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10 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

10 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Are you ready to adopt your first dog? There are many things you need to take into consideration when picking the best breed of pooch to join your family. In this blog, our Gold Canyon vets share a list of 10 dogs that could be great for first-time owners.

Adopting a Dog

Congratulations on your decision to adopt an adorable canine companion. Caring for a dog can be a very exciting and rewarding experience. However, you may encounter various challenges, depending on the type of pooch you bring home. This makes it important to consider what you are looking for in a dog and whether or not you are able to provide for all of the dog's needs.

Some things you want to consider include the size, personality, exercise requirements, grooming needs, level of training needed, and more. While each dog has its own unique personality you can determine the best dog for you by researching the breeds you are considering and matching their needs and characteristics to your lifestyle. For example, if you want a lap dog don't get a dog that has higher energy levels, or if you live in an apartment make sure you adopt a smaller breed of dog. 

Here, our vets at Companion Pet Clinic of Gold Canyon have listed 10 dog breeds that could be great for first-time owners and explain the characteristics and care requirements of each, to help you choose the best dog for you.

10 Dog Breeds For First Time Owners

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This is a small (but not tiny) breed of dog that is friendly, elegant, gentle, relatively quiet, and gets along well with people of all ages from infants to seniors. Their smaller size makes them good for apartments but, they can adapt to any living environment easily. 

They have a medium-length coat that requires regular brushing to prevent knots and a moderate energy level, so basic daily exercise should be enough to keep them healthy.

2. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is an adorable happy-go-lucky small dog that looks like a cotton ball and can be great for apartments or families with kids. This pup is fairly easy to train and only requires moderate daily exercise to be happy and healthy. They can also adapt easily to any lifestyle.

However, this pup requires a commitment to grooming. They require regular visits to the groomer for regular coat trimmings and brushings. A tip for keeping a Bichon Frise's coat manageable is keeping their fur trimmed short. 

3. Boxer

Boxers both love being around their people (especially children) and make good protectors. They are loyal, medium to large size dogs that are very playful and have high energy levels. If you live a fairly active lifestyle this could be the dog for you. While these dogs may be hyperactive when they are a puppy, they are trainable and love being given attention during their training.

While this dog does require lots of exercise and a strong training foundation, they only require basic grooming and can be an excellent protective guardian, especially for children. 

4. Papillon

These small toy breed dogs are friendly and have a fine-boned structure. They are, happy, alert, and generally very friendly. They can do well and be happy in any environment whether it's a city apartment, a house in the suburbs, or a farm in the country. They can also get along very well with kids who are gentle with them. They are very versatile and could make a great exercise partner or even a lap dog if they are provided with the chance to run around and play inside or outside.

This dog enjoys a somewhat active lifestyle, is relatively easy to train, and only requires moderate grooming.

5. Poodle

Poodles are versatile dogs that can live in any type of environment, and even do well in homes that have children. Even though poodles come in three different sizes (toy, miniature, and standard) they all respond well to training and are very intelligent.

These are very active dogs that require mental stimulation and lots of daily exercise. They also need to be groomed regularly so their growing, curly coat can be maintained.

6. Labrador Retriever

This breed of dog is known for being friendly, loyal, excellent with kids, and one of the most popular dogs in the US. This affectionate pooch is friendly towards strangers and is very trainable so you can teach them almost anything. They are also very energetic and playful, as they love to run and play fetch, but after playing enjoys cuddling with their owners. 

This medium to large dog thrives in active households that can give them lots of exercise, they also need basic grooming regularly to minimize shedding. 

7. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are often considered the ultimate family dog as they are eager to please and are great with children of all ages. This pooch is medium to large in size, affectionate, loyal, and very active. Golden retrievers can thrive and be happy in most households that have enough space for them. 

This dog requires lots of exercise every day to prevent boredom and stay healthy, and while they are relatively easy to train, training is a must. We also recommend grooming your golden retriever regularly to prevent tangles and mats in their fur.

8. Pomeranian

This sweet little lap dog generally forms a very close bond with one owner but can do well in family environments. While Pomeranians are very adaptable when it comes to children they do better with older kids that are more gentle with them. This pooch is small and adorable with a big fluffy coat that is easier to maintain than it looks, only requiring regular brushing.

Pomeranians thrive from positive, consistent training, so their boundaries and structure can be set, without training, they can exhibit a very feisty, stubborn personality. On the other hand, they only require basic daily exercise. 

9. Yorkshire Terrier

Are you looking for a little lap dog? This pup may be right for you. Yorkshire terriers are great starter dogs that are affectionate towards their owner and protective when it comes to strangers. They have moderate energy levels and will do well with daily walks.

As a result of their fast-growing coats, Yorkshire terriers require a fair amount of attention when it comes to their grooming including regular trims and brushing. We also recommend training this little guy as you would a large dog and providing them with lots of structure, without it they will become vocal and stubborn. But, if given the boundaries and training they need the two of you will have an even stronger bond.

10. Mixed Breed Dogs

When searching for a dog to join your home don't forget to consider mixed breed dogs from the local shelter or rescue group. While each breed of dog has its own set of training, personality, and grooming requirements, the needs for mixed breed dogs will depend on their makeup.

Ask the team at your local rescue or shelter about the traits you are looking for in a dog and they could match you up with the perfect furry friend.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our vets in Gold Canyon, Arizona today to learn more about the care requirements for dogs or to schedule an appointment for your new canine companion at our animal hospital.

New Patients Welcome

Companion Pet Clinic of Gold Canyon is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

(480) 671-1403 Contact Companion Pet Clinic