Best Dog Breeds to Buy as Pets
Part Two: Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners
The decision to buy and raise a dog is a big one! You’ll need to have time to walk and play with a dog, money to buy dog food, dog toys, and dog health care (vaccinations, vet visits, etc.), and energy to keep up with an always-energetic pup. You’ll also probably need time (and motivation) to pick up dog poop and clean up quite a few messes!
If you’re ready to make your choice and buy your very first dog, the next question is what dog breed is best for a first-time dog owner like yourself. That’s not a hard question to answer, but there is more that goes into it than you might think.
Let’s consider the very best dog breeds for first-time owners and why they truly are the best! That way, you can choose which dog is best for you as you embark on the busy but always rewarding journey of becoming a dog parent.
Choose the Right First Ever Dog
Before you choose a dog, there are a few criteria you want to think about. You want to consider:
- Size. How much space do you have? Do you have a yard, or is your dog going to be stuck in a small apartment most of the day? Your answers will determine how big or small you should go when choosing a dog.
- Energy. Are you young and full of energy? Or older and looking for a quiet companion? Do you love going outside after work or devote most of your energy to relaxing after a hard day of labor? Your answers will determine the type and age of dog you should pick.
- Motivation. Do you want a dog that you’ll have to train? Or one who can be aggressive toward others? Or would you prefer a friendly dog who is already well-trained? Your answers can help you decide what age and personality-type to choose in your new pup.
- Time. Do you have time to groom your dog regularly or take them out for long exercise sessions? How much time you have will determine if you need a lower-maintenance dog or one with more fur and more exercise needs.
Now, let’s look at some of the best dog breeds for first-time dog parents that you might want to consider.
Boxers are known for their strong personalities and protective tendencies. Because they’re fantastic guard dogs but also incredibly loyal and sociable, boxers are a popular choice for families with kids.
Boxers are usually fairly easy to train. They’re also incredibly low-maintenance as far as grooming goes, but they will need daily exercise to keep them in good health and humor. Boxers love human attention and are the perfect pet to bring into a tight-knit family with a love for dogs.
In general, boxers weigh between 55 and 70 pounds. They usually live 10-12 years and don’t often suffer from any serious health issues, though some are more prone to hip dysplasia or Degenerative Myelopathy (a nervous system disease).
Papillon literally means “butterfly” in French, and this is a pretty apt description of this sweet little dog. A papillon is small in stature and bone structure but incredibly cheerful and vibrant in personality. Papillons are not know for being aggressive or shy, but are instead very friendly and highly trainable.
Papillons are fairly low maintenance. They usually have long fur, so they will need some grooming, but shedding isn’t a major issue. Papillons also need moderate exercise but are usually pretty happy to cuddle on your lap after a few minutes of playtime.
Papillons are great with kids and adults alike. They usually weigh between 6 and 10 pounds and are expected to live 14 to 16 years. Serious health issues are very rare in papillons.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an elegant, delicate puppy well-known for having a sweet and friendly demeanor. This dog loves children, the elderly, and people of all ages in between. It’s easy to train and usually pretty quiet.
While these spaniels do have longer coats, their maintenance needs are basic—primarily, you simply need to brush the fur regularly to keep tangles away. Exercise needs are also moderate, as most Cavalier’s are happy with just a brief time of play and walk throughout the day.
Most Cavalier Spaniels weigh between 13 and 18 pounds and tend to live between 12 and 14 years. The most common health problems that you could expect for these pups include patella luxation, hip dysplasia, and eye problems or cataracts, but most live a pretty healthy life into old age.
The Poodle is a versatile dog. Poodles come in all shapes and sizes and tend to be intelligent and easy to train. Poodles generally adapt well to any environment and enjoy children as well as older adults.
Poodles are a bit more high-maintenance than many other dogs in this list. Their coats require regular grooming to manage the ever-growing curls; however, Poodle coats are nearly hypo-allergenic so could be a good option if you’re worried about allergies. Poodles are also quite high-energy and need lots of exercise, both physically and mentally.
The three main sizes for poodles include standard (45 to 70 pounds), miniature (15 to 18 pounds), and toy (5 to 9 pounds). Most Poodles live between 10 and 18 years and rarely suffer from health issues, though hip dysplasia and eye problems are not entirely uncommon.
5. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever, more commonly known as a Lab, is an incredibly popular dog. Labs are easy to train and love people, ranging from kids to elderly adults and everyone in between! Labs are also intelligent and incredibly playful and generally form deep bonds of loyalty with their families.
Labs need very minimal grooming, consisting primarily of regular brushing to prevent shedding, which is pretty common with this type of dog. They do need plenty of exercise, however, and usually enjoy playtime immensely, which is why they’re a very popular pet for families with kids.
Labs usually weigh between 55 and 80 pounds and tend to live between 10 and 12 years. Most don’t have significant health problems, though some suffer from hip dysplasia, eye problems, and occasionally a nervous system disorder called exercise induced collapse. Some Labs are also more susceptible to bloat because of their deep chests.
Choosing Your First Dog
There are so many great options to choose from for your first dog! Of course, there are other popular breeds as well. Some first-time owners enjoy Great Danes, Terriers, and Shih Tzus, to name a few.
Pick one that you find adorable, one that you’ll get along well with, and one that you won’t mind playing with, no matter how much or how little they like to get out! And remember that every dog is unique, so even if you choose one of these breeds, your pet may not be EXACTLY what you expected.
Whatever dog you pick, just make sure you have the time, money, and resources to take good care of them. And if you need help picking up their poop and maintaining a clean yard, don’t hesitate to try out our services! Our team would be happy to help.