Dogs can reduce loneliness and stress levels, and they can make us generally happier. So it’s easy to understand why approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted to their forever homes each year. However, it’s recommended to get to know the characteristics of various dog breeds to see if they match our necessities and expectations. And for first-time dog owners that have little to zero experience with these animals, this is even more important.
Newswithus picked 12 dog breeds that can easily be great picks for your first dog. As a bonus at the end of the article, you’ll also learn which breeds might be better to avoid if you’ve never owned a dog before.
1. Basset Hound
Very affectionate, basset hounds are perfect for first-time owners. They can adapt easily to any environment and tend to be very relaxed. They can protest a bit, but due to their laid-back personality, it’s important to regularly go out with your basset hound so it doesn’t gain too much weight.
A true lap dog, pugs are super playful and patient with new dog owners. Because of their flat-shaped face, they don’t tolerate very hot or very cold weather, and they’re better kept indoors. They don’t like to be left alone for long hours, so consider this if you don’t have a busy work schedule that keeps you away from home.
3. Shih Tzu
If you live in an apartment or have a small backyard, shih tzus are a good option. They like to spend their time taking long naps and love to keep their humans company. With daily brushing, you’ll make your shih tzu the happiest dog in the world.
We may recognize greyhounds as big racer dogs, but they can also be huge couch potatoes, sleeping almost all day. They hardly ever bark and don’t require much space to make themselves comfortable, making them better apartment dogs than many small breeds.
Easy to train, papillons can learn all sorts of tricks, which can be pretty helpful for first-time owners. And don’t let their long fur scare you, as they actually don’t shed too much. They will need a grooming session every month or so.
6. Great Dane
Big in size and big in heart — that’s what best describes Great Danes. Although their massive size can be pretty daunting, this is a very gentle, loving breed that doesn’t need a large room or require too much exercise to be happy. Just be sure that you have enough strength to pull this 154 lb (70 kg) dog on a leash.
7. Bichon Frise
This fluffy white ball of fur can melt any heart and is ideal for first-time owners. Bichon frise dogs don’t shed much and they can be super intelligent and easy to train. But they do need plenty of playtime and activity.
8. Chinese Crested
Chinese cresteds became famous as Cruella Devil’s best friends, but there’s nothing evil about them. Although they need a lot of attention, they are super easy to maintain. This breed sheds just a bit, is loyal to its humans, and is happy spending most of its time as a lap dog.
9. English Mastiff
The mastiff family is huge, but if you want this breed to be your first dog, the English mastiff is the choice to make. They’re big dogs, but they don’t require too much grooming and maintenance. They are gentle, easy-going, and will adapt to your home effortlessly.
Chihuahuas can be loud, but they can also be the most loyal dogs ever. Because of that, they make good companions and can easily be trained from the time they’re puppies. This breed also doesn’t require too much grooming and only needs a bath once a month or longer.
If you don’t mind heavy shedding, Pomeranians are one more good option for your first dog. They are intelligent and easy to train (but can be stubborn sometimes), friendly, and don’t require too many outside hours.
One of the most popular dog breeds, boxers are the whole package. They’re clean dogs, require low grooming maintenance, and are loyal, affectionate, and intelligent. This breed is also very patient, which is perfect for first-time dog owners and children.
Bonus: a dog breed that can be bad for first-time owners
The entire doodle family — including goldendoodles and labradoodles — aren’t the best option for first-time dog owners. They require high maintenance and are considered high-energy dogs. This means that doodles can easily become bored and take it out on your furniture. If you want a doodle, it’s important to puppy-proof your home and have at least 2 hours devoted to your dog a day.
One other dog breed that requires plenty of attention is the dalmatian. These polka-dotted dogs have super high levels of energy and need to exercise regularly. They also don’t adapt well to apartments and shed a lot.
What was your first dog’s breed? If you’ve never owned a dog, which breed is your favorite?