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10 Excellent Dog Breeds For Beginner Parents  

Privilege and Responsibility 

Here is a list of 10 Excellent Dog Breeds for Beginner Parents. It goes without saying that having a dog is both a privilege and a responsibility.  In return for unconditional love, friendship, affection and (in most cases) protection, all you have to do is be responsible for his or her care, and provide food and shelter. 

The canine life you adopt becomes a family member that you are committed to for life – because he or she will be committed to you for life. 

More Than 500 Dog Breeds 

Are you new to the world of dog breeds?  You want a dog, but you have no idea which breed to choose, right?  Well, in this post, I will introduce you to 10 Excellent Dog Breeds for new fur parents.

The first thing you should know is:  there are four or five organizations that govern all the dog breeds in the world, and they all have their own criteria.  That makes it hard to state unequivocally how many dog breeds actually exist.  It’s between 195 and 500, worldwide, so our list is just “a drop in the bucket.”  And that doesn’t include wild dogs and mixed breeds (aka Designer Breeds and Mutts), which are not “officially” recognized breeds. 

Unforgettable Experience 

Becoming a first-time fur parent is an unforgettable experience, but some breeds are too demanding, too stubborn, or too challenging for beginners, making them poor choices for beginners. That is why you need to know about these 10 Dog Breeds for new fur parents.

Like Goldilocks

Finding your right dog (or breed) is kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  A dog breed that is too big, too athletic, or too stubborn becomes too frustrating.  Frustrating is never a good situation; while another breed with different qualities will fit “just right.”  All dogs need our love and affection, which they return tenfold. 

Ideal Traits 

Some ideal traits of a breed for beginners are that he or she is friendly toward all members of the family; he or she is tolerant of your mistakes; and he or she isn’t demanding.  

Here is a list of dog breeds that are excellent for beginner pet parents. 

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is a small affectionate companion dog, recognizable by his Bat-like ears.   This is a non-aggressive breed, well-suited to first-time relationships.  They don’t bark a lot, so they do well in apartments. 

Brown and White Frenchie Advertising FREE KISSES – Pexels

Frenchies are loyal, intelligent, family dogs that are compatible with children and other pets.  With a life expectancy of 11 to 14 years, you will have a loving friend for a long time. 

French Bulldogs are neither the easiest nor the hardest breed to potty train.  Fur parents just have to be persistent and calm throughout.  Just another one of the kids. 

They don’t do well as “outside” dogs or outside in the heat, and they don’t like being left alone all day. 

Continental Toy Spaniel / Papillon 

The Continental Toy Spaniel is also known as the Papillon.  The Papillon has been bred for centuries for one purpose:  to be the ultimate companion. 

This breed is one of a kind, from their lovely butterfly-shaped face with extremely long hair on their ears to their history in Europe’s Royal Courts to being painted the Old Masters. 

Exceptionally people-oriented, Papillons are still amiable with strangers and other dogs.  However, they insist on being present in their loved ones’ lives at all times.  This could be the breed for you, if you’re seeking a vibrant, energetic, extroverted, and social friend.  With a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years, you and your Papillon will have a long and happy relationship.

The Papillon is a cheerful, alert, and affectionate animal.  He’s bright and easily trainable, and he’s more into “doing” than “cuddling.” He is a tiny, strong-willed dog with a moderate to high degree of energy. 

When they’re young, Papillons, like all dogs, require early socialization (i.e., exposure to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences) to ensure that he or she develops into a well-rounded adult dog. 

They are excellent for beginner owners, because they are friendly, always happy, intelligent, energetic, active and daring.  Papillons are also quiet dogs. 

Papillons love children, but, as you can imagine, a little dog and a small child can be a nightmare just waiting to happen.  When dogs and children are together, no matter what breed the dog is, they must always be supervised.

Shih Tzu

The words “Shih Tzu” translate as “little lion,” but don’t be afraid!  They are kind and very friendly pets.  These “pocket-sized pooches” weigh from 9 to16 pounds, stand just 8 to 11 inches tall, and have a life expectancy of 10 to 16 years.

Shih Tzus are polite, smart, lively, devoted, independent, and attentive.  They are small spunky dogs, and they only bark when it’s absolutely necessary. 

They love children, strangers, and other dogs, and can quickly adapt to apartment living.  Shih Tzus possess all the characteristics of an excellent beginner-friendly dog. 

Generally, their coat is long, which requires regular grooming, but your groomer can give her a puppy cut, which is so much easier to manage.  Regular brushing is still a necessity.  Shih Tzus are fairly energetic; they love playing outside, but they prefer living indoors. 

They’re fun for homes with kids and laid-back parents.

Shih Tzus can be difficult to housebreakBe consistent, and do not allow a puppy to roam the house unsupervised until they are completely trained.  Crate training is helpful.


Pugs are small but mighty little tanks – weighing about 14 to 18 pounds and standing just 12 to 13 inches tall.  They love to be the center of attention and know exactly how to achieve it using their sense of humor.  They’re not overly demanding and should fit into any family’s life. 

Pugs are intelligent, stubborn, sociable, playful, attentive, and quiet.  They rarely bark, are consistently friendly toward everyone, not overly energetic, and don’t require a lot of care. 

Pugs are playful and enjoy a good romp, but their short legs and short noses make breathing and running challenging.

Although they are small and excellent for children, they don’t like playing games too much.  They can sometimes be quite stubborn, so if you want an undemanding dog that’s great for first-time owners and families, you can’t go wrong with a Pug!  


Their sweet looks and excellent qualities make the Maltese breed extremely popular.  They are obedient, kind, lively, fearless, adaptable, relaxed, playful, and gentle.

These small dogs are pretty smart, always try to adapt, and they love their family.

Maltese do require a lot of attention, and they always want to be by their person’s side. 

They’re not always the friendliest toward strangers, and their coat requires some maintenance.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are consistently in the top three most popular American dog breeds, and they have reigned as No. 1 on the American Kennel Club’s Top 10 breeds for 30 years! 

Of course, you’re asking, “Why?”  The answer is simple:  Labrador Retrievers are known far and wide as friendly dogs, great for both beginners and experienced dog owners.  They are friendly to everyone, peaceful, sociable, devoted, energetic and playful.

If that isn’t enough, they are highly intelligent, ranking No. 7 in intelligence. 

Labs are smart, affectionate, and energetic without being overwhelming, and they serve humans in many capacities.  Labs work as service dogs and guide dogs.  They do scent work for the armed services and Customs, and they do Search and Rescue – but their favorite job, by far, is hanging with their families. 

A Couple of Things to Note 

Labs are high-energy, so they need regular walks, as well as other activities.  Think:  hiking, running, training, and/or fetching.  And, despite their short, thick coats, they do shed. 

Labs playing Catch – Pexels

He or she is an excellent choice of pet for beginners and seasoned pet parents alike. 


This is another highly intelligent dog for first-time fur parents. 

Poodles tend to be undemanding, tolerant, smart, attentive, obedient, and energetic. 

Cute Brown Miniature Poodle – Pixabay

A little known fact is that although their hair looks like they might shed a lot, they don’t shed.  However, that beautiful hair does need to be brushed daily.  

Everything about Poodles adds to their “bottom line” as a good choice for a family addition:  They are friendly toward everyone, tolerant, and they love spending their time with the family. 

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise are tiny.  They weigh between 8 and 15 pounds, stand 9 to 11 inches tall, and have a 12- to 15-year life expectancy.  As you might expect, they are in the American Kennel Club’s Toy Group.

This small, smart, fluffy dog is always happy – unless you leave them alone. 

Even though they’ve been described as “peppy” and “curious,” this relatively confident, adorable poof of white is easy-going and perfectly content to sit or lie somewhere close to her person.  If you want to be a bit more active than that, she can “hang” with you. 

In addition to being happy, she is friendly and adaptable.  The breed is playful, sensitive, gentle, and loyal. 

If you give them your attention and treat them well, they will adapt to you and become wonderful companions. 

Bichons love everything, so they are attractive as new family members. 

They don’t shed a lot; in fact, their only “drawback” is their coat.  You can either commit to constant grooming and brushing, or your groomer can provide a “puppy cut” or “teddy bear cut” every four weeks. 

Golden Retriever

Ever notice that Golden Retrievers always seem to be smiling?  Known for their tolerance and friendly nature, the Golden Retriever is a big dog – he stands around 21 to 24 inches tall and weighs 55 to 75 pounds.  They are smart – in Dr. Coren’s ten most intelligent.  They are easy to train and will adapt to every owner. 

Like their “cousin,” the Labrador Retriever, Goldens are active animals that need more than just a daily walk. 

Goldens are not watchdogs, because they are friends with everyone, but they are loyal, playful, kind, confident, smart, and reliable.  Their gentleness makies them an ideal choice for nearly all potential families. 

There are a couple of “drawbacks” to having a relationship with a Golden:  They require a lot of attention; and, although their beautiful flowing hair doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, they do shed – a lot.

They love spending active time with their family.  Is your family active?  The Golden Retriever might just be the fit you’re looking for. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a sweet, affectionate dog with a puppy-like appearance. 

Fearless, sociable, playful, polite, and patient, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are born to satisfy potential new families!  They are always up for a walk or a game, but Cavs’ favorite spot is still on your lap. 

This little breed is just that:  little.  At 10 to 13 inches tall and weighing in at only 13 to 18 pounds, this is another AKC member of the Toy Group.

Cavaliers can thrive in all kinds of households and tend to get along well with children of all ages.  While the breed is small, it’s not tiny, and it has a gentle demeanor, which is why they often become therapy dogs. 

They are a great fit for beginners.  Cavs quickly adapt to everyone and are quite friendly and easy to train.  They also have no particular demands other than being with their humans. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels want attention and actively seek it out.  What makes them such a great fit for house and apartment living is they usually don’t bark or shed much.  Keeping their hair in great shape is a matter of daily brushing to avoid tangles! 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have ideal characteristics that put them in first place on the list of the best dogs for beginners.  If you’ve never owned a dog before, this might be an excellent choice for you.

In Conclusion 

Whew!  That’s that list, but with over 500 dog breeds in the world, this list is certainly not all-inclusive (I could probably do a new one every week), but each of these dogs could well be your or your family’s new pet.


Also check these 10 Great Dog Breeds to Get Friendly With


American Kennel Club, www.akc.net

K9 of Mine, www.K9ofmine.com 

PetKeen, Article:  How Many Dog Breeds Are There in the World? (2022), By Oliver Jones, Last updated: Apr 22 2022, https://petkeen.com/how-many-dog-breeds-in-the-world/


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  1. Pingback: Labrador Retrievers - AKC's Most Popular Breed - WetNoseCentral

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