So you decided to get your first dog? Let us be the first to say congratulations! Dog ownership is a great and very rewarding experience. There is a lot of research that goes into general dog ownership, and if you’ve never owned a dog before there is a lot of information out there. Don’t worry about it! Even the most experienced dog owners have to do a little extra research now and then. So what breeds make the best dogs for first time owners?

One of the first things you’ll want to consider while getting ready to purchase or adopt your first dog is which breed of dog you want to get. While all dogs are individuals and have their own personalities, the breed can affect this. And some breeds have characteristics and traits that make them the best dogs for first time owners over other breeds. Remember; there is no bad breed, and any first-time owner can be successful with any dog. All it takes is commitment. But for those looking for suggestions on which breeds will fit best for a newbie owner, here are some ideas to get you started.

FAQs on Best Dogs for First Time Owners

FAQs on Best Dogs for First Time Owners

1. Why Should I Get A Dog?

2. How Difficult Is Owning A Dog

3. Where Can I Buy A Dog?

4. How Much Does Owning A Dog Cost?

How we Reviewed

We looked into what makes each breed unique and stand out from the rest and what lifestyles each breed fits best with. We invested a lot of time into researching and providing a compressive list to give you all the information on what the best dogs for first time owners are and hopefully help you pick out your perfect new companion.

Overall Price Range

Depending on how you come across your new pet prices can vary:

Adoption centers usually charge an adoption fee, which can run up to a hundred dollars or more. And while it’s possible to find pure breeds in adoption shelters, most of the animals there are mixed. Mixed breeds make amazing pets, but it can often be difficult to discern what the animal’s temperament and energy level might be. This can be difficult for a first-time buyer who might not really know what they're doing yet.

Breeders are the best way to ensure your dog is a purebred. They keep records of which litters each puppy came from and who the parents were. The downside to breeders, however, is they can be pricey. Cost can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the demand of the breed. So let's take a look at our picks for the best dogs for the first time owners.


What We Reviewed

  • Bichon Frise
  • Malte
  • Golden Retriever
  • Greyhound
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Poodle
  • English Bulldog
  • Basset Hound
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pug

Bichon Frise


Bichon Frise

Features

Bichons have excellent temperaments and make some of the best dogs for first time owners. They are a popular breed for both experienced and novice owners alike as they are very low maintenance. Their hypoallergenic fur keeps your house clear of allergens that might cause irritation to some of your more sensitive family members, and they’re generally quiet dogs. All they really require is regular grooming, a daily walk, and lots of love and affection. Bichons are a small breed and naturally good-natured, making them the perfect dogs for social owners who are looking for a companion to take anywhere they go.

Sale
Bichon Frise (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • Richard G. Beauchamp
  • Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing
  • Edition no. 2 (10/01/2006)

Pros

  • Small in size makes them easy to take with you
  • Good-natured with a mild temperament 
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Small size means not optimal for protection duties

Where to Buy: Amazon

Maltese


Maltese

Features

Maltese dogs are very small in size and bred to be companion dogs, making them one of the best dogs for first time owners. They adore older children, but due to their small size, they may get defensive around toddlers who might not know how to interact properly with animals yet. As far as exercise goes, the Maltese will get through the day with just a short walk and brief playtime inside the house.

Maltese (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • Joe Fulda, Betsy Sikora Siino
  • Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing
  • Edition no. 3 (07/01/2015)

Pros

  • Very small size means good portability
  • Great companion dogs

Cons

  • Might not get along with small children
  • Medium amount of exercise

Where to Buy: Amazon

Golden Retriever


Golden Retriever

Features

Golden Retriever is such amazing dogs and is one of the best dogs for first time dog owners since they have wonderful temperaments, low maintenance lifestyles, are smart and easy to train, and incredibly friendly dogs. They make great companions and family dogs, being able to keep active as well as hang out on the couch. Golden retriever owners have a reputation for being completely obsessed with their dogs and spending just a few minutes with a golden, and you’ll see there it’s no secret why.

Sale
Golden Retrievers (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)
  • For all our books; Cargo will be delivered in the required time. 100% Satisfaction is Guaranteed!
  • Jaime J. Sucher
  • Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing

Pros

  • Wonderful temperaments
  • Great family dogs
  • Smart and easily trained

Cons

  • Bigger dogs mean less portability
  • Requires a good amount of exercise to keep happy
  • Shedding

Where to Buy: Amazon

Greyhound


Greyhound

Features

Greyhounds are one of the larger breeds you can find out there, but they certainly aren’t the biggest. They are designed for running, which means that even though they are large, they are sleek enough to be fast. Greyhounds need regular exercise to keep them happy and make great running partners. However, once the activity is over, they become enormous couch potatoes. Docile and low maintenance, Greyhounds love to sleep just as much as they love to be active. They make great, excellent pets for owners who like to do the same and that's why they're on this list as one of the best dogs for first time owners.

Sale
Greyhounds (Complete Pet Owner's Manuals)
  • Category: DOGS
  • Manufacturer: BARRON'S PUBLISHING
  • Sub-Category: DOG BOOKS-BY BREED

Pros

  • Great dog for runners
  • Docile and low maintenance
  • Sleek coat means less notable shedding

Cons

  • Large size means they need a lot of space
  • Requires a lot of exercises to keep them low-key and happy

Where to Buy: Amazon

Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retriever

Features

Labrador Retrievers, just like their Golden cousins, make excellent family companion dogs. They are incredibly social dogs and love people, making them perfect for people who lead social lifestyles and want a “take anywhere” type of dog. They are great with kids and other dogs, making them perfect for families of all size. They have a lot of energy and require more exercise than their Golden cousins and plenty of playtimes. However, when they’re done exercising, they’ll sit and hang out with you wherever you are. Labs are known for their loyalty and make a steadfast addition to any family.

Labrador Retrievers: Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition,...
  • Kerry V. Kern, Michele Earle-Bridges
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
  • Edition no. 2 (03/01/1995)

Pros

  • Friendly, happy-go-lucky temperament
  • Excellent family dog
  • Great dogs to take with you wherever you go

Cons

  • Requires lots of exercise
  • Large size means bigger accommodations

Where to Buy: Amazon

Poodle


Poodle

Features

Poodles are known for their incredible intelligence. They are eager to please and fast learners, which makes training poodles a breeze. Their coats are non-shedding and hypoallergenic, a unique quality when looking at best dogs for first time owners, making them perfect for a prospective owner who might have had allergies stopping them in the past. However, they do require a good amount of grooming to keep their coats in good shape. Poodles come in a couple of different sizes, depending on what type of poodle you get. They have an aura of stoicism about them but don’t let that fool you! Most of the time they are playful and affectionate dogs.

Sale
Poodles (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • Dogs
  • Supplies and Accessories
  • Books

Pros

  • Incredibly intelligent means easily trained 
  • Hypoallergenic 
  • Loyal

Cons

  • Incredibly intelligent means keeping you constantly on your toes
  • Higher maintenance

Where to Buy: Amazon

English Bulldog


English Bulldog

Features

Bulldogs have a reputation for being tough fighters- think of how often they are used as school mascots. This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Bulldogs are some of the kindest, laziest dogs you will ever come across. Extremely loyal dogs, they love their people and stick to them like glue. They are great companions for less-active people looking for a couch buddy as one of the Bulldog’s favorite activities is lying around sleeping.

Bulldogs (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • Category: DOGS
  • Manufacturer: BARRON'S PUBLISHING
  • Sub-Category: DOG BOOKS-BY BREED

Pros

  • Loyal and great companions
  • Couch potatoes

Cons

  • Can be clingy

Where to Buy: Amazon

Basset Hound


Basset Hound

Features

Bred as pack dogs for hunting, basset hounds have a natural sense of loyalty and enjoy spending time with their family members, including other pets. Bassets are well-mannered and relaxed though they do need regular exercise as they are prone to obesity. Around the house, they’re happy just to lie around. They make a great addition to any family... if you can handle the drool! They definitely should be on the list for best dogs for first time owners.

Sale
Basset Hounds (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • For all our books; Cargo will be delivered in the required time. 100% Satisfaction is Guaranteed!
  • Joe Stahlkuppe
  • Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing

Pros

  • Loyal family dogs
  • Well mannered and relaxed

Cons

  • Drools a lot

Where to Buy: Amazon

Shih Tzu


Shih Tzu

Features

The origin of the Shih Tzu breed was to be a friendly companion to Chinese royalty. Because they lack any hunting and herding instinct regularly bred into other types of dogs, the Shih Tzu rarely show signs of aggression or hostility. Their tiny size and friendly demeanor make them adaptable to all type of living situations. Shih Tzus are most definitely a small breed with a huge heart and make one of the best dogs for first time owners.

Sale
Shih Tzu (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • Jaime J. Sucher
  • Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing
  • Edition no. 3 (10/01/2010)

Pros

  • Not prone to aggression
  • Small size means great portability
  • Very friendly

Cons

  • Not great if looking for a protection dog

Where to Buy: Amazon

Pug


Pug

Features

The Pug is another breed with a huge following and owners who are just obsessed with their animals. And it’s easy to see why. Pugs have tons of personality packed into a tiny body and love to show it off. They love attention and make perfect dogs for social people as they will have no problem looking for affection from everyone they meet. At home, they are perfect lap dogs and love cuddles. They are low maintenance pets, having just enough energy to keep you on your toes. Their fun-loving personalities and squishy faces put them on this list as one of the best dogs for first time owners.

Sale
Pugs (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
  • Phil Maggitti
  • Publisher: B.E.S. Publishing
  • Edition no. 3 (10/01/2010)

Pros

  • Silly personalities and overall fun-loving dog
  • Low maintenance
  • Love to play

Cons

  • Not optimal as a protection breed

Where to Buy: Amazon

The Verdict 

When it comes to picking your new dog, there is no cut and dry winner. Everyone has different preferences and leads different lives. The best way to decide what breed is best for you is to continue to do your research and look deep into what you want in a dog. We hope this list of best dogs for first time owners has helped you in your search for the perfect breed!

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