Dogs that are gentle and good for first-time pet owners

Want to know more about dogs that are gentle and 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 that are easily trainable and highly loyal to their owners.
  • 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: 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: 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.
  • breed group: hybrid
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, requires lots of grooming, tolerates being alone, low prey drive, loves water, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, hot weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, red, gold / yellow, cream, black, white
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: long, medium, curly
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, outgoing, playful, protective
A friendly, loving family dog who's easy on the allergies makes Labradoodles one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These dogs love activity, just not as much as they’ll love you.
  • breed group: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, low prey drive, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: black, gray, red, blue, cream, white, fawn, gold / yellow, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tricolor, sable, flecked / ticked / speckled, spotted, harlequin, tuxedo, merle, black and tan, liver and tan, blue and tan
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
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.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, loves water, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion, hypoallergenic
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver
  • coat length/texture: curly, medium
  • temperament: gentle, timid, friendly, playful, anxious
Irish water spaniels are a rare breed with A+ personalities. These sweet, laid-back dogs have low-shedding coats, big brains, and affectionate natures, making them wonderful companions.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, prone to health issues, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: cream, fawn, white
  • patterns: bicolor, brindle, flecked / ticked / speckled
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
Bred primarily as companion dogs, Frenchies crave all the love and affection we humans have to offer. They’re just as satisfied playing with kids and other dogs as they are being a couch potato. Goofy, yet intelligent, French bulldogs make an easygoing best friend for any dog lover.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: large (61-100 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, tendency to chew, high potential for weight gain, loves water, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: cream, gold / yellow
  • patterns: saddle / blanket
  • coat length/texture: long, medium
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, outgoing, playful
Golden retrievers are smart, loyal dogs that are ideal family companions. With their gentle nature, shining coats, and charming smiles, they are considered one of the most popular breeds in America. Learn more about living with these people-pleasing pups.
  • breed group: hound
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, high prey drive, high potential for weight gain, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: brown / chocolate / liver, red, gold / yellow, black
  • patterns: tricolor
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful
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.
  • breed group: non-sporting
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, requires lots of grooming, low prey drive, high potential for weight gain, apartment-friendly, strong loyalty tendencies, good for first-time pet owners, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, gold / yellow, cream, black, white
  • patterns: black and tan, sable
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: gentle, outgoing, playful
Tibetan spaniels are small, affectionate, and intelligent dogs who love spending time with their human families. Learn more about living with the Tibetan spaniel.
  • breed group: working
  • breed size: extra large (101 lbs. or more)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, prone to health issues, low prey drive, high potential for weight gain, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: long, medium
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
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 serve and adore a family like yours.
  • breed group: sporting
  • breed size: medium (26-60 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, loves water, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, white
  • patterns: bicolor
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: gentle, playful, aloof
Welsh springer spaniels are highly affectionate and intelligent dogs with rich red and white coats. Learn more about living with this happy family dog.
  • breed group: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, requires lots of grooming, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: white
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, outgoing, playful
While their flowing white locks draw attention, Maltese are especially beloved for their smart, gentle nature. Learn more about living with the Maltese.
  • breed group: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to train, easy to groom, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners
  • colors: red, black, white, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: black and tan, tricolor, bicolor
  • coat length/texture: medium
  • temperament: gentle, outgoing, friendly, playful
Tiny, noble, and extremely friendly, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel has become one of the most popular breeds in the world due to his ability to fit into almost any living situation.