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15 Best Dog Breeds for New Owners

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If you’re here, it’s probably because you’re considering becoming a dog parent. (Congratulations!) The first step to establishing a long and loving relationship with your new fur baby is choosing a breed that suits your lifestyle and personality. “All breeds exist to perform a function such as hunting, herding, tracking, scavenging, eradicating vermin, keepor company,” says Kayla Fratt, Certified Canine Behavior Consultant and Founder of Travel dog training. “Although we often think of dog breeds in terms of appearance, their temperaments were much more important in the original gene pools. This means looking at a specific breed makes it more likely to find the right match for your home.”

So what should new owners be looking for? For starters, you will want a breed that is affectionaterelaxed, easy to train, and compatible with the average household. “Breeds described as aloof, loyal, and protective, or requiring a lot of socialization or training, may not be suitable for most first-time homes,” Fratt says. By doing some research on dog breeds and their typical characteristics, you will find one that will become your best friend for life. Remember that every dog ​​is an individual What is that in general true for a race is not still true for every dog ​​of that specific breed!

Whether you’re looking for your very first canine companion or you just haven’t been a pet parent in a while, here are the best dog breeds for new owners.

1. Labrador retriever

  • Height: 21.5 – 24.5 inches
  • Weight: 55 – 80 pounds

Labs have been the most popular breed in the United States since 1991! Their personalities vary widely (and some can be a bit too energetic and clever for first-timers!), but most are extremely user-friendly and easy-going.

2. Golden retriever

Portrait of purebred Golden Retriever dog outdoors

  • Height: 21 – 24 inches
  • Weight: 55 – 75 pounds

Golden Retrievers have a disposition similar to Labs. They are energetic and need daily exercise, but they are also sociable, cuddly and eager to please.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel napping in bed

  • Height: 12 – 13 inches
  • Weight: 13 – 18 pounds

“Cavaliers are among the easiest and healthiest dogs,” says Fratt. They are affectionate dogs with moderate energy who are generally satisfied with average amounts of physical and mental stimulation each day.

4. Bichon Frize

Happy cute Bichon Frize dog lying on wooden floor.

  • Height: 9.5 – 11.5 inches
  • Weight: 12 to 18 pounds

“Bichons are stable and easy-going compared to many other small dog breeds,” Fratt says. They are also affectionate, intelligent and love cuddles.

5. Great Dane

Black and white Great Dane staring at the camera.

  • Height: 28 – 32 inches
  • Weight: 110 – 175 pounds

Despite their large size, many Great Danes are surprisingly lazy and even-tempered. They are also known to be patient and friendly. If you have enough room for one of these gentle giants, you will find that they are also good at giving great love.

6. Whippet

Portrait of Whippet in a park on a summer day

  • Height: 18 – 22 inches
  • Weight: 25 to 40 pounds

Whippets make great pets. Although they can be a little shy, they’re great for lounging on the couch with you. They love to snuggle up and the sofa is one of their favorite places. In general, they are calm, affectionate and playful dogs.

7. Greyhound

close up of a greyhound head

  • Height: 27 – 30 inches
  • Lester: 60 – 70 pounds

Similar to whippets, sighthounds are gentle dogs. They need regular time to play and run, but are otherwise happy to relax with you. These elegant puppies are clean, well behaved and quiet, making them a perfect breed for beginners.

8. Bernese mountain dog

A large Bernese mountain dog stands in nature on a sunny day

  • Height: 23 – 27.5 inches
  • Weight: 70 – 115 pounds

Tall, friendly, and clumsy are the most recognizable traits of this gentle breed. Unfortunately, their large size means you absolutely can’t skimp on training. With the right amount of patience and attention, they are calm, good-natured family dogs.

9. Havanese

Playful chocolate colored Havanese puppy walking with a yellow ball in its mouth in the grass

  • Height: 8.5 – 11.5 inches
  • Lester: 7 – 13 pounds

Havanese have funny, outgoing personalities and are intelligent, curious, and sociable. They love to play but don’t need a ton of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Plus, their small size makes them an easy commitment for apartment dwellers.

10. Shih Tzu

Cute shih tzu dog resting on sofa at home.

  • Height: 9 – 10.5 inches
  • Lester: 9 – 16 pounds

Shih Tzus are outgoing, affectionate, and playful. They are known as lively and friendly companions and require minimal exercise. Usually a daily walk and indoor play session will do the trick to keep these adorable puppies happy.

11. Poodle

Standard poodle in the formal gardens of a stately home in the UK

  • Height: 9 – 22 inches
  • Lester: 4 – 70 pounds

Poodles are super smart and they also make great companions for active families. These puppies are energetic and definitely need to be kept busy, but eager to please and easy to train.

12. Boston Terrier

Adorable Boston Terrier puppy lying in a comfy bed inside his crate, looking at the camera.

  • Height: 15 – 17 inches
  • Lester: 12 – 25 pounds

If you want an active and friendly pet, the Boston terrier may be right for you. Although they are curious and need lots of playtime, these adorable dogs are also adaptable and fun to be around. Overall, they make excellent companions.

13. french bulldog

female french bulldog

  • Height: 11 – 13 inches
  • Lester: 16 – 28 pounds

Frenchies are totally irresistible with their playful, intelligent, and adaptable personalities. They are laid back and don’t need a lot of exercise, although a daily walk will help keep them in top shape.

14. Lhasa Apso

Portrait of three purebred Lhasa Apso sitting on green grass

  • Height: 10 – 11 inches
  • Lester: 12 – 18 pounds

Intelligent and funny, the Lhasa Apso loves to have fun with his family but can be a bit aloof around strangers. They need moderate exercise and are considered easy to care for due to their low maintenance lifestyle.

15. Mixed Race

Eager young puppy is outdoors looking up with open mouth and tongue out.

Mixed-breed personalities can be harder to predict, even though they are “designer mixes” of two popular dog breeds for first-time owners. “You really don’t know what you’re getting and you could get the better or the worse of both parents,” says Fratt. “It’s even less predictable when you have no idea what breeds with pooches are.” That said, they can still make great pets if you choose wisely. Fratt recommends considering adult mixed breeds over puppies, due to their unpredictability when young. Additionally, getting to know the individual dog in a foster situation before making a decision is helpful in finding the best fit. After all, you want the dog and your family to live happily together forever!

Are you a first-time dog owner? Tell us what race you want on the Wide Open Pets Facebook Page!

READ MORE: How to find a responsible breeder before buying a puppy

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