9 Best And Worst Dog Breeds For First-Time Owners

Adopting a dog can be a great way to reduce pet overpopulation in shelters. When you decide to adopt a dog from a rescue center, you’ll get a good idea of which breed of dogs will suit first-time owners.

No doubt, dogs are known as human beings’ best friends. If you are someone who is planning to buy their first dog, then you’ve landed in the right place.

For first-time dog owners, breed matters a lot. There aren’t any bad dogs or dog breeds; it just depends on how you train your dogs. Even if you accept whatever behavior your pet comes with, it is equally essential to consider the size, coat type, and dynamism level.

It would be best if you choose your first-time breed based on your lifestyle. It will help you to avoid any mismatch and keep you and your dog both happy.

All dogs come with unique characteristics and personalities. Some require more effort and experience, whereas others are well-suited to first-time owners.

9 Best Dog Breeds For First-Time Owners:

We have listed down some of the adorable and newbie-friendly dogs for you. Your never-ending search for the best dogs as a first-time owner ends here. Let us have a look.

1. Pugs


If you want to have a dog in a small space, you must go for a pug. Pugs are a member of the American Kennel Club’s Toy Group. These sturdy, stable, and good-humored animals are often known as the clowns of the canine world.

Pugs are consistently friendly and can adapt well to apartment living. They need less effort when it comes to grooming. Sometimes, pugs tend to overeat and thereby gains weight. It is essential to monitor their food intake carefully. They show high energy levels and have a life span of 12 to 15 years.

2. Beagles


Beagles are mainly categorized as active companions for adults and kids. Everyone wants dogs that are friendly around their kid. Beagles love to play and romp. Their dark brown or hazel eyes, along with his soft, pleading expressions, make Beagle challenging to resist.

Beagles are also known as scent hounds. They are wanderers by nature and are full of energy. You need to give them a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Beagles like to jump around, play, and investigate any new sights and smells. Their small size and calm temperament make them a perfect choice for first-time dog owners.

3. Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terrier

This breed of dog makes a great starter dog for all first-time owners. Yorkshire Terriers are a perfect lap-sized companion. They have an extremely loyal and affectionate nature towards their owners. Sometimes they show signs of stubbornness. With a solid foundation of training, you can easily overcome this.

Their hair grows fast. Hence, it requires extensive grooming and needs to be brushed and trimmed regularly. They have a delicate digestive system. Therefore, you should follow a proper diet for your Yorkshire. This breed of dog has a life span of 12 to 15 years. 

4. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Being a first time-time dog owner, you always expect a happy-go-lucky little dog for you. Getting a Bichon Frise can be the best decision. These bouncy cotton balls like dogs are straightforward to train and turn out to be your happiest and most enthusiastic companion in no-time.

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Bichons are entirely white and have black eyes and noses. They have a curly coat, and you must take care of it by regular trimming and brushing. Besides being intelligent and cunning, Bichons do not like to be left out alone for long periods of time.

5. Golden retriever

Golden retriever

Being one of the most popular dog breeds, Golden Retrievers are very friendly and have a tolerant attitude. They make great family pets. They are gentle with children. If you are adopting a Golden Retriever, make sure you are sporty around them as this breed likes to be active all the time. Make sure to treat your dog under limitations and follow a proper diet.

If required, consult a dietician for your dog. Golden Retrievers heavily shed their thick. Give them occasional baths to keep them clean and follow a good grooming schedule. They also need plenty of daily exercises that will help them to be in good physical condition.

6. Pomskies


Pomskies are a mixed breed of Pomeranian and Huskies. People often wonder whether Mixed breed dogs make good pets or not. Let us pop that bubble. Mutts make good human companions and are available in various shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors.

Some of them can possess a short nose or long snout, whereas some have floppy ears or pointed ones. Also, they can have different varieties of tails – stubby or spindly. The combinations and possibilities are endless. Their training, exercise, and grooming depend on the needs, and it tends to vary from one dog to the other.

7. Labradors


Labs are quintessential family dogs that show a happy, loyal, affectionate, and active personality. But they become obese very quickly as they love to eat. Make sure they do plenty of exercise and try to limit their food intake. Teach them good canine manners. They are one of the most sweet-natured breeds and are very healthy animals.

Labs are an easy-to-care breed but give them occasional baths. They are kid-friendly and love to be around people.

8. Greyhound


Greyhounds are one of the most active and intelligent dog breeds. They make a great companion for first-time owners. They are kid-friendly, affectionate with family as well as towards strangers.

Greyhounds have a short, easy-care coat, and they love the outdoors. They are well-known for their most potent nose in the world. Hence, Greyhounds alert its owners of nearby danger.

9. Pomeranian


Poms are small and make for good apartment pets. Sometimes they tend to bark a lot and act differently when around larger dogs. But in general, poms are perky and friendly dogs. They need to do daily exercise.

Poms are quite intelligent, and some of them are fussy eaters. They need regular grooming as they shed their thick often. Poms make good first-time owner pets.

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9 most challenging dog breeds for first-time owners

All dogs are man’s best friend. We can never categorize dogs as worst. However, it is indeed more challenging for a first-time owner to keep some of the dogs. Few dogs are harder to manage, harder to train, and harder to control. Nobody wants to make a bad their bad choices, especially for first-time dog owners.

We have listed down nine challenging dogs breeds for first-time owners.

1. Bulldog


Bulldogs are stubborn and lazy. They are never interested in going out for a walk. They are sensitive to cold weather. Also, they cannot withstand heat and humidity. If you take him out for a walk and start showing signs of overtaking, it is wise to bring them inside as soon as possible. They are house dogs. They gasp, snort, and snore a lot.

Bulldogs are greedy eaters and tend to gain weight quickly. You must only feed them ½ to 2 cups to high-quality dog food daily. If you decide to take it on, you make sure to look after him as they are prone to many health issues.

2. Akita


Akita comes from a large and powerful dog breed. They originated from Japan and are also known as a silent hunter. Sometimes they are aggressive around other dogs. To overcome these tendencies, you need to train them on how to socialize. Akita sheds a lot and tends to respond aggressively. They do not make the right choice for first-time dog owners.

Before you adopt Akita, you need to do extensive research about the dog’s grooming needs, medical conditions, and temperament. Training Akita can be a challenging task, and it is advisable to work with a trainer who is familiar with the breed. 

3. German shepherd

German shepherd

They are also known as the Alsatian in Great Britain and Europe. If you’re someone who stays away from home frequently or for long periods of time, then this breed might not be suitable for you.

German shepherds do not like loneliness. It makes them anxious, which further leads to barking, chewing, and digging. Daily exercises are a must. You must try to keep them busy learning as they are super active and intelligent dog breeds.

German Shepherds shed a lot, so you need to brush them several times a week. They are excellent watchdogs and are well-suited as police dog. German Shepherd comes with higher tendencies for serious health problems related to neurological. 

4. Treeing Walker Coonhound

Treeing Walker Coonhound

This breed shows extreme endurance and competitive spirit. Treeing walker coonhounds are highly athletic dogs and are hunter’s favorite breed. They need plenty of exercises if you want to keep them fit and content. These dogs are smart and brave, but you must think twice before bringing one of these homes.

This breed needs enough space to run outside and burn energy. They not only make a difficult choice for first-time owners but also turn out to be a not-so-good option for city dwellers and people living in small apartments.

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5. Skye terrier

Skye terrier

Skye terrier falls under the category of stubborn dogs. They always do things in their way. Besides being sensitive, they need regular exercise to stay fit and happy. Their coats grow very long and sometimes cover their eyes too.

Hence, a regular grooming session is a must. You must keep them clean to prevent matting. Skye terrier breeds are high maintenance. Thus, it is not advisable for first-time owners. 

6. Dalmatian


Dalmatians are also known as Disney darling. If you don’t indulge your Dalmatians in daily exercise, they tend to get bored and destructive. You need to train your dog well; otherwise, they end up being exuberant. They are super active and alert.

Dalmatians shed vigorously. They make good pets but end up getting jealous around other pets and children. Hence, they are not advisable for first-time owners.

7. Alaskan malamute

Alaskan malamute

Being one of Arctic sled dogs’ oldest and largest dogs, this breed possesses massive strength and endurance. They can travel a lot due to their athletic and exuberant nature. Malamutes require a dedicated owner who is ready to invest his time to give them plenty of exercises. They have thick fur that makes them vulnerable to heat injuries.

Keeping the Alaskan malamute as a pet may be a hassle for you. You should always take extra supervision when the malamute is around other pets or small children.

8. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

They are large, impressive, and intimidating dogs. Cane Corso will make good guard dogs, but it is challenging to keep this breed at home. They don’t shed much. Therefore they are effortless to groom.

The Corso doesn’t make an excellent first-time dog as it requires plenty of socialization, training, and exercise to be a good companion. They do not hold a position in the Intelligence of dogs. Sometimes, Cane Corso can exceed 100 pounds. 

9. Border Collie

Border Collie

The history behind this dog breed is quite impressive. These breeds used to gather and control sheep in the hilly border country between England and Scotland. They used their intense stare to control the flock. This breed has unlimited energy and stamina.

Being highly sensitive and responsive to the subtlest command, Border Collie requires extra care. They must be well-trained for socialization. They don’t just like walking around the block or playing around the backyard. If the owner is not ready to provide plenty of exercises, it is advisable to avoid this breed as first-time dogs.

Before buying your first dog breed, you must do a sufficient amount of research. The list mentioned above will narrow down your choices and give you a better insight. The list with the best and most challenging dogs for first-time dog owners will help you make your own decision about the kind of dog you want to adopt. Visit your nearest rescue center and get yourself your first child.

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Hi, I'm Carol, a passionate animal lover and blogger at atractivopets.com. As an experienced pet owner and caregiver, I've gained first-hand knowledge and expertise in the care and well-being of our furry friends. Through my blog, I strive to share my insights and offer valuable tips and advice to fellow pet owners, while prioritizing trustworthiness and accuracy in all of my content.

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