Speak to a vet within minutes

4.9 On the App Store 3600+ reviews

Best Dog Breeds for First Time Pet Parents

Dog for first time owner

Getting a dog is such an exciting decision and a promise that you are ready to care for a living being, often for a decade and more. So far you’re probably aware that owning a dog is much more than regular walks and cuddling sessions. Dog ownership also involves planning your day, providing a consistent routine, thinking about pup nutrition, and finding the right veterinary support. Now, that you have checked all the boxes on why you could be a great dog owner, let's see which breed could fit you the best.

Pro tip: Novice owners may choose to avoid the largest size dogs, dogs with high energy levels, and dogs that are highly prone to separation anxiety.

Choosing the Right Dog Breed

If you have your eyes set on a certain breed, like the Dalmatian or German Shepherd, you should know that some breeds are recommended only to experienced dog owners. Why?

Breeds like the Dalmatian were bred to be working dogs, meaning that they have a huge amount of energy. Endurance and speed in this breed mean an almost endless capacity for exercise. When bored, they will become destructive. Plus, they are passionate barkers and commonly one-person dogs.

Why should novice owners wait to gain some experience before they get a lovable German Shepherd? German Shepherds are excellent dogs who thrive in hands of experienced owners. They need a lot of training, enrichment, and exercise. Plus, they do shed a lot which means above-average brushing sessions are a must. All in all, this could be too much work for a novice or unprepared pet parent.

Extra tip: To get the most out of playing sessions and still enjoy brushing and grooming, first-time dog owners might want to think about getting small dogs that don't shed - this way novice owners can easily take their dog with them, stroll the city streets easily, and have a dog that is fairly easy to groom.

Be careful: small size dogs can also have an abundance of energy!

Best Dog Breeds for Novice Owners

When choosing your first dog you should focus on getting a pet that will easily fit your lifestyle. Yes, it's easy to think about how you should name your dog (Disney dog names are always a great start for this), but you should think beyond.

Three factors that you should consider before you get a dog are:

  • Dog's size
  • Grooming needs
  • Energy level

If you are an outdoor person, getting a dog who prefers staying in, isn't a good fit right?! By focusing on these traits, you can better predict which breed is suitable for you.

Below are the top three dog breeds that many first-time dog owners adore.

1. Bichon Frise

Bichons are known for being great family dogs. Their sweet nature and calm temperament make them perfect for the first-time pet parent who doesn’t mind a bit of extra grooming.

As small size dogs, Bichons are a great choice for apartment spaces and city living.

Children will love them, although they should still be educated on how to safely act around dogs.

2. Golden Retriever

The ultimate champion for first-time dog owners is the world-famous Golden Retriever.

Americans love this breed, which is why Golden Retrievers are continually among the most popular dogs across the States. They are happy, active, of medium-size, and overall dogs that can be trusted when left alone - that is unless you leave them alone for too long and too frequently.

Goldens are highly adaptable dogs. Their luscious coat requires regular brushing that they will love, along with routine bathing sessions.

If you get this breed you will never again go to the beach alone - they're massive water lovers.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Another small size dog that novice owners tend to love is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This is the ultimate dog when it comes to puppy-like appearance. As one of the oldest breeds alive, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is pretty much as they were centuries ago.

They are loyal and playful but also a breed that cannot be left alone for too long, as they are prone to separation anxiety.

Last, But Not Least…

Once you decide to get a dog and choose the breed that fits your lifestyle perfectly, you will be ready to welcome Fido into your life. Don't forget to provide enough toys, a dog bed, and bowls. Be sure to keep your pup healthy by keeping up with routine veterinary care. Help your new dog enjoy the vet by learning to be touched and handled by many different people. And don’t forget to give him a nice treat afterward. Always reward nice behavior!

Read more:

7 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Dog Breed

How to Introduce a New Dog or Puppy to Your Home

How to Introduce Cats and Dogs

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding your dog’s training, health, or another condition?

Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

More articles about dog

Are you concerned about your pet?

Book a video consultation with an experienced veterinarian within minutes.

Get started
  • Low-cost video vet consultations, 24 hours a day Low-cost video vet consultations, 24 hours a day
  • Experienced, licensed vets Experienced, licensed vets
  • Over 700,000 satisfied pet owners Over 700,000 satisfied pet owners

Speak to a vet within minutes

4.9 On the App Store 3600+ reviews