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

Want to know more about dogs that are willful 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: 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: toy
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: requires lots of grooming, prone to health issues, 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, hairless, sable, saddle / blanket, brindle, flecked / ticked / speckled, spotted, harlequin, tuxedo, merle, black and tan, liver and tan, blue and tan
  • coat length/texture: long
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, aloof
Pekingese are intelligent, affectionate, and friendly. These compact lion-maned dogs were first bred as companions for Chinese emperors. Learn more about living with Pekingese.
  • 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: terrier
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: hypoallergenic, easy to train, easy to groom, tolerates being alone, apartment-friendly, cold weather tolerant, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies, good hiking companion
  • colors: red, cream, black, gray, white
  • patterns: brindle
  • coat length/texture: short, wiry
  • temperament: gentle, friendly, willful, playful, anxious
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.
  • 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: hybrid
  • breed size: small (0-25 lbs.)
  • other traits: easy to groom, apartment-friendly, good for first-time pet owners, strong loyalty tendencies
  • colors: black, white, red, cream, fawn, blue, brown / chocolate / liver
  • patterns: bicolor, tuxedo, brindle
  • coat length/texture: short
  • temperament: friendly, willful, outgoing, playful
Frenchtons are friendly, playful, outgoing, and love to be the center of attention. Learn more about what makes this squish-faced hybrid so lovable.
  • 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: 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.