Dogs that are good for first-time pet owners

Want to know more about dogs that are good for first-time pet owners? See all the dogs that fit this criteria and learn more about what it's like to have these dogs as pets.

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  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: tendency to chew, high prey drive, high potential for weight gain, cold weather tolerant, loves water, good hiking companion, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: white
  • patterns: flecked / ticked / speckled
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, playful, aloof
Mellow but never boring, the rare Clumber spaniel is a large love bug who adores attention and makes a delightful companion in any home where fur and drool are welcome.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, high prey drive, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: black, brown / chocolate / liver, blue, white, red, gold / yellow
  • patterns: bicolor, black and tan, sable, blue and tan, tricolor
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
Intelligent and naturally curious, English cocker spaniels are compact hunting dogs bred to flush and retrieve game. These cheerful pups also make great family pets—kids and seniors alike will find a loyal companion in the English cocker.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, tendency to chew, apartment-friendly, strong loyalty tendencies, good for first-time pet owners, high potential for weight gain, highly territorial
  • colors: white, cream
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: gentle, outgoing, friendly, playful, protective
American Eskimo dogs are intelligent, energetic pups with fluffy white coats. They are easily trainable and highly loyal to their owners.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, tendency to chew, low prey drive, high potential for weight gain, loves water, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: cream, black, gray
  • patterns: tricolor
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
The keeshond is an intelligent old breed that has long been raised as family companions and watch dogs. They are well-tempered dogs with lots of personality and a striking gray, cream, and black double coat.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: black, gray, blue, cream, white, fawn, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, sable, brindle, black and tan, liver and tan, blue and tan
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: friendly, playful, anxious
A cross between a Chihuahua and pug, Chugs tend to be confident, playful, affectionate pets. They are small dogs with big, fun-loving personalities.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, brown / chocolate / liver, blue, black, white
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, black and tan
  • coat length/texture: short, medium
  • temperament: outgoing, gentle, friendly, playful
Beagliers are a cute cross between a beagle and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Learn more about living with these friendly, sweet-eyed pups.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, requires lots of grooming, low prey drive, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: black, gray, red, blue, cream, white, fawn, brown / chocolate / liver, gold / yellow
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, tuxedo, sable, merle
  • coat length/texture: medium, long, curly
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
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.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, requires lots of grooming, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: white, cream
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: short, curly
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
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.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, requires lots of grooming, low prey drive, good hiking companion, apartment-friendly, easy to train, strong loyalty tendencies, prone to health issues, loves water, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: black, gray, red, brown / chocolate / liver, fawn, cream, white
  • coat length/texture: long, medium, curly
  • temperament: outgoing, gentle, friendly, playful, anxious
For loving companionship, few breeds compare to the smart, cuddlesome, and playful Cavapoo. This crossbreed might also be a good choice as a low-allergen pet.
  • breed group: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, easy to groom, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: black, blue, brown / chocolate / liver, cream
  • patterns: tricolor
  • coat length/texture: hairless
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
Whether hairless or “powderpuff,” Chinese cresteds are friendly little lap dogs who are excellent for apartment life, older owners, or anyone who just likes a conversation piece.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, easy to groom, tolerates being alone, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, cream, black, blue, gray
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, sable, blue and tan
  • coat length/texture: wiry, curly
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
Few small hybrid dogs compare to the spirited and affectionate Yorkie-poo, a little firecracker of fun with devoted companionship every member of the family can enjoy.  
  • breed group: terrier
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, requires lots of grooming, high prey drive, loves water, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion
  • colors: cream, blue, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, liver and tan, blue and tan
  • coat length/texture: medium, curly
  • temperament: gentle, willful, friendly, outgoing, playful
He's small, fluffy, and looks like a lamb, but the Bedlington terrier is all dog—and adaptable enough to join his family in any activity, from hikes to lazy days on the couch.
  • breed group: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, high prey drive, apartment-friendly, high potential for weight gain, good hiking companion, strong loyalty tendencies, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: black, white, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: outgoing, friendly, playful
Toy fox terriers are smart, playful, and energetic dogs that are a perfect combination of the best traits from terriers and toy breeds. Learn more about living with this tiny, fun-loving pup.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: extra large (101 lbs. or more)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, prone to health issues, highly territorial, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: fawn, black, blue, gray, white
  • patterns: bicolor, brindle, harlequin, merle
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful, protective
Great Danes are enormous, gentle dogs that love spending time with their family, whether on walks or lazing at their elbows. Is this gentle gargantuan dog breed right for you?
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, easy to groom, low prey drive, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, cream, fawn, black, gray, white
  • patterns: tricolor, bicolor, tuxedo, black and tan, sable, spotted, blue and tan, liver and tan
  • coat length/texture: medium, curly
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
A low-allergen crossbreed of the Havanese and poodle, the sweet-natured Havapoo is a bright and lively charmer who fits right into homes and families of all types.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, tendency to chew, loves water, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, hot weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, white, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, black and tan
  • coat length/texture: medium, curly
  • temperament: friendly, outgoing, playful
If you're looking for an exercise companion or a velcro family dog, the fluffy, exuberant Portuguese water dog might be your new best friend.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, requires lots of grooming, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, gold / yellow, black, cream, white, gray
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: short, curly
  • temperament: outgoing, friendly, playful
Friendly, doting, and intelligent, shih-poos inherit their parents’ best personality traits. These small dogs are versatile and can do well in any home where they’re the center of attention.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, prone to health issues, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, brown / chocolate / liver, white
  • patterns: tricolor
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, playful, aloof
Bernese mountain dogs are smart, hardworking, and loyal dogs who love to spend time with their human family. Learn more about living with Bernese mountain dogs.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, requires lots of grooming, prone to health issues, high potential for weight gain, high prey drive, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: black, gray, red, blue, cream, fawn, white, gold / yellow, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, brindle
  • coat length/texture: medium, long
  • temperament: outgoing, willful, friendly, anxious, playful
The shorkie, a crossbreed between a shih tzu and a Yorkshire terrier, is a small, spirited-yet-snuggly companion with a silky, allergy-friendly coat.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: extra large (101 lbs. or more)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, tendency to chew, prone to health issues, highly territorial, low prey drive, high potential for weight gain, loves water, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: black, gray, brown / chocolate / liver
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, playful
Few dogs fit the description of majestic but gentle giants as well as the loving, sweet, and mild-tempered Newfoundland. Easygoing with children and loyal to their families, they’re devoted pets you’ll want to learn more about.