10 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners

Listed here are ten of the best dog breeds for first-time dog owners.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers have remained one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide and for good reason. They are playful, outgoing, low-maintenance, and easy to train – all characteristics that make this breed great for new dog owners.


Unlike some breeds, pugs require a minimal amount of exercise and maintenance. They are known for their stable personalities and charming, albeit sometimes mischievous, demeanors. This low-shedding, generally quiet dog is perfect for the novice owner.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is highly adaptable, eager to please, and low maintenance. Their moderate energy levels and quiet personalities make them ideal as first-time pets.

Cocker Spaniel

Although their coats can require a fair amount of care, the Cocker Spaniel makes for a great first-time dog that is just as content to curl up on the couch with a favorite human as it is to romp around the yard for a short play session.

French Bulldog

This breed has surged in popularity thanks to its charming antics and low maintenance lifestyle. Many first-time French Bulldog owners never own another breed.


The Maltese is a classic lapdog that is gentle and playful, yet also fearless. Although grooming needs are higher than many other dogs on this list, the low exercise requirements and easy to train personality of the Maltese makes it a natural choice for novice dog lovers.

Yorkshire Terrier

This classic toy sized dog has a big personality in a small frame, yet is affectionate, loveable, and has low exercise needs. For a first-time pet owner that enjoys grooming, the Yorkie can’t be beaten.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise has a wonderful temperament in an adorable package. A small breed with fewer grooming requirements than most, the Bichon Frise does well with minimal exercise and a lot of affection.


The Papillon is a small dog that is friendly without the shy or aggressive nature of other toy-sized breeds. As a happy, alert, and adaptable dog it is great for first-time owners.


Poodles come in three sizes and are guaranteed to fit nearly any lifestyle. Highly intelligent, easy to train, and widely considered to be hypoallergenic, this breed is great for newbies! 


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Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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