Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Being a dog owner is one of the most rewarding and joyful experiences in life. It is also a huge responsibility! If you are thinking of getting your first dog, you will need to do your research and determine what type of dog will best suit your lifestyle.
Perhaps you are an active person that is looking for a running partner, or you are looking for a dog that is great with kids, or maybe a dog that does not shed, whatever your preference is, your decision should not be based on looks alone.
If you are a first time dog owner you will most likely want to choose a dog breed that has an easygoing personality and one that is easier to train. Certain dog breeds are easier than others and are more forgiving and resilient to bounce back from a novice owners mistakes and inconsistencies. Some easier breeds to own are listed below, and would be suitable for any first time owner.
1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dogs out there. They are known for their friendly loving nature. Often goofy at times they are always happy to be with their humans, and are great with children, making them a wonderful family pet.
They are a medium to large sized dog that requires regular brushing to keep their coat free of tangles and mats. They do shed heavily twice a year, and moderate shedding throughout the rest of the year. These dogs love to play, they are very active and love to go swimming. They need a good amount of exercise daily, and mental stimulation to keep them in good shape and keep them from getting bored. They are willing to learn, and eager to please making them easy to train.
With a heart of gold, and an easygoing personality, Golden Retrievers are a true family dog that love human attention and affection. Definitely not a guard dog, these dogs may bark at strangers coming to your door, but soon warm up to them with their tails wagging.
2. Labrador Retriever
Another easygoing dog breed that is very popular. The Labrador Retriever is medium to large sized. Very loyal and affectionate they make great family pets. They are active and require plenty of exercise and training. They are playful and smart and can be trained to do almost anything.
With their short coat they require minimal grooming, they do shed however and regular brushing will help minimize the shedding. Labs can easily become overweight if you are not careful, they tend to love all food. Labs can get bored and act out so they do need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation.
Labs adapt well to most environments, and are great with children.
3. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large sized dog, nicknamed “the gentle giant”. Very easygoing and friendly, they have a calm and affectionate temperament, and are great with children. They are very intelligent and easy to train. Daily exercise is needed for this breed, they love the outdoors and would be best suited to a house or farm with a large yard. Not recommended for apartment living.
Their long coat sheds heavily twice a year, and moderately throughout the rest of the year. This breed loves to be with his family, and if left alone can develop behavior problems like excessive barking, digging, or chewing. Keeping them mentally stimulated with training and exercise will keep them from getting bored.
Boxers are a medium-sized short haired breed. Intelligent, energetic and playful, they do require daily exercise and training to keep them from being bored and destructive. Best suited for someone with an active lifestyle.
Loyal and protective is what they are and they form a close bond with their humans. Eager to please, they are willing to do anything with you and they just want to have fun. Great with children, they would make a great family pet. Basic grooming is required for this breed, as their coat is short and shedding is minimal. A weekly brushing will help to keep their coat shiny and healthy.
Pugs are considered a toy breed. They are very affectionate and crave constant human attention. If you are looking for a lap dog than a pug may be the right choice. Their exercise need is minimal, short daily walks are fine and they would do well in an apartment.
Extreme hot and cold temperatures are not tolerated well with this breed, and they should be kept indoors at a comfortable temperature. Pugs have a short coat that sheds a lot, so regular brushing is required to help reduce the amount of shedding and to keep their coat healthy and shiny.
Pugs are good with children, and are playful, energetic and affectionate around them. They are fine with other animals, but may become jealous of another pet sitting on your lap. Pugs tend to become overweight easily so food intake needs to be monitored carefully.
6. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a small breed that is considered a companion dog, the name is french for “curly white lap dog”. They are easygoing, and playful and make a great family pet. Be aware though that they may not be best suited for families with younger children or rambunctious older ones, as the smaller Bichons can be injured easily during rough play, or snap at a child if they are frightened. As with any dog, children should always be supervised when playing around dogs.
Bichons are well suited for apartment living, because they don’t need a lot of room to run around and romp, and they are not known for barking so your neighbors will not complain of the noise. Their exercise needs are minimal, short walks and play sessions daily.
The coat of a Bichon Frise is non-shedding, and considered hypo-allergenic. Frequent grooming is required, and their coat should be brushed and trimmed to prevent matting.
Bichons are easily trainable, they love to perform and are eager to please.
The Papillon is another small breed dog that is eager to please its owners. Their energy level is high, and they love to put on a show and play. Very easygoing dogs, they adjust well to any climate and setting, whether it is warm or cool, city or country, they are happy to do anything with their family.
Very intelligent dogs and easy to train, they are described as friendly, alert, and happy. Papillons are great with children and would make a great family pet.
Grooming needs are minimal, they do have long silky hair, but with no undercoat. Shedding is minimal. Weekly brushing is fine to prevent any mats from forming.
The long-legged and slender size of a Greyhound might have some people thinking they are too high energy for them, but in fact they are very mellow and easygoing. They are quite content just laying on the couch snuggling up beside you. Ideal for any first time dog owner, the Greyhound is quiet, clean, and pretty low-maintenance.
Despite being very fast, Greyhounds are not built for endurance, they do not want or require a lot of exercise, like hours of running or jogging. They do best with a large fenced in area where they can get enough running exercise. They do like to chase after other animals that run, so providing a safe enclosed area is ideal.
Greyhounds are a sensitive breed that prefers quiet and calm environments. They are polite with people and other dogs, non aggressive and they seldom bark. Because they are so docile, training should be done with a gentle voice, and a lot of praise.
Grooming is minimal, they have a very short coat that has minimal shedding. In cold climates Greyhounds can get the chills because of their thin coats, so you should buy a warm coat for them in the snow or rain.
9. Standard Poodle
The Standard Poodle is extremely intelligent, quick to learn, and highly trainable. This dog breed is very friendly and affectionate and is great with kids.
The coat of a Poodle is considered hypo-allergenic, making it a great dog for someone with allergies. Shedding is minimal, but regular grooming is required to keep the hair neat and short.
Regular exercise is required and because of their intelligence, training is a must, in order to keep them mentally stimulated so they do not get bored and become destructive. Poodles love to be around people and thrive on attention, leaving them alone for long periods of time is not good as they can develop bad habits such as excessive barking.
10. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are gentle and affectionate dogs. They have been given the nickname “American Gentleman”, because of their tuxedo-like coat markings. Eager to please their owners they are easily trainable. With a happy-go-lucky attitude and friendly personality they get along well with children and other animals.
Barking only when necessary makes them a great choice for city and apartment living. Boston Terriers love to cuddle and snuggle with you, and are happy to do anything with you. Because of their short muzzles they do not tolerate hot or cold climates well.
Their coat is short with light shedding, minimal grooming is required for this low-maintenance breed.
Final Thoughts On The Best Dog For First Time Owners
I hope the above article has given you some insight to the easier dog breeds to own, and perhaps you have your heart set on one of the breeds that were mentioned. Remember that all dogs are individuals within a breed, and their personality and needs can vary, but as a novice owner looking for an easygoing dog your chances are good if you stick within some breed limits.
Any new dog owner can be successful if they have love to give and commitment.
How about you, do you own any of the breeds mentioned? I would love to hear your first time dog owner experiences, please leave me a comment below. Thanks.