7 Best Dog Breeds For First Time Owners

If you’re considering adding a friendly canine companion to your family, you need to be aware of the best dog breeds for first time owners.

· 9 min read

If you’re considering adding a friendly canine companion to your family, you need to do your research and be aware of the best dog breeds for first time owners. Having a new furry friend and learning more about the breed helps you be more successful as a first-time dog parent.

Although owning a dog is one of life’s greatest joys, it can be intimidating to care for an animal, especially if you never have before. So, learning more about the best dog breeds for first time owners will help you feel much more confident in your journey as a new fur parent.

Multiple studies have revealed that owning a pet dog can significantly improve the owner’s life and well-being. On the flip side, a great dog parent will also improve the life of the dog.

Dogs are often called ‘man’s best friend’ because they provide unconditional love and support. Dogs are fun company and could ease feelings of isolation and loneliness. At the same time, caring for dogs may motivate you to go outside and get moving more often, because dogs enjoy (and need) plenty of walks.

Dog ownership naturally comes with responsibilities, so it’s a decision you can’t take lightly or decide to do on a whim. If you’re ready for the physical commitment, time commitment, and financial demands of dog ownership, it’ll help if you stick with the best dog breeds for first time owners. Dogs come in plenty of different breeds that have various personalities and needs. For example, a Shiba-Inu is often more aggressive and territorial than a domesticated Labrador with a mild temperament.

Considerations When Choosing the Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

If you are looking to be a first-time puppy parent, you may be wondering which are the best dog breeds for first time owners. Indeed, it is not an easy task to pick your very first dog and there are many factors to consider. Apart from having unique personalities, specific breeds also and also have different grooming and feeding requirements. That said, the care for different types of dogs may vary in cost, depending on how much and what they eat, and how often they need to be groomed, exercised, and seen by the veterinarian.

You may also need to evaluate your lifestyle. If you are on the go and always active, you need a dog that can keep up with your energy. For example, if you enjoy outdoor adventure, bigger, leaner breeds may be better for you in terms of their ability to keep up with your activities. If you like hiking, you’d want to know that pugs aren’t great for hiking. In contrast, if you like spending your days comfy in your home and on the couch watching films, a small, low-maintenance dog would be the most ideal companion.

There are so many factors to consider when deciding to welcome a dog into your life. As a first time doggo parent, it would help to select from the best dog breeds for first time owners. Since you’re a neophyte, sticking with low-maintenance dogs that don’t require excessive attention will help ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you need a little help, here is a list of some of the best dog breeds for new fur parents and the reasons why.

1. A Walking Cloud: Bichon Frise

A Bichon Frise is a great, happy little dog. This breed is perfect if you live in a small home or apartment because of its size. They are usually 9 to 12 inches in height and weigh 7 to 12 pounds. Hence, they won’t take up much living space or consume too much food.

Moreover, a Bichon Frise is also adorable, so it will tug at your heartstrings. It looks like a walking cloud, so its cute appearance could easily take your day’s stresses away. This is one of the best dog breeds for first time owners because they are easy to train. They also require moderate daily exercise, which you can easily squeeze into your schedule.

One downside is that this breed needs careful brushing and trimming because of its curly hair. If you want to maintain your dog’s luscious locks, you need to spend time maintaining them. Alternatively, you may also bring your pet to a groomer. And since long fur equates to shedding, you may have to exert more effort in vacuuming.

circlepaw-The Golden Retriever

2. Always Sunny Personality: The Golden Retriever

Just like their sunny color, Golden Retrievers are one of the greatest companions and mental health support dogs due to their positive, loving, and friendly nature. They are neither too loud nor aggressive, so they make great companions whether you live alone or have a family. This super-friendly breed works well even if you have younger children because they don’t have an aggressive nature.

This breed is highly affectionate and intelligent, so they are very easy to train. This factor makes them one of the best dog breeds for first time owners. It’s a big consideration to have a fuss-free and low-maintenance pet for new owners with minimal dog training experience. If you want fewer headaches due to accidents, Golden Retrievers are adept at following instructions and are also very eager to please you.

However, this breed is pretty sizable, often weighing 55 to 75 pounds with a height of 21.5 to 24 inches, and require plenty of nutrition. Apart from that, this is also a furry dog that requires regular brushing. They are also very active, needing a fair amount of exercise outdoors. Fortunately, even if they have robust personalities, this breed is still generally quiet and does not bark very often. They’re a good match for those not looking to get a noise complaint, or who dislike loud noises in general.


3. Cozy Small Lap Dog: Pomeranian

Pomeranians are great, small lap dogs. They are often 6 to 7 inches in height and weigh 3 to 7 pounds. They’re easy to feed and won’t require much in terms of food consumption and treats. This breed is a great dog for city living or small spaces. Because of their cute, cuddly size, they are excellent companions. They make for great emotional support animals because you can easily bring them no matter where you go.

They are fun to cuddle and are fairly easy to maintain, requiring light daily exercise. In fact, going around your living room or your backyard is sufficient exercise for them. Despite being fluffy and furry, this breed is known to have a not-so-high-maintenance coat. All you need is regular brushing to keep the fur looking good and smelling clean.

However, this breed can be aggressive when not trained and socialized. When they feel as if their space is threatened, they get agitated and could bark incessantly. But, don’t worry, if you have your heart set out on a Pom. Pomeranians are smart and can easily learn from basic training.

4. Highly Versatile and Hypoallergenic Pooch: Poodle

If you’re looking for a versatile and adaptable dog breed, a poodle is also a great choice. This is one of the best dog breeds for first time owners. Apart from being intelligent and easy to train, the poodle breed comes in three sizes: toy, miniature, or standard. You can readily pick a size that fits well with your home and lifestyle.

Poodles are uber cute and friendly dogs that do not shed very often despite being fluffy. They are also known to be hypoallergenic dogs, which are perfect for those who are allergy-sensitive. Because of their low-shedding coats, they release fewer allergens into the air. They also don’t produce as much dander as other breeds, so they are less likely to trigger allergic reactions.

However, this breed still needs regular grooming to maintain its fast-growing coat. They are also very energetic and need plenty of activities. A big standard poodle will work great for those looking for active dogs to go on runs with them. If you are not a fan of exercise, a tinier toy poodle may work because for this miniature pup, going around your home will be enough to burn their energy.

5. Cool-Looking and Protective: Boxer Dogs

Boxer dogs often get a bad rap for their smug facial features. But, do not let these cool-looking guys fool you because they are one of the best dog breeds for first time owners. Once they bond with you, they are incredibly affectionate and friendly. Experts say they actually make great therapy dogs because they are attuned to the feelings of their owners. They make for great emotional support pets because of their compassionate nature.

For instance, when you’re feeling sad, they’ll lick your tears and sit quietly with you. If you’re in the mood to play, they’re game to go for a run. Boxers are instinctively protective of their owners. That being said, boxers have a naturally muscular build and they need regular exercise to maintain this. This breed may be what you need to jumpstart your entry into health and fitness.

6. The Cutest Little Clown: French Bulldog

Like the boxer, French Bulldogs also get called snarly due to their unique facial features. They have cute, wrinkly faces with distinctive bat-like ears. Some call this breed “clown dogs” because of their appearance and fun-loving spirit. Indeed, this breed is very playful and adaptable to its environment, making it one of the best dog breeds for first time owners.

French Bulldogs are as smart as a whip and easy to train, so you can count on them to follow your rules and commands. Frenchies are also easy to get along with and highly affectionate. Their smaller size makes them suitable for those with young kids than other larger, aggressive breeds. Frenchies are also very easy to groom due to their very short coat. Moreover, they require less exercise than other dog breeds.

7. The Loyal Doggo: Labrador Retriever

Just like its cousin, the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever is another incredibly loyal and affectionate pet that falls under the best dog breeds for first time owners. They are highly intelligent and responsive, so it is not a chore to train Labs. They will blend well with families, especially those with younger kids because of their naturally friendly, docile, and gentle nature.  

Moreover, Labs also have fewer grooming needs because of their shorter coats and require only regular brushing to minimize shedding. They are also excellent emotional support pets because of how highly intuitive they are to their owners' feelings.

That being said, Labrador Retrievers thrive in active environments and are great for owners who live the same active lifestyle. They are medium-large in size with a height of 21.5 to 24.5 inches and can weigh from 55 up to 80 pounds. You must be ready to feed this pooch several times a day with nutritious feed for larger dogs for optimal wellness.

Are You Ready for Dog Ownership?

These dogs are just some of the many great options for new dog owners, with most being easy to groom and care for. These best dog breeds for first time owners are the most affectionate of the bunch. However, it is also important to note that though these gentle traits may be seen in a particular breed; ultimately, the bond you form with your dog will depend on you.

You can cultivate affection and inspire loyalty based on how far you will be willing to care for and love your new dog.

Choosing what dog to get is only the first step, and maybe the easier part, especially if you have considerations like allergies. (You may need a hypoallergenic dog that does not shed such as a poodle or an adorable mixed breed labradoodle.)

And remember, regardless of what breed you pick, there will be ups and downs to dog-rearing. Even the most expert dog owners have challenging days because dogs have mood swings too. However, with proper preparation and the right mindset, you can live your dog parent dreams to the fullest.

Find out your dog’s (or prospective dog’s) breed information and personality traits with the CirclePAW DNA Test for Dogs. Sign up now to be notified the moment our CirclePaw DNA test for dogs becomes available.


  1. Perspectives on domestication: the history of our relationship with man's best friend (L. Case) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18599663/
  2. The power of support from companion animals for people living with mental health problems: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence (Helen Brooks et.al.) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800290/
  3. Poodles Are Hypoallergenic – Here’s 10 Other Similar Hypoallergenic Breeds (Tracey) https://thesmartcanine.com/are-poodles-hypoallergenic/
  4. Are you right for a boxer? (Florida Boxer Rescue) https://flbr.org/are-you-right-for-a-boxer/