The Best Dogs for First Time Owners

Every breed of dog has their own common characteristics and traits, and every single dog, no matter their breed, has their own unique personality. Just like people, every dog is different, but you can narrow down a few breeds that are better for first time dog owners.

Before a dog can come live with you, you should get a few answers to some important questions.

What kind of environment is your dog going to be in?

Most dogs require a lot of exercise and room to run, but some don’t need that much. Your living situation will likely narrow down the list of dog breeds that are best for you.

Do you have kids?

Some dogs are great with kids, and some would prefer they be the only child-like personality in the home. There are some breeds that absolutely love kids and will cling to them and become their protector and best friend. However, keeping both your family and the dog safe is priority, and that starts with bringing home a dog who can thrive in your environment.

Do you have a cat or other animals that roam free?

Some dogs get along great with other animals, and some don’t go against their basic instincts to protect their territory and to be an apex predator. Again, to keep everyone safe, you should know what kind of dog you are bringing home.

Are there a lot of people going in and out of your house?

Most dogs love people and do whatever they can for attention, but some would rather be with their pack, or immediate family more often than not. These personality traits can manifest in any dog regardless of breed for a multitude of reasons.

What happens to the dog when you go to work?

People have to work, and there are a lot of dogs who get crated or get put into a room for more than eight hours a day because their owners want them to be safe. However, some breeds have a really hard time with that lifestyle. Puppies especially do not like to be locked up for hours, but even into adulthood, some dogs will develop anxiety and other disorders that will lead to destructive behavior and could become a situation where the dog hurts him/herself.

Are you able to allow the dog to exercise and be sociable?

Again, most dogs need interaction each day because they are pack animals. If your dog is alone all day, they need to get plenty of exercise in the evenings and in the mornings before and after you work. Some dogs need to run and play for a long time. Others need structure and training to keep their minds and bodies healthy. You’ll need to ensure you have the time to train your dog and to give them all the exercise they need. Every dog needs to be socialized so they know how to behave when they are around other dogs and people. Taking them to the dog park or a local lake is a great way to accomplish this. However, you must have the time to take the dog places.

Are you prepared for grooming your dog?

Dogs like huskies and other long-haired breeds shed a ton of hair every day. They must be groomed very often. That means brushing and using some type of conditioner in their fur every day, so their coat doesn’t get matted. Some dogs need their coat cut down at certain times of the year, depending on where you live. Most breeds don’t require heavy grooming, but you should know exactly what the dog needs before they come home with you.

There are several other questions you must ask yourself before you welcome a dog into your family. It is always a good idea to research a particular breed or multiple breeds before you take the pup home so that you make the best decision the first time. In the event that you come across a dog that is either mixed or has several breeds that define them, you should research all breeds associated with that dog, and also spend some time with the dog and talk to the foster or owner of the pup to get a better idea on who the dog is. All that information is crucial to making the best decision on what type of dog to bring home, especially when you become a first-time pet owner.

Now, let’s look at the best breeds of dogs for first time owners:

  1. Boxer

Boxer Breed Puppy GoMine

Personality

These dogs have some of the best personalities and are extremely loyal. They live to please people and to play. They are considered a working dog because they are capable of easily being trained for many jobs, but they are also perfectly happy in a family setting.

Size

Boxers are larger dogs that weigh anywhere from 60 - 80 lbs. and reach 20” – 25” in height.

Exercise Requirements

Boxers need room to exercise quite a bit. They are strong and courageous dogs who are curious and love to explore. Taking them hiking, running, or biking is a great way to ensure they stay in shape.

Grooming

Boxers are short-hair dogs, so they don’t shed that much, and they are extremely easy to brush and keep clean. Boxers don’t have any special grooming requirements.

  1. Collie

Collie Puupy GoMine

Personality

Collies are among the smartest dogs that have ever lived. It is common for a collie of any kind to know several dozen commands and are considered working dogs because of their intelligence and their need to have a job to do.     `

Size

Boxers are larger dogs that weigh anywhere from 60 - 80 lbs. and reach 20” – 25” in height.

Exercise Requirements

Boxers need room to exercise quite a bit. They are strong and courageous dogs who are curious and love to explore. Taking them hiking, running, or biking is a great way to ensure they stay in shape.

Grooming

Boxers are short-hair dogs, so they don’t shed that much, and they are quite easy to brush and keep clean. Boxers don’t have any special grooming requirements.

  1. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Puppy GoMine

Personality

These little terriers are perfect for families all around the world. They can adapt to any environment because they are small and live to love. Most grow to have a large personality and an infinite amount of courage, so they need training throughout their entire lives.

Size

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs that weigh anywhere from 6 - 7 lbs. and only reach 7” - 8” in height.

Exercise Requirements

A Yorkie is a toy-sized dog, so even a home that may seem small to us will be plenty for them. They do have some energy and can be feisty at times, so it is good to play with them and walk them regularly to keep them healthy, which will help with anxiety and bad attitude issues they may have sometimes.

Grooming

If you choose this dog for your first, then you have a challenge ahead of you, because these dogs require a lot of grooming. Yorkies have super long hair that falls down to the floor in an elegant style. The hair is consistent with human hair instead of dog fur, which does make it easy to handle. Some people have their hair cut short which can ease the grooming burden, but some love the dog for its long hair. Either way, you’ll have to either do some extensive research into grooming a Yorkie or simply have recurring appointments made with the local dog groomer.

  1. Poodle

Poodle Puppy GoMine

Personality

Poodles are arguably the most intelligent dog on the planet. They love to train at any point in their lives and live to serve. Luckily, since poodles are bred in three different sizes, they can be loved in any type of environment. Normally, they love kids and adults and want to play and exercise a lot. If you are motivated and active, then a poodle is perfect for you.

Size

Poodles are bred in three different sizes:

Toy – Weigh 4 – 6 lbs. and reach 10” or less

Mini – Weigh 10 – 15 lbs. and reach 10” – 15” in height

Standard – Weigh 40 - 70 lbs. and reach 15” – 20” or more in height

Exercise Requirements

Any kind of poodle has a high amount of energy and needs both mental and physical stimulation and exercise every day. These aren’t the kind of dogs to leave home all day long. They will need to be walked or played with at least 2-3 times per day and require training that challenge their intelligent abilities.

Grooming

All kinds of poodles have a curly coat that continues to grow throughout their lives. Their coat is fluffy and soft, and they hardly shed, but they do need regular hair cuts and brushing to ensure their hair doesn’t get tangled. Having a good dog groomer available close by is necessary if you own a poodle.

  1. Labradors and Golden Retrievers

Labradors and Golden Retrievers Puppy GoMine

Personality

Most people say that labs and golden retrievers are the best family dogs, period. They are amazing dogs with aloof personalities that make you want to hug them. They are very affectionate and loving towards kids and adults. While they are loyal, most retrievers will not hesitate to approach someone to get belly rubs. They are kind, sweet, and gentle, but they are also highly intelligent and can be trained to be working dogs for governmental agencies, search and rescue, or serving as a service dog for the disabled or a hunting dog. Whatever their job, it doesn’t take away their love for their humans one bit and will live their lives to please you.

Size

Labradors can weigh anywhere between 55 lbs. to over 100 lbs. and can reach 20” – 25” in height.

Golden Retrievers weigh 55 – 80 lbs. and reach 21” – 25” in height.

Exercise Requirements

Both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are working dogs, so they need both mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis. If you decide to get one of these dogs, you should know that you must give them a job to do. If you don’t work them directly, you can train them to guard your home, and that will satisfy their need to work. It should be said that if you don’t give these dogs enough exercise and attention, they can become anxious and can be very destructive to anything in your home, especially at a young age. Proper training is crucial to give your first dog their best life.

Grooming

Labrador Retrievers have short-medium fur that is quite easy to maintain. Regular baths and brushing will keep their coat nice and clean. Golden Retrievers are long-haired and require regular professional grooming. Dirt and debris cling easily to their coats, which makes it easy for the hair to get matted, so daily brushing and conditioning treatments are necessary to keep them clean.

Mixed Breed Dogs

Mixed Dog Breed GoMine

Purebred dogs are great and all, but every single dog that is mixed with different breeds is unique in many ways, and you may find what you are looking for in one of these dogs instead of a purebred. Mixed breed dogs can be incredibly intelligent, loyal, playful, loving, and have all the other traits that make us love dogs so much.

Local shelters all over the United States are in desperate need of people to step up and adopt instead of buying from breeders. You’ll most likely find mixed breed dogs in shelters. Before you get a mixed breed dog, you can get to know them first, find out what breeds they may be mixed with, and to observe their behavior and abilities yourself. The shelter will give you an entire workup of the dog, what they like, how they respond to certain things, and their overall personality.

There is always a very good chance you’ll find your first fur buddy at a local shelter. It doesn’t hurt to take a look before you decide on a dog that fits perfectly with your home and lifestyle.

More Dogs!

There are actually 340 different dog breeds around the world, but the American Kennel Club only recognizes 167 breeds. Regardless, there are hundreds of different kinds of dogs out there that you can research. Aside from that large number, the number of mixed breed dogs is endless. They very greatly from the tiniest little Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane, you have a great opportunity to find the perfect dog for you. It is always a good idea to research more and make the best possible choice so that dog can stay with you and your family for the rest of their lives.


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