Table of Contents
- Being a new dog owner
- Responsibilities you have to fulfill
- How to choose the right breed for your first dog
- Top 8 Breeds – Best dog to get for first time owner
- 1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- 2. Shih Tzu
- 3. Yorkshire Terrier
- 4. Bichon Frise
- 5. Golden Retriever
- 6. Poodle
- 7. Labrador Retriever
- 8. Papillon
- Wrapping Up
Are you an aspiring dog owner? It’s easy to get sold to the joy of being a pawrent. Having a furry friend allows you to explore a new responsibility and a relationship like never before. However, not all breeds are ideal for newbie owners. Since you don’t have the experience of handling and raising a pooch, you should look for the best dog to get for first time owner. This way, you won’t end up surrendering the Fido to rescue shelters.
Being a new dog owner
Bringing home your first dog isn’t just about enjoying its cuteness. You have to prepare ahead so your pooch will thrive in your care.
The first thing you have to do is to dog-proof your home. Next, decide about the breed that you want to take care of. Below, we listed some tips to help you narrow down your options. We also suggested eight breeds which you could also consider.
Take note that owning a dog is a big decision. It’s not just a fancy choice because your friend has one and you like the idea of getting a furry friend as well.
Are you really ready to own a dog? In this video, Doctor Mike guides us in knowing the answer:
Dog ownership is a big responsibility…
You have to understand that the Fido’s life is in your hands. It’s like raising a child you didn’t conceive.
Also, not all households will thrive with a dog. If you’re often traveling and away for days, getting a dog might not be a great move yet. You’ll leave the pooch lonely.
Nevertheless, if you think that you’re ready, knowing your responsibilities is the next step.
Responsibilities you have to fulfill
According to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen’s (AKC CGC) Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge, the following are your responsibilities. These are general points, but it covers most of the essential aspects:
*Keeping your dog’s safety
This includes getting the doggo microchipped and ensuring that they are on a leash whenever you’re taking them outdoors. Also, this covers your control over your pet’s environment and on what could be harmful to them.
*Providing your dog’s needs
You have to give your doggo healthy and enough food, water, shelter, and healthcare. This also includes regular veterinarian checkups and grooming sessions. Moreover, getting your dog vaccinated is your duty as the owner.
*Preventing your dog from harming others
You must keep your dog from violating the rights of other people. The pooch should never be allowed to run loose in the neighborhood or left wondering on the hallway of a hotel. Also, you should train your dog to respect the space of others.
*Improving your dog’s quality of life
As the owner, you have to provide enough playtime, exercise, and care for your dog. You should be a caring pet owner for your dog to thrive.
How to choose the right breed for your first dog
The breed is the most crucial part about the best dog to get for first time owner. Not all dog breeds are suitable for all owners since they have varying energy levels, personality, maintenance needs, and instincts.
For beginners and first-time owners, we have to ensure that the breed matches your preferences, abilities, and personality. Here are some of the important things you have to ask your self:
-What do you want in a dog?
Do you want a jolly playmate in the yard? A couch potato that will chill with you at home? Like humans, dogs have different personalities, so you have to decide what you really want.
Never get a breed just because it’s cute. Remember, Chow Chows look huggable, but they can be aggressive and stubborn.
-Consider the size
This is crucial, especially if you live in an apartment. Small dogs are easier to keep since they don’t eat up too much space. But if you have a yard, you can get a large dog. Still, you have to check their temperament. Not all small breeds are good for first-time owners and not all large breeds require an experienced owner.
Also, small breeds are less tolerant of cold temperatures. So if you’re in a warmer area, a small doggo will likely thrive on your care.
In addition, small dogs are easier to control, plus they are generally safer to be around kids. However, you should be gentle as their small bodies can get hurt easily.
-Think about your lifestyle
This is one thing that many pet owners always forget. You can have the smartest and cutest dog, but if they don’t match your lifestyle, you’re just doing the pooch a big disservice.
As you know, there are athletic and energetic dogs. These Fidos need exercise and playtime to stay happy and to combat any negative behavior.
Meanwhile, there are also laidback ones who prefer cuddling with their owners. Mostly, lapdogs will be happy with a small amount of exercise. However, most of them will follow you around.
-Temperament and personality
Next, ask yourself, can you handle a bold and willful dog? Or do you prefer a friendlier one that will be docile? This is an essential consideration so you can be the alpha between you and your pet.
As you know, willful dogs owned by humans that lack leadership often end up being rude and brash. With this, you have to match your personality to the dog’s temperament. It may not be the breed that you really want right now, but as a newbie, it’s the better choice.
-Stick to a low-maintenance breed
If possible, try to stick to low-maintenance dogs. This is so you won’t be overwhelmed with the care they need. Still, you’re free to opt for high maintenance dogs if their personality really matches yours.
Since you’re just learning the ropes, it’s best to start with the least demanding breed.
-Manage your expectations
You should always manage your expectations when getting a dog for the first time. First of all, it’s not always a bed of roses. Your new dog will have accidents in the house, bite you, vocalize at night, chew on things, and other common problems.
So regardless of the breed that you’ll choose, always remember that each dog is different from the other. Behavioral problems will arise at first, but it’s your role to fix it as your dog grows.
-Age and lifespan
No one wants a dog to be gone too fast. These pooches can be loyal and great companions. However, small breeds tend to live longer than large breeds. This is due to their smaller size, which means they experience less strain on their body organs.
Usually, small breeds can live for up to 16 years, although there are records of those surviving for 18 years. However, for large breeds, you have 10 to 12 years on average.
Anyway, your dog’s lifespan depends on how you raise it and if it has any congenital problems.
If you want a pup with good health, always purchase one from a professional breeder. Also, ask for health certificates and proof that the pup is healthy and has come from an excellent bloodline.
If you’re adopting from a rescue shelter, ask the staff about the dog’s health condition.
Top 8 Breeds – Best dog to get for first time owner
1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This cute breed is a sporty type, but it also loves cuddles. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly to everyone and is the best dog to get for first time owner.
It’s also a smart breed that sheds less than most breeds with flowy coats. Cavs are playful, but their energy level is manageable and they are easy to handle.
Even if they are sporty, this Spaniel isn’t a wanderer. It prefers staying by your side most of the time. When it comes to grooming, their flowy coat may require more attention. Still, it’s worth it considering their charming personality.
2. Shih Tzu
For aspiring dog owners who can’t deal with too much barking, Shih Tzus are the best dog to get for first time owner. These lapdogs prefer relaxing inside the house with their owners. Just like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Shih Tzus are friendly to everyone.
This breed is also perfect for apartment living. Also, don’t let their lustrous coat fool you. This breed sheds a little and does not drool. Still, regular grooming is necessary to keep their regal look.
Moreover, Shih Tzus are intelligent, but you have to be more patient with training as their playfulness can get the best of them.
3. Yorkshire Terrier
If you’re looking for a feisty pet that can keep up with your active lifestyle, the Yorkshire Terrier might be the breed for you. Yorkies thrive in the care of novice owners and they can also adjust to apartment living.
Although this little doggo is affectionate to its master, they can be snappy around toddlers, strangers, and other dogs. Care and proper training should make them a well-rounded pet.
Yorkies are small, but they often have personality twice their size. This could make training challenging for you.
4. Bichon Frise
Looking for another lapdog? You might love the Bichon Frise breed as the best dog to get for first time owner. These are cheerful and willful pets that surely loves playtime. Even with intense energy, they are affectionate to everyone and will do well with inexperienced owners.
Take note, though, that Bichon Frise dogs have a stronger prey drive than other canines of its size. Still, they are smart dogs that can easily yield to consistent training.
Also, since this is a small breed, they tend to do better in warmer climates, but not too hot.
5. Golden Retriever
Well, if we’re going to talk about charm and affection, nothing beats the ye ‘ol Goldie. Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. for good reasons. They are lovable, loyal, affectionate, and friendly.
Although a large dog, Goldies often think that they are lapdogs. They make fabulous pets for newbie owners with a background on pet ownership. They are also the best dog to get for first time owner who likes large doggos.
However, you should know that Goldies aren’t ideal for apartment living. They need a yard where they can romp and play.
Also, Goldies shed and drool a lot. But if we’re going to assess it, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to this breed.
Poodles can come in Standard, Miniature, and Toy sizes. All of these are equally intelligent canines that make amazing household dogs. They make the best dog to get for first time owner, more so for the elderly.
Poodles love being around their owners and they aren’t demanding of maintenance. In fact, they shed very little, which is why they are one of the most popular hypoallergenic breeds.
However, Poodles tend to mouth things when they get bored. It’s important to give this breed enough playtime and things to get busy at like toys and chews.
7. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are the number one dog option among dog owners in the United States. Like Goldies, they are friendly to everyone and they are very smart.
Labs are also easy to groom due to their shorter coat. When it comes to training, it’s a joy to work with this breed. Like their cousin breed, they love playing and burning it on the yard.
When you own a Labrador Retriever, you have to watch their weight as they are susceptible to obesity.
Last but not the least is the Papillon breed. This one is a descendant of various Spaniel breeds which is why they share the same friendly disposition. They shed less and they are fairly easy to groom.
However, Papillons are very energetic dogs. Unless you are active, it might not be ideal to choose this breed. Papillons used to compete to agility competitions, which is why you shouldn’t expect them to be couch potatoes.
The best dog to get for first time owner is the one that matches your preference, personality, and abilities. Always look through these aspects before you even choose a breed. In the end, getting the right breed will dictate how your relationship with the pooch will form.
Do you have more breed suggestions? Share it with us in the comment section!