Best Dogs for Beginners And First Time Owners (11 Top Breeds!)

Best Dogs for Beginners
Written by Graeme Hall

So you've finally broken and need to have a dog in your life, that's excellent news, you've taken the first step to getting yourself a great, loving furry companion. But choosing your first dog may not be as simple as you think, they are dogs perfect for first-time dog owners and others, well, not so much.

Now, I'm not saying that there are good breeds and bad breeds, but some dog breeds require a bit more work and are better suited to more experienced dog owners. For example, some dogs need more grooming, one-on-one training, and exercise, while other breeds can be highly sensitive, have attitude and can be a handful for someone new to dogs.

But don't worry, you can still get your hands on a loving pooch, there are many breeds out there, and there's still a huge selection dogs for beginners to choose from.

11 Good Dogs For Beginner Owners

It would be impossible to list all the best dogs for first-time owners, but I have done some legwork for you and I've filtered the list down to just 11. Below you’ll find good dog breeds that can be easily trained and maintained by beginners.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers make for a great first-time beginner dog. The playful nature of the Labrador Retriever combined with their lack of aggression and high energy playfulness makes this breed one of the best around children, in fact, Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America.

Almost all Labradors follow commands well and are incredibly smart, which is great news for new dog owners who want to train their dog with ease.

2. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

If you're looking for a smaller dog how about the Bichon Frise? This breed was actually bred to be a companion dog, so naturally, they will be a good dog for novice owners. The small size of the Bichon Frise means they are easily manageable, which is important when you get your first dog.

They love mini dog adventures when their curiosity gets the better of them. You’ll also find that this pooch is among some of the most affectionate dog breeds you'll come across and they make for the perfect cuddly lap dog.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers have a kind-hearted temperament just like the Labrador Retriever and also share many of the same lovable traits. To be honest, this breed is probably one of the most popular dog breeds right now, and they're one of the best dogs for a novice who's just getting used to having an animal around.

You'll find that the Golden Retriever comes bundled with all the good qualities first-time dog owners need such as companionship, affection, loyalty, they're easily trainable and have just the right amount of energy. Just like Labradors, the Golden Retriever is a great breed of dog to have around children, and even smaller kids isn't a problem for this breed.

4. Brittany


Do you want your first dog to be well behaved and elegant? Take a look at the Brittany. This breed is an excellent starter dog that has all the traits any first-time owner looks for - in fact, all they want to do is make their owners happy. They're very independent dogs that are easy to train and maintain. They're are amazing around kids and an overall great companion for someone looking for their first dog.

There is a but, due to their high energy levels, the Brittany might not be the best choice for everyone. Because they have large amounts of energy, they require daily walks to drains their excessive playfulness.

5. Havanese


This breed of dog is extremely loyal, so much so you will often find them stuck to your side like Velcro. Joking aside, the Havanese is an excellent choice for first timers, and it’s their loyalty that makes this dog a good choice, you never have to worry where they are, just look down and we can almost guarantee they will be by your side.

The Havanese are quick learners so they can be trained pretty easily, they also have a friendly, playful temperament which makes this breed a good choice if you have children.

6. Pug


Looking for a funny, loyal breed for your beginner dog? Take a look at the Pug. This adorable breed is low maintenance and requires minimal exercise and minimal care. Because the Pug is so loyal, playful and funny, they are a good fit for families with children. But don't leave this pooch alone for too long because they are sociable and require constant loving and attention.

Some Pugs can be stubborn, so training for new dog owners can sometimes be a challenge but not impossible.

7. Pomeranian


If Pugs aren't your thing and you're looking for a cute pooch for your first dog look no further than the Pomeranian. This breed has a long luxurious fluffy coat, and their small faces and mane-like fur make this pooch adorable. Even though they have a long coat, they are still easily manageable, and regular grooming with a brush is all they need.

The Pomeranian is full of life, highly intelligent, friendly and very curious - they love their dog adventures. If you live in a smaller house or an apartment, this breed is the ideal choice due to their smaller size and moderate requirements. However, due to their up sized energy, they require regular walks and playtime. This breed gets along with children and other animals quite well.

8. Puggle


Maybe a Pug is your thing, but you want a different take on the traditional breed, meet the Puggle. The Puggle is a cross between a Pug and a Beagle and they are one of the best dogs for beginners due to their perfect personality combined with their low maintenance needs and requirements.

Just like a regular Beagle, the Puggle is a very sociable dog that but lacks to curious energy a Beagle has, which can be a good thing if you have small children. The Puggle is very loyal, easily trainable and always eager to please their owners.

9. Papillon


Papillon is a small-sized dog that looks small, cute and cuddly. But, don't let this pooches small size fool you because they have a lot of dog in that small package. The Papillon can be a good breed for beginners, but they have a big personality and can be dominant if not controlled correctly.

Due to this, the Papillon isn't a good choice if you have children; they require a relatively strong owner that has spare time to lead them. But don't let that put you off, the Papillon is very loyal, friendly, energetic, funny and always eager to please their “leader.” Overall Papillon makes for a great companion and first beginners dog - if you can keep up with their plus sized energy levels!

10. Poodle


Poodles have gained a reputation for being one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, which is good news for beginners who are looking for a dog they can easily train. Poodles are smart, follow commands, energetic and often entertaining. They have a great kind hearted temperament which makes this breed an excellent choice if you have children.

However, due to their coat, you'll find that Poodle requires more grooming and maintaining than other dog breeds. However, many Poodle owners clip and cut the coat shorter which makes this pooch more manageable for grooming and brushing.

11. Labradoodle


When the Poodle was mixed with a Labrador, they must have known what they were doing because the result combines a dog that's a perfect dog for new owner's. The Labradoodle was first bred to be used as a hypoallergenic guide dog, but this breed is becoming increasingly popular as a loving family companion.

This unique breed of dog is the best of both worlds, and the kind-hearted playfulness of the Labrador combined with the easygoing and calmness of the Poodle makes for a great loyal dog. It’s not surprising that the Labradoodle has gained so much popularity so quickly and is fast becoming the must-have breed for first-time dog owners.

Dog lover get more content like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our Doggytastic! mailing list and get dog stuff directly to your email inbox.

Dog lover thank you for subscribing you'll hear from us soon!

Whoops! Something went wrong.

About the author

Graeme Hall

Graeme is the founder of Doggytastic! which is where he blogs about dog training, health, nutrition and anything else related to keeping a dog happy and healthy. Want to know a little bit more? Make sure to check out his full bio.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!