identical appearance, Shetland Sheepdog is much more suitable for first time dog owners.

They are extremely loyal, simply love being by your side and are fantastic with kids, thus they are perfect for families.

Though can sometimes be quite goofy, Shetland Sheepdogs are incredibly smart, intelligent and easy to train.

If you are looking for a dog that learns tricks easily, then this is among the best breeds out there. What is more, they are quite attentive, and simply love showing off and trying to impress their masters.

The only negative feature is their barking. It is said that this breed tends to bark frequently and loudly as well. However, the barking is usually meant to alert the master that someone is coming, which makes this breed a useful guard dog as well.

5. Labradoodle


The pooch that hides behind this funny name is currently one of the most popular family dogs.

This cross breed combines the Labrador and the Poodle, the two breeds that are also secured their place on our list.

The breed fortunately got the best of the two worlds. Labradoodle is as playful, lively and charming as the Labrador, but also as obedient, mild-mannered and even-tempered as the Poodle.

They are also quite intelligent and very active pooches that enjoy frequent running sessions and getting a lot of exercise. This is why you need to make sure you have enough time for all the activities this ball of fur requires.

Labradoodles are as obedient as they are smart, so training them is a walk in the park (pun intended).

4. Maltese


If you want your first pooch to be a small and fluffy one, Maltese is right up your alley.

The breed’s averages weight is about 7 pounds, which makes them excellent choice for a toy-dog that you can carry around almost anywhere you go.

However, their personality doesn’t match their size. These little balls of fur are spunky, lively and they simply love to have fun and be in the company of people. And this won’t subside as they grow older.

They are quite low maintenance and don’t require a big home, which makes them perfect for apartments. They don’t really need a lot of exercise either, however, they do love walks and adventurous sessions outdoors.

This lap-dog is a perfect companion for just about anyone, especially for the beginner pet owners.

3. Poodle


Another popular low-maintenance breed is definitely the Poodle. These elegant, demure dogs are perfect for novice owners since they aren’t as needy as some other breeds.

This ball of fur will just chill by your side and be your fluffy and loyal companion.

But even though Poodles are even-tempered and good natured, they are also very proud, graceful and noble dogs who are highly intelligent and among the most trainable dogs.

Since they prefer living indoors rather than outdoors, these curly pooches are excellent if you don’t have a backyard and live in an apartment.
As they are ranked highly as kids friendly, they make perfect family dogs and are excellent for novice pet owners.

2. Labrador


Being of one the most gentle, lovable, fun and good natured breeds that ever sniffed around the planet Earth, Labradors are perfect for families that are getting a pooch for the very first time.

They are loyal, loving, patient and affectionate, but also highly intelligent, good-natured and very willing to learn and eager to please their owners.

They love to play, maybe even more than they love to eat. With their reliable and friendly nature, Labradors are great with children and even toddlers, while also love hanging out with other dogs, however, you need to start having play-dates early on, while they are still puppies.

They love spending time with their masters, need human leadership and they thrive on being part of the family they live with. You can’t go wrong with the Lab. It is a simple as that.

1. Golden Retriever


Finally, we reach the end of our list, and much like there’s gold at the end of a rainbow, there is a golden breed at the end of our furry list.

Golden Retrievers are probably the most popular family dogs around the world, and they didn’t earn this reputation by accident.

This breed is so docile, gentle, even-tempered that not many people can resist their charm. Being very people-oriented, affectionate, loyal and kids-friendly, these pooches are an excellent choice for families all over the world.

Even though the Golden Retriever is a medium-large sized dog, you won’t have any troubles keeping him inside. They are extremely lovable, well-mannered, intelligent, obedient and easy to train balls of fur, which makes them our number one choice for first-time dog owners.

Well, there you go. We hope we helped you a bit with your decision, but on the other hand, we might even made it harder with all these fluffy choices. Just don’t blame it on us if you end up adopting them all.

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5 years ago

We had two Cavaliers and both had to be put down in 2014 at the age of 10 and the other also 10. They have terrible heart murmur problems. Gambo, the male, had diabetes,was blind,deaf, had a heart murmur, and fluid build up in the lungs. The same for Gibby, our female Cavalier, minus the diabetes,blindness, and deaf. When they were put down both did not even make it to the “Lethal injection” they died off of the relaxers alone. they had heart failure. Other than that though these dogs were so sweet, loving, smart,cute,major lap dogs,great with kids,loves everyone!… Read more »

4 years ago

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1 year ago

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