in

15 Best Dogs For First Time Dog Owners In 2020

best dogs for first time dog owners cover image

Get Your FREE New Puppy Guide 🐶

No spam zone! Only the good stuff!

As an amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more

Last Updated on

Welcoming a pet into your home is one of the more rewarding experiences known to man and man’s best friend! Yet, choosing your first dog is never easy.

There are different breeds of dogs, each with their own temperaments and of course, individual personalities. Thankfully some breeds are vastly easier to raise than others.

The best dogs for first time dog owners are widely popular breeds that get along well with their human companions, and are a breeze to raise!

Check out our video version of this list!

What Are The Best Dogs For First Time Dog Owners?

Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever laying down on a brown tile floor

Goldens are among the most popular breeds! They have been bred through the years to be the perfect family companions, they aren’t needy, and they tend to be outgoing and friendly towards kids and adults alike!

You’ll often catch your Golden laying on the sofa next to you, as they love relaxing! Don’t let that fool you though!

They are still energetic and very active, in fact, Goldens usually need a decent amount of exercise to keep them in great physical shape; one or two walks a day mixed with some playtime is the perfect amount!

Golden Retrievers have a calm, friendly temperament and are no problem to train, making them one of the best dogs for first-time dog owners.

Goldens are also whip-smart and can adapt in most household situations. In terms of grooming, they’ll need frequent brushing to keep their coat fine. Of course, training is the key to getting the best out of your Golden, but thankfully it’s not difficult at all.

Goldens adore learning and you can train them to do a number of things from playing fetch to getting their own food. They are definitely one of the most popular dogs in the world, and are a beloved member of any family that chooses to own one!

Golden Retrievers require much grooming to keep their fur in pristine condition, so check out some of the best brushes and shampoo that will get the job done!

Labrador Retriever

A black labrador retriever sitting down.

Labs are excellent family companions, just like their Golden Retriever cousins. They are also very easy to train, although they do require a bit more exercise than Goldens. Labs tend to be very social dogs and love being with their people.

Labs are also known to be great “take anywhere” dogs. It’s not uncommon to see folks sitting with their Labs outside a coffee shop, or watching the kids at their softball games. Labs thrive best in an active household that can provide plenty of exercise and training.

They adapt pretty well to most environments and are excellent with kids. Just like Goldens, Labs love to learn and can be trained to do almost anything.

You’re gonna love playing fetch for hours or going for a run with your Lab, then end the busy day cuddling on the sofa.

You’re gonna have to keep your Lab mentally and physically stimulated, otherwise they might get bored and act out. They are definitely more prone to this sort of behavior in their younger years.

Labs are big foodies and can run the risk of becoming overweight if you aren’t moderating their diet.

Thankfully, they only have minor grooming needs. You’re gonna wanna brush your Labs coat regularly to reduce shedding, and that should be it!

Take good care of your Lab, and you will have a happy, lovable, dependable companion for life.

If you get a Labrador puppy you should consider getting them the best puppy food for their breed as well.

Papillon

A papillion dog looking towards something out of frame

Don’t let the diminutive frame of this breed fool you. The Papillon is a feisty little dog that loves an active lifestyle. Papillons are extremely versatile, being able to play the role of a lap dog, as well as an exercise partner.

The Papillon thankfully does not need a ton of exercise, although it does indulge in any chance to run around and play.

Despite their size, they are a very playful breed, and they enjoy being active. The breed is also super easy to train and only requires a moderate amount of grooming.

However, this breed does better in certain households than others. 

On average they are a very fragile breed so although they might be able to get along with other pets, they may not be the best choice for families with young children.

If they are played with too aggressively or get overwhelmed by a child’s screaming they may resort to fear and the responses that come with it.

Their temperament is great around adults, and they love being around their family.

Overall, these tiny dogs come with a big personality and they love being with you all the time.

Poodle

A curly haired white poodle

Keeping with the theme of smaller dogs, we have the Poodle. The Poodle is, of course, one of the more recognizable, popular, and versatile dog breeds.

They come in three sizes: Toy, Miniature, or Standard. But regardless of the size, Poodles are a great dog for beginners.

They have renowned temperaments and are known to be one of the easiest breeds to train. Your Poodle is gonna love being with its people and, they make excellent exercise partners, as well as cuddle buddies.

Interestingly enough, Poodles are actually one of the few minimally shedding dog breeds, this despite their regular grooming needs.

You’ll have to have them groomed regularly to maintain their luscious, curly, and continuously growing coat. All poodles are very intelligent dogs that respond well to training.

Poodles are very hardy dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. With the proper care, you are going to find this breed to be an amazing companion.

As with most great beginner digs, the Poodle is extremely adaptable to its environment and does very well in all sorts of households, including those with children.

Bichon Frise

A white bichon frise with their tongue out looking to the side

Bichons are a very popular breed of dog, favored by both experienced and new owners alike. As with other popular breeds, they have excellent temperaments and make amazing companions to the family.

Bichons are fairly easy to train and will adapt well to any lifestyle or environment you raise and train them in.

They are known to be very low maintenance, requiring only frequent grooming, as well as a daily walk. You’ll have to be ready to dedicate the time and finances to regular groomer visits for your Bichon.

This breed has a notoriously curly coat that must be trimmed regularly and brushed carefully.

Your Bichon is super affectionate and thrives on cuddles and lots of love. They are a cheerful and carefree little dog, often said to resemble a ball of fur, or a bouncy cotton ball.

The Bichon is a great dog for families with kids, as well as a popular choice for apartment living.

A Daily walking exercise is more than enough to keep this breed happy and physically fit. A Bichon is an all-around great companion for the first time dog owner.

Yorkshire Terrier

A Yorkshire Terrier Laying Next To A Bush

Independence is vital for first-time dog owners since they might not know how to occupy a more dependent dog.

Yorkshire Terriers are incredibly independent, intelligent, and courageous dogs that are perfect for first-time dog owners.

Usually, a small dog like a Yorkshire Terrier is ideal for first-time owners, since smaller dogs generally don’t require the same level of maintenance as larger dogs.

For the most part, they don’t need a ton of support outside of the standard for walks.

Physically, they’re tiny dogs. Height-wise, they’re only 8 to 9 inches and only weigh 4 to 7 pounds. Coat-wise, they have a variety of coat lengths from being short and curly, to long and thin like human hair.

Their coat is usually a brown to black color combination but can be a lot lighter depending on the dog. They have an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years.

Pomeranian

A Pomeranian Walking In A Field

Pomeranians are adorable fluffballs, and their personality is precisely how you’d expect them to be.

They’re social, active, and extroverted dogs that crave attention. Although this might seem like a bit much for a new dog owner, it won’t get overwhelming if you have a good daily routine.

Physically, they’re minimal and are only 7 to 12 inches tall. Weight-wise, they’re usually around 3 to 7 pounds.

As you can imagine, they’re incredibly tiny dogs. As noted, their coats are very fluffy and tend to have a yellowish-white color to them. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Running In Grass

Spaniels are fantastic dogs, especially ones with as fresh of a breed name as Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are social, affectionate, and patient dogs.

For the most part, they’re not high maintenance dogs and are very loving toward their owners.

Physically, they’re roughly 12 to 13 inches in height, weighing around 13 to 18 pounds. Both females and males are approximately the same size, which is uncommon for most dog breeds.

Coat-wise, they have thin, yet long fur that tends to be a color variation of white and brown. They have an average lifespan of 9 to 14 years.

Boxer

Two Boxer Dogs Drinking Water Together Outside

Although Boxers are a bit larger than the previous dogs on this list, they’re still great for new owners.

They’re playful, intelligent, and friendly dogs that’ll fit any person’s want for a great dog. They love going on walks, so make sure their walk-life is plentiful.

Physically, they’re roughly 21 to 25 inches in height, while weighing between 55 and 71 pounds.

Their coats tend to be very thin, and are a combination of lighter colors such as brown and white. Although, there are beautiful brindle and red variations.

For people with allergies, Boxers shed constantly so you might want to consider another hypoallergenic breed.

On average their lifespan is about 10 to 12 years.

Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu Puppy And Its Mother

Shih Tzu’s are some of the most ingenious and intelligent dogs out there when it comes to cleverness. On top of being smart, they’re alert, affectionate, outgoing, and loyal.

Whether you live alone, have a roommate, or have a family, a Shih Tzu will fit your guy’s first dog perfectly.

Physically, they’re 8 to 11 inches in height and weigh around 8 to 16 pounds.

Similar Yorkshire Terriers, their coats come in a variety of lengths from light and curly to long and thin.

Color-wise, they tend to be on the lighter side, such as white, gray, and tan. They have an average lifespan of 10 to 16 years.

These dogs are also on our list of the best hypoallergenic dogs.

Pug

A Pug Swimming In A Portable Outdoor Pool

Who doesn’t love Pugs? On top of being one of the most unique dog breeds, Pugs are perfect dogs for first-time owners.

They’re docile, charming, and intelligent dogs. Although they’re a bit stubborn, the right amount of affection and walks will ensure pure happiness.

Physically, they’re 10 to 13 inches in height and weigh somewhere between 14 to 18 pounds. Coat-wise, they have a very short and tan-colored coat, and most pugs have a similar appearance as a result of their coat.

They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Whippet

A Whippet Dog Standing Outdoors

Whippets are one of the most unique looking dog breeds. They’re brilliant dogs that are filled with affection and love. Which makes them one of the best dogs for first time dog owners.

They’re remarkably gentle as a result of their friendship toward humans and intelligence. You won’t find a more suitable dog for new dog owners.

Physically, whippets are 18 to 22 inches tall and weigh around 15 to 31 pounds. They’re fragile dogs that have a unique posture as a result of their weight.

Their coats are extremely thin and have a variety of color variations, including a staggering camo-like appearance on their back. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Greyhound

A Greyhound Dog Standing In A Backyard

Given that they’re one of the most popular and famous dog breeds, Greyhounds are great for new owners as well.

They’re athletic, intelligent, and gentle dogs. Despite being as athletic as they are, they offer virtually no harm to humans because of their even temperance.

Physically, they’re 27 to 30 inches tall and weigh roughly 55 to 90 pounds. As you can tell by their weight, they come in a wide range of sizes.

Their coats are similar to Whippets in their texture and overall feel, but they tend to be more of a solid color or a combination of two.

They have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog With Their Tongue Out Standing In A Grass Field

Although their appearance might come off a bit intimidating, Bernese Mountain Dog’s are sweethearts who are a great fit for first-time dog owners.

They’re loyal, faithful, and intelligent dogs that’ll fit well with just about any family situation.

Physically, they’re 23 to 26 inches in height, while weighing 70 to 115 pounds. Keep in mind females tend to be a bit smaller than males if their size is a deciding factor for you.

Their coat is usually a thick combination of colors such as white, black, and brown.

They have an average lifespan of 6 to 8 years.

Great Dane

A Great Dane Outdoors Biting On A Frisbee Dog Toy

Generally speaking, we all know and love Great Danes. They’re devoted, friendly, and gentle dogs that are perfect dogs for first time dog owners.

They love the outdoors, so make sure you bring them on enough trips for their own happiness and enjoyment.

Physically, males are 30 to 40 inches tall and weigh roughly 120 to 200 pounds. Females are a lot smaller than males being 28 to 32 inches tall while weighing 100 to 130 pounds.

Their coat tends to be exceptionally light with a solid color of black, gray, or blue.

They have an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years.

Conclusion

There are a lot of great options to choose from when picking the best dogs for first time dog owners. You can go with size, grooming needs, exercise needs, or temperament as criteria for picking your first dog.

Picking an easy-going breed, as well as showing your new companion a level of love and commitment, will guarantee you do great with your choice of dog.

15 Best Dogs For First Time Owners Pinterest Image

dog memes guaranteed to make you smile cover image

30 Dog Memes Guaranteed To Make You Smile

Disney dogs cover image

Top 20 Best Disney Dogs in 2020