The Best Possible Dog Breeds for First-Time Dog Owners and Tips on Proper Care

Becoming a new dog owner is exciting yet it can also be overwhelming. Maybe your friends have shared stories with you about the joy of owning a dog. In a way, you know what to expect, but there is this huge chunk in you that still feels a bit apprehensive because you have no experience at all in caring for a dog.

In this article, I will be sharing with you what dog breed you can get as a first-time dog owner. This is very important to learn because not all dog breeds are the same. There are some who have high-strung personalities, which may be too much to handle for a new dog owner like you. What you need is a low-maintenance dog which is easy to care for.

I will also be discussing tips such as health and nutrition so you can have a better grasp on what to do and what to buy for your new dog.

Dog breeds for first time dog owner

1. Shitzu: The affectionate Shitzu is a dog breed which loves to be cuddled. This is a lap dog which new dog owners like you will truly appreciate. It is characterized by its long coat and comes in various colors. Maintaining its long and flowing coat will require time on your part, but consider that grooming time as an opportunity to bond with your Shitzu.

This breed only needs a short exercise time. It is also perfect for apartment dwellers.

2. Bichon Frise: This is another lapdog breed which is sweet as a cotton candy. It has a white curly coat that can be cut in more ways than one. It is very playful and enjoys a lot of snuggle time with its owner. Training it is a breeze. It is an awesome family dog and can adapt well to apartment living.

Shedding is very minimal. Level of exercise is moderate.

3. Papillon: Do not be fooled by its small size, as this dog breed is packed with energy, wit, and sweetness. If you are looking for a perfect balance of zest and charisma, then this is the one for you. It can be your workout buddy but at the same time, it can be your lap dog.

This dog gets along pretty well with kids. If you do not want dogs that shed, the Papillon is a great choice for you.

4. Poodle: This dog breed is so smart that training it is not a challenge at all. Since it possesses a high level of intelligence, it requires mental stimulation to avoid boredom. Toys should always be within easy reach to keep the Poodle busy.

It requires a moderate amount of exercise and wouldn’t mind partnering with you for your physical activities. It does not shed and can adapt well in apartment living.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: This is a sweet and loving dog which does not grow more than 13 inches. The Cavalier has a very attractive face that will truly melt your heart. It can live peacefully with kids and other dogs.

Though it is energetic by nature, it also loves long hours of cuddle and snuggle time in bed with its owner. However, if you suffer from asthma or allergies, you should keep in mind that this dog breed sheds, so it would not be a good match.

6. Golden Retriever: If you are a new dog owner but prefer to have a large dog breed nonetheless, then you will never go wrong with a Golden Retriever. It is sweet, affectionate, but also packed with energy.

It is friendly with strangers and other pets.

If you do not particularly enjoy grooming, this is the breed that you are looking for. The coat does neither mat nor tangle.

7. Havanese: Another lapdog which would love to spend time with you. It is intelligent and can be trained easily. This is perfect if you are looking for a small dog that only requires light to moderate exercise. It can adapt well to apartment living.

8. Pug: This is a dog which is good for the entire family. It has a stocky built and its face closely resembles that of a bulldog.  It is sweet and loves to follow its owner around the house.

Even if it is short-haired, shedding is an issue that a new dog owner would have to deal with.

The dog breeds presented above dog are just some examples that are easy to care for. But there are still other breeds out there which are not high-strung at all and would make the perfect pal for a new dog owner like you.

First time dog owner tips guide

1. What kind of food to give to your dog?

When it comes to food, you have a choice to either purchase commercial dog food or make homemade food for your new dog.

If you choose the commercial dog food, you can also select between dry/kibble or the canned dog food. There are many brands on the market which can make it difficult for a new dog owner like you to choose. My advice is to always go for high-quality dog food. These brands may be a bit more expensive, but as a fur parent, you would not want to give your dog less nutritious food.

The high-quality commercial dog does not have any kinds of meat-by-products and fillers. What your dog will get are fresh meat, vegetables, fruits and the right amount of vitamins and minerals.

If you choose to cook food for your new dog, be sure to avoid the following ingredients:

  • chocolates                        
  • nuts
  • garlic
  • green onions
  • avocado
  • raisins
  • grapes
  • dairy products

2. Vaccination requirements

Dogs need to be vaccinated to remain in tip-top shape. If you bring home a puppy, take it to the vet for a series of 5-in-1 dog vaccines. These are given at a two-week interval beginning at the age of 7 or 8 weeks old. Dogs need to be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza.

Domesticated dogs are also required to receive anti-rabies shots. Additionally, deworming your dog every three months is a good practice.

3. Exercise requirements:

Each dog breed has its own exercise requirements. You’d be surprised to find out that there are also small dog breeds which need ample exercise; such examples are poodles and terriers. Since you are a new dog owner, it is advisable that you pick a dog breed that matches your personality.

If you have a laid-back personality, a Shitzu or Bichon Frise are good options. They do not need much exercise. But if you are looking for a high-spirited and fairly easy-to-maintain type of a dog, a Poodle or Papillon may be your best bet.

4. How often should you bathe your dog?

As a new dog owner, begin to train your dog to love bath time at an early age. Though dogs do not need it as often as we do, they should be given a bath depending on their lifestyle and owner, too. It is not recommended that you shampoo your dog more than once a week. This will deprive its coat of its natural oils and shine.

What I would recommend to a new dog owner like you is daily brushing. This is done to avoid matting. Plus, it will allow you to inspect the skin of your dog for parasites or dryness.

5. Training

Teach your dog obedience training as soon as it arrives at your home. Convey to them that you are the boss and your commands must be followed. Here is a shortlist of what you should teach your new dog:

  • Potty training: Show your puppy where to poop and pee. Take your dog out upon waking up so that it can relieve itself. Then take it out every after meal. If you are at home, take your dog out in between meals as well. Since there will also be occasions when you will be out working and therefore won’t be able to take your furry pal for a walk, you can also train your dog to relieve itself on training pads.
  • Basic commands such as sit, stay, and down: No one wants a misbehaved dog. Teach it good manners at an early age. Dogs learn fast by using positive reinforcement; the best forms are dog treats and praise, like a pat on its back.
  • There will be times when your dog will misbehave. Sometimes your dog will do annoying acts like excessive barking or chewing furniture, shoes, and other things. There are reasons why they do these things, for example if they suffer from separation anxiety or boredom. Acting on what is bothering them may solve the problem. If not, there are good dog obedience schools to help you deal with those issues.

6. Look for a good vet

Your dog deserves the right to receive proper medical care. Look for a reputable veterinarian who can help you raise your furry pal become a healthy and well-behaved dog. Be sure that you have a rapport with the vet so you can freely ask questions regarding your dog’s well-being.

7. Buy dog supplies

Your new dog will need supplies in its new home. Buy water and food bowls, chew toys for teething, dog treats for training and a soft sleeping dog bed. If you go on trips often, investing in a dog crate is necessary. Your dog may also need dog shoes/boots at winter time.

Last, but not least, grooming stuff like shampoo and conditioner, a brush, comb, and maybe ribbons for long-haired dogs like Shitzu is recommended.

8. Know what you do not want in a dog

When searching for a dog breed, it also helps to know what you do not want in your new dog. Here is a short list to consider:

  • You do not want a dog that weighs more than 40 pounds at adulthood
  • You do not want a dog that requires regular visits to a dog groomer
  • You do not want a dog that barks a lot
  • You do not want a dog that has separation anxiety

Knowing what you want and do not want in a dog will make it easier for you to put together a shortlist. There are many types of dog breeds, so if you are still in doubt as to which breed to get, it is best to talk to a vet. It is also a good idea to talk to reputable dog breeders.


The new dog that you will be bringing home is completely dependent on you. On average, dogs live up to ten years or even longer. For this reason, you have to be 100% committed to caring for your new dog.

Be a responsible dog owner by committing to the wellness of your furry pal and by accepting the responsibility for its actions. This includes the right care for your dog, but also respecting the rights of your community. If you achieve this, then you are definitely on the right track as a new fur parent.

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