First-time pup parent
Becoming a first-time dog owner is a truly rewarding experience. You’re gaining a new loyal best friend and have a wonderful adventure before you. That said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that the process also comes with some little curveballs as you learn the ropes of pup parenthood.
In addition to the dog’s size – be it a toy breed, medium breed, or giant breed – it’s also important to consider the dog’s personality. For example, do you want a low-maintenance dog or a dog breed that does well when left alone? Or are you perhaps seeking the best dog breeds for kids?
“When you are thinking about getting a dog for the first time, the first thing to ask yourself is what you envision your life with a dog looking like,” says Marissa Sunny, a canine behaviour specialist. “If you want a dog to get you out of the house and go running with, then a high-energy working breed may be for you! If you are looking for a Netflix buddy, then an adult or senior dog may be for you.” And while purebreds are wonderful, there are many mixed breeds available for adoption in your local shelters that make wonderful pets, even for first-time dog owners.
To help you determine the best first dog for new owners – and avoid some of the worst dogs for first-time owners – we’re showcasing some of the most popular dog breeds that are easy to train, groom and bond with.
Known for its loving and playful personality, the Bichon Frise is an intelligent and charming lapdog who befriends just about everyone they meet. They are one of the best dogs for beginners since they’re typically easy to train and are great with kids. Another perk is that their fluffy white coat is hypoallergenic, making them ideal for those concerned about dog allergies. They do need to be bathed about once a month and benefit from a good brushing several times a week. A visit to the groomer every four to six weeks can also help keep them looking tip-top.
Ease of care: 4/5
Arguably one of the easiest dog breeds for first-time owners, the golden retriever is one of the most beloved canines for good reason. This lovable pup is exceptionally friendly and devoted to its owners. They are also known for being obedient and easy to train, so teaching them to fetch, sit and stay is likely to be a breeze, which is one of the reasons many service dogs are golden retrievers. Perhaps most important, though, is their gregarious and outgoing personalities, which make them fantastic as first-time family dogs, as well. They benefit from a good brushing once a week and perhaps more during their twice-annual shedding spree.
Ease of care: 5/5