First-Time Fido Parent? 8 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners

Often, first-time pet parents find themselves in over their heads after bringing home a rambunctious, hyperactive pup. Unfortunately, many inexperienced dog owners fail to consider the vast behavioral differences between breeds, leaving them with an unmanageable, overwhelming situation.

Though it may be tempting to pick your pup based on cuteness alone, the consequences of poor preparation can be damaging to both you and your furry friend. So, before you jump the gun, read on for eight dog breeds best suited for unfledged dog owners.

1. Golden Retrievers


An excellent option for those dipping their toes into pet parenthood for the first time is a Golden Retriever. Not only are they ideal family dogs, but goldens are also highly intelligent and quick to catch onto training—perfect for inexperienced owners. Plus, their loyal and affectionate nature will make for a long-time companion.

Additionally, these fluffy balls of joy come in a few coat variants, including ever-popular English Cream Golden Retrievers.

2. Labrador Retrievers

Another breed built for first-timers is the Labrador Retriever, an intelligent, energetic, and happy dog. Labs do great with children and often form long-lasting bonds with their owners. As long as you dedicate yourself to training and keep up with their energy levels, a Labrador Retriever is a perfect option for new owners.

3. Poodle


Inexperienced pet parents often opt for Poodles because of their trainability and happy temperament. Poodles adapt to different environments easily, pick up on instruction quickly, and tolerate disturbances with grace. However, these poofy pups require a fair amount of physical activity and grooming upkeep, which can be tricky for unaccustomed owners.

4. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

The Cavalier King is a sweet, happy dog, perfect for owners of all ages and experience levels. These long-haired pups love naptime just as much as playtime and catch onto basic training despite average intelligence. Plus, cavalier spaniels keep their puppy-like nature throughout their lifespan, both looking and acting like a young pup well into old age.

5. Shih Tzu


The Shih Tzu is another breed well-suited for first-time dog owners looking for an easy intro to the dog world. These tiny tots are friendly and playful, requiring minimal exercise to stay healthy and happy. Though Shih Tzu’s have naturally long, elegant coats, you can keep them short for easier grooming upkeep.

6. Whippet

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly pup with ample energy to match your active lifestyle, consider adopting a Whippet. Though these loving, affectionate pups love to zoom around outside for hours on end, they also enjoy a good old-fashioned nap, allowing you to wind down after exercise.

Just make sure you purchase a dog coat for outdoor winter activities, as a whippet’s short coat offers below-average temperature control.

7. Boxer


Similar to labradors, boxers are high-energy, playful, and loyal, which is why many first-time pet parents opt for this specific breed. Additionally, boxers love humans and have a strong desire for affection, so get ready for daily belly rubs and snuggles.

8. Bichon frisé

The bichon frisé is another breed well suited for beginner dog parents, as they are small and adapt to different lifestyles with ease. These friendly pups are easy to train and thrive with moderate daily exercise, perfect for those with average activity levels.

On the other hand, bichon’s coats require routine grooming and maintenance, so make sure you have the time and money to handle their upkeep requirement.

Wrap up

As a first-time dog owner, choosing a dog breed to match your lifestyle is key to a successful relationship with your pet. With proper research and an honest look into your day-to-day activities, you’ll be on your way to canine companionship.

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