Breed Tips

Great Dogs for First-Time Owners

Thinking about getting a dog? It's a fantastic choice! We can help you navigate any doubts and find the perfect pup to match your lifestyle.

Owning a dog is a big commitment, and some breeds require more experience than others. Before diving into specific breeds, consider why you want a dog.

Do you crave companionship? A furry friend for the kids? Maybe a workout buddy or a reason to get outside more? Identifying your needs will help us match you with the perfect breed.

Keep reading to explore great dog options for first-time owners!

Guard Dogs for First-Time Owners

Now if you’re looking for a dog that can protect you while you go out, and guard your house when you’re not around or at night, some breeds specialize in it.

  1. German Shepherd – One of the most popular pet dog breeds in the world, German Shepherds are great companions, and the fact that they look like a wolf explains their ability to guard you against all threats. You would be happy to know that there are 3.5 million German Shepherds in the US alone. We have an entire article for you that explains the lifetime costs of owning a German Shepherd.

  2. Boxer – Fun-loving, intelligent, and playful, Boxers are another great first-time guard dog for you. And they are great with kids. So that’s two of your needs taken care of if you’re looking for it.

  3. Doberman Pinscher – These dogs might look scary at first glance, but they're softies from the inside and are loyal by nature. And if your search is for a guard dog, you won’t find a better breed. They are extremely alert and tend to react to threats very quickly. Learn about the lifetime cost of owning a Doberman Pinscher.

The Great Dane, Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, and American Bulldog are some other breeds you may want to look at. 

Having said that, we would like to tell you that guard dogs may not be the best option for first-time dog parents. They can be intimidating to certain people and also require a significant amount of training and socialization. But with the right guidance, any of these breeds can make great pets and guardians!

Big Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Big dogs have an appeal of their own. And they can be great for first-time dogs owners as well. Some of the best include:

  1. Golden Retriever – Big dog, companion dog, dog for kids, for health, or for socialization, Golden Retrievers can be a good fit for all of these needs. They are intelligent, playful, loyal, and beautiful. Undoubtedly one of the most popular dogs in the US. And they won’t need a lot of training. Again, we have an article dedicated to the lifetime costs of a Golden Retriever. Have a look!

  2. Labrador Retriever – Another extremely popular, sweet, loving, and loyal breed with a mix of mischief, Labradors are one of the best options for first-time dog parents. Learn about the lifetime cost of caring for a Labrador Retriever.

  3. Bull Mastiff – Don't let the sheer size of these dogs intimidate you. English Mastiffs are gentle, and loving, and make great companions for kids. However, because of their size, they may not be recommended for very young kids. Discover the lifetime cost of owning a Bull Mastiff.

Irish Wolfhounds, Weimaraners, and English Springer Spaniels are a few other large dog breeds that you may want to consider as a first-time dog parent.

Best Small Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Big dogs may have their appeal, but small dogs have a unique charm, energy level, and cuteness. Many American families choose to adopt a small dog. Some of the best breeds include:

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - Gentle attentiveness of a toy breed with the athleticism of a sporting spaniel, that’s the Cav for you. Known for its connection to the British Royals, this breed is very easy-going, low-maintenance, and great with kids as well as elderly people in the family. It justly tops the list of ‘best small dog breeds of all time’ in multiple lists. 

  2. Shih-Poo – You may have heard about Shih-Tzu and Poodle but if you want the best of both, there’s Shih-Poo. With Shih-Tzu’s friendly and loyal nature with Poodle’s intelligence, these dogs make great first-time dogs for new parents. 

  3. Yorkshire Terrier – ‘The Yorkies’ are very popular in the US and if you look at their beautiful and adorable face, you’ll know why! Suitable for apartment living, these dogs come with a gentle temperament but with a tendency to bark, making them a little feisty.

The Pug, Bichon Frise, Miniature Poodle, and Papillon are some other small dog breeds that are suitable for first-time dog owners.  

How to Choose Your First Dog

When selecting a breed, it's important to consider factors such as energy levels, size, looks, and grooming needs, as these can vary significantly between breeds. For example, if you're an active person, you might prefer a breed like the Labrador Retriever, which has endurance and can go running with you. On the other hand, if you're looking for a calm lap dog, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel might be a better fit. 

Are Goldendoodles Good for First-Time Dog Owners?

We’ve seen people ask this specific question a lot so we thought of answering it in this article. And the answer is yes, goldendoodles are a good option to consider for first-time dog owners. The combination of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle makes them intelligent, gentle, and eager to please; all of this in a compact size. They do have high grooming needs and their energy levels would need a little more time and energy from your side. 

Get Your First Dog an Insurance Plan Today!

Bringing a dog to the family is one of the best decisions you will make in your entire life and we assure you that you will not regret it. However, they do come like our own babies and sometimes taking care of them can turn out to be very expensive. If they develop infections, digestive tract issues, physical injuries, or medical conditions like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, etc. the treatment costs can run into thousands. 

Not if you have pet insurance though! At Spot Pet Insurance, we cover dental cleaning, wellness exams, deworming, flea/heartworm prevention, fecal and blood tests, behavioral issues, alternate therapies, and more. And our plans start from as low as $10 per month. You’ll be able to save thousands in your dog’s lifetime and be able to get the best treatment for your dog so that you can spend some amazing time with your dog without worrying about vet fees and treatment costs.

Key Takeaways


What are some great dogs for first-time owners? There is nothing called a bad dog or a better dog. Every dog breed has its unique characteristics that make people fall in love with them. It depends on your lifestyle, reason for getting a dog, financial condition, etc. We hope the article did help you narrow down the choices. For the next step, we would recommend getting to know more about the lifetime costs of the breed, medical conditions that the breed is prone to, grooming requirements, and other factors that will help you get a better picture of your life after the dog becomes family.

Dog Insurance can help provide financial assistance for eligible veterinary care in case of unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Our plans can help pet parents manage the eligible costs of covered veterinary care and help ensure that their pets can receive the best treatment possible. Here are some ways that Spot pet insurance plans can help:

  • Covers Unexpected Veterinary Costs: Spot pet insurance plans cover the eligible costs of unexpected veterinary treatments, such as emergency surgeries, X-rays, and prescription medications for covered conditions.

  • Customizable Plans: Choose your annual limit, reimbursement rate, and deductible from a range of options, and create the plan that will fit the needs of your pet and your budget. 

  • Peace of Mind: With Spot pet insurance plans, pet parents can know that they can provide the best care for their pet with less worry about the cost.

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