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Los Gatos Animal Hospital | Los Gatos

  • 3085 English Creek Ave, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 US
  • (609) 645-2120

10 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

10 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Are you thinking of getting your first dog? If so, there are many factors you need to consider when bringing home a pup that meets your needs and lifestyle. Today, our Egg Harbor Township vets share a list of the 10 best dog breeds for first-time owners.

Getting a New Dog

Congratulations on your decision to adopt your first dog. Taking care of a dog can be a very rewarding and exciting experience. However, there are some challenges you might face, depending on the type of pup you have. This is why it's imperative to carefully think about what you are looking for in a dog and if you are equipped to provide your pooch with everything they need to be happy and healthy.

Several things you should take into consideration include personality, size, grooming requirements, exercise needs, the amount of training required, and more. While each dog has its own unique personality, you can determine the best dog for you by researching the breeds you are considering online and seeing if their characteristics match your lifestyle. For example, if you want a lap dog don't get one that has high levels of energy, or if you live in an apartment, make sure you adopt a smaller dog breed.

To help you pick the best dog for you, our vets at Newkirk Family Veterinarians have listed 10 dog breeds that can be great for first-time owners, and go over the care requirements and characteristics of each.

10 Best Breeds of Dogs For First Time Owners

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This is a small (but not tiny) breed of dog that is friendly, elegant, gentle, relatively quiet, and gets along well with people of all ages from infants to seniors. Their smaller size makes them good for apartments, though they can adapt to any living environment with ease.

They have a medium-length coat that requires regular brushing to prevent knots and a moderate energy level, so basic daily exercise should be enough to keep them healthy.

2. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are happy-go-lucky and adorable small dogs that look like cotton balls. Because of their size and manner, they could be great for apartment lifestyles or families with kids. This pooch is generally easy to train and only needs moderate exercise every day to be happy and stay healthy. They are also easily adaptable.

Keep in mind, this furry companion requires a commitment to regular grooming. They need to visit a groomer on a routine basis for coat trimmings and brushings. One way to make a Bichon Frise's coat more manageable is to keep their hair trimmed short.

3. Boxer

Boxers love being around their people (especially children) and make good protectors. They are loyal, medium to large size dogs that are very playful and have high energy levels. If you live a fairly active lifestyle this could be the dog for you. While these dogs may be hyperactive when they are a puppy, they are trainable and love being given attention during their training.

While this dog does require lots of exercise and a strong training foundation, they only require basic grooming and can be an excellent protective guardian, especially for children.

4. Papillon

These small toy breed dogs are friendly and have a fine-boned structure. They are happy, alert, and generally very friendly. They can do well and be happy in any environment whether it's a city apartment, a house in the suburbs, or a farm in the country. They can also get along very well with kids who are gentle with them. They are very versatile and could make a great exercise partner or even a lap dog if they are provided with the chance to run around and play.

This pooch is fairly easy to train, thrives on a somewhat active lifestyle, and their grooming needs are relatively modest.

5. Poodle

Because poodles are very versatile by nature they will be happy to live in any type of environment, including in homes that have children. There are also three different sizes of poodles (toy, miniature, and standard) and all of them are usually very intelligent and respond well to training.

However, this breed is very active and needs lots of daily exercise and mental stimulation. They also require regular grooming, in order for their fast-growing curly coat to stay maintained.

6. Labrador Retriever

This breed of dog is known for being friendly, loyal, excellent with kids, and one of the most popular dogs in the US. This affectionate pooch is friendly towards strangers and is very trainable so you can teach them almost anything. They are also very energetic and playful, as they love to run and play fetch, but after playing enjoy cuddling with their owners.

This medium to large dog thrives in active households that can give them lots of exercise, they also need basic grooming regularly to minimize shedding.

7. Golden Retriever

Since they are great with kids and eager to please, golden retrievers are often referred to as the ultimate dog for families. This medium to large-sized pup is loyal, affectionate, and highly active. Golden retrievers are able to be happy and thrive in most home settings that have enough space for them.

This dog needs to get in a lot of daily exercise in order to stay healthy and prevent boredom. While this breed is typically relatively easy to train, training is mandatory. We also suggest grooming your golden retriever often to prevent their fur from getting matted and tangled.

8. Pomeranian

This sweet little lap dog generally forms a very close bond with one owner but can do well in family environments. While Pomeranians are very adaptable when it comes to children they do better with older kids that are more gentle with them. This pooch is small and adorable with a big fluffy coat that is easier to maintain than it looks, only requiring regular brushing.

Pomeranians thrive from positive, consistent training, so their boundaries and structure can be set, without training, they can exhibit a very feisty, stubborn personality. On the other hand, they only require basic daily exercise.

9. Yorkshire Terrier

If you are wanting to get a little lapdog the Yorkshire terrier may be the pooch for you. They are great dogs for beginners, affectionate towards their owners, and protective when it comes to strangers. They have moderate energy levels and will do well with daily walks.

Because their coats grow quickly, Yorkshire terriers need a fair amount of attention in regards to their grooming requirements, including regular brushing and trims. We also recommend training this little pup as you would a large dog and providing them with lots of structure, without it they will become vocal and stubborn. But, if given the boundaries and training they need the two of you will have an even stronger bond.

10. Mixed Breed Dogs

Don't forget to consider mixed breed dogs from your local rescue group or shelter when you are looking for the perfect pooch to join your family. While each breed of dog has its own personality and set of grooming and training requirements, the needs for mixed breed dogs will depend on their makeup.

Ask the team at your local rescue or shelter about the traits you are looking for in a dog and they could match you up with the perfect furry friend.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our vets in Egg Harbor Township, NJ today to get more information on the care requirements for different dog breeds, or to arrange an appointment for your new pup.

Always Welcoming New Patients

At Newkirk Family Veterinarians, we always accept new patients into our veterinary family. Our veterinarians are passionate about the health and well-being of Egg Harbor Township pets. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment. 

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