Getting a dog can be an intimidating affair, especially if you have never owned one before!  Though you may be predisposed toward one breed over another, first consider some of these important questions  before you purchase a dog. Once you know how old of a dog you want to adopt, then review these breeds below, which are specifically geared toward making your transition to pet-parenthood as easy as possible!

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever: America’s #1 favorite breed is far and away the best kind of dog for rookie pet parents. Labs are mellow when they need to be, and energetic and active when it’s time for adventure or play. They love being with their owner, and they are protective without being dangerous, and they get along fairly well with other pets. Every dog needs good obedience training to be at the top of their game, but the Labrador fits beautifully in any scenario or challenge life can throw your way.  

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Regal and elegant, these dogs were well-behaved enough to be welcome in the royal halls of British monarchs. Not only are they easy to train, these dogs are a quieter breed, who are content to lounge at your feet, scamper in the park, or skip cheerfully around the yard with children. The only downside (if you can call it that) is that they desperately love to be with their owners, and can suffer from separation anxiety when they are not!

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers:   All-around winners, Golden Retrievers are easy dogs to get used to, because they are smart, obedient, and eager to please. They also are perfect for families with children, or other small pets, since they are very nurturing and patient. (But be aware that this silky-locked pup will need regular brushing to limit how much they shed!)

Papillon dog

Papillon

Papillon: Theses mini dogs lack the “small dog” personality that can be so off-putting to unpracticed pet owners.  The Papillon is well-named, as they tend to be social butterflies that just want to spend time with their owner, no matter what they are doing.  They are even-tempered, agile and consistently chipper, so if a drama-free time is what you are looking for, sign up for a Papillon.

Brittany dog

Brittany

Brittany dogs: These friendly pups are the right combination of high-energy and diligent obedience. Once corrected, they are quick to respond, and always aim to please their owner.  Brittany dogs are generally low-drama companions that require little grooming. (If only everyone with the name Brittany was this way!)

Greyhound

Greyhound

Greyhound: Most people assume this famous racing breed would have boundless energy requiring a seasoned dog owner to tame. Fortunately, Greyhounds (though bigger in size) actually love to sleep, lounge and cuddle with their dog owners.  Like all other dogs, they do need a good daily stretch of the legs (maybe a nice jog here and there), but Greyhounds are easy, low-maintenance dogs to care for.

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle

Poodles: The Poodle is often misjudged as prissy, ultra-feminine and less athletic. However, these erstwhile hunting dogs were bred for retrieving prey by swimming!  Not only are their active companions, but they do not shed, and they are one of the most intelligent dog breeds to boot! They respond well to training, the love to cuddle, and there are social companions. Best yet, if you are partial to another dog breed, you will very likely be able to find a cross-breed Poodle mix to suit your taste.  

Pug dog

Pug

Pug:  A poll once reported that Pugs are more likely to be owned by wealthy pet owners. They have the appearance of refinery, are an easy size to tote around, and are easy to groom. But one of the best features of Pugs, is their comedic and warm personalities.  They do not require rigorous exercise, but they will trot along merrily for miles if you go on long excursions. Get the face wipes ready though, because these wrinkly squat-nose dogs need to be freshened up every once in a while.  (If you’d like a Pug hybrid, another great first-time dog is a Pug-Beagle mix called a Puggle. These mild-mannered dogs have the upbeat tenacity of Beagles and all the humor of Pugs.)

Other great breeds for new-parent pets:

Shih Tzus (which are easy-going homebodies with entertaining personalities), Poodle hybrids, Shetland Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds, Etc.  

Want to know which breeds are the worst dogs for first-time owners? Find out and save yourself a headache!

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