Finally getting your first dog can be exciting. You probably already have somewhat of an idea of what dog you want to get. However, choosing your first dog isn’t always a matter of just following your heart!
Some dogs are just more suited to first-time owners than others. Plus, not all dog breeds will fit your lifestyle or the type of dog ownership you want - even if they are adorable.
Here are some of the best dogs for new owners.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These affectionate dogs are cute and easy to take care of. They’re small and stand at less than 13 inches tall, which makes them suitable for smaller homes and apartments. They were bred as lap dogs, so they’re pretty laid back and get along with most people as well.
Cavaliers are prone to being overweight, largely due to their lazy nature. Because of this, high-quality dog food is extremely important. However, these dogs are small, so spending a little bit more on their food shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
These dogs do have a long, luxurious coat. But, they are not very difficult to groom. Regular, weekly brushing and a bath when they get particularly dirty is all you need to keep their coat in top condition.
These dogs are the most popular dogs in the United States - for a good reason. They are extremely friendly and outgoing, making them perfect family dogs.
They are considered medium-to-large and can weigh anywhere between 55 to 80 pounds. They require a bit of room and are energetic to boot, so regular exercise is a must. Their grooming needs are very low, but they do shed regularly. Professional grooming sessions should be considered to keep the amounts of hair gathering around your house low.
Furthermore, these dogs are extremely easy to train. They are accepting of almost everyone and are very eager to please. Of course, this does not mean you should skip out on early socialization or puppy training classes.
The earlier you start, the better!
These toy dogs are adorable and very similar to Shih Tzus. However, they do not have many of the health problems Shih Tzus come with, so we typically recommend them for new owners - unlike the Shih Tzu.
Bichon Frise are known as one of the best “personality dogs”. They are a great option for tight quarters and families who are looking for unique, intelligent dogs.
Their fur does take quite a bit of grooming and will need to be cut by a professional. But, they do not shed much at all. They are smaller dogs, but they still require regular exercise. Usually, people classify them as “somewhat active”.
They are very outgoing and not difficult to train.
If you want to go all-out with your first dog, a Poodle is the way to go. They come in three different sizes, including standard, miniature, and toy, as well as a variety of colorations. Pick a great name, and then welcome your new dog to the family!
Their coats do require professional care and you will need to brush them daily to keep their coats clean. However, they do not require many baths and shed very, very little. Their coats are designed to be self-cleaning and weather resistant.
These dogs were made to work, so they need daily exercise. They love almost all activities, including swimming and retrieving. They are also extremely smart and friendly, making training easy. Poodles are suitable friendly dogs for children of all ages.
Whippets are very similar to Greyhounds, but they are significantly smaller. They are known as the “Poor Man’s Racehorse” and are extremely fast. They’re sight dogs, so they love to chase after anything that moves.
They have short coats. Only occasional baths are necessary and, while they do shed, it is not nearly as much as most other dogs.
Affectionately called “40-mile-per-hour couch potatoes”, these dogs are fast but wear out quickly. A daily session of catch is usually enough to wear them out.
These canines do not take to training as well as other canines. They can climb and jump, so fences must be designed to keep them in. They aren’t impossible to train, but all somewhat harder than other canines.
They are not necessarily considered “outgoing”, but are generally well-adjusted when socialized.
Taking Care of Your First Dog
No matter what breed you pick, there are some parts of care that are a must. Quality food is necessarily to ensure your pet stays healthy and dog-proofing your house is not something you can skip.
About the Author:
Rob Evans lives in the NY area with his dogs, Petey and Mikey. When he's not petting or playing games with them, he spends his day writing science and experience-based how-to articles and recommending the best products for dogs over at his website, Doggypedia.