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The Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

Becoming a first-time dog parent is a fun and exciting experience, but it’s also one that gives you a lot to think about. After all, as you may already be aware, different dog breeds have different personalities. Different dog breeds have different activity levels, different engagement styles, different mature sizes, just to name a few.

When searching for your first dog, look for a dog that fits your activity level, your living style (ex: do you work from home, go to the office, take lots of trips, etc.?), your family composition, and your living arrangements. For example, you wouldn’t want to get a large, super-active dog if you dislike going outside and live in a small residence. Likewise, you may not want a lapdog if you envision being up, out, and around town with your new four-legged BFF.

What are the best dog breeds for first time owners?

Thus, the best dog breeds for first time parents are those that are friendly, easy-going, and easy to care for. The rest, such as their size and activity level, is a matter of personal preference, but rest assured that all of these dogs have strong reputations as being the best dog breeds for first time dog parents.


Petite, smart, and playful, the Papillon is a toy breed that is known for being friendly, perky, and happy. They can comfortably live in any environment. Because of their size, they can get lots of exercise and entertainment indoors. Likewise, they are just as happy in a larger space that allows them to spend plenty of time running around or going for strolls outside. Of course, even though they enjoy exercise, they also make great lap dogs. Papillons get along well with children and are a generally wonderful (and adorable) dog breed for a first-time dog parent.


Pomeranians are small, adorable, and loyal lap dogs. They are easy going and don’t require a lot of exercise. They respond well to (and need) some training to learn the rules of your home; however, once trained, this intelligent dog breed is a wonderful dog for first-time dog parents. They tend to do best with a single parent or with families with older or at least less-rowdy children.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are among the ultimate lap dogs. They are sweet and energetic, but they only need a little exercise. Like Pomeranians, they are more manageable once trained to behave and to respond to boundaries. Yorkshire Terriers do well in cities as well as suburbs and get along well with others. Because they are so friendly and keen, they are fine with a single parent or with a family.

Shih Tzu

Known best for their long, lustrous coats, Shih Tzus are also wonderful dog breeds for first time dog parents. The reason is that Shih Tzus have friendly, gamely energy and a companionable attitude. Like some other small breeds, Shih Tzus don’t need a lot of exercise, which means they can easily live in a smaller space and stay mostly indoors, or they can be happy in larger, suburban areas and go for strolls outside.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise are small, fluffy dogs with adorable furry heads. They are as chipper as they are precious, and while they do enjoy a moderate amount of daily exercise, they dwell comfortably in any kind of living accommodation and with families of any size.


Smart, loyal, and affectionate, Corgis are excellent companions. They are low maintenance and friendly. They enjoy getting out for walks or for bouncing around a backyard. They are great with children and other animals. Corgis are very faithful. Their intelligence and loyalty make them perfect dog breeds for first time dog parents.


Whether it’s the English Springer Spaniel or the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, spaniels are ideal for first-time dog parents. Spaniels are loving, happy, affectionate, and easy-going. They love to please their people. They are extremely faithful to their families as well. Spaniels are great with children as well. They do enjoy a bit of exercise but because of their size, a daily exercise regimen can easily be pursued indoors. Spaniels are also very cuddly lap dogs.


The Whippet is a petite, energetic dog that likes to sleep as much as it likes to race around. Because of its small stature, Whippets have no problem burning out their energy indoors. They attach well to people and are very friendly; they love to cuddle and do well with families of any composition.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are the ultimate family dog. Because of their size at maturity, they do need to be in a space where they can grow and go. If you live in an area or have the space where your retriever can run around, then these are perfect dogs for first time dog parents. Golden Retrievers are faithful, friendly, and affectionate. They love their families and are very protective. They make excellent companions.


Boxers, like Golden Retrievers, tend to need a little more space to exercise and to stretch their legs, but they are otherwise exceptional breeds for first-time dog parents. Boxers love to spend time with their human families. They are also easy going and patient with children while simultaneously being extremely protective of their families.

Once you decide on the perfect dog breed as your first canine pet, decide on a food that your new four-legged best friend will find as tasty as it is nourishing. Wellness Pet Food makes all-natural dog food blends for dogs of all sizes, energy levels, and ages because we know that lifelong wellness starts from the inside out.

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