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10 Best Dog Breeds for Beginners

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As a first-time dog owner, you will go through a lot of overwhelming sensations. On the one hand, there is the excitement of bringing a furry friend home and spending a lifetime with it. Still, on the other hand, it is an invitation to many challenges and responsibilities that you must be prepared for. However, certain breeds are less challenging than others, and if you are a beginner, you must be aware of these breeds. 

This article will provide an understanding of the 10 best dog breeds for beginners. There are various factors to consider before taking a dog home, like its temperament, energy levels, size, expenditure, grooming needs, and more. Only when you are comfortable with these factors, should you bring a puppy home.  

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Desirable Characteristics

There are a few characteristics that you should look out for in a breed as a beginner. The puppy’s energy levels should match yours. Attention level is yet another factor that you need to be ready for. An athletic dog will be a great match if you are a frequent runner and like sports. If that is not the case, you should have adequate resources to hire help to take care of your dog’s daily walks and runs. 

Some of the best dog breeds for beginners include low-maintenance dogs. It is a huge responsibility to bring a puppy into your home and your life. The best thing to do is take it slow and easy. You can adopt a grown-up dog from foster homes as they are usually already trained and tend to be well-behaved. Puppies are a lot of extra work as they require more attention, training, and so on.  

Let us look at some of the best dog breeds for beginners

10 Best Dog Breeds for Beginners

#1 Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Overview:

  • Life span- 14 to 15 years
  • Height- 9 to 12 inches
  • Temperament- Cheerful and happy-go-lucky
  • Coat- White curly coat with patches of cream or apricot
  • Weight- 7 to 12 pounds 

If you have a family that has children, the Bichon Frise is a breed you must consider bringing home. They are small in size, and their temperament is usually happy-go-lucky. They like to play around, which is a great plus point when there are children around. The size of this dog is also an advantage for anybody living in a small apartment, as the Bichon Frise does not require too much space. The dog looks like a floating cloud due to its white fur. However, their fur is curly and grows quickly, so be mindful to trim and brush it regularly to maintain hygiene. This is probably the only area where you have to spend a little much. 

Other than that, the dog adapts very easily, can be trained in no time, and requires only a moderate amount of exercise daily. In addition, they have a life expectancy of 14-15 years. If these characteristics suit your needs, requirements, and capabilities, there is no better breed to bring home for the first time other than the Bichon Frise.

#2 Boxer 

boxer

Overview:

  • Life span- 10 to 12 years
  • Height- 1 foot, 9 inches to 2 feet, 1 inch
  • Temperament- Friendly
  • Coat- Fawn color short coat
  • Weight- 55 to 70 pounds

Boxers are extremely high-energy dogs that most people find intimidating and scary the first time around due to their size and build. However, going beyond the physical looks, this is one of the best dog breeds for beginners as they are loyal, playful, and extremely adorable. Their lifestyle is quite active, and you must adopt a boxer only if you can match up to that energy level. 

Boxers require plenty of exercises and proper training to build a strong foundation. In addition, you will require to invest a significant amount of your finances in taking care of the dog, be it the food, training, grooming, medicines, and much more. Do not be demotivated by their hyperactivity as this breed is easy to train and enjoys attention from people during training. Boxers are great with children and can be a fun companion while they are growing up. Their life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. 

#3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Overview:

  • Life Span- 12 to 14 years
  • Height- 12 to 13 inches
  • Temperament- Obedient and affectionate
  • Coat- Long, silky coat; a variety of colors like ruby, black, tan, and more
  • Weight- 13 to 18 pounds

This breed is a living example of what people mean when they say ‘puppy face’. Even an adult cavalier has a cute, little puppy face. This breed is extremely affectionate and can quickly adapt to any kind of household. They have a calm temperament and are not too high on energy like the boxer we discussed earlier. This one boasts of a gentle demeanor and is extremely attentive. 

Cavaliers require some basic exercise daily to maintain their health. You can take it out for a walk once a day, which should be enough. Since it’s a small dog, it does not require more than that. They are easy to train and quite obedient naturally. It has a fur coat of medium length, but its grooming necessities are nothing extravagant. However, ensure that you regularly brush its hair to avoid tangles. 

#4 Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Overview:

  • Life Span- 10 to 12 years
  • Height- 21.5 to 24 inches
  • Temperament- Extremely friendly and protective of owners
  • Coat- Light golden, medium-length coat
  • Weight- 55 to 75 pounds

Golden retrievers are a popular breed that even those who have never had a pet have some knowledge about. These dogs are known as ‘family dogs’ as they love the attention and are always willing to please the family members. They gel extremely well with children and tend to be protective of them as well. Golden retrievers are extremely active, at least during the initial years of their life. 

They are loyal to their owners and love to be loved. Belly rubs are a source of great happiness for retrievers. They can adapt to different households easily, but since they are quite large, it is best to adopt one if you have that kind of space in your house. Golden retrievers need to be taken for walks daily, or they can get obese. Training is necessary, but it’s not a very challenging task. It has a beautiful, golden brown fur coat that needs to be brushed regularly to keep it neat and clean. Golden retrievers are recommended to be one of the best dog breeds for beginners looking to adopt. 

#5 Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Overview:

  • Life Span- 10 to 12 years
  • Height- 21.5 to 24.5 inches
  • Temperament- Calm and playful sometimes
  • Coat- Chocolate or yellow color, short, thick, double coat
  • Weight- 55 to 80 pounds

The Labrador Retriever is another popular medium-large-sized breed that makes for a great family pet. Labs usually have a golden brown or black coat and are not very furry, making grooming and maintenance an easy affair. They can adjust well to all kinds of environments, be it in a large family or a small one. However, they like people and love the attention they get from humans. 

Labs are known to be loyal and affectionate. They are good to have around children because of their calm yet playful nature. This breed is extremely intelligent. Due to their large size, they require intense sessions of exercise daily. You must be able to take them for a run or walk twice a day to maintain their good health. Labs are easy to train because they are very eager to learn new things. They enjoy running around, fetching, playing with balls, and occasionally snuggling with their human. Labs have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. 

#6 Papillon

Papillon

Overview:

  • Life Span- 14 to 16 years
  • Height- 8 to 11 inches
  • Temperament- Loyal and loves cuddling
  • Coat- Long and straight fur; white color with patches of red, lemon, black, or sable
  • Weight- 6 to 10 pounds

A breed not known to many, papillons are easy to recognize because of their butterfly-shaped ears. The breed is hyperactive and very cheerful and is great around children. Papillons are loyal to the very core and love snuggling with their human parent. It is one of the best dog breeds for beginners looking for a dog that is small in size but adapts well to varying situations. 

This cutie is versatile as it not only functions as a lap dog but also as a terrific exercise partner. Once again, its small size means that it requires lesser exercise than big dogs like the boxer or golden retriever. However, this breed always jumps at the opportunity of playing around and cuddling with its humans. Papillons are considered to be one of the most easily trainable breeds. They also require very limited grooming, which means lesser costs. Brushing their hair once a week is good enough. 

Papillons look very similar to the stuffed toys sold to children; hence, they are often known as a toy breed. If you are looking for a dog to spend time with or one that will be your children’s loyal friend, the papillon is a great breed to start with. 

#7 Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Overview:

  • Life Span- 12 to 16 years
  • Height- 6 to 7 inches
  • Temperament- Stubborn and feisty but friendly once trained
  • Coat- Long, thick coat; available in different colors like cream, sable, orange, black, and brown
  • Weight- 3 to 7 pounds

Pomeranians are also quite commonly kept as house pets. They look dainty and make for the sweetest little lap dogs. Poms gel well with a single owner, but many adapt to the life of a big family as well. They find it easier to adapt to young adults and adults rather than children. However, that does not mean they absolutely cannot when trained from a very young age. 

Poms are one of the best dog breeds for beginners who are laid back or have too much work on their hands, as this breed only requires basic exercise every day. However, you must provide them with basic training to build a foundation and set boundaries from the puppy age. Keep in mind that the natural temperament of a pomeranian is stubborn and feisty. If not trained, this temperament might take over and prove to be troublesome. 

Positive training that is also consistent is good for this breed. They have a big, fluffy coat that adds to the beauty of their physique. You can carry them around in your lap, and they also love cuddles. Their fur might give you the impression that it’s high-maintenance, but that’s not the case in reality. You can simply leave it at regularly brushing its coat. Poms have a life expectancy of 12-16 years which is a lot more than that of bigger dogs. 

#8 Poodle

Poodle

Overview:

  • Life Span- 10 to 18 years
  • Height- toy size is under 10 inches, the miniature is 10 to 15 inches, the standard is over 15 inches
  • Temperament- Well-behaved and obedient
  • Coat- Solid white, black, gray, brown, or apricot
  • Weight- The toy is 5 to 9 pounds, the miniature is 15 to 18 pounds, and the standard is 45 to 70 pounds

Poodles are a dog breed that is extremely versatile and makes for a friendly companion at all times. These dogs with button eyes can adapt well to different situations, and if needed, they gel well with children as well. Poodles can be found in three sizes- toy, miniature, and standard. Even though they have quite a sophisticated demeanor, they can be fun-loving and playful as well. 

Poodles have a well-behaved and obedient temperament, and proper training only improves this. They are an intelligent breed that always aims to please their owner and can form very strong, long-lasting bonds with each family member. They might come off as shy in front of strangers, but this all depends on training, practice, and exposure. If exposed to strangers frequently, they can be easy around new faces. 

They are a hypoallergenic breed which means that they shed fur infrequently. However, they have a unique kind of curly fur coat that must be brushed daily to avoid tangling. Experts recommend a grooming session every 6 weeks to maintain hygiene levels of the dog and around the house as well. Poodles have a muscular physique, and they are quite active dogs. Make sure you give them frequent exercises and take them for long walks daily. Poodles are also great swimmers, so a beach getaway with them can be great fun. 

#9 Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Overview:

  • Life Span- 13 to 16 years
  • Height- 8 to 9 inches
  • Temperament- protective and affectionate
  • Coat- long and straight coat; available in color combinations like black and gold, blue and gold
  • Weight- 5 to 7 pounds  

The Yorkshire Terrier is a good option if you are looking for a great lap dog as your first pet. Terriers are extremely protective of their owners and display a great deal of affection as well. Interestingly, they are also very protective of some strangers as well whom they like. Also known as Yorkies, this breed has a moderate energy level and needs basic exercise to maintain good health. You can take them out for walks daily. 

The Yorkshire Terrier has a naturally vocal and stubborn temperament that can be troublesome if not trained from a young age. It is best to use training methods that are used with big dogs for your terrier. This helps establish necessary boundaries. One thing to keep in mind with a Yorkie is that it requires frequent grooming, such as brushing and trimming hair regularly. This is one of the best dog breeds for beginners who have enough resources to spend on grooming and other needs of the dog. This is necessary for keeping your Yorkie in good condition. 

A Yorkshire Terrier weighs about 5 to 7 pounds, and its life expectancy is 13 to 16 years.

#10 Mixed Breed Dogs

Mixed Breed Dogs

Overview:

  • Height, weight, coat, temperament, and even the coat vary in mixed breed dogs. 

While searching for the best dog breeds for beginners, there is another type that you should keep in mind. These are mixed-breed dogs. They can make excellent companions for all kinds of activities, be it going for hikes, swimming, exercising, or simply playing around. If you do not have a specific breed in mind, it’s best to head over to the local dog shelters or foster care homes and look for a mixed-breed dog there. 

You might find one that matches your temperament. You will also be saving a life by adopting from such places where they keep abandoned dogs. When it comes to mixed-breed dogs, there’s no single type of temperament or requirement that they have. The rescuers at the shelter will help you find a dog that matches all your requirements. Keep in mind that their training and grooming needs might also differ from other species, and it’s something you might discover along the way with experience. 

Conclusion on 10 Best Dog Breeds for Beginner

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Finding the best dog breed for beginners can be a challenging task, given the number of responsibilities it brings. Characteristics like a cheerful temperament and limited grooming needs are something to look out for. You might want to avoid breeds that are overly dependent, stubborn, or have other temperament issues. Breeds like Australian cattle dogs, Akitas, and others are dogs you might want to avoid as a first-time owner. Other than that, any dog can be a good companion with adequate training, attention, love, and care. 

Adopting from shelters is a noble deed that you can do to save a dog’s life, as they are often abandoned and found by rescuers in brutal conditions. Choose a pooch that has a high level of compatibility with the kind of lifestyle you have. This will only make things easier for both you and the dog. 

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