15 Best Dogs for First-Time Owners


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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, are you seeking the best dog breeds for kids, calm dogs, or dogs that are best for seniors?

“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 behavior specialist with Best Friends Animal Society. “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.

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