Itching for a four-legged BFF? Becoming a first-time dog owner is exciting. However, it can be equally challenging as there are countless breeds to choose from!
Should you choose the debonair Great Dane or opt for a couple of German Shepherd puppies? It may seem an impossible choice, but knowing the energy levels, temperament, and grooming needs of each breed can narrow down your choices.
While that certainly does not give us a 100% guarantee of the dog’s personality, it can give you an idea if a dog’s breed will match your lifestyle or not.
So, without further ado, here are 11 of the best puppies for new pet parents:
1. Bichon Frise
Bischon Frise dogs are an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. They’re happy-go-lucky dogs that get along great with children, and if you’re searching for a puppy that is suitable for enclosed living spaces, Bichon Frise is what you need!
These adorable dogs are also gentle and friendly puppies, making them the perfect companion for your family. However, note that Bichon Frise has low to moderate exercise needs. So, if you’re someone who’s big on exercise and looking for a puppy to accompany you on long jogs several times a day, you may want to have a look at some other breeds because these furballs aren’t too fond of running!
Moreover, it’s also important to note that since this breed comes with a curly coat, you will need to visit a dog groomer often as their curly coat needs to be brushed and trimmed for it to stay clean and healthy. You can, however, try keeping your Bichon Frise’s coat short to avoid frequent grooming.
2. German Shepherds
German Shepherds are popular dogs that have a devoted fanbase worldwide. And rightfully so, both German Shepherd puppies and adult dogs are easy to train, intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and great with kids. What more could a first-time dog owner ask for?
German Shepherd puppies, however, tend to shed quite a bit, need sufficient exercise, and also dislike being by themselves too often. When it comes to a German Shepherd’s training, the process may be overwhelming for a novice dog owner as GSDs can be stubborn and headstrong. However, with patience and the right training technique, it can be accomplished.
Moreover, fortunately, German Shepherds have minimal health problems. Although they are prone to eye and hip diseases, if you get a German Shepherd puppy from an authentic and high-quality breeder, you won’t have to face any serious health issues.
So, if you are someone who enjoys a moderately active lifestyle, outdoor sports and has a gentle but firm hand, then the Alsatian is the perfect choice for you!
3. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are probably the only breed that was bred only to bless us, humans, with companionship. These pocket-sized pooches weigh around 4 to 7kgs; they’re gentle, easygoing, and friendly dogs that adjust to any environment easily.
A Shih Tzu is likely to be a ”one-person dog” while they love everyone and everything in the house, they’re more likely to be closer to one person in your family. Shih Tzus have a medium-high energy level. So, if you’re an exercise lover, a Shih Tzu would happily accompany you in being active.
However, if you want your Shih Tzu to be social and easygoing, it’s necessary to introduce them to other dogs (that are vaccinated and friendly) in the early stages of life. They are also easily trainable and love learning new things.
As for Shih Tzu’s grooming, it requires dedication and commitment. Their long silky hair is high maintenance. So, you will need a regular visit to the groomer. If you cannot maintain their long silky coat, you can consider cutting it short for your convenience.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, social, calm, and easygoing dogs, making them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. Like German Shepherd puppies, Cavaliers are also easy to train, but they are rarely stubborn, unlike GSDs.
Although they need regular grooming and have a medium energy level, they’re overall a low maintenance breed. A short walk, 30 minutes of outdoor playtime, and a game or two provide sufficient exercise for these royal dogs.
Unfortunately, Cavaliers are prone to significant health issues, including heart disease, hip dysplasia, allergies, and eye diseases. Therefore, it’s best to purchase your Cavalier puppy from a reliable breeder to minimize the chance of health issues.
Moreover, make sure that you have the financial means to support your puppy in case it develops said health problems. It’s best to have pet health insurance, regular vet visits, and a careful diet to ensure the health of your puppy.
On the other hand, the pure devotion and love that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels bestow on their owners are worth all the effort! So, if you are someone who loves hugs and cuddles and doesn’t mind taking care of people and animals, then this royal dog is perfect for you.
Pugs, without a doubt, are a popular dog breed, and for a good reason! Their adorable looks, friendly and funny nature, and loyal personality can sway anyone away. Pugs are also obedient, so they are easy to train, a quality that makes them a superb choice for first-time dog owners.
As far as their energy level is concerned, they’re low to medium energy level dogs and need to walk regularly like every other dog. But apart from that, they’re not particularly athletic creatures. A pug, however, does need regular bathing and grooming to maintain healthy skin and coat.
A downside to owning a pug is their many health problems. Due to generational selective breeding practices, pugs have developed significant health issues, including heart diseases, arthritis, hip dysplasia, and more. Unfortunately, they are also prone to obesity.
Therefore, consider purchasing a pug puppy if you have the means to afford their health care expenses. Most importantly, you need to have the emotional strength to support your dog if they develop health issues and a strong heart for a puppy that might not live a long life.
Guardian dogs, by nature, a Boxer is a loyal and loving dog that loves being around people. Boxers are also known to form a close bond with families and are a popular choice for homes with children. They’re known to be affectionate and patient with children while being equally protective.
In addition, Boxers are a medium-high energy breed and require regular exercise every day. So, if you’re someone with an active lifestyle – a Boxer might be the one for you!
On the other hand, while they require plenty of exercise, they have little grooming needs due to their short coat. Moreover, Boxers are a generally healthy breed and enjoy a life span of 11 – 13 years.
Papillon is a toy dog breed that is notoriously affectionate and loyal. These beautiful dogs are easily trainable, portable, and friendly, making them excellent pets for families or individuals.
They also tend to adapt to their environments fairly quickly. So, whether you live in an apartment or in the countryside, a Papillon will gladly offer you their companionship.
Papillons also do not require extensive exercise every day. Once they are adults, 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day is sufficient for these adorable dogs. However, due to their long and silky hair, they require a bit of grooming. So, stay prepared for a few groomer visits!
Poodles are a small to medium-sized adorable dog breed. With their gorgeous fur coats and affectionate personality, they’ve become one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide.
Since their coat is non-shedding, Poodles are the most hypoallergenic dogs globally. Hence, they are an excellent choice for people with allergies.
On the other hand, owners need to groom their coats frequently to prevent mats and keep them healthy. Owners need to brush the beautiful furry coat daily and bathe their Poodle once every 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the dog’s lifestyle.
A Poodle does require sufficient exercise. An adult Poodle is recommended to get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, including walks, playtime, and other physical activities.
Do you like beautiful dogs that don’t make you sneeze your mind off? Choose a Poodle.
Known for competitive running, Whippets also make great house pets.
Whippets are calm, gentle, and loyal dogs, perfect for families and individuals. This dog breed does need plenty of exercise and physical activity to stay fit and release their high to medium energy.
Although they enjoy running around, they will happily laze around with you at home too! When they are not playing, Whippets enjoy sleeping most of the day and chilling. They also have a natural attachment to people, so you will never be lonely with a Whippet.
Interestingly, these dogs don’t shed a lot, so they do not require plenty of grooming. Therefore, a thorough brushing once a week should be enough to keep their coat healthy.
10. Great Dane
Danes are known for being giant, goofy, aloof, and dedicated couch potatoes. Danes are also gentle, calm, loyal dogs that make an excellent choice for families.
A Dane will happily cuddle with you on the couch all day if you let it. So, if you enjoy lazy afternoons and a night of early sleep, Great Danes are your perfect match.
However, note that Danes require regular bathing and grooming, a bath a week is what the Great Dane needs!
11. Labrador Retriever
The most popular breed in the United States for the last 30 years, the Labradoodle Retriever cannot be left out of being one of the best breed choices for first-time dog owners.
Much like German Shepherd puppies, Labradors are ever golden dogs. Known for their affection, loyalty, intelligence, and outgoing personality, they make excellent dogs for people who enjoy an active and social lifestyle.
Labrador Retrievers are friendly, and they get along well with children. They are also obedient and easily trainable.
However, Labrador Retrievers only do well in active households since they’re a high-energy breed. An adult Labrador requires 80-minutes of high-quality exercise every day.
Of course, this cannot be applied to every Labrador since some might be happy with a little less exercise or some may require even more physical activity in a day. On the other hand, Labradors do not require extensive grooming, but they still require regular bathing and brushing to keep their coats healthy and shiny.
Whether you like going on long hiking trips or fishing escapades, or you are a family of four living in the countryside? If you are active and social, the Labrador is the dog for you.
Final Thoughts on German Shepherd Puppies to Whippet Pups – The 11 Best Dog Breeds for Novice Owners
It can be challenging for a new dog owner to decide which dog breed to purchase. But it becomes easy to pick a breed once you identify your requirements.
- Do you have an active lifestyle?
- Are you social?
- Can you afford expensive healthcare bills?
- Can you afford expensive dog diets?
- Are you emotionally strong to deal with a sick dog?
- Can you train a stubborn dog?
- Do you enjoy constant attention, or do you like your space?
The answer to these questions will help you choose a breed that is a perfect companion for you. Ultimately, it’s important to do your research before deciding which breed of dog is right for you, as each has its own unique set of needs and personality traits.
Remember to do your research before bringing home any pup and ask lots of questions at the breeder or shelter so you can find the perfect fit for your family. Have you ever owned a dog from one of these breeds? Let us know in the comments!