Dogs that are good for first-time pet owners

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Havanese dogs are smart, extroverted performers who don't require a lot of room to roam. Learn more about living with Havanese puppies and dogs.
Few dogs fit the description of majestic but gentle giants as well as the loving, sweet, and mild-tempered Newfoundland. Easy-going with children and protective of their families, learn why they’re devoted pets.
Cairn terriers are loyal, intelligent, and playful little dogs who are just as happy snuggling on our laps as they are accompanying us on hikes. Learn more about cairn terriers’ behaviors and traits here.
Intelligent and naturally curious, English cocker spaniels are compact hunting dogs bred to flush and retrieve game. These charming and cheerful pups also make great family pets—kids and seniors alike will find a loyal companion in this medium-size breed that adapts well to apartment living and the great outdoors. Learn more about English cocker spaniel colors, size, and temperament here.
Pomeranians are small in stature but big in personality. Alert, intelligent, and confident, Pomeranians have a beautiful coat and a charming personality to match. Read on to learn more about this little, loveable breed.
Patient and caring Saint Bernards aren’t just known for their massive size—they have huge hearts, too, full of devotion for their human companions. Intelligent, mellow, and playful, learn how they can protect and adore a family like yours.
Chihuahuas are charming, smart, and sassy. Small in size, but big in personality, Chihuahuas are beloved by owners for their unique appearance and entertaining attitudes. Learn more about living with this pint-sized breed.
Intelligent, affectionate, and incredibly cute, the bichon frise could easily be mistaken for a child’s toy. This happy-go-lucky breed originated in the Mediterranean islands, which could be why they’re so easygoing and fun-loving. Bichons are the perfect companion for families, elderly couples, and everyone in between.
You know that jowly face, those floppy ears. Basset hounds are excellent tracking dogs, but they're just as happy to spend time napping with your family. Learn more about living with basset hounds.
Border terriers are intelligent, energetic, and affectionate little dogs with big personalities and low grooming needs. They make great family pets and are easy to train. Learn more about living with border terriers.
While their flowing white locks draw attention, Maltese are especially beloved for their smart, gentle nature. Learn more about living with the Maltese.
Great Danes are enormous, gentle dogs that love spending time with their family, whether guarding them, or lazing at their elbows. Is this gentle gargantuan dog breed right for you?
One of a small number of AKC-recognized breeds to be wholly developed within the 20th century, the Boykin spaniel is a brilliant, energetic, all-American dog with an eye toward hunting and water retrieval.
With the intelligence of a poodle and the loving nature of a cocker spaniel, it’s no surprise the cockapoo is one of the most sought-after crossbreeds in America. They are a low-shedding, easy-to-love dog that comes in a myriad of colors and sizes to please any family.
Intelligent, fun-loving, and adorable, toy poodles are some of the best family dogs in the world.
Labrador retrievers, or Labs as many know them, are an ideal combination of friendly and active, making them one of the most beloved family pets. Read on for more information about this most popular dog breed.
Maltipoos make the perfect companion for young families, empty nesters, and everyone in between. Highly devoted to their humans, they love to accompany them on walks (and on the couch, of course). Plus, they’re non-shedders and make great apartment dwellers.
The sheepadoodle is a cuddly, fluffy cross between an old English sheepdog and a poodle. Learn more about living with sheepadoodles.
Brussels griffons are smart and friendly little dogs with tons of personality, perfect for families or households of just about any size—including those with other dogs or cats. Learn more about living with Brussels griffons.
The shih tzu is a born companion who loves to sit on anyone's lap. A regal, ancient breed, the shih tzu is a lively charmer. Read on to learn more about living with the majestic shih tzu.