So you want a dog but you have never owned a dog before. Fear not, there are some dogs that are naturally suited for first time owners. They are lower maintenance and are quick to learn hence those who never had dogs before can easily fall into a routine.
Before we find out which are the 10 best dogs for first time owners, let’s look into some of the questions below.
Should I Get A Big Dog Or A Small Dog?
Though there are exceptions to this rule, first time owners should ideally go for smaller dogs. Smaller dogs need lesser exercise and are easier to manage. If your gets into a fight with another dog, you can just pick them up and take them away – something you can’t do with big dogs.
Secondly, you can get away with teaching them only basic skills like potty training and a few important commands. You won’t have to teach them not to jump on people, if you don’t want to, or not to eat off the kitchen counter etc.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Not all small dogs are ideal for first time owners. The Beagle, for instance, is not the best choice for those who haven’t had dogs before. They are small and they don’t have intense workout requirements, but, they are not the easiest to train.
Beagles fall into the hound category. This means that they are most likely to get easily distracted by their strong sense of smell. Beagles are very vocal dogs so they may not be the best dog for apartments.
Should I Get A Mix Breed Or A Purebreed?
One good thing about pure breeds is that they are predictable. You can predict their personality, size, lifespan, health problems etc. With mix breeds, you cannot.
If you are getting a mix breed puppy, you will not know for sure how big they will become as an adult and what their dietary requirements will be. But, if you plan to adopt a dog, there are ways to find the best dog for you by assessing their energy levels and temperament.
Use their energy levels and their demeanour as a guide to picking an ideal dog from the shelter.
But if you feel that size and demeanour are essential for you, you can have a look at the easy to manage dogs for first time owners, listed below.
10 Best Dogs For First Time Owners
The list below rates the dogs as the easiest to the least easy breeds for first time pet owners. There are always exceptions in every breed but as a general rule, the breeds below are ideal for first time pet owners.
Pugs are quite popular in India. They are tiny dogs with a lot of personality! They don’t require extensive physical activity. One to two walks a day should be enough.
They are generally friendly dogs with a goofy personality and are a blast to have at home. Since they belong to the molosser family, they do need to be groomed every day around the muzzle area.
Kids need to be taught to be gentle with these dogs as well.
Pomeranians are also amazing dogs for first time owners. They are a toy breed and they don’t require severe exercise. Just like the Pug, one to two walks a day is enough for them.
They also love the company of their humans and, since they are wary of strangers, they can definitely alert you in case of an intruder.
With Pomeranians, you must keep in mind that they are feisty and they don’t shy away from nipping if they ever feel threatened.
Socialise with calmer dogs that don’t play too rough and also teach kids how to play safely with Pomeranians. Pomeranians are great family dogs but if your kids are younger than 7, or don’t understand how to be gentle, it would be best to look for other dogs.
3. Indian Spitz
The Spitz is perfect for the Indian climate. They are an Indian breed and are a little bigger than Pomeranians. They are more sturdy with the heat and the cold.
The Indian Spitz is quite popular in India and they are easy to find. They are also less prone to sickness and allergies. The Indian Spitz is much more adaptable to little children and requires little exercise throughout the day.
4. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos are little dogs, perfect for the apartments. Apart from frequent brushing and grooming, they are fairly easy to have in the house. Playing around in the apartment and a walk a day is usually enough for them.
They considered lucky dogs and were earlier gifted as a good luck token. But, we feel that all dogs are lucky if they are with their ideal family.
If you are planning to gift a Lhasa Apso to someone, we would highly recommend that you talk to them first. Only gift a Lhasa Apso if you are absolutely sure they can take care of them. Dogs that are gifted are also most likely to be abandoned as they grow older.
5. Shih Tzu
Here’s another pocket-size family dog that is perfect for first-time pet parents. Shih Tzus are tiny dogs, perfect or the apartment. They get along well with everyone, both people and dogs. But, like for most small dogs, owners need to caution guests and children to be gentle with Shih Tzus.
They need to be brushed every day. But apart from brushing and grooming, they aren’t much of a trouble when it comes to exercising. They are generally laid back and a few small walks a day are usually enough for them.
They are also the perfect pocket-size guard dogs for an apartment. While they cannot fight intruders they are wary of strangers and will alert their family in case of an intrusion.
Poodles are not as easy to find in India. But, if you like intelligent dogs, a slightly demanding grooming requirement, the Poodle is ideal for you.
Of the aforementioned dogs, the Poodle requires a little more attention because they are very intelligent and they have grooming requirements. Hence, we would suggest that it’s ideal for first time owners who can dedicate at least 2-4 hours to their dogs.
Interestingly the Poodle has a hypoallergenic coat. So, if you are allergic to most other dog coats, you are less likely to be allergic to a Poodles coat.
Poodles come in various sizes, but for first time owners, the toy and the dwarf Poodle is most ideal. Their smaller size makes them easier to manage.
7. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is very popular in India. They are eager to please and love to hang out with their humans.
Since Goldies are big dogs, they certainly have a few extra requirements than other small breeds. For starters, they are not lapdogs and they need to be exercised every day. A long walk may be great, but additionally, you should teach them a game of fetch, or let them run for a bit.
Being big dogs, training is crucial for them. But since they are smart dogs, who love to make their humans happy, training them is often a piece of cake.
Labradors and Golden Retrievers are perfect for first time pet parents who are willing to invest a little extra time in their training and grooming.
Also, pay attention to their diet because these dogs do have the tendency to gain weight if they aren’t monitored.
9. Great Dane
Great Danes are the tallest dog breeds in the world. Some may argue that it may not be the best dog for first timers but you can bring a Great Dane as long as you know what you are getting into.
They are, for the most part docile, and they don’t require a lot of energy outlets. A few walks a day is enough for them, after which, they would be very happy to take a nap on the sofa.
Remember that Great Danes grow quite large, and require a lot of food. They grow to about 2 and a half feet tall and need enough nutritious food to help them grow and remain healthy.
Though Great Danes are docile for the most part, you need to anticipate some rambunctious puppy behaviours. The only difference is, when they are puppies, they are larger than most medium size dogs, so training and vigilance become mandatory for them.
Puppy behaviour goes well into their first year so be sure to be an active pet parent who is eager to train.
10. Grey Hound
Here’s a breed for first time pet parents who live an active lifestyle. Grey Hounds are the fastest dogs in the world, so, it would be cruel to expect them to become couch potatoes. They need to run!
They are ideal for pet parents who have a farmhouse or a lawn where their hound has enough space to run in. Apartment owners can also have a Greyhound as long as they take them out for a sprint every day.
If their workout needs are well taken care of, they are actually pretty docile and laid back dogs. Grey Hounds can be suitable for first timers but they are definitely not for everyone. So, if you are interested to get a Grey Hound, make sure that your lifestyle is suitable for them.
They are ideal for pet parents who are willing to take out time to exercise their dog.
Lastly, we want to add a disclaimer. There have been instances when first time owners have been amazing parents to ‘difficult’ breeds and on the flip side, have been terrible to easy-going breeds.
The truth is, you can own any breed for the first time if you are mentally prepared for the amount of work and dedication it will take to raise a dog. We wish you all the best!
Which dog are you planning to get? Let us know in the comments section below.