The Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

If you’ve never owned a dog before, you’re probably wondering “what are the best dog breeds for me?”

We know the choice may seem overwhelming, so we’ve put together a list of some breeds that are great for first-time dog owners. Each of these dogs has their own set of unique qualities, but they are all friendly and easy going and would make fantastic first dogs. Read through to get to know them better; perhaps your new best friend is waiting!

1. Goldendoodle 

Goldendoodle
A goldendoodle is a hybrid breed descended from a Poodle and a Golden Retriever.

Goldendoodles are a hybrid breed descended from a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. Their teddy bear-like appearance has made them a fast favorite among dog lovers. These pups are young at heart, consider everyone a friend, and make great playmates for children. They have the patience of their Golden Retriever relatives, and the intelligence of the Poodle, making them quick learners who are eager to please. Goldendoodles also tend to be a low-shedding breed, thanks to their Poodle genes!

2. Labrador Retriever

Labradors are athletic, playful, and one of the easiest dog breeds for a first-time dog owner. They’re eager to please and highly motivated by treats, which makes training them a breeze, especially if you start when they’re young.

3. Golden Retriever

These friendly, athletic dogs are fun-loving and easy-going. They get along well with children of all ages, and other pets as well. While Golden Retrievers will happily enjoy a lazy Sunday with you, nothing makes them happier than accompanying their best friend on a walk.

4. Labradoodle

Like the Goldendoodle, Labradoodles are a hybrid breed. This breed results from a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. They are an intelligent and active breed with infectious youthful energy. Their coats tend to be more like that of the Poodle than the Labrador, meaning they are typically a low-shed dog and don’t carry a strong odor.

5. Dachshund

dachshund
Dachshunds are people-oriented and energetic.

These pint-sized pups are people-oriented and energetic. They need plenty of exercise, but after their walk, their favorite place to be is right by your side. Dachshunds are smart but have a stubborn streak, which can make training a challenge. That said, they are affectionate, proud little dogs and make wonderful companions.

6. French Bulldog

If you’re looking for an active and devoted companion that comes in a small package, the French Bulldog may be your new best friend. These pups love to snuggle just as much as they like to chase frisbees or go for hikes. Their short coats require minimal grooming, and their small size makes them excellent apartment pets (as long as they have daily playtime)!

7. Great Dane

The Great Dane is definitely one of the easiest dog breeds out there. His lanky build is slightly deceiving, as he doesn’t require an excessive amount of exercise. Great Danes actually make great apartment dogs because they’re happy to be couch potatoes much of the time. They may have an imposing bark when strangers come knocking but these gentle giants have hearts of gold.

8. Beagle

Originally bred as hunting dogs, the Beagle is now a favorite dog breed for families. They are energetic, playful, and have adorable puppy dog eyes. Beagles love children and are friendly toward strangers and other dogs. The Beagle is known for their “bay,” a deep bark, which is bound to upset your neighbors if you live in close quarters. While Beagles will happily live in apartments, it’s critical that they have the chance to burn off their excess energy, which will help them stay quiet.  

9. Boxer

boxer
Boxers are patient with children and courageous guardians.

With his springy, playful, and affectionate demeanor, the Boxer is sure to delight first-time dog owners. These loving dogs are known for being patient with children, and they are courageous guardians of their loved ones. They will raise the alarm when strangers visit but tend to make friends quickly. Boxers are highly energetic and are happiest when they receive regular exercise.

10. Maltese

If you’re looking for a devoted and joyful companion, Maltese may be the perfect dog for you! They are sweet natured, loving, and have a graceful gait and a gorgeous white coat of hair. Your Maltese will happily accompany you everywhere you go, preferring never to be left alone. They are reliable watchdogs and will alert you to any suspicious sounds or people.

11. Boston Terrier

These energetic terriers make lively and loyal companions. They are family-oriented and easy-going with people and children of all ages, as well as other dogs. Boston Terriers are goofy and will surely keep you entertained. They adapt well to almost any living situation, but they are sensitive to both cold and heat. These spunky Terriers make great snuggle buddies, but beware– they snore!

12. Schnauzer

With their expressive, bearded faces and proud posture, the Schnauzer is bound to win you over. They have a mischievous streak and are liable to bark at any sign of disturbance (or boredom), but consistent exercise and plenty of attention will deter them from this behavior. Their wiry coats don’t shed much and don’t hold odor so you won’t mind sharing your couch with them! They are smart, affectionate and easy to train,  especially when you use positive reinforcement.

13. Cavapoo

cavapoo
The Cavapoo is a hybrid breed resulting from a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle.

The Cavapoo is a hybrid breed resulting from a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. They are a friend to all and are adored for their easy-going temperament. As a bonus, their Poodle genes mean their coat sheds minimally and don’t smell. The Cavapoo is an intelligent breed and easy to train, especially when treats are involved. They don’t mind living in apartments and don’t require excessive exercise.

14. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are good natured and young at heart. They make excellent pets for families as they love children. Berners get along with everyone from other pets to people and have a calm but playful personality which is difficult to resist. These overgrown puppies will make wonderful companions for anyone who has ample space to offer and the patience for many years of puppy-like antics.

15. Aussiedoodle

This hybrid breed is the result of a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle. They are highly intelligent, active, and need a job to do. If you’re looking for a tireless jogging buddy, an Aussiedoodle may be your new bestie. They are relatively easy to train, especially if you keep them on a consistent regimen. Aussiedoodles are as affectionate as they are athletic so there’s no doubt they make a faithful companion for the right person!