10 Best Dogs for First-Time Owners


Getting your first dog can be such an exciting milestone in your life. After all, dogs are man’s best friend.

But many first-time dog owners rarely ask themselves ‘am I ready for a new dog?’, before they go out and buy one.

If you feel like you can provide your pup with the care and attention he requires, then check out my top 10 choices for the best dogs for first-time owners.

The Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Our roundup of the best dogs for first-time dog owners will point you in the right direction. Our 10 picks are all easy-going. They have a calm temperament, which makes the transition process easier.

Getting used to the responsibilities of owning a dog takes time. But with these lovable breeds, you’ll be able to form a bond with your new best friend in no time.

1. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Bichons are known for their calm, friendly demeanor. They’re low-maintenance, which is why they’re a favorite with both new dog owners and experienced ones.

All they require from you is a daily walk. They also need regular grooming, preferably by a professional dog groomer.

While their curly coat is one of the reasons they’re so adorable, it does need to be trimmed and brushed on a regular basis.

One of their best qualities is that they adapt well to any lifestyle. Plus, the Bichon Frise is a breed that’s easy to train. You’ll find they’re not shy about communicating their needs, even if it’s just to get your attention.

Bichons love affection and cuddles. They’re carefree, cheerful, and easy to manage. This can be because they have an easy-going personality.

It could also be because of their adorably small size. Bichons are a small dog breeds that can reach anywhere from 9 to 11 inches, and weigh from 12 to 18 pounds.

If you live in a house, an apartment, have kids, no kids- the Bichon Frise can easily fit right in. Whatever your lifestyle is like, you’ll find that this dog breed is a no-fuss, no-hassle type of dog, especially for first-time owners.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a unique name because they’re a unique breed of dogs. These low-maintenance dogs have quite a calm temperament.

Spaniels are easy to train and adapt nicely to any environment, what makes them great dogs for first-time owners. At the same time, they have an adventurous streak and love being around people.

One of their best features is their affectionate nature. In return, Spaniels love it when you praise them. They’re also patient, which is a rare quality to find in a dog.

This breed can reach a height of 13 inches, and weigh an average of 13 to 18 pounds. Their coat is long, yet thin. It needs to be groomed every day.

It’s recommended you use a brush with medium bristles to stimulate the hair follicles. This also helps spread the skin’s natural oils over the entire coat.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are probably the most well-known breed of dogs around the world because they’re so lovable and easy to get along with. They have that perfect balance of being an outgoing dog without being too needy, what makes it the perfect family dog.

Golden Retrievers also seem to be the perfect size. They’re not too big nor too small. They can reach a height of about 23 inches, and weigh 65 to 75 pounds.

They’re friendly, easy to train, and extremely smart. Another reason that makes a Golden Retriever perfect for first-time owners is that they easily adapt to your lifestyle.

Goldens can fool you into thinking that they’re lazy since they love lounging next to you on the sofa. But that’s just their cuddly nature.

The truth is, this is one of the most active and energetic breeds of dogs there is. They need a couple of walks each day. Also, if you can squeeze in some playtime, then you’ll be number one in their book.

This breed has a beautiful shiny coat. It’s important that you brush their coat frequently to keep it looking clean and glossy.

4. Greyhound


Anyone who looks at a Greyhound automatically sees an intelligent, active, dog. Greyhounds make excellent exercise partners because they have such high levels of energy.

Yet while they may be athletic dogs, they’re quite gentle. They’re known for their steady, even-tempered demeanor.

One of their best qualities is that they adapt to almost any environment without any trouble. This makes them easy to train and manage.

Another great quality is that they’re extremely low-maintenance. They don’t need to be bathed except once or twice each year. Their coats can simply be wiped down once a week with a soft brush. You can follow it with a steel comb to untangle any matting and loosen any knotted undercoat.

This breed can weigh anywhere from 55 to 90 pounds. They stand at an average of 28 inches.

5. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are some of the most social breeds of dogs you’ll ever meet. They’re easy to train. Labs are also quite easy to manage, and don’t create a lot of fuss. That’s one of the reasons why they make the perfect choice for anyone thinking about getting their first dog.

Labs are different from Goldens in that they need more exercise. They’re an extremely active breed of dogs.

They enjoy learning new things and have an inquisitive nature. Labs can fit into most environments with ease, despite their big size. They stand at about 23 inches and weigh from 65 to 80 pounds.

Besides running and playing for hours on end, they also love to be mentally challenged. If they don’t get their fill of mental and physical exercise, they tend to get bored. This is why they sometimes may act out, especially younger pups.

Labradors are big food-lovers. They’re prone to overeating if their diet isn’t properly monitored.

The good news is that their coat doesn’t require a lot of grooming. All they need is a regular brushing once or twice a week. This helps prevent shedding.

6. Papillon


Charming, cuddly, and small in stature. That’s the impression you get when you see a Papillon for the first time. Even their name is adorable. ‘Papillon’ means butterfly in French. It’s a reference to their ears, which resemble the wings of a butterfly.

Yet as you get to know them a bit more, you’ll discover this breed is way more than that.

Papillons know how to play the best of both games. When it suits them, they become the cute, helpless dog. Then, when playtime comes around, they become the active, frisky dog. Papillons are known for their agility.

For one, they’re cute, and they use it to their advantage. This little dogs make excellent lap dogs. They love to snuggle with you on the sofa.

At the same time, they’re feisty and full of life. This small dogs wouldn’t mind going on a run with you or playing fetch for the good part of an hour just for the sake of playing around and having. They don’t require a whole lot of exercise to be content.

Papillons are easy to train, as long as you show them affection and praise. As long as you give their big personality a chance to shine through, they’ll be happy tagging along with you wherever you.

First-time owners will appreciate the fact that Papillons don’t need a great deal of grooming.

Papillons have an average height of 8 to 11 inches and weigh 4 to 9 pounds.

7. Pomeranian


Another adorable small breed of dogs, Pomeranians have a bigger-than-life personality. They’re sociable, friendly, and extremely outgoing. They’re extroverts and love doing all sorts of fun, adventurous activities.

They may be one of the most energetic dog breeds, but you’d have a hard time believing it just by looking at their size. Pomeranians have an average height of about 7 to 12 inches tall, and weigh no more than 7 pounds.

Their coat is extremely fluffy and shiny. It needs to be groomed no less than three times a week. This keeps their coat in good condition. Plus, it keeps the shedding under control since this breed is a heavy shedder.

Pomeranians are seasonal shedders. Their shedding is at their heaviest in the fall and spring. During this time, they need to be groomed daily.

8. Poodle


Everybody loves poodles. I mean, who wouldn’t with those wide eyes and funky haircuts. There are three adorable types to choose from.


Toy poodles love it when you praise them and show affection. They can reach no more than 10 inches in height. They enjoy both physical and mental stimulation.


Miniature poodles are clever but have a sensitive side. They get easily startled. If you reach out unexpectedly, they tend to flinch away. Miniature poodles can reach up to 15 inches in height.


Despite their classy demeanor, standard poodles are quite protective of their owners. They’re obedient and smart. Standing no more than 20 inches tall, they’re playful and adventurous.

Whichever size you choose, you’re sure to find a friendly, loveable dog for first-time owners. This is mainly because they’re versatile and have many great qualities. Poodles are easy to train. They’re a smart breed. Plus, they have such an easy-going temperament.

This breed of dog is the complete package; they love cuddles and hugs, they love exercising with you, and they love being around people.

Besides needing plenty of physical activity, poodles love to be mentally challenged. Or else, they get bored and start to act out.

Poodles have a curly coat that’s constantly growing. It requires regular grooming.

But the good news is that this is one of those breeds that doesn’t shed all that much. This makes them the perfect choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.

9. Pug


Pugs are a special breed in a class all on their own. They make great first pets.

Part of what makes them so special is that they’re intelligent, yet docile. This is a rare combination of dog breeds. While they may be cute and cuddle, they can also be tad stubborn.

Pugs need their daily walks and a bit of playtime thrown in to ensure they get their fair share of physical and mental exercise.

Their coat is short and dense. This makes brushing and grooming a whole lot easier. Yet you should still brush their coat at least a couple of times a week.

Even though pugs have short coats, they’re considered one of the heaviest shedding dog breeds. Their shed is year-round because they go through the shedding cycle much faster than other breed dogs.

They can reach 13 inches in height, and weight up to 18 pounds.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

One of the best qualities of Yorkshire Terriers, or ‘Yorkies’ for short, is their independence. This is despite their small size. This popular breed can reach no more than 9 inches tall and weighs an average of 7 pounds.

While their independence may seem alarming to someone who’s never owned a dog, it takes quite a bit of the weight off your shoulders.

Compared to other high-maintenance, needy dogs, Yorkshire Terriers make the perfect pet for first-time dog owners. What’s even better is that they don’t need a lot of exercise, just a daily walk will keep them happy and content.

This is an intelligent breed, with an adventurous streak. They’re also friendly and easy to manage. They especially love it when you cuddle them and show them a bit of affection.

Their coat needs a gentle brushing once or twice a week, depending on the type of coat. This helps to preserve their shiny coat and keep it in pristine condition.

Tips for First-Time Owners

The Kennel Club has determined that there are 218 pedigree breeds of dogs. Some of these breeds are better suited for you as a first-time dog owner, others not so much. The more you know about each breed’s profile, the better your choice will be.

You also have to consider your way of living and personal habits. Think about how bringing in a dog into your life will affect all of that.

Use these tips to help you find the best dog for you.

  • Decide on the best size for your dog
  • Plan a budget for dog food, toys, accessories, and visits to the vet
  • Set aside time for daily walks, playdates with other dog friends, and regular playtime
  • Learn the best ways to train your dog
  • Schedule grooming and trimming appointments
  • Make your home dog-friendly

Bringing a dog into your life requires commitment. Your dog will depend on you for everything in his life; food, exercise, bathroom breaks. That’s a big responsibility.

Don’t panic if the two of you need time to adjust. That’s a normal part of the process. After a while, you’ll notice that you’ve fallen into a nice, comfortable routine.

Final Thoughts

While they may seem cute and adorable, dogs are a big responsibility. They need to be looked after and cared for round-the-clock.

The perfect dog breed for first-time owners has a lovable quality about them. They’re also calmer and easier to manage.

Once you’ve found that perfect pup, you’ve got a friend for life. Use our list of the 5 best dogs for first-time owners to find your new best friend.