13 Best Large Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners


Small dogs aren’t for everyone. Sometimes you want a dog that’ll be nearly the same size as you are. However, a lot of first-time owners are cautious of large dogs because of their size. They’re afraid one moment of lost control will turn into a catastrophe.

What you don’t know is that some large dogs are just oversized teddy bears. Here, I will show you the best large dog breeds for first-time owners.

1. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dogs always look relaxed and happy, and they are, indeed. They’re always calm, so you won’t suffer a temper, like the way it is with other dog breeds. Not to mention that they’re handsome, and they’re an adventurous breed.

You won’t get a moment of boredom with these dogs. They’d be the perfect companion for a hiking trip. Berneses love outdoor activities that don’t require much running, which is a bonus because they won’t tire you out.

A Bernese dog will have a long coat that’s a mix of black, brown, and white fur. Despite its length, it won’t need frequent grooming. You’ll simply need to brush it regularly, and it should be okay.

One more thing that makes Bernese dogs a perfect match for first-time owners is their quick learning. They’ll be smart enough to understand your commands in no time.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Medium-level energy
  • No frequent grooming required
  • Calm with no temper
  • Not running enthusiasts
  • Quick learners

2. Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel is a gentle dog breed, to say the least. The dogs are easy-going, funny, and sweet. The breed was originally created to help hunters find game birds. It was never meant to be vicious, so it’s not a surprise the dogs are such gentlemen.

Clumber Spaniels are easy to take care of, which makes them a nice option for first-timers. The only thing you’ll need to watch is their weight. They can’t get obese because it’ll put pressure on their fragile bones.

A Clumber Spaniel is usually food-oriented. So, whenever you need to teach your dog something, you’ll merely need a couple of treats. On top of that, the dog will respond well to training, and it’ll only bark when it needs something.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Gentle and funny
  • Easy to take care of
  • Food-oriented
  • They don’t bark often
  • Good respondents to commands

3. Great Dane

Great Dane

Great Dane dogs look fancy and high-class, and their name implies so. However, they’re the complete opposite. The dogs are as goofy as a little hamster. They’re also patient and gentle, which is weird considering their huge size.

If you get a Great Dane, you’ll have the ideal companion for lazy days. These dogs don’t run or fool around at all. They merely stretch their legs and walk around, and that’s it for the day. They also have short coats, which means they won’t need frequent grooming.

Great Danes are mostly smart; they’ll respond well to commands and learn quickly. They’ll also defend their owner in a situation that needs to. Their size will be of great help in this case. Not to mention that they’re safe to leave with kids.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Goofy and patient
  • Relaxed and laid-back
  • They don’t move much
  • No frequent grooming needed
  • Brave and protective
  • Safe with kids

4. Greyhound


Greyhounds are cheeky, friendly dogs that are ideal for first-timers. They’re affectionate and calm, even though they’re originally race dogs. You’ll have to keep these dogs on a leash because they love sprinting. Other than that, they’re fairly easy to deal with.

Aside from a good sprint once in a while, Greyhounds don’t move around much. They love hanging out around the house. That’s why they’re safe to leave with kids if you have any. Additionally, they’re fairly smart. You won’t have to put much effort into training them.

These dogs have a very short coat, which is good news for you. You won’t need to trim it or groom it much, but you’ll need to provide a coat or a cover if you’re accompanying your dog to a cold place.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Smart and aware of their surroundings
  • Short coat
  • Medium energy level
  • Affectionate
  • Safe with kids

5. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound is considered the tallest dog breed in the world. Needless to say, you’ll need a spacious interior to get such a dog. That being said, you’ll have a lot of fun. Irish Wolfhounds are extremely loyal and loving.

They’re gentle giants who never do anything in a hurry. They’re relaxed and like to take their time. Plus, they don’t like to move a lot, and they’re good with children. These dogs can be quite pushy with their affection because they love attention, but they’ll stop when you tell them.

Irish Wolfhounds are highly intelligent; they won’t give you a hard time trying to train them. In addition to that, they’re quiet and well-behaved.

In the past, people used this breed to drag harmed men off their horses during war, which gives you an idea of the strength and loyalty these dogs possess.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Quiet and relaxed
  • Highly intelligent
  • Extremely loyal
  • Affectionate
  • Well-behaved with kids

6. Leonberger


Leonbergers make the perfect balance between intelligence and playfulness. They’re well-behaved dogs that love socializing.

If you take your Leon to a walk in the park, expect to gain some attention.

Leons look intimidating, but they’re very friendly and laid-back. They’re also quite affectionate, especially with kids. On top of that, they’re watchdogs by nature. They’ll serve as guard dogs if you need them to do so.

Leons are obedient, which makes them easy to train. They’re also fairly smart, so they’ll respond well to commands. Bear in mind that they’ll need grooming often, courtesy of their long brown coat.

The thing with Leons is that they need a lot of attention. If you’re thinking of getting one, be ready to give it a lot of time. Other than that, it doesn’t take much effort to take care of.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Gentle and patient
  • Watchdogs by nature
  • Obedient
  • Smart

7. Newfoundland


Newfoundland dogs have a weird name, but they’re lovely companions. Their patience level is higher than that of an elephant. This makes them suitable family dogs, especially if there are children around.

That’s not the only good thing about them. Newfoundlands also don’t have a temper. They’ll stay calm, no matter the situation they’re in. 

These dogs prefer to stay indoors, and they don’t move around a lot. You’ll only need to train them for half an hour daily to keep them up. Other than that, they’re relaxing to be around.

Don’t let their thick coats scare you; Newfoundlands actually need minimal caring. You only need to brush them once a week to keep them neat.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Gentle and patient
  • Protective and brave
  • They don’t move a lot
  • No frequent brushing needed

8. Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog

The unmistakable disheveled coat of these dogs is what distinguishes them from other breeds. That’s aside from their friendly, humorous nature.

Old English Sheepdogs are quite the clowns. They absolutely love having fun and fooling around.

These dogs are also highly agile, despite their large size. They don’t run around frequently. But when they do, you’ll be surprised by how graceful they are.

The Sheepdogs are also fast adapters; they’ll get used to the apartment life after only a few days.

The shaggy dogs are affectionate with all family members, including kids. They’re fun to have around. Nevertheless, they demand a lot of time to take care of them. You’ll need to groom them often, and you should get your broom ready for the amount of hair they shed.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Funny and humorous
  • Gentle
  • Fast adapters to the apartment life
  • Highly affectionate

9. Otterhound


Otterhound dogs were originally bred to hunt otters, which explains the name. The shaggy dogs are uncommon among pet owners, but they’re perfect for beginners. They’re classy, yet funny. Besides, they’re highly affectionate and lovely.

Otterhounds are generally independent. They don’t require much attention, and they don’t move a lot. You’ll find them napping on the couch most of the time. You’ll have to leave them a generous space, though. They’re larger than you think.

If you have kids around, they’ll love playing with Otterhounds. The dogs are lively and bouncy by nature, and not at all dangerous. They also love playing with toys. That’s if they’re not relaxing or sleeping somewhere.

Prepare to vacuum a lot if you’re getting an Otterhound. These dogs shed more than average. But they’re worth the effort.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • They don’t move around a lot
  • Active and fun to be around
  • Fairly well-behaved with kids
  • Affectionate and lovely

10. Rough Collie

Rough Collie

Rough Collies aren’t that large, comparable to the other breeds on this list. Their most prominent trait is fast adaptability. You won’t need to put much effort into getting them used to your lifestyle. They’re pretty smart and straightforward.

This comes at a price, though. Rough Collies will require more training than most large breeds, thanks to their stubborn nature. They also love attention, so you’ll have to give them a lot of that.

We recommend getting this breed only if you love active dogs.

Rough Collies are gentle, but they love moving around. You’ll have to walk them every day and give them time outdoors.

If you have children, they’ll love how friendly and joyful these Collies are. They’re pleasant and fun to have around. Besides, they love being around a lot of people.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Happy and bouncy
  • Gentle with children
  • Remarkably fast adaptability

11. Broholmer


Broholmer dogs are noble, gentle, and well-behaved. They don’t have a temper; they’re mostly calm about everything. Despite that, they’re extremely protective and loyal to their owner. This breed also needs a lot of affection, so be prepared to give some time to your dog.

Broholmers are highly agile, and they love to play. If you go on outdoor trips often, you’ll be able to take your dog along. That’s also why you should be ready to get your dog outside frequently, so he doesn’t get bored.

You should also be prepared for a 250-pound weight on your lap. Broholmers love to cuddle, courtesy of their affectionate nature. That’s part of the reason why they’re easy to please. Let them be around you and they’ll be happier than kids on Christmas.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Affectionate and loyal
  • Calm and relaxed
  • Easy to deal with
  • Very well-behaved

12. Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound

If Scottish Deerhounds could speak for themselves, they’d tell that they love nothing more than napping, playing, and food. These dogs are pretty easy to please. Just give them treats and a place to play in, and you’ll be fine.

We don’t recommend Scottish Deerhounds if you want a lazy dog. These dogs love to move around and run a lot. You’ll have to provide them a space to do so if you plan on adopting. You’ll also have to give them enough time for playing.

Scottish Deerhounds are extremely affectionate. They behave well with strangers, as well as children. They’re also highly loyal; you’ll gain a friend for life if you decide to buy one of them.

Scottish Deerhounds are known as the royal dogs of Scotland for a reason. They’re classy, athletic, and well-built. If you can keep up with their needs, you’ll enjoy their company.

Why This Breed Is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Friendly and affectionate
  • Fun to be around
  • Active and energetic
  • Well-behaved and obedient

13. Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodles are the largest Poodles out there. And we believe they have the curliest hair, but we’re not sure!

These dogs are very peaceful and gentle. They won’t let their teeth out, even if you’re rough with them. This makes them ideal for being around children.

Poodles are quick learners and well-behaved. You won’t put much effort into training them. They know their boundaries and stay behind them. They’re also not temperamental, which can be a hard trait to deal with for first time owners. They’re usually calm and composed.

Moreover, Standard Poodles have a laid-back demeanor, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay indoors all day. You’ll need to let them out frequently, so they can run around and play. They’re generally joyful to be around.

Why This Breed is Suitable for First-Time Owners

  • Extremely loyal
  • Peaceful and gentle
  • Laid-back
  • Safe to leave with children

Final Thoughts

As you see, you have plenty of choices if you want a large dog. Don’t let anyone discourage you from the responsibility of having large dogs.

A size is just one factor, and some of these breeds are as goofy as puppies. Large breeds are actually easier to deal with because they have slow movements.

No matter which breed you choose, you’ll get yourself a loyal life companion. We hope you make the right choice!

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