All dogs have different characters and personalities, and if you’re new to dog ownership then you have to be careful about choosing an appropriate companion. Some breeds are simply not the best for first-time owners due to their stubbornness or being genetically more predisposed to aggression.

There are breeds that have more energy, some that require more extensive grooming regiment and there are also breeds that need more training than others because they do not respond well to it. As an experienced pet owner, it's recommended that you select one of the best dog breeds for first time owners.

10 Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

Golden Retriever

1. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers will make great dogs for a first time dog owner. They are just so sweet and loving. They are also perfect around children too and are very patient dogs. Golden retrievers adore their owners and are always looking to please them.

This breed is very easy to train and aren’t difficult to groom. However, regular brushing and grooming is needed, as with all dogs. Golden retrievers have a long coat, which will become severely tangled without proper maintenance. They really are one of the best dog breeds for first time owners.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs are just so adorable, and they are the ideal breed for a first time dog owner. They are lap dogs and are more than happy to hang out and take things easy with their family. These dogs adore their owners and hardly ever leave their sides. They are very easy to train and easy to groom too.

The Cavalier King Charles is an energetic little dog that does like going for long walks, which is great for the both of you. If, however you are away from home quite a lot, then the Cavalier King Charles may not be the best breed for you. They get so attached to their owners and suffer from anxiety if their owners are away from home a lot.

Labrador retriever breed profile

3. Labrador Retriever

Labs are one of the most popular breeds in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Labs are awesome dogs with so much character. They love their owners dearly and are always looking to please them. This is a fun-loving breed with a lot of energy.

They are friendly dogs that get along well with children and also other pets, if introduced properly. Labrador retrievers are very easy to groom and absolutely thrive on exercise. So if you love long walks or even runs, your dog will be more than happy to go along with you!

Brittany Spaniel

4. Brittany Spaniel

Brittany, a popular hunting dog, is one of the best dog breeds for first time owners who love exercise and are quite the athlete. Brittany spaniels really are a high energy dog breed that require regular exercise to stay happy and content. They are friendly dogs and adore their owners.

They don’t require much grooming, which makes them a great option for first time dog owner. If you love being active, then you’re in luck, as this breed of dog loves being active too. Whether you're going for a short walk to the dog park or down to the lake for a swim, your Brittany spaniel will be thrilled to tag along too.


5. Papillon

Papillons are great little dogs, and they absolutely love their owners. They are very friendly and are easy to train too. Papillons really are a big dog in a little dog’s body. They are such great little characters and are guaranteed to make you laugh every day with what they get up to.

These dogs may not be the best breed for first time owners with children, but if that’s not a problem then a Papillon is the perfect choice for you. They are easy to handle and can happily live in an apartment.

Puggle Dog Breed Information

6. Puggle

A Puggle is a cross between a Pug and Beagle. They are so cute and affectionate – it's no wonder they are one of the best breeds for first time owners, especially those living in apartments. This breed is friendly, sociable and are wonderful around children.

They are great little characters, and they really do adore their owners. They don’t require a lot of grooming and will thoroughly enjoy long walks with you. Since they are a small breed, they are also idea for owners living in small apartments.


7. Greyhound

Greyhounds make amazing dogs for first time owners. They are so friendly and laid back, and they absolutely love their owners. They are highly energetic dogs and will need lots of exercise. Greyhounds are quiet, they’re very clean and they are healthy dogs too.

These dogs have short coats, so they don’t need lots of grooming. They are great around children too. Greyhounds are perfect for first time owners and are very special dogs. Their unique personalities will keep you smiling!


8. Poodle

Poodles make our list of the best dog breeds for first time owners as they are intelligent, easy to train and are very friendly. Poodles will be the perfect choice if there are children in the home, so are great for families. They adore exercise and will be very happy to go for a run or a long walk.

Poodles are very well behaved dogs and really will make the best companion for a first time dog owner. There are three different types of Poodle. You can choose Standard, Miniature or Toy. Any one of these types will make great family pets, so you may want to choose a size based on how much room you'll have for them to run and play.


9. Pug

Pugs are amazing little dogs and are very popular among dog owners. They are friendly, intelligent, loyal and will make you laugh out loud every day. Pugs adore their owners and thrive in their company. They do love exercise and will need lots of walks to stay happy and content.

Pugs also love relaxing and will be equally as happy snuggling up on the sofa with you. Don’t let your Pug become overweight though, as they can suffer from breathing issues and the weight will make this a lot worse. Lots of exercise and a good quality diet is the key.

Shih Tzu

10. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are such lovable little dogs who love their owners unconditionally. They have such wonderful characters and really are one of the best dog breeds for first time owners. They are friendly dogs that are very easy to train and love pleasing their family members.

They are happy dogs and are great around children. Shih Tzus love playing and will thoroughly enjoy going on long walks. First time dog owners will love the character of the Shih Tzu.

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Best Dog Breeds For First Time Owners

James has been a certified veterinary technician for the last 8 years in Birmingham, UK. After working with many dogs, he's changed his focus to writing, building businesses and researching subjects on canines and products created for dogs.