Best Dogs for First Time Owners?

Becoming a firsttime dog owner is exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. There are so many different dog breeds, and it’s hard to know how to choose the right one. Before you take home the next adorable puppy you see, there are a few things to consider. Fortunately, certain dog breeds have relatively predictable energy levels, sizes, looks, and grooming needs.

Nurturing and behavioral training can, in some cases, supersede doggy DNA. The bichon frise is a happy-go-lucky little dog, great for families with children or apartment living.

Bichons are relatively easy to train, adapt well to any lifestyle, and only need moderate daily exercise to be happy and healthy. This breed’s curly coat needs to be trimmed regularly and brushed carefully. Though young boxers can be a little hyperactive, they are trainable and enjoy attention during training.

Once trained and socialized, boxers can thrive in active households and often get along well with kids . Martin Rogers / Getty Images The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a sweet, affectionate dog with a puppy-like appearance. Cavaliers can thrive in all kinds of households and tend to get along well with children of all ages.

The Cavalier’s moderate energy level means basic daily exercise is typically enough to maintain health. Coat and Color: Long, sleek and silky coat with feathering around ears, feet, chest, and tail in four color varieties, tricolor, blenheim, ruby, and black and tan They also need a fair amount of exercise to keep them in good physical condition and prevent boredom.

The breed needs regular brushing to keep its coat free of tangles and mats. They are intensely loyal and affectionate dogs that form close bonds with their families. Labs love to learn and can be trained to do almost anything, enjoying fetching, running, and snuggling.

Fortunately, they only have minor grooming needs , like regular brushing to minimize shedding. This happy, friendly, and adaptable dog breed can do well in a variety of households. Irina Marwan / Getty Images The poodle is a popular, versatile dog breed that makes a wonderful companion.

Poodles are energetic dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Train your Yorkie as you would a big dog, and it will help strengthen the bond between you and lay down boundaries. If you have the time and budget for regular groomer visits, it will be fairly simple to keep your Yorkie in good condition.

Coat and Color: Long, straight, and silky coat; color combinations are black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, and blue and tan If you are not sure which breed is right for you, visit your local shelter or rescue group to meet some adorable mutts. You might want to pass on highly independent, stubborn breeds or dogs with an unpredictable disposition if you are a firsttime owner.

These breeds can require intensive behavioral and socialization training and close supervision around strangers. Breeds to consider skipping include Akitas , Airedale terriers , and Australian cattle dogs .

What is the easiest breed of dog to own?

Basset hound. Puppy basset at the beach | imantsu/iStock/Getty Images. ….Beagle. Beagle | Alaskla/iStock/Getty Images. ….Bichon frisé Bichon frise | Eudyptula/iStock/Getty Images. ….Border terrier. Two border terriers | iStock.com/shellhawker. ….Bulldog. ….Cavalier King Charles spaniel. ….Chihuahua. ….Collie.

What are good first time dogs?

Golden Retriever. Image. Golden Retrievers are hugely popular with first-time owners, and it’s easy to see why. ….Labrador Retriever. Image. ….Standard Poodle. Image. ….Greyhound. Image.

Becoming a firsttime dog owner is a truly rewarding experience. Youre gaining a new loyal best friend and have a wonderful adventure before you. That said, wed be remiss if we didnt acknowledge that the process also comes with some little curveballs as you learn the ropes of pup parenthood.

Another perk, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) is that their fluffy white coat is hypoallergenic, making them ideal for those concerned about dog allergies. Breed OverviewHeight: 9.5 to 11.5 inches Weight: 12 to 18 pounds Life expectancy: 14 to 15 years Ease of care: 4/5 copyright 2011 Sharleen Chao/Getty Images

Arguably one of the easiest dog breeds for firsttime owners, the golden retriever is one of Americas most beloved canines for good reason. They are also known for being obedient and easy to train, so teaching them to fetch, sit, and stay is likely to be a breeze, which is one of the reasons many service dogs are golden retrievers. Breed OverviewHeight: 24 inches Weight: 55 to 75 pounds Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years Ease of care: 5/5Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty Images

Breed OverviewHeight: 8 to 11 inches Weight: 5 to 10 pounds Life expectancy: 14 to 16 years Ease of care: 4/5Tara Gregg/Getty Images Because they love to make their owners happy, labs are also one of the easiest dog breeds to train. Breed OverviewHeight: 24 inches Weight: 55 to 80 pounds Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years Ease of care: 5/5Bigandt_Photography/Getty Images

These unfailingly sweet pups are also keen on pleasing their humans, making them excellent for a broad ranch of owners, including couples, families, seniors, and individuals. According to the AKC, they do require a little more grooming than other pups on our list and need daily brushing, weekly ear-checks, and monthly nail trims. Breed OverviewHeight: 12 to 13 inches Weight: 13 to 18 pounds Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years Ease of care: 4/5Stefan Cioata/Getty Images

For starters, they are exceptionally smart pups that are easy to train, which is one reason why they are utilized in K-9 units. The AKC says they benefit from brushing a few times a week to remove loose hairs and that they only need occasional baths. Breed OverviewHeight: 22 to 26 inches Weight: 50 to 90 pounds Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years Ease of care: 5/5TopDigiPro/Getty Images

Recognized for their fluffy, pillow-like hypoallergenic coats , the poodle is a notably smart and athletic family companion. They also should be brushed daily and professionally groomed about once every month or two to combat matting and keep their coats lustrous. Breed OverviewHeight: 18 to 24 inches Weight: 45 to 70 pounds Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years Ease of care: 4/5bruev/Getty Images

You might not be too familiar with the Basenji, but this smart and adaptable quiet dog breed makes our list because of how easy-going and low-key it is. Breed OverviewHeight: 16 to 17 inches Weight: 22 to 24 pounds Life expectancy: 13 to 14 years Ease of care: 4/5anouchka/Getty Images The trade-off is that their long hair does require daily brushing, weekly bathing, and regular professional groomings.

Breed OverviewHeight: 7 to 8 inches Weight: 8 pounds Life expectancy: 11 to 15 years Ease of care: 3/5 Jackie Bale/Getty Images Another bonus: their coat is considered low maintenance and only needs weekly brushing to control light shedding. Breed OverviewHeight: 10 to 13 inches Weight: 14 to 18 pounds Life expectancy: 13 to 15 years Ease of care: 5/5BiancaGrueneberg/Getty Images

Also, their short coat is very easy to care for and only requires weekly brushing and occasional baths. Breed OverviewHeight: 19 to 21 inches Weight: 25 to 40 pounds Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years Ease of care: 4/5Azael Garcia/Getty Images Dont be intimidated by the Great Danes mighty stature; this pup is a true gentle giant.

This sweet-natured, patient, ultra-friendly pup bonds with its family owners quickly and remains loyal through and throughtheyre even great with children. Breed OverviewHeight: 28 to 30 inches Weight: 110 to 175 pounds Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years Ease of care: 3/5Wavetop/Getty Images Moderate grooming is required, including twice-weekly brushing, monthly nail trims, and occasional baths.

Breed OverviewHeight: 25 to 27 inches Weight: 60 to 70 pounds Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years Ease of care: 4/5Jill Lehmann Photography/Getty Images The powerful and sweet-natured Bernese mountain dog is a family companion that will bring joy to any home. Theyre on our list of the best dogs for beginners because they are easy to train, exceptionally patient with everyone (including kiddos), and get along easily with many personalities and even other animals.

Frequent shedding is more of an issue with this breed, and they require a good brushing two to three times a week. Breed OverviewHeight: 23 to 27.5 inches Weight: 70 to 115 pounds Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years Ease of care: 4/5mladenbalinovac/Getty Images Weve included many purebreds on this list, but we dont want to leave out mixed breeds and mutts. Though adoptable animals from the shelter can come with some specific needs, many will be forever grateful to have you as their owner.

Your local shelter or rescue can help you find the perfect match for your family, says Sunny.

You may already have ideas about what kind of dog you want, and thats great! However, its worth keeping in mind that some types of dogs will be much better suited towards firsttime owners than others.

Dogs that are bred for hunting , guarding , pulling sleds, herding, or sitting on laps will all come with vastly different energy levels and temperaments. Hes a border collie a breed thats notorious for being wicked smart and having a go-go-go attitude (hes a total fetch maniac )!

Charming collies doing handstands and yoga on YouTube really sell this breed, but theyre not a great fit for most firsttime families. Take the time to Google what your chosen breed is bred for and common behavior problems. Ive met plenty of Goldendoodles that have the nervous energy of a skittish poodle and the high-shedding coat of a typical golden retriever.

Brawn: Pocket-sized pooches, shih tzus weigh 9 to16 pounds and stand just 8 to 11 inches tall. Brawn: Pugs are small but mighty little tanks, weighing about 14 to 18 pounds and stand just 12 to 13 inches tall. Labs need regular walks interspersed with more intense activity like hiking, running, training, or fetch.

Another consistent top dog, golden retrievers take a bit more grooming than Labs, but also rank a little higher in intelligence. This friendliness likely comes from originally being bred for sharing a boat with strangers while guns go off around them Labs and goldens are both duck hunting dogs. Their silhouette is impressive and their bark commanding, but Berners are a perfect mix of looks, calm temperament, and willingness to adventure.

Energy Level: Medium-high, Bernese Mountain dogs enjoy hiking and even pulling carts but dont need to run miles per day. Coat Type: Long, Bernese Mountain dogs need regular brushing but shouldnt have to be professionally groomed often. Brains: Quick learners.Ranked 27 out of 137, Bernese Mountain dogs required 5 to 15 repetitions to learn a new command.

This intelligence level is just about right for most owners who like a smart dog, but dont want to be outsmarted regularly. Brawn: Weighing in at 80 to 110 pounds, Bernese Mountain dogs pack a punch when they try to cuddle on your lap. Energy Level: Low-medium, Danes need to stretch their legs a few times daily but otherwise are very relaxed in home.

Coat Type: Short and easy, Great Danes dont require much upkeep. Brawn: Gentle giants, Great Danes stand tall at 28 to 30 inches and weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. Energy Level: High, cockers are bred to hunt birds and really thrive on regular exercise.

Youll need to brush your cocker spaniel regularly or keep their hair trimmed short. Their easygoing nature and adorable poof of white make bichons a charming addition to new dog homes. Bichons are likely to be happy laying at your side and accompanying you around town, but will also enjoy brief bursts of high-energy play.

Paired with their small but sturdy size and easy-care coat, Bostons are excellent choices for firsttime dog owners. These little guys have pretty long legs and enjoy playtime, but they also tire easily thanks to their stocky builds, small statures, and brachycephalic (squished) faces. For firsttime owners, its smart to avoid any large dog breed that is described as aloof or reserved with strangers or any other euphemism for unfriendly.

Brawn: Small but full of personality, Shibas stand 13 to 17 inches tall and weigh 15 to 24 pounds. Cute and noisy, beagles are bred to run ahead of their owners and bark their heads off while chasing down game. Their independent work ethic, desire to sniff and chase, and loud bay is too much for the average owner.

Brawn: Tiny for members of the hound group, beagles stand 13 to 15 inches tall and weigh just 20 to 30 pounds. Far too smart and energetic for their own good, border collies are bred for all-day farm work. Unless youre ready to make a big commitment to keeping your pup entertained and exercised, its best to skip this breed.

When bored and underchallenged, border collies tend to bark, dig, and even nip at anything that moves in an attempt to herd it. If you do go with a border collie, be sure to find a breeder that consistently produces puppies that fit your lifestyle and goals. Brawn: Packing a huge punch into a medium body, border collies weigh 27 to 45 pounds and stand 18 to 22 inches tall.

Theyll run you to the ground, sing dog songs until the neighbors call the police, and knock the socks off of everyone who looks at them. Coat Type: Thick and long, huskies need regular brushing and occasional grooming trips. Humans carefully bred dogs for thousands of years to get away from the aloof, suspicious, and downright dangerous wolfy roots.

Just because Nymeria didnt eat Arya does not mean that a pet wolf is a good idea! Even when raised from a young age, they tend to be highly possessive of toys and food and can be extremely dangerous. They were originally bred to run barking ahead of fire engines, so they need a lot of energy release and can be quite barky.

Energy Level: Very high remember, these dogs are bred for running alongside fire engines and horses! Brawn: Another medium to large sized dog, Dalmatians weigh 45 to 70 pounds and stand 19 to 24 inches tall. Coat Type: Very long and thick, chows need regular intensive grooming sessions.

These dogs are bred to track down bombs and drugs over dangerous terrain or apprehend suspects for police, so theyre pretty hardcore. Energy Level: Extremely high, Belgian Malinois need large amounts of mental and physical exercise per day. Brawn: Large and lean, Belgian Malinois weigh about 40 to 80 pounds but stand tall at 22 to 26 inches.

Large and impressive, cane corsi (the plural term for the breed) are intimidating dogs. Cane corsi are bred to be guard dogs, fostering the tendency to become overly wary and suspicious of strangers and new things. Their loyalty to their favorite humans often comes at the expense of aggression towards strangers, so cane corsi need lots of positive training and socialization.

Energy Level: Medium, cane corsi love training and playing tug, but they arent endurance athletes. Brains: Cane corsi are not ranked in The Intelligence of Dogs, but they are quite smart and enjoy training. Brawn: Thick and imposing, cane corsi often exceed 100 pounds and stand 24 to 28 inches tall.

Gorgeous dogs popularized by the moving story of Hatchi , Akitas are not for the faint of heart. All of this means that Akitas have unusually high levels of suspicion with strangers and aggression towards people and dogs. Energy Level: Medium, Akitas need regular exercise and stimulation, but they arent full-time athletes

This large, powerful breed can be incredibly affectionate with their family, but they are notorious for resource guarding issues. Their sheer size and strength paired with their tricky temperament is the main reason theyre not suited for first time homes. Notoriously clever and stubborn, Airedales are tricky simply because theyve got a typical terrier temperament in a large dog body.

While these gentle giants are incredibly-well suited to specific household types, theyre not a great fit for your average firsttime four-footer family. Originally bred to live outside and guard flocks of sheep from marauding predators, Pyrs are still incredibly independent and protective. While their puppies are ultra-cute (think little polar bears), theyre simply not a good fit for your average home once they grow up.

These dogs are bred to sit on a hillside and watch the flock, then use their voice (and teeth if necessary) to fend off predators. Coat Type: Thick and plush, Pyrs require regular brushing to avoid dreadlocks. These dogs are bred to defend the flock from predators and live outside in tough conditions, so their large size and thick coat has a purpose.

That way, you can be clear-eyed and honest about how dogs measure up before you fall in love with idea of a Dogo Argentino. After a few hours of research, I had a nice short list that included most herding dogs and a few retriever types.

This is absolutely not the sort of decision to make on a whim, though. In the best scenario, a healthy dog could live to the age of 15 or more, so youll be devoting a good chunk of your life to keeping him fit, healthy, and exercised.

Just because a toy puppy looks cute in Kylie Jenners arms, that doesnt mean its the right choice for you. To help guide you, weve curated a list of the top 20 dogs best suited to new owners.

Equally important, weve compiled 10 breeds best avoided by firsttime owners, for a variety of reasons well highlight below. Opting for one of these elderly furballs gives you the benefit of a fully trained dog with established behavioral habits. A mixed breed puppy might not be the first choice for many visitors heading to an animal shelter to adopt a dog, but they make wonderful and loving pets.

As a rough guideline, most mixed breeds tend to lack the extreme behavioral tendencies of their parents, but this is not always the case. One thing worth bearing in mind is that there is more uncertainty when youre buying a mixed breed dog. While extreme genetic tendencies usually average out, sometimes an adverse trait from one parent can be magnified in a mixed-breed pup.

To that end, well help you start firming up your decision by showcasing 20 of the most fitting breeds for new owners. Greyhound Great Dane Labrador Retriever Whippet Shi Tzus King Charles Spaniel Leonberger Mastiff Boxer Pomeranian Poodle Pug Golden Retriever Bernese Mountain Dog Bichon Frise Papillon Yorkshire Terrier American Staffordshire Terrier Basset Hound Chihuahua Weighing an average of 65 pounds, greyhounds are lean and rangy dogs with extremely high activity levels.

Do not underestimate the amount of exercise a greyhound needs, but remember that theyll also happily snuggle up on your lap when youre relaxing with a good movie. A noteworthy point about this breed in closing: greyhounds typically bond with one specific family member. If you get past this initial barrier and you dont mind footing a significant food bill, a Dane is pretty easy to look after.

We would recommend this breed for apartment dwellers, Despite their significant sizes, Great Danes have fairly low energy levels. One thing you need to be aware of is the dramatically differing energy levels between pet labs and labradors bred for hunting. Whichever type of lab takes your fancy, youll need to walk this breed frequently while also ensuring they get plenty of vigorous exercise thrown in.

If you want a super-smart and pretty low-maintenance dog, consider a lab as long as youre ready to deal with those supercharged activity levels. While you cannot necessarily trust a whippet off the leash outdoors, they make superb pets for apartment dwellers. These are manageable dog, but they require a reasonable amount of grooming to tame that long coat.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a sprightly and cheery disposition with reasonably low energy levels. Although this breed has a slightly less truncated nose than a pug, they tend to suffer from broadly simila health problems. Make certain you get the right pet insurance if you invest in one of these breeds as a new owner or you might end up wincing at the vet bills.

They stand close to 30 inches tall, so make sure youre comfortably with all that owning a larger dog entails. This breed doesnt make the smoothest fit if you live in an apartment or a house with limited space. As youd expect from such a hulking, lumbering dog, mastiffs have low to moderate activity levels.

Patient and easy-going, despite their substantial size, this breed makes a great match for firsttime owners living in apartments. These dogs have pretty high energy levels, so youll need to be prepared to grab the leash and hit the road frequently. Indeed, these dogs love the attention you lavish on them while using positive reinforcement to smooth the progress of training.

Poodles are popular pets for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their faithful nature and strong desire for companionship. They also respond quickly and easily to training, ideal for firsttime owners not looking for a steep learning curve. If youre prepared to foot the bill, and you accept you might lose your furball earlier in life than some breeds, pugs make great pets for new owners.

With short coats that require very little maintenance, pugs work well for busy owners disinclined to fuss for hours over a dog. Social dogs, golden retrievers also have high activity levels, so youll need to be prepared to get outside for plenty of walks. The long coat will need regular brushing, but you should be able to avoid frequent appointments with a professional groomer.

Easygoing and relaxed, this a friendly breed happy to go hiking but not demanding hours of daily exercise. These tiny pups have lengthy lifespans of 15 years or so, making them a great choice if you have kids in the house. Weighing 12 pounds and standing just 12 inches tall, these livewires are fascinating to watch and interact with.

Ideal if you dont want a dog that needs constant walking or if you live in an apartment with limited space, the bichon frise is a superb all-round companion for all ages. Keep this dogs coats cut close unless you want to devote a lot of time or money to grooming. If youve been hunting for a small lapdog eager for interaction and affection, a Yorkshire terrier is well worth popping on your shortlist.

Affectionate and often very protective, Yorkies are perfect pets for seniors looking for some canine companionship without too much hassle. When you first bring a Yorkshire terrier home, youll need to invest some time in training him. Yorkies have hair that continually grows, so youll need to make sure you stay on top of his grooming needs.

Living up to 16 years, Yorkshire terriers are versatile and forgiving pets that make a superb choicer for firsttime owners. Weighing 55 pounds and packed with pure muscle, these dogs might look initially intimidating, but as soon as you bring one home, youll see how playful and loving they are. Basset hounds have very low activity levels, so make a wise choice if you fancy a dog that prefers staying indoors.

Once you break through the barrier, though, youll have a low-maintenance pet perfect for your first attempt at dog parenting. Standing less than 7 inches high and weighing just 5 pounds, you wont need to spend a fortune on food. While you can get around these issues, youll need to think about intensive training and close supervision of your dog around strangers.

Beagles Huskies Wolf hybrids Chow Cane Corsi Dalmatian Akita Belgian Malinois Border Collie Shiba Inus Beagles might be cute to look at but they are prone to barking and running off, neither of which are ideal if this is your first attempt at owning a dog. While this breed is incredibly popular, the sheer number of huskies in animal shelters should give you a clue that something is amiss.

Firstly, huskies have very high energy levels and they respond best in households with active members always taking them out. This breed was designed to pull sleds all day long, so theyll want more exercise than most new owners bargained on. We have bred dogs for hundreds of years to escape the more dangerous and unappealing characteristics of wolves.

Even if they have been raised by humans from an early age, wolf hybrids will still act possessively around food or toys. Fiercely loyal to their favorite humans, they dont share the same affection for strangers and they can be hostile, even aggressive toward anyone unfamiliar. With very high energy levels these dogs were bred to run alongside horses youll need to make sure you can cater to these needs with regular and intensive exercise.

Bred for hunting, fighting, and guarding, this makes Akitas suspicious of strangers, and often hostile or aggressive. Once an Akita is well-trained and socialized, they can become wonderful and loyal pets, but getting them to that stage takes some time, effort, and experience. Belgian Malinois are bred for hazardous work and these super-smart dogs are a joy to watch in action.

If you dont live up to your side of the bargain, border collies can exhibit unwanted and destructive behaviors. As you can see from the variety of breeds in todays list, size is not the only factor when it comes to dogs that are easy to manage and maintain.

Tip

Distinct breed traits—trainability, aggression toward strangers, and prey drive—may be rooted in a dog’s genes, but each dog is different despite this hardwiring. Nurturing and behavioral training can, in some cases, supersede doggy DNA. It is essential to remember that a dog’s breed will not perfectly predict how a particular dog will act.

1. Bichon Frise

Known for its loving and playful personality, the Bichon Frise is an intelligent and charming lapdog who befriends just about everyone they meet. They are one of the best dogs for beginners since they’re typically easy to train and are great with kids. Another perk, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) is that their fluffy white coat is hypoallergenic, making them ideal for those concerned about dog allergies. They do need to be bathed about once a month and benefit from a good brushing several times a week. A visit to the groomer every four to six weeks can also help keep them looking tip-top.© copyright 2011 Sharleen Chao/Getty Images

2. Golden retrievers

Arguably one of the easiest dog breeds for firsttime owners, the golden retriever is one of America’s most beloved canines for good reason. This lovable pup is exceptionally friendly and devoted to its owners. They are also known for being obedient and easy to train, so teaching them to fetch, sit, and stay is likely to be a breeze, which is one of the reasons many service dogs are golden retrievers. Perhaps most important, though, is their gregarious and outgoing personalities, which make them fantastic as firsttime family dogs, as well. They benefit from a good brushing once a week and perhaps more during their twice-annual shedding spree.Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty Images

3. Papillon

The papillon—which means butterfly in French—is another wee-sized pup weighing in at only 10 pounds tops. They are an affectionate dog breed and they also get along well with children. Though very small, this toy breed is surprisingly athletic and spritely and benefits greatly from playtime. One potential drawback is that they’re not too keen on hanging out with other animals. However, they are surprisingly easy to groom thanks to their lack of an undercoat. A good bath every few months and a once-monthly grooming session are all they need.Tara Gregg/Getty Images

4. Labrador retriever

The Labrador retriever is another one of America’s most popular dog breeds. They are most noted for their outgoing personality and friendly demeanor, and they are also one of the best-behaved dog breeds. These playful, easy-going pups—which come in chocolate, black, and yellow—are very sociable. This allows not only for easy bonding with the entire family but with other animals, too. Because they love to make their owners happy, labs are also one of the easiest dog breeds to train. Occasional baths and brushing are all this dog needs to keep it looking its best.Bigandt_Photography/Getty Images

4. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

A sweet combination of a small toy breed and spaniel, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a gentle, graceful, athletic, and high-spirited little pup. They make our list of the best first dogs for new owners because of their adaptability and smarts, which make them both easy to get along with and train. These unfailingly sweet pups are also keen on pleasing their humans, making them excellent for a broad ranch of owners, including couples, families, seniors, and individuals. They are also known for being effective therapy dogs, too. According to the AKC, they do require a little more grooming than other pups on our list and need daily brushing, weekly ear-checks, and monthly nail trims.Stefan Cioata/Getty Images

6. German shepherd

The noble German shepherd is an excellent dog for firsttime owners for many reasons. For starters, they are exceptionally smart pups that are easy to train, which is one reason why they are utilized in K-9 units. Second, they are gentle with their owners and unfailingly loyal—to the end that they make great watchdogs. Finally, German shepherds are easy to groom. The AKC says they benefit from brushing a few times a week to remove loose hairs and that they only need occasional baths.TopDigiPro/Getty Images

7. Standard poodle

Recognized for their fluffy, pillow-like hypoallergenic coats, the poodle is a notably smart and athletic family companion. Because of these positive qualities, poodles have been bred with many other breeds to get designer breeds including the labradoodle, golden doodle, cockapoo, and, Cavapoo. Do note that as puppies, poodles can be high-energy, so they’ll need to be able to run off that steam. They also should be brushed daily and professionally groomed about once every month or two to combat matting and keep their coats lustrous.bruev/Getty Images

8. Basenji

You might not be too familiar with the Basenji, but this smart and adaptable quiet dog breed makes our list because of how easy-going and low-key it is. Some even describe this dog as “cat-like” in its independence and quiet demeanor. While it’s not overtly lovey-dovey like some breeds, the Basenji is perfect for firsttime owners who tend to be gone often and prefer a pup that’s not always at their ankles. The AKC says their short coat is also simple to care for. Just give them a once-over every week or two—and no bathing required unless they get into something.anouchka/Getty Images

9. Yorkshire terrier

A truly petite-sized pup, the adorable Yorkie is a tiny terrier that weighs in at only seven pounds. Though tiny, they do have major personalities! This breed has a reputation for being brave, tenacious, and sprightly. They are also exceptionally friendly. The breed’s long, low-allergen coat mimics human hair more than dog fur, making them one of the more popular dogs for those who deal with pet allergies. The trade-off is that their long hair does require daily brushing, weekly bathing, and regular professional groomings.© Jackie Bale/Getty Images

10. Pugs

Survey any pug owner and they’ll likely be quick to tell you that this breed is one of the best family companions out there. The adaptable pug gets along with basically everyone—including kids, seniors, and other animals—and thrives in both the city and country. Pugs also enjoy making their owners happy, which helps make training them a breeze. Another bonus: their coat is considered low maintenance and only needs weekly brushing to control light shedding.BiancaGrueneberg/Getty Images

11. Whippet

Don’t confuse the whippet for a greyhound! Though they do look similar, the whippet is its own breed (and actually quite a bit smaller). This lean and elegant pup is a lightning-quick runner that enjoys having a good chase in the backyard. As long as it’s getting plenty of exercise, this breed can fare well in an apartment or a house with a yard. Another perk is that these guys barely bark. Also, their short coat is very easy to care for and only requires weekly brushing and occasional baths. While smart, the whippet has a bit more of a mischievous personality that can be a little tricky to reign in when training.Azael Garcia/Getty Images

12. Great Dane

Don’t be intimidated by the Great Dane’s mighty stature; this pup is a true gentle giant. This sweet-natured, patient, ultra-friendly pup bonds with its family owners quickly and remains loyal through and through—they’re even great with children. However gentle, the Great Dane also makes for a courageous and vigilant watchdog as well. Regarding training, this breed does benefit from professional obedience training in order to harness its full potential. They also should be brushed weekly, bathed occasionally, and have their nails trimmed monthly.Wavetop/Getty Images

13. Irish setter

If you’re in the market for a lovable, friendly pup that’s perhaps not quite as well-known as other breeds, the Irish setter might just be your match. These sweet dogs get along with, and bond quickly, with everyone they meet—including kids, adults, seniors, and other animals. They do tend to be a bit on the rambunctious side, so a playful and active setting is ideal. They are also eager to please and respond well to patient training, notes the AKC. Moderate grooming is required, including twice-weekly brushing, monthly nail trims, and occasional baths.Jill Lehmann Photography/Getty Images

14. Bernese mountain dog

The powerful and sweet-natured Bernese mountain dog is a family companion that will bring joy to any home. They’re on our list of the best dogs for beginners because they are easy to train, exceptionally patient with everyone (including kiddos), and get along easily with many personalities and even other animals. Their big size can be intimidating, but they’re big softies who love to stick close to their humans. In fact, they can be a little shy! Frequent shedding is more of an issue with this breed, and they require a good brushing two to three times a week.mladenbalinovac/Getty Images

Why Breed Matters for First-Time Owners

Really, breed matters for all owners. Even if you’re flexible on what you’re looking for in a dog,As a dog behavior consultant,Let’s take my dog Barley as an example. He’s a border collie — a breed that’s notorious for being wicked smart and having a go-go-go attitude (he’s a total fetch maniac)!Charming collies doing handstands and yoga on YouTube really “sell” this breed, butThere are days where Barley comes home from a 19-mile run, takes a two-hour nap, and is then ready for more action as he runs circles around the house squeaking his 93 different toys. In addition to his boundless energy, he can open doors. You can see why letting him get bored could be a recipe for disaster.It’s easy for me to take a few impressive training videos of him and pretend he’s the most perfect dog out there (well, he is to me). The truth is that this breed is a tough one, and they really aren’t for everyone.The point is, Barley is a very typical border collie. Anyone who has done a little research on the breed would know how high-octane these dogs can be.Before selecting a dog, take some time to get real about what you’re looking for.Don’t base your decision off of an individual dog!I’ve met enough Akitas to know that they’re generally a very tough breed, but my neighbor’s Akita is easier to handle and friendlier than most Labs I’ve met.

Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

Look for dogs that are generally described as trainable, eager to please, and friendly when selecting your first dog breed. We created a list that varies by energy level, coat type, brains, and brawn.These dogs are ranked by size, not by preference.

Worst Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

Despite being bred for racing, sighthounds are notorious couch potatoes. They’re not very trustworthy off leash, but they’re excellent and loving companions for apartment living.Like whippets, greyhounds were originally developed as racing dogs. They’re bred to run in short spurts after fast-retreating objects, so they’re not great around small animals or for off-leash work. However, they’re calm and affectionate companions that are great for many beginner homes.There’s a reason Labs are consistently in the top three most popular American dog breeds.They’re smart, affectionate, and energetic without being overwhelming. Be sure to find a breeder who producesAnother consistent “top dog,” golden retrievers take a bit more grooming than Labs, but also rank a little higher in intelligence.For many, the difference between these two breeds comes down to looks and personal preference. Goldens are exuberant and friendly, like Labs, and are known for their relaxed and ever-present smile.This friendliness likely comes from originally being bred for sharing a boat with strangers while guns go off around them — Labs and goldens are both duck hunting dogs.Another giant but easy dog breed, Bernese Mountain dogs are friendly and relaxed.Their silhouette is impressive and their bark commanding, but “Berners” are a perfect mix of looks, calm temperament, and willingness to adventure.Giant and goofy, Danes are humongous couch potatoes. They’re known for being patient and affable, enjoying a good cuddle. Their drool and size might be daunting, but Danes are excellent companions for firsttime owners and apartment dwellers.These goofy and friendly little dogs are highly adaptable and easygoing. They do require regular grooming and daily exercise, but otherwise fit into many firsttime households well. Cockers tend to be a great balance of happy-go-lucky energy and affectionate snuggles.Small and fluffy, bichons are well-known as affable and goofy companions. Their easygoing nature and adorable poof of white make bichons a charming addition to new dog homes. They’re commonly described as peppy and curious, and are relatively confident and easygoing for small dogs.It doesn’t get much cuter than a Boston terrier. Luckily, these little dogs have a pleasant personality to match their adorable looks. They are known for being goofy, friendly, and adaptable. Paired with their small but sturdy size and easy-care coat, Bostons are excellent choices for firsttime dog owners.

Does the Breed of Dog Matter?

One of the most common and unfortunate mistakes new owners make is seizing upon the latest fashionable breed without assessing whether it makes a smooth fit. Just because a toy puppy looks cute in Kylie Jenner’s arms, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.Different dog breeds have evolved in line with very specific needs and goals. A lapdog and a hunting dog will obviously have dramatically different energy levels, and they are also very different in terms of temperament.While many breed traits are hardwired into canines, all dogs are different despite these genetic influences. While dog DNA informs the overall trainability of your dog as well as his tolerance of strangers, you can get around many of these traits with the right nurturing and effective behavioral training.So, the breed of the dog will give you a decent starting point. From here, you can dive deeper into whether or not the dog in question looks right for your home.To help guide you, we’ve curated a list of the top 20 dogs best suited to new owners. Equally important, we’ve compiled 10 breeds best avoided by firsttime owners, for a variety of reasons we’ll highlight below.Before we give you a rundown of the most suitable and least suitable breeds for new owners, where do mixed breeds fall on the spectrum?

How About Mixed-Breed Dogs for First-Time Owners?

There is nothing wrong with mixed-breed dogs, and they often make a smart choice for firsttime dog owners.Many senior mixed breed dogs end up in K-9 shelters. Opting for one of these elderly furballs gives you the benefit of a fully trained dog with established behavioral habits.Fancy a younger dog? A mixed breed puppy might not be the first choice for many visitors heading to an animal shelter to adopt a dog, but they make wonderful and loving pets.As a rough guideline, most mixed breeds tend to lack the extreme behavioral tendencies of their parents, but this is not always the case.One thing worth bearing in mind is that there is more uncertainty when you’re buying a mixed breed dog. While extreme genetic tendencies usually average out, sometimes an adverse trait from one parent can be magnified in a mixed-breed pup. With purebreds, things are more clear-cut and you know what you’re getting yourself into.All dog owners have different needs and goals. If, for instance, you plan to take your dog to competitive agility events or you’re looking for a working dog to take hunting, you may find yourself at a drawback with a mixed-breed dog. For most reasonable purposes, though, it’s well worth considering a mongrel.Bottom line, mixed-breed dogs are a mixed bag, all the more so if the parents are unknown. Predicting the behavior of a new mixed-breed puppy, then, is much more challenging than when you’re buying a purebred dog.To that end, we’ll help you start firming up your decision by showcasing 20 of the most fitting breeds for new owners.

The Worst Dogs for First-Time Owners

Weighing an average of 65 pounds, greyhounds are lean and rangy dogs with extremely high activity levels. Don’t consider this breed if you don’t have the time or inclination to head out for regular lengthy walks.Greyhounds are highly independent dogs, so they make a great choice if you’re always crunched for time and need a dog that fits in around your lifestyle rather than always yapping at your heels.In terms of personality, greyhounds are very soft, sweet, and lovable. While they can be fiercely solitary dogs, they also enjoy engaging.Do not underestimate the amount of exercise a greyhound needs, but remember that they’ll also happily snuggle up on your lap when you’re relaxing with a good movie.A noteworthy point about this breed in closing: greyhounds typically bond with one specific family member. This renders them a smart bet for seniors living alone, as long as it’s possible to cater for their exercise needs, of course.Great Danes are comically large, weighing anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds and standing a foot high.These huge hounds are very laid-back and they’re always keen for a cuddle.The sheer size of this breed combined with their propensity to drool can be off-putting. If you get past this initial barrier and you don’t mind footing a significant food bill, a Dane is pretty easy to look after.We would recommend this breed for apartment dwellers, Despite their significant sizes, Great Danes have fairly low energy levels. They are more than happy to relax at home base as long as they can stretch their legs throughout the day.This dog has a short and easily-manageable coat. Danes require minimal upkeep overall and make ideal firsttime dogs.While labs are affectionate and filled with energy, this breed shouldn’t overwhelm you as a new owner.Labrador retrievers consistently feature in the most popular American breeds.One thing you need to be aware of is the dramatically differing energy levels between pet labs and labradors bred for hunting. The latter require far more exercise, so make sure you choose accordingly.Whichever type of lab takes your fancy, you’ll need to walk this breed frequently while also ensuring they get plenty of vigorous exercise thrown in. From hiking and running to playing catch or fetch, labs can’t get enough of the great outdoors. As such, they can be beneficial for improving your own health and fitness as a result of these regular outings.With short, thick coats, you can expect a fair amount of shedding from this breed. Weighing from 55 to around 80 pounds, these beefy pups stand from 20 to 25 inches tall.If you want a super-smart and pretty low-maintenance dog, consider a lab as long as you’re ready to deal with those supercharged activity levels.Whippets were bred for racing, but this breed is equally comfortable lounging on the couch.While you cannot necessarily trust a whippet off the leash outdoors, they make superb pets for apartment dwellers. With medium energy levels, there’s no need to go over the top with exercise. Whippets love a quick sprint, but they’re not build for endurance or stamina.With extremely short coats, you shouldn’t be bothered by too much dog hair throughout the house. If you live somewhere with a cooler climate, you might want to consider a dog jacket for the cooler months.Small and lightweight, whippets weigh just 25 to 40 pounds, but they’re quite tall at 18 to 21 inches.Shi Tzus have an amusing name and a remarkably cute nature.If you have kids at home, one of these puppies would make a wonderful addition to the household.It helps if you’re laid-back yourself since this breed is reasonably demanding, always alert and embracing activity.These are manageable dog, but they require a reasonable amount of grooming to tame that long coat.Dinky dogs weighing no more than about 15 pounds and standing just 10 inches tall, Shi Tzus might not be the smartest dogs, but they’re among the most loyal and lovable, as well as being remarkably charismatic.The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a sprightly and cheery disposition with reasonably low energy levels. While these dogs are a good fit if you’re looking for a lap dog, they also respond well to activity if you’re looking to get out and about with your fur baby.Although this breed has a slightly less truncated nose than a pug, they tend to suffer from broadly simila health problems. Make certain you get the right pet insurance if you invest in one of these breeds as a new owner or you might end up wincing at the vet bills.You’ll also need to devote plenty of time to brushing the long coats this breed features. Alternatively, send your pup to the dog groomers on the regular.These tiny mutts weigh not much more than 10 pounds and stand 10 or 12 inches high.The Leonberger is a huge and intelligent breed of dog weighing an average of 130 pounds. They stand close to 30 inches tall, so make sure you’re comfortably with all that owning a larger dog entails.Firstly, you’ll need to consider the right dog food for his needs, and you’ll need to make sure he eats plenty of it, too.You’ll also need to ensure you or another family member can commit to meeting his exercise needs. These dogs are highly energetic and need regular vigorous exercise to stay in shape. This breed doesn’t make the smoothest fit if you live in an apartment or a house with limited space. Leonbergers need room to roam.If you like the idea of a protective dog that will look over you and look after you, you can’t go wrong with mastiff.These towering dogs stand well over 30 inches tall, weighing up to 175 pounds. As you’d expect from such a hulking, lumbering dog, mastiffs have low to moderate activity levels. They like a gently wander, but they won’t be clamoring for endless explosive exercise.Patient and easy-going, despite their substantial size, this breed makes a great match for firsttime owners living in apartments. Given a straight choice, these pups prefer staying indoors.Boxers make playful pets that will bond closely with all family members.These dogs have pretty high energy levels, so you’ll need to be prepared to grab the leash and hit the road frequently. This breed meshes best with owners who enjoy an active lifestyle.While boxers can appear hyperactive at times, they are eminently trainable. Indeed, these dogs love the attention you lavish on them while using positive reinforcement to smooth the progress of training.Boxers interact well with children and they are extremely protective of all family members, children in particular.As an added bonus, this breed has only very basic grooming needs.Next up in our exploration of the best dogs for first time owners is another quirky lapdog, the Pomeranian.Poms typically bond closely with one owner, but they can integrate into a family if required. That said, you should avoid introducing a Pomeranian to a home with young and energetic kids. If you children are older and gentle by nature, a Pom might gel.You’ll need to take the time to train your Pomeranian so he knows his boundaries. If you fail to train this dog, they might start trying to take advantage.While these dogs look like their coats require a great deal of upkeep, they are surprisingly low-maintenance. Brush your Pom regularly and give them some simple daily exercise and you’re good to go.Poodles are popular pets for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their faithful nature and strong desire for companionship.This breed is highly adaptable and slots in smoothly to almost any environment, including households with kids.You can find standard-sized poodles, and this breed is also available in mini and toy form, giving you plenty of scope. All types of poodle are super-smart. They also respond quickly and easily to training, ideal for firsttime owners not looking for a steep learning curve.If you bring a poodle home, you’ll need to keep him well-exercised and mentally stimulated. This breed also demands intensive grooming to tame that perpetually-growing curly coat.Most poodles weigh somewhere between 45 and 70 pounds and stand from 12 to 16 inches tall. Mini poodles weigh from 15 to 18 pounds, and toy poodles weigh less than 9 pounds.Pugs have characteristic faces that exude friendliness.The major drawback with pugs is the short nose that can trigger health problems and short lifespans. If you’re prepared to foot the bill, and you accept you might lose your furball earlier in life than some breeds, pugs make great pets for new owners.These dogs have low to medium energy levels. They enjoy playing around, but a combination of their short nose and short legs means they find running and breathing awkward.With short coats that require very little maintenance, pugs work well for busy owners disinclined to fuss for hours over a dog.Golden retrievers are the third most popular breed in the United States with good reason.Weighing 65 pounds and standing just over 20 inches tall, these dogs are loving and obedient. If you want a dog that obeys your command rather than challenging you, these docile hounds are a great choice.Social dogs, golden retrievers also have high activity levels, so you’ll need to be prepared to get outside for plenty of walks.This breed has such a loving personality that they make perfect therapy pets, and they also slot neatly into family households without making excessive demands.Many firsttime dog owners gravitate toward smaller dogs, but if you’re looking for a gentle giant, the Bernese Mountain Dog makes a real conversation piece.These dogs weigh up to 110 pounds and stand around 25 inches high.The long coat will need regular brushing, but you should be able to avoid frequent appointments with a professional groomer.Easygoing and relaxed, this a friendly breed happy to go hiking but not demanding hours of daily exercise.These tiny pups have lengthy lifespans of 15 years or so, making them a great choice if you have kids in the house.Weighing 12 pounds and standing just 12 inches tall, these livewires are fascinating to watch and interact with.Ideal if you don’t want a dog that needs constant walking or if you live in an apartment with limited space, the bichon frise is a superb all-round companion for all ages.Keep this dog’s coats cut close unless you want to devote a lot of time or money to grooming.The papillon is a tiny dog weighing from 5 to 10 pounds and standing around 10 inches tall.A very versatile breed, papillons thrive in a variety of environments. They will get along well with kids, but you’ll need to encourage your children to play gently with this delicate breed.These dogs enjoy an active lifestyle, so don’t let those diminutive looks fool you. You won’t need to give them an undue amount of exercise, but dedicate enough time to give them a run around and some playtime.Easy to train and easy to groom, this dog might not be the best known breed, but it makes a smart choice for firsttime pet owners.If you’ve been hunting for a small lapdog eager for interaction and affection, a Yorkshire terrier is well worth popping on your shortlist.With only moderate energy levels, you won’t need to worry about taking your terrier out for too much exercise. This makes this breed a sound bet for anyone without the time or the inclination to keep going out with Rover.Affectionate and often very protective, Yorkies are perfect pets for seniors looking for some canine companionship without too much hassle.When you first bring a Yorkshire terrier home, you’ll need to invest some time in training him. Neglect this and you could end up with an obstinate and vocal dog on your hands.Yorkies have hair that continually grows, so you’ll need to make sure you stay on top of his grooming needs.Living up to 16 years, Yorkshire terriers are versatile and forgiving pets that make a superb choicer for firsttime owners.If you like the look of a pitbull but you don’t fancy the challenges or stigma that come with that breed, you could consider an American Staffordshire terrier.Weighing 55 pounds and packed with pure muscle, these dogs might look initially intimidating, but as soon as you bring one home, you’ll see how playful and loving they are.American Staffies are incredibly loyal. These dogs will focus fully on your needs and protect you at all times.Outgoing and energetic, make sure you like the idea of heading out for regular walks as these dogs call for plenty of running, hiking, and playing – just make sure you pick up the right durable chew toy.Even if basset hounds are not as demonstrably affectionate as bulldogs, these dogs are still super-loyal.Many people looking for their first time are not looking to head out for regular and lengthy walks or hikes. Basset hounds have very low activity levels, so make a wise choice if you fancy a dog that prefers staying indoors.When you’re initially training your basset hound, you may run into some resistance. Once you break through the barrier, though, you’ll have a low-maintenance pet perfect for your first attempt at dog parenting.Chihuahuas are the smallest breed and make smart pets that are super-simple to train.Standing less than 7 inches high and weighing just 5 pounds, you won’t need to spend a fortune on food.With the right dog food for chihuahuas and a little patience when dealing with this dog’s fiercely stubborn and independent streak, this dinky little toy breeds make wonderful firsttime dogs.OK…With that comprehensive choice of firsttime friendly breeds, you have no shortage of options.How about if you encounter a dog not listed above? Well, you should keep your eyes peeled for any of the following breeds and give them a wide berth.