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Best Dogs to Own for First-Time Pup Parents

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For whatever reason, so many friends and family members have gotten new dogs lately, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. More fur babies to play with and love! I absolutely love it. A number of these folks are first time pup parents, so they’ve come to us with questions, one of which was, “What are the best dogs to own?”

Gosh, that’s a big question. I mean, all dogs are amazing and have their own unique characteristics. And it also depends on lifestyle. (Our breed selector tool can help.)

But, generally, there are some breeds that are a little easier for new dog parents. We did some research at AKC, Pet 360 and Vet Street, and have come up with recommendations for the best dogs to own for newbies to pup parenthood.

We don’t doubt there are other great dogs and understand it also depends on the individual personality of the animal, but for various reasons explained below, these breeds are a safe bet.

Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dog in the United States for more than 20 years, so there must be something to this. Enthusiastic, sweet and very smart, Labradors get along great with others and are easy to train. They’re loyal and understanding, providing much love for their owners. Yes, the do require a lot of exercise and are quite rambunctious as puppies, but they mellow out with age and training. A great choice! (OK, we’re a bit biased.)

Read more about the Labrador Retriever.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Short Hair

The German Shorthaired Pointer has increased in popularity in recent years, which isn’t surprising. The breed is smart and eager to please and does well with kids and other pets. Like the Labrador, this breed is both an excellent hunter and dedicated companion, full of spirit and bouncy joy.

Read more about the German Shorthaired Pointer.


BoxerBoxers are one of the most underrated dog breeds in our opinion. Their outward appearance looks a lot tougher than their incredibly kind, loving interior. Boxers just love their family so much and can’t get enough affection!  They do require hearty exercise but on the flip side need very little grooming. Definitely one of the best dogs to own!

Read more about the Boxer



Popularized by the legendary Lassie character, the Collie is a sensitive, kind soul who is loyal and dedicated to his family. His gentleness and mild-manner nature make him a great dog for those with kids or other pets and serve as excellent characteristics for folks new to life with a dog. His regal appearance and stoic gaze are sure to impress.

English Springer SpanielSpringer Spaniel

For new dog parents, the English Springer Spaniel is a great size at 40-55 pounds – not too big, not too small…just right. Combine that with a joyful personality, polite demeanor and a heart full of love and affection, and you’ve got a great dog to own and integrate into your family.

Boston Terrier

French Terrier

The Boston Terrier is quite the dapper, charismatic dog. He loves playing games and having fun, and will serve as a very loyal member of the family. And on the plus size, he requires very little grooming. Sweet, smart, small but sturdy, the Boston Terrier is an exceptional choice for new dog parents.



The Papillon is an easy-going, low-maintenance dog who dearly loves his companion (or companions). What more could a novice dog owner want? Don’t let the small size fool you. This pup is anything but weak and fragile. He’ll outrun the other dogs when it comes time to play!

Golden Retriever


Is it any wonder why the Golden Retriever is consistently on the list of most popular dogs? With a low-key yet joyful temperament, this breed is everything you want in a dog. Yes, the excessive hair can be a pain, but all the other amazing qualities more than make up for it. Just have a lint roller handy at all times!

Read more about the Golden Retriever.

Shih TzuShih Tzu

The Shih Tzu packs so much love, enthusiasm and cuteness into their tiny frames. Less demanding than other small breeds, the Shih Tzu is also noted for being less “yappy” than his pint-size counterparts. Polite and peaceful, this dog is the ultimate snuggler.

Read more about the Shih Tzu.


We’ve seen a notable rise in Viszlas at the dog park over the past few years, and after spending time with the breed, I completely understand why. Viszlas possess the qualities we love in Labradors and Golden Retrievers – affection, affability, intelligence, athleticism – but in a smaller package. They love to stick to their owner’s side and provide lots of cuddles, making them one of the best dogs to own.

Like we said before, taking in any dog is amazing, and becoming a dog parent is one of the coolest experiences you’ll ever have. There are no bad choices. But, when asked the question about the best dogs to own, these breeds are the first that come to mind.

Is someone you know thinking of getting a dog for this first time? Share this with them! 

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