10 Best Dog Breeds for New Owners - Pet Hub USA

10 Best Dog Breeds for New Owners

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Choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle and personality is crucial for the happiness of both you and your new furry friend. But where should you start? Today, we’re taking a look at our picks for the 10 best dog breeds for first-time dog owners.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Dog Breed

Bringing a furry friend into your life is an exciting journey, but selecting the right dog breed is a decision that should be approached thoughtfully. Before you welcome a new pup into your home, there are several factors to consider.

Important concerns when it comes to choosing the right dog for you include the type of dwelling you live in – apartment, house, or condo – whether you have a yard, where you can take the dog for walks, your specific lifestyle, the time you can dedicate to training and exercise, and the size of your family.

By taking these elements into account, you’ll be better prepared to choose a dog breed that matches your lifestyle and preferences.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
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Breed Info • Labrador Retriever

AKC Breed Group: Sporting Group
Average Height: 21.5-24.5 inches
Average Weight: 55-80 pounds
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
Trainability: Easy
Energy Level: High
Shedding: High
Barking: Medium

If you’re looking for a friendly pup, a Labrador Retriever is the way to go. In fact, Labrador Retrievers are renowned for their friendly and outgoing nature. Plus, they are intelligent and highly trainable, making them an excellent choice for any new dog owner. Their affectionate demeanor and love for children also make them wonderful family pets.


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Labs thrive on human interaction and are often eager to please, making training sessions enjoyable and productive. They just want to be loved! And, while they do need regular exercise to maintain their health, their adaptable nature allows them to fit into various living situations, from apartments to larger homes. Simply put, labs are some of the most adaptable dogs out there.

  • Pros: Intelligent, affectionate, good with kids. 
  • Cons: Requires regular exercise.

2. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever
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Breed Info • Golden Retriever

AKC Breed Group: Sporting Group
Average Height: 21.5-24.5 inches
Average Weight: 55-75 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Trainability: Easy
Energy Level: Medium
Shedding: High
Barking: Low

Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle and patient temperament, making them fantastic companions for families with children. They love playing with kids and are great for active families. They’re also very affectionate and loyal, which leads to them forming strong bonds with their owners. Not to mention, their eagerness to learn and please makes training a breeze, and their adaptability allows them to thrive in different environments.

And don’t let all that hair scare you away! While Golden Retrievers’ beautiful coats require regular grooming to keep them looking their best, their friendly disposition and joyful attitude more than make up for the extra care they need. You won’t ever have to question a Golden Retriever’s love!

  • Pros: Friendly, obedient, patient. 
  • Cons: Frequent grooming is needed.

3. Beagle 

Beagle
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Breed Info • Beagle

AKC Breed Group: Hound Group
Average Height: 15 inches max and under
Average Weight: 20-30 pounds, or less if under 13 inches
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years
Trainability: Medium
Energy Level: High
Shedding: Medium
Barking: High

Beagles are sociable and curious dogs that bring a lot of energy and playfulness to any household. They’re adaptable and do well in a variety of living situations, making them suitable for apartments or houses with yards. Plus, with their medium build, they won’t need a lot of space to be happy. And, while they have a bit of a stubborn streak, they respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

Beagles are also great for active owners who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and jogging, as they love exploring their surroundings. Take them to the park or the beach and they’ll be happy for hours. Oh, and if you’re looking for someone to run around with your kids in the yard… get yourself a Beagle! Simply put, they’re a great family pet.

  • Pros: Sociable, curious, adaptable. 
  • Cons: Can be stubborn, and require mental stimulation.

4. Poodle

Poodle
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Breed Info • Poodle

AKC Breed Groups: Toy: Toy group/Miniature: Non-sporting Group/Standard: Non-sporting Group
Average Height: Toy: No more than 10 inches/Miniature: 10-15 inches/Standard: over 15 inches
Average Weight: 4-6 pounds/Miniature: 10-15 pounds/Standard: 40-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-18 years
Trainability: Easy
Energy Level: Medium
Shedding: Low
Barking: Low

Don’t let allergies keep you from having a family dog! Poodles are not only highly intelligent and versatile dogs, but their hypoallergenic coat options make them ideal for families with allergies. Plus, their intelligence makes them quick learners and they excel in various doggy sports and activities. Needless to say, you won’t have to spend too long teaching your poodle basic commands.

Poodles come in different sizes – standard, miniature, and toy – so you can choose the one that best suits your living situation. So, whether you live in a studio apartment, townhouse, or big mansion there’s a poodle out there for you. Their coats do require regular grooming to maintain their appearance, but their friendly and loyal natures make the effort well worth it.

  • Pros: Highly trainable, hypoallergenic coat options. 
  • Cons: Regular grooming is necessary.

5. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise
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Breed Info • Bichon Frise

AKC Breed Group: Non-Sporting Group
Average Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
Average Weight: 12-18 pounds
Life Expectancy: 14-15 years
Trainability: Easy
Energy Level: Medium
Shedding: Low
Barking: Low

Looking for a dog that doesn’t require ample amounts of physical activity? A Bichon Frise may be the way to go! First things first, Bichon Frises are known for their playful and gentle personalities. They’re great companions for families, singles, or seniors, and their small size makes them well-suited for apartment living. They don’t need a lot of space to be happy!

Bichons are also very adaptable and enjoy spending time with their owners, whether it’s going for walks or simply snuggling on the couch. And, despite requiring regular grooming, the hypoallergenic coat of the Bichon Frises reduces the risk of triggering allergies. These pups are loveable, low-maintenance, and have a much longer life expectancy than most dogs, making them great options for anyone interested in being a dog owner.

  • Pros: Playful, gentle, good for small living spaces. 
  • Cons: Needs regular grooming.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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Breed Info • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

AKC Breed Group: Toy Group
Average Height: 12-13 inches
Average Weight: 13-18 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Trainability: Easy
Energy Level: Medium
Shedding: Medium
Barking: Medium

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them a popular choice for families and individuals alike. They also get along well with other pets and are especially good with children, showcasing their friendly disposition. So, whether you have kids or another pet at home (or both!), there’s a solid chance a Cavalier would adapt well to their new living situation.

Not to mention, Cavaliers don’t need a lot of space to be happy. In fact, they thrive in apartments just as much as they thrive in homes with big backyards. And, while they do enjoy a good playtime, these dogs also love lounging and cuddling, making them a great match for those seeking a loving and loyal companion. Simply put, they’re just as content chilling on the couch as they are playing in the grass.

  • Pros: Affectionate, adaptable, good with other pets. 
  • Cons: May have health issues.

7. French Bulldog

French Bulldog
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Breed Info • French Bulldog

AKC Breed Group: Non-Sporting Group
Average Height: 11-13 inches
Average Weight: Under 28 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Trainability: Medium
Energy Level: Low
Shedding: Low
Barking: Low

Aw, look at that face! French Bulldogs, often referred to as “Frenchies,” are characterized by their charming personalities and compact size. They are also known for their laid-back and easygoing nature, making them great pets for apartment dwellers or those with limited space. Let’s be honest, Frenchies don’t need that much room to run with their little legs!

Don’t want a dog with a ton of energy? No problem! Frenchies are relatively low-energy dogs, so they don’t require excessive exercise. But, like all dogs, they do enjoy short walks and playtime. Their affectionate nature and friendly demeanor make them wonderful companions for families and individuals seeking loyal and entertaining pets. Plus, they’re just so darn cute to look at.

8. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
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Breed Info • Boston Terrier

AKC Breed Group: Non-Sporting Group
Average Height: 10-12 inches
Average Weight: 12-25 pounds
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
Trainability: Easy
Energy Level: Medium
Shedding: Medium
Barking: Low

Boston Terriers, often nicknamed “The American Gentleman,” are a breed known for their friendly and sociable personality. In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll play with just about anyone — or any dog — they come in contact with. Not to mention, they also form strong bonds with their owners and get along well with children and other pets.

Bostons are adaptable dogs that do well in various living situations, and their moderate exercise needs make them suitable for families with different activity levels. Whether you want a dog that plays outside or can hang on the couch, a Boston Terrier is a dog that can do both. Plus, their tuxedo-like coat, pointy ears, and expressive eyes add to their charm, making them a beloved choice for first-time dog owners.

  • Pros: Friendly, low-maintenance grooming, good for families. 
  • Cons: Prone to some health issues.

9. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
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Breed Info • Shih Tzu

AKC Breed Group: Toy Group
Average Height: 10.5 inches max and under
Average Weight: 9-16 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-18 years
Trainability: Medium
Energy Level: Medium
Shedding: Low
Barking: Medium

How could you ever say no to that face?! We certainly wouldn’t be able to. As many know, Shih Tzus are small, affectionate dogs known for their friendly and outgoing natures. And, because of their small size, they are well-suited for apartment living. They’re also great options for older people, as they don’t require a lot of exercise or need much space to be entertained.

Shih Tzus also form strong attachments to their owners and thrive on companionship. So, if you’re looking for a dog that’ll be by your side 24/7, the Shih Tzu is the way to go. And, while Shih Tzus’ long coat requires regular grooming, their affectionate demeanor, and love for being part of the family, make them a rewarding choice for new dog owners looking for a devoted and charming companion.

  • Pros: Friendly, affectionate, ideal for apartment living.
  • Cons: Requires regular grooming.

10. Pug

Pug
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Breed Info • Pug

AKC Breed Group: Toy Group
Average Height: 10-13 inches
Average Weight: 14-18 pounds
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
Trainability: Medium
Energy Level: Low
Shedding: Medium
Barking: Low

Pugs are characterized by their charming and comical personalities. They are also known for their playful nature and love for human attention. Simply put, all you have to do to entertain a pug is simply spend a little time with it. Pugs have a laid-back attitude, making them well-suited for apartment living or homes with small yards.

Pugs do require some regular maintenance due to their short coat, but their loving disposition and entertaining antics make them wonderful companions for new dog owners. If you can put up with their snoring, you’ll have a dog that’ll love you for a very long time.

  • Pros: Playful, charming, great with kids.
  • Cons: Prone to health problems, may snore.

Finding Your Perfect Canine Companion

Regardless of the breed you choose, every dog requires love, care, and attention. Take the time to research and understand the needs of your chosen breed, and be prepared to invest time and effort into training, exercising, and building a strong bond. It’s important to figure out what you’re looking for in a dog and ensure the breed you choose matches those qualifications. Do you want a dog that’s good with kids? Is hypoallergenic? Gets along well with other pets? These are all important things to consider.

But, once you have your questions answered, you’ll know in your gut what breed is right for you. And the truth is, you can’t go wrong! All dogs offer something unique that is worth celebrating and loving. So, with the right breed and your commitment, you’re sure to welcome a loyal and loving companion into your life.


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