The 12 Best and Worst Dog Breeds For First Time Owners



Kayla Fratt


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Getting your first dog is an exciting time.

You may already have ideas about what kind of dog you want, and that’s great! However, it’s worth keeping in mind that some types of dogs will be much better suited for first-time owners than others.

There’s so much to think about as you prepare to bring home a family member that could be in your home for 15 years or more.

One of the most common places to start narrowing your search is breed. While breed alone isn’t everything, it’s a good starting point for finding your perfect match.

Best and Worst Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners: Key Takeaways

  • There are a number of things to think about when selecting your first dog. However, your soon-to-be dog’s breed is one of the most important things to consider. Simply put, some breeds typically make good pets for first-time owners; others are usually poor choices for beginners.
  • A few of the best breeds for first-time owners include shih tzus, Labs, goldens, and whippets. However, there are several other breeds we’ll discuss below that also make great first-time pets.
  • A few of the worst choices for first-time owners include Akitas, Rottweilers, and cani corsi, among others. These breeds can make great pets for experienced owners, but they’re usually too challenging for newbies.

Why Breed Matters for First-Time Owners

why your dog's breed matters

Really, breed matters for all owners. Even if you’re flexible on what you’re looking for in a dog, you probably have a few preferences for things like size, coat type, energy level, and friendliness.

As a dog behavior consultant, many of my most difficult cases originate from owners getting in over their head with a fashionable breed that’s the wrong fit for their homes.

At the shelter I work with, we see thousands of dogs each year that were mismatched with their owners. Many of these poor fits could have been avoided if the humans spent more time researching their chosen breed.

Every dog breed originated with a specific needs and goals in mind. Some dogs are bred for hunting, while others were designed for guarding, pulling sleds, herding, or sitting on laps. These differing goals mean that these breeds all have vastly different energy levels and temperaments.

dogs for first-time owners

Let’s take my dog Barley as an example. He’s a border collie — a breed that’s notorious for being wicked smart and having a go-go-go attitude (he’s a total fetch maniac)!

Charming border collies doing handstands and yoga on YouTube really “sell” this breed, but they’re not a great fit for most first-time families.

There are days where Barley comes home from a 19-mile run, takes a two-hour nap, and is then ready for more action as he runs circles around the house squeaking his 93 different toys. In addition to his boundless energy, he can open doors. You can see why letting him get bored could be a recipe for disaster.

If I had small children (like Barley’s previous owner did), I honestly doubt I could handle having Barley in my home. He’s incredibly trainable and will do almost anything I ask, but I have to constantly give him tasks, or he makes up games and jobs for himself.

If I wasn’t a marathon-running dog trainer, Barley would be a very challenging dog!

It’s easy for me to take a few impressive training videos of him and pretend he’s the most perfect dog out there (well, he is to me). The truth is that this breed is a tough one, and they really aren’t for everyone.

The point is, Barley is a very typical border collie. Anyone who has done a little research on the breed would know how high-octane these dogs can be.

Still, we get hundreds of herding dog mixes brought to the shelter for behavior problems that are depressingly common with underchallenged and bored dogs. They bark, dig, chase children, and try to herd cars.

Take the time to Google what your chosen breed is bred for and common behavior problems. Research is imperative to success as a first-time owner.

Before selecting a dog, take some time to get real about what you’re looking for. K9 of Mine’s pre-adoption series will help you create a scorecard and really think through the preparation process.

Bonus Tip from a Behavior Consultant

Don’t base your decision off of an individual dog!

I’ve met enough Akitas to know that they’re generally a very tough breed, but my neighbor’s Akita is easier to handle and friendlier than most Labs I’ve met.

A Note on Mixed-Breed Dogs for First-Time Owners

picking a new puppy

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixed-breed dogs. In many cases, mixed breeds are a great place to start for first-time owners.

Adopting an older mixed-breed from the shelter can give you the advantage of a pre-trained dog with known behavioral habits, and mixed-breed puppies can be great for first-time owners who want a younger dog.

They often average out any extreme behavioral tendencies of their parents, but not always.

Overall, mixed breeds are a great option.

However, it’s important to realize that whenever you purchase or adopt a mixed-breed dog, you’re less likely to understand what you’re adopting than with a purebred.

For most owners, this isn’t a huge problem. But if you have big competitive agility or hunting goals, you may at a disadvantage with a mixed breed. Mixed-breed dogs are a great option if you don’t have strict goals or needs for your dog (and despite that, I know several successful service dogs, agility competitors, and child-friendly mixed breeds).

The more breeds mixed into your dog’s makeup, the more moderate your dog’s temperament will usually be. Having a mix of various breeds often tends to cancel out extreme behaviors from any individual breed.

Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Pomskies, and Huskadors are examples of popular mixed breed dogs.

But these breed combos often display inconsistent personalities from individual to individual. Genetics don’t work like a recipe, and mixed breeds don’t automatically exhibit the best traits of both their parents.

I’ve met plenty of Goldendoodles that have the nervous energy of a skittish poodle and the high-shedding coat of a typical golden retriever. Not exactly the stable-tempered “hypoallergenic” service dog that many breeders advertise! That’s why the original ‘doodle breeder actually regrets his decision to make the cross.

mixed breed dogs for first time owners

And when the parent breeds of a given mix are unknown, it’s almost impossible to predict what the puppy will grow up to be like. Luckily, most mixed breed dogs are lovely pets that hit the middle of the road on most personality traits — perfect for the first time owner!

The bottom line is that you’re bringing a living animal into your home, and that’s always a gamble.

It’s important to take a hard look at a variety of traits across the breed. Picking the cutest dog from a photo array isn’t the best way to go. That’s why we created this guide!

Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

good beginning dog breeds

Look for dogs that are generally described as trainable, eager to please, and friendly when selecting your first dog breed. We created a list that varies by energy level, coat type, brains, and brawn.

These dogs are ranked by size, not by preference.

1. Shih Tzus


Shih tzus are spunky and oh-so-cute. Their coat takes a bit more work than pugs, but they’re surprisingly athletic. They’re fun for homes with kids and laid-back owners.

Energy Level: Medium-high. Shih tzus are alert and enjoy activity.

Coat Type: Long, and they’ll need regular grooming.

Brains: Loveable lunks. According to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, shih tzus are ranked 127 out of 137 for intelligence and need 80 to 100 or more repetitions to learn new cues.

Brawn: Pocket-sized pooches, shih tzus weigh 9 to16 pounds and stand just 8 to 11 inches tall.

2. Pugs

lazy pugs

Pugs are consistently friendly, happy-go-lucky dogs with an adorable face. Their biggest downside is their many health problems from that adorable short nose, so be sure that you’ve got the money for potential health problems and the heart for a dog that might not live to 10 years old.

Energy Level: Low-Medium. Pugs are playful and enjoy a good romp, but their short legs and short noses make breathing and running challenging.

Coat Type: Short & easy. No crazy coat maintenance here!

Brains: Loveable lunks. Pugs are ranked 107 out of 137 for intelligence. They generally take 40 to 80 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Pugs are small but mighty little tanks, weighing about 14 to 18 pounds and stand just 12 to 13 inches tall.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles spaniels are cheerful little dogs. They have a slightly longer noses than pugs, but still may suffer from similar health concerns.

Energy Level: Low-Medium. Always up for a good game or walk, cavaliers are still great lap dogs.

Coat Type: Long, requires regular brushing.

Brains: Average intelligence. Ranked 72 out of 137. They generally take 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Tiny, 13 to 18 pounds and only 10 to 13 inches tall.

4. Whippet


Despite being bred for racing, sighthounds are notorious couch potatoes. They’re not very trustworthy off leash, but they’re excellent and loving companions for apartment living.

Energy Level: Medium. Whippets will enjoy a good sprint or two, but they are not endurance athletes at all.

Coat Type: Very short. Whippets often benefit from doggie jackets in colder areas.

Brains: Average intelligence. Whippets rank 95 out of 137. They generally take 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Small but leggy, Whippets weigh 25 to 40 pounds but stand quite tall at 18 to 22 inches.

5. Greyhound

lazy greyhound

Like whippets, greyhounds were originally developed as racing dogs. They’re bred to run in short spurts after fast-retreating objects, so they’re not great around small animals or for off-leash work. However, they’re calm and affectionate companions that are great for many beginner homes.

Energy Level: Medium. Greyhounds love a good sprint, but otherwise are content to hang on the couch.

Coat Type: Very short. Greyhounds may need a coat in colder areas.

Brains: Average intelligence. Greyhounds rank 85 out of 137, and they generally require 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Long and leggy, greyhounds weigh 60 to 70 pounds and stand 27 to 30 inches tall.

6. Labrador Retriever

labrador for hiking

There’s a reason Labs are consistently in the top three most popular American dog breeds.

They’re smart, affectionate, and energetic without being overwhelming. Be sure to find a breeder who produces pet labradors, as hunting type labradors will have far more energy than the average household can handle.

Energy Level: Active. Labs need regular walks interspersed with more intense activity like hiking, running, training, or fetch.

Coat Type: Short and thick, labs shed quite a bit.

Brains: Smarty Pants. Ranked 7 out of 137. Labs took fewer than five repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Large and sturdy, labs weigh between 55 and 80 pounds and stand around 21 to 25 inches tall.

7. Golden Retriever

golden retriever

Another consistent “top dog,” golden retrievers take a bit more grooming than Labs, but also rank a little higher in intelligence.

For many, the difference between these two breeds comes down to looks and personal preference. Goldens are exuberant and friendly, like Labs, and are known for their relaxed and ever-present smile.

This friendliness likely comes from originally being bred for sharing a boat with strangers while guns go off around them — Labs and goldens are both duck hunting dogs.

Energy Level: Active, goldens need regular walks interspersed with more intense activity like hiking, running, training, or fetch.

Coat Type: Longish. Goldens require regular brushing that can usually be done at home.

Brains: Smarty Pants. Ranked 4 out of 137, goldens required fewer than five repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: A bit smaller than Labs, goldens weigh in around 21 to 24 inches and weigh 55 to 75 pounds.

8. Bernese Mountain Dog

Another giant but easy dog breed, Bernese Mountain dogs are friendly and relaxed.

Their silhouette is impressive and their bark commanding, but “Berners” are a perfect mix of looks, calm temperament, and willingness to adventure.

Energy Level: Medium-high, Bernese Mountain dogs enjoy hiking and even pulling carts but don’t need to run miles per day.

Coat Type: Long, Bernese Mountain dogs need regular brushing but shouldn’t have to be professionally groomed often.

Brains: Quick learners. Ranked 27 out of 137, Bernese Mountain dogs required 5 to 15 repetitions to learn a new command. This intelligence level is just about right for most owners who like a smart dog, but don’t want to be outsmarted regularly.

Brawn: Weighing in at 80 to 110 pounds, Bernese Mountain dogs pack a punch when they try to cuddle on your lap. They stand about 23 to 26 inches tall.

9. Great Dane

great dane guard dog

Giant and goofy, Danes are humongous couch potatoes. They’re known for being patient and affable, enjoying a good cuddle. Their drool and size might be daunting, but Danes are excellent companions for first-time owners and apartment dwellers.

Energy Level: Low-medium, Danes need to stretch their legs a few times daily but otherwise are very relaxed in home.

Coat Type: Short and easy, Great Danes don’t require much upkeep.

Brains: Average intelligence. Ranked 90 out of 137, Danes required 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command

Brawn: Gentle giants, Great Danes stand tall at 28 to 30 inches and weigh between 100 and 200 pounds.

10. Cocker Spaniel


These goofy and friendly little dogs are highly adaptable and easygoing. They do require regular grooming and daily exercise, but otherwise fit into many first-time households well. Cockers tend to be a great balance of happy-go-lucky energy and affectionate snuggles. 

Energy Level: High, cockers are bred to hunt birds and really thrive on regular exercise.

Coat Type: Long and silky. You’ll need to brush your cocker spaniel regularly or keep their hair trimmed short.

Brains: Smarties! Cocker spaniels are goofy, intelligent little problem solvers.

Brawn: Petite. Cockers weigh in around 20 to 35 pounds, but are a lot of energy in a small package!

11. Bichon Frise 

bichons frise

Small and fluffy, bichons are well-known as affable and goofy companions. Their easygoing nature and adorable poof of white make bichons a charming addition to new dog homes. They’re commonly described as peppy and curious, and are relatively confident and easygoing for small dogs.

Energy Level: Medium-low. Bichons are likely to be happy laying at your side and accompanying you around town, but will also enjoy brief bursts of high-energy play.

Coat Type: Long and fluffy. Your options with a bichon are meticulous brushing or regular trimming. 

Brains: Average, ranked 45 out of 137. These dogs are fast learners but aren’t exactly working dogs!

Brawn: Tiny. Bichons weigh 16 to 18 pounds and are easily maintained by less-active owners.

12. Boston Terrier 

Boston terrier

It doesn’t get much cuter than a Boston terrier. Luckily, these little dogs have a pleasant personality to match their adorable looks. They are known for being goofy, friendly, and adaptable. Paired with their small but sturdy size and easy-care coat, Bostons are excellent choices for first-time dog owners.

Energy Level: Medium to low. These little guys have pretty long legs and enjoy playtime, but they also tire easily thanks to their stocky builds, small statures, and brachycephalic (“squished”) faces.

Coat Type: Ultra-short. It truly doesn’t get much easier to care for than a Boston Terrier — but you may need to invest in some sweaters.

Brains: Bright, but they’re never the star of the class. Bostons are ranked 54 out of 137 for intelligence.

Brawn: These little guys just weigh 12 to 25 pounds and stand 15 to 17 inches tall.

Worst Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

worst dogs for new owners

For first-time owners, it’s smart to avoid any large dog breed that is described as “aloof” or “reserved with strangers” or any other euphemism for unfriendly. The same goes for “primitive,” “independent,” or “strong-willed,” dogs.

In general, first-time owners should avoid dogs with unusual names unless they’ve got a good reason for choosing a Canaan dog, dogue de Bordeaux, basenji, or vizsla. If you struggle to pronounce your new dog’s name, you haven’t done enough research!

We want to be clear — these breeds are not bad breeds. Rather, they’re often challenging and need to be in the right home to succeed.

It’s worth noting that there’s always some variety within a breed, and all dogs are individuals. There are certainly some friendly chows and couch potato border collies out there. But in general, these breeds will pose a challenge to a first-time home, and aren’t recommended for greenhorn owners.

1. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are potentially the cutest dogs on the internet, but they’re not for beginners. Their independent nature makes people liken them to cats, and they can be very difficult to train. Almost every Shiba Ina I’ve met has been very shy, which is also difficult for some owners.

Energy Level: Active, Shibas need plenty of nice long walks. They should be kept on leash, though, since they’re often very difficult to train to come when called.

Coat Type: Short but very thick, Shibas will need semi-regular grooming.

Brains: Average intelligence. Shibas ranked 92 out of 137 and needed 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Small but full of personality, Shibas stand 13 to 17 inches tall and weigh 15 to 24 pounds.

Give your Shiba the best! Check out the Best Dog Foods for Shiba Inus!

2. Beagle

Cute and noisy, beagles are bred to run ahead of their owners and bark their heads off while chasing down game. This makes them really challenging dogs for most first-time owners.

Their independent work ethic, desire to sniff and chase, and loud bay is too much for the average owner. That said, they can be cheery and friendly in the right home.

Energy Level: Very active, beagles need plenty of exercise but should stay on leash.

Coat Type: Short and easy to care for.

Brains: Loveable lunks. Ranked 130 out of 137, Beagles needed 80 to 100 repetitions or more to learn a new command.

Brawn: Tiny for members of the hound group, beagles stand 13 to 15 inches tall and weigh just 20 to 30 pounds.

Read now: The Best Beagle Dog Foods!

3. Border Collie

Far too smart and energetic for their own good, border collies are bred for all-day farm work.

Unless you’re ready to make a big commitment to keeping your pup entertained and exercised, it’s best to skip this breed. When bored and underchallenged, border collies tend to bark, dig, and even nip at anything that moves in an attempt to herd it.

I love my border collie, but just ask my dogsitters — he’s not for everyone.

If you do go with a border collie, be sure to find a breeder that consistently produces puppies that fit your lifestyle and goals. There’s a big difference between a farm, sport, or show line border collie.

Energy Level: Extremely high. Border collies need regular mental and physical challenges every day.

Coat Type: Variable. Border collies come in smooth (aka short) and rough (aka long ) coat varieties.

Brains: Show-off brainiacs. Ranked 1 out of 137, border collies needed fewer than five repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Packing a huge punch into a medium body, border collies weigh 27 to 45 pounds and stand 18 to 22 inches tall.

Got one of these high-octane hounds? Check out our guide to border collie dog foods!

4. Siberian Husky

Vocal and independent, huskies are beautiful runners that aren’t for the faint of heart. They’ll run you to the ground, sing dog songs until the neighbors call the police, and knock the socks off of everyone who looks at them.

They’re popular for a reason, but animal shelters are also full of huskies because they’re really not good for first-time owners.

Energy Level: High. Huskies do best in homes that can provide regular long workouts, like canicross training runs. Remember, they’re bred to literally pull a sled all day!

Coat Type: Thick and long, huskies need regular brushing and occasional grooming trips.

Brains: Average intelligence. Huskies rank 76 out of 137 breeds and need 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Medium sized, huskies weigh 35 to 60 pounds and stand 20 to 24 inches tall.

Side Note: Just Say No To Wolf Hybrids

It’s worth noting that we never recommend purchasing, adopting, or rescuing a wolf hybrid dog (although wolf look-alike breeds are fine…although they too tend to be quite a bit of work to care for).

Humans carefully bred dogs for thousands of years to get away from the aloof, suspicious, and downright dangerous wolfy roots. Just because Nymeria didn’t eat Arya does not mean that a pet wolf is a good idea!

Wolf and coyote mixes belong in the wild. Even when raised from a young age, they tend to be highly possessive of toys and food and can be extremely dangerous.

Be sure to feed your floofy friend one of the best dog foods for Siberian huskies!

5. Dalmatian


Popularized by the movie 101 Dalmatians, these dogs are notoriously difficult for even experienced owners. They were originally bred to run barking ahead of fire engines, so they need a lot of energy release and can be quite barky.

Energy Level: Very high — remember, these dogs are bred for running alongside fire engines and horses!

Coat Type: Short, requiring very little upkeep.

Brains: Ranked 61 out of 137, Dalmatians needed 15 to 25 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Another medium to large sized dog, Dalmatians weigh 45 to 70 pounds and stand 19 to 24 inches tall.

Check it out: 13 Doggone Good Dalmatian Foods!

6. Chow


Everyone loves a chow’s purple tongue, but they are notoriously aloof four-footers. They’re quite suspicious of strangers and can be heartbreakingly disinterested in people or training.

Chows are very cute and dignified, but they’re not cuddly or great for first-time owners.

Energy Level: Low; chows don’t need much beyond regular walks.

Coat Type: Very long and thick, chows need regular intensive grooming sessions.

Brains: Loveable lunks. Ranked 134 out of 137, chows needed 80 to 100 repetitions or more to learn a new command.

Brawn: Chows look bigger than they are, but aren’t small dogs. They weigh 45 to 70 pounds and stand 17 to 20 inches tall.

7. Belgian Malinois


Super smart dogs and bred for dangerous work, Belgian Malinois are wonderful dogs to watch. They’re beautiful and tenacious, and terrible for most homes.

These dogs are bred to track down bombs and drugs over dangerous terrain or apprehend suspects for police, so they’re pretty hardcore. When not sufficiently exercised and trained, these dogs get very bored and destructive.

Their background as bitework dogs means they’re also quite quick to bite — and hold on.

Energy Level: Extremely high, Belgian Malinois need large amounts of mental and physical exercise per day.

Coat Type: Short, easy to groom.

Brains: Smarty pants. Ranked 26 out of 137, Belgian Malinois required 5 to 15 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Large and lean, Belgian Malinois weigh about 40 to 80 pounds but stand tall at 22 to 26 inches.

8. Cane Corso

cane corso

Large and impressive, cani corsi (the plural term for the breed) are intimidating dogs.

Cani corsi are bred to be guard dogs, fostering the tendency to become overly wary and suspicious of strangers and new things. This makes cani corsi difficult dogs for many homes.

Their loyalty to their favorite humans often comes at the expense of aggression towards strangers, so cani corsi need lots of positive training and socialization.

Energy Level: Medium, cani corsi love training and playing tug, but they aren’t endurance athletes. Give them enough outlets to avoid destructive behavior.

Coat Type: Short and very easy to groom.

Brains: Cani corsi are not ranked in The Intelligence of Dogs, but they are quite smart and enjoy training.

Brawn: Thick and imposing, cani corsi often exceed 100 pounds and stand 24 to 28 inches tall.

Check it out: The 11 Best Dog Foods for Cani Corsi!

9. Akita

Akita Inu

Gorgeous dogs popularized by the moving story of Hatchi, Akitas are not for the faint of heart.

Their origin story is in dispute, but Akitas were probably bred for bear hunting, dog fighting, guard dog work, or a combination of the three. All of this means that Akitas have unusually high levels of suspicion with strangers and aggression towards people and dogs.

When well-trained and socialized, Akitas are a beautiful and dignified companion — but they’re not a good dog for first-time owners.

Energy Level: Medium, Akitas need regular exercise and stimulation, but they aren’t full-time athletes.

Coat Type: Long and thick, Akita coats need a lot of brushing and occasional professional grooming.

Brains: Average intelligence. Ranked 103 out of 137, Akitas needed 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a new command.

Brawn: Large and majestic, Akitas weigh in at 70 to 130 pounds and stand 24 to 28 inches tall.

Feed your Akita right: The 13 Best Dog Foods for Akitas!

10. Rottweiler

Originally bred as a war dog, Rottweilers are not dogs for the faint of heart. This large, powerful breed can be incredibly affectionate with their family, but they are notorious for resource guarding issues. They can be aloof to downright aggressive with strange humans and dogs, making them tricky to manage as a newbie dog owner.

Energy Level: Medium. These dogs are bred to work and are extremely powerful, but tend to slow down with age a bit more than some other working dogs.

Coat Type: Short and easy to care for. Grooming is not going to be a challenge, though they shed more than you may expect!

Brains: Quick learners and astute observers. Ranked 9 out of 137 for intelligence, Rotties are fast learners with the brawn to back up their ideas!

Brawn: These powerful athletes often tip the scales at 100 pounds or more. Their sheer size and strength paired with their tricky temperament is the main reason they’re not suited for first time homes.

Read now: The Best Dog Foods for Rotties (from a Rottweiler Owner)!

11. Airedale Terrier

Airedale terriers

Notoriously clever and stubborn, Airedales are tricky simply because they’ve got a typical terrier temperament in a large dog body. Terriers are known for being independent thinkers and voracious predators. While this can be cute in a Jack Russell, it can be tricky to manage with a larger breed like an Airedale. They are also quite vigilant and may be unfriendly with strangers, an additional challenge for many households.

Energy Level: High. These smarty-pants require regular exercise to meet their needs.

Coat Type: Wiry. While they don’t shed much, Airedales require regular coat maintenance.

Brains: Clever. Ranked 29 out of 137, Airedales are quick studies that don’t back away from a challenge.

Brawn: Medium-large, Airedales weigh in at 50 to 70 pounds. While they’re not enormous, their challenge comes from that terrier personality in a lab-sized body!

12. Great Pyrenees 

While these gentle giants are incredibly-well suited to specific household types, they’re not a great fit for your average first-time four-footer family. Originally bred to live outside and guard flocks of sheep from marauding predators, Pyrs are still incredibly independent and protective. They struggle in busy households, apartments, suburban, and urban environments. They simply aren’t bred to be pets; they’re bred to be outdoor guard dogs. While their puppies are ultra-cute (think little polar bears), they’re simply not a good fit for your average home once they grow up.

Energy Level: Low. These dogs are bred to sit on a hillside and watch the flock, then use their voice (and teeth if necessary) to fend off predators. They’ll rise to the occasion for a fight but don’t seek activity.

Coat Type: Thick and plush, Pyrs require regular brushing to avoid dreadlocks.

Brains: Medium-low, great Pyrenees are more known for their vigilance and bravery than their problem-solving or trainability.

Brawn: Huge! These dogs are bred to defend the flock from predators and live outside in tough conditions, so their large size and thick coat has a purpose. Great Pyrenees weigh 85 to 100 pounds or more.

Floofy Food: 11 Best Dog Foods for Great Pyrenees!

Don’t Like Our List? Here’s How to Make Your Personalized Breed List

old and young dog

After you’ve come up with a list of desired traits for your future dog using the scorecard from our adoption guide, you’re ready to start looking at breeds.

Always create your list of desired traits first. That way, you can be clear-eyed and honest about how dogs measure up before you fall in love with idea of a Dogo Argentino.

Take a look at your list and your life. Do you want a dog that’s high energy, a weekend warrior, or a couch potato?

Be realistic about how much time you want to spend exercising and training your dog. Is it important that your dog is OK with other dogs or kids? Do you want to spend a lot of time off leash?

Sometimes, What You Don’t Want is Easier Than What You Want

border collies

These questions can help you narrow down your search a bit.

When helping clients select a dog, I find it’s easier to start with what we don’t want. For example, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted when I started looking for a dog in 2016. I did know a few things I didn’t want:

No dog under 35 pounds. I wanted a sturdy adventure dog and wanted a dog that could keep up on extremely rugged Colorado mountains.

No dog over 80 pounds, for the same reason.

No dog that required regular professional grooming. I just can’t afford that.

No dogs that were banned by the City of Denver or my lease. That meant no Akitas, cane corsi, pit bulls, Dobermans, or Rottweilers.

No major barkers. I just find this irritating beyond belief.

No separation anxiety. I work 10 hour days and can’t afford daycare.

No dogs with major prey drive. My parrot Francis did not appreciate being terrorized.

From there, it was pretty easy to start crossing off breeds based on size, coat type, and breed bans. I narrowed down further by crossing off breeds that are extremely rare or expensive. That left me with a fairly manageable list of breeds.

Next, start doing some research. I like to start with the AKC website for a basic overview of breeds. I used this site to select the friendliest, smartest, and athletic breeds from the remaining breeds.

Skip the AKC “breed selector tool” other than for laughs. It gave me a list of breeds that I’ve never heard of with no clear reasoning. Really, I’m not sure why their calculator thinks a Komondor, Glen of Imaal Terrier, Porcelaine, or mountain cur are good fits for me!

After a few hours of research, I had a nice short list that included most herding dogs and a few retriever types. When you’ve narrowed your list down to under ten breeds, you’re ready to start talking to owners and meeting dogs.

Join Facebook groups, call breeders, and hang at dog shows or dog parks to find owners of your breed finalists. Interact with the dogs and talk to the owners about the ups and downs of their pup! This will help give you a better idea of what the day-to-day life of owning that breed is like.


Have you ever owned any of our ranked “best” or “worst” dogs for first-time owners? How did it go? Share your own experiences in the comments!

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Written by

Kayla Fratt

Kayla Fratt is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through IAABC and works as a conservation detection dog trainer.

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  1. Me Avatar

    Hi, I really want a dog that’s large and sort of shaggy but relatively easy to care for. Is this possible? I don’t have loads of time so not one with too much energy would be best. I love Irish wolfhounds but I think they might be a bit much. Could you point me in the right direction? Thank you!

    1. AdminLogin Avatar

      Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and Bernese Mountain Dogs all come to mind. They are generally chill, have good temperaments, and require only moderate exercise. However, with any long-haired shaggy dog you’ll need to keep up with grooming and regular brushing to avoid mats.

  2. Kevin Avatar

    Hello! I would love some advice regarding choosing a dog for a first-time family!

    We’re a family of four and we all want a dog. We just moved to a different city but we live in a fairly big house with a front and backyard. All four of us are busy for most of the day. Around until 3 pm for the two of us and 5 pm for the rest. Right now, three of us work from home but we won’t be able to do much to care for the dog during work hours.

    We want a dog that’s not too large (preferably medium-sized like a golden retriever), doesn’t shed too much and is easy to train. Preferably needs only around one walk a day although we can leave it out in the backyard for a bit. Would love to hear any breed suggestions and any tips on taking care of a new dog as a first-time owner! Thanks in advance and have a nice day!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Kevin.

      Because you mentioned the shedding issue, you’ll probably want to steer clear of Labs or golden retrievers (they’re both great breeds, but they shed pretty heavily and are very susceptible to separation anxiety).

      But a greyhound — particularly an adult — may be a great choice. They obviously need plenty of time to stretch their legs and run around at warp speed, but greyhounds are actually relatively couch-potato-like in many ways. They’re also really sweet, good-natured dogs.
      Best of luck with your decision!

  3. Shelly Avatar

    Hello! Any tips on a pup, for first time dog owners would be great. We live on 100 acres of farm, have 4 children (ages 12-2). Know nothing about training/owning dogs.
    Wants: loyal, gentle, friendly (but not overly jumpy) low grooming, protective(of kids) outside only.
    Avoid: aggression, biting, real large, jumping on kids, destructive, overwhelmingly active/busy…
    does this breed even exist?!

    As a child I had a cocker spaniel & loved it.
    But it was older and already trained.

    Any tips/help appreciated! Thanks!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Shelly.
      Some of those criteria you mention (destructive, etc.) will really have more to do with the individual dog’s personality and the manner in which you raise him.
      That said, a golden retriever or cavalier King Charles spaniel would probably work well (though neither will be especially protective).
      Best of luck!

  4. Janet Lauritzen Avatar
    Janet Lauritzen

    Hello! I’m surprised you didn’t mention ACD’s as being one of the worst type of dog for a first time owner, unless of course, like the border collie, whether or not you choose one from a farm, sporting or show line.
    My 1st heeler , I’m not so sure where he came from because he was 8 when he came to live with me (I’m guessing from show stock & now, I actually have a working ranch heeler. Boy, oh, boy, is he B U S Y !!!!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Janet.
      You’re right cattle dogs are certainly “born under a green light,” and they can be a bit much for first-time owners.

  5. Sharon Avatar

    Our current dog is a rescue who had no experience living in a house until he was 5 months old, and needed surgery to remove his shattered hip joint. When he came to us aged 7 months from his foster home, we had his DNA done. It confirmed what we suspected: our Lab-terrier cross was half Husky. The remainder was equal parts Lab, Newf, Boxer and terrier group.

    It’s been a challenge, but incredibly rewarding. He’s very smart, loving and gentle with all, including our three cats (the upside). He is completely untrustworthy off leash, free-spirited, and sheds a lot (the downside).

    On my list of breeds I’d like to live with, the Husky would not have made my top 50. But here we are.

    Luckily, our children are grown and we work from home. We put a lot of time and training into our boy. He loves working, learning and playing. We love his clownishness and his vocalizations. We are currently teaching him to say words, and watching him concentrate on our mouths when we model a word and then work hard to approximate it is both hilarious and incredibly touching. And 20 years ago, when we had young kids and demanding jobs outside the home, this would have been disastrous.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Sharon. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      Ending up with a dog with a significantly different genetic makeup than you expected can certainly be challenging (bordering on disappointing), but we’re glad you’ve been able to make it work.
      And while you’re working on teaching him to talk, be sure to check out our article on one thing all speaking dogs should learn to say.


  6. Susan Bishop Avatar
    Susan Bishop

    You recommend the breed most impossible to house train for 1st time dog owners – Shih Tzus?

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Susan.

      I don’t know that Shih Tzus are “the breed most impossible to house train,” but I take your point. In truth, many (if not most) small and toy breeds are challenging in this respect.
      But you have to remember that owners all have varying living situations, and house-training is a bigger deal for some owners than others. For example, it may be a very important consideration for someone living in an apartment or urban area, but those with large yards may not have a problem letting their pooch out 10 times a day if need be.

      Also, there are a lot of potential issues new owners can face. Finding poop or a puddle on the floor is certainly frustrating, but it isn’t even in the same galaxy as the problems some other dogs can present first-time owners (such as reactivity or resource guarding).

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Lauren Avatar

    I currently own both a pug and a greyhound. I can say that they are both SUPER chill (now that they’re a little older). My pug is 10 years old and VERY lazy now, but was much more energetic and clownish as a pup. She is definitely the more stubborn of the 2. But once she learns something, she does not stray from it. I couldn’t get her to eat off a regular plate to save her life now that I trained her to leave people’s food alone (if it’s on the floor, it’s fair game though)! My greyhound is 7. He is about the same energy level as the day we got him. If he gets 2 or 3 short runs in the yard each day, he’s gonna sleep the rest of the day. He is an odd duck in that he LOVES the snow and will not wear a coat (I’ve tried)! He is the sweetest, most well mannered dog I’ve ever had. He was a rescue, so he is quite sensitive to noise, but he just leaves the room if things get too loud for him. Greyhounds are also just about the quirkiest dogs around. I just love them!

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      They sound fantastic, Lauren! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Pratham Kaul Avatar
    Pratham Kaul

    Hey Kayla,
    I am also a first time owner as a teenager. My parents have allowed me to keep a dog but it would be my responsibility. Please suggest me a dog the is medium energy, large dog. Also, I am not a fan of shedding and grooming and that is why I like short-haired breeds, but I live in Canada….I don’t need to explain the cold further. I am okay with drooling until I don’t get grounded for getting someone slip on the floor.

    TY Kayla for help in advance

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Pratham.
      Not sure if Kayla will have a chance to respond (she stays pretty busy training pooches!), but I wanted to try to point you in the right direction.
      If you truly want a large breed with a medium energy level and a short coat, and it is going to be your first dog, then a Great Dane is probably your best bet.
      That said, I think a greyhound may be an even better choice — you’ll just need to invest in some cold-weather clothing for him.

      Just understand that these are huge dogs, and you’ll need to train and socialize your pet from a very young age. It’d also be wise to meet a few Great Danes in person first.
      Best of luck!

  9. Krunal Gosai Avatar
    Krunal Gosai

    Right now I’m looking for dog yes I’m totally new for owning a dog
    I love dogs and I found them very friendly,
    I would like to ask a few questions
    I don’t find german shepherd in this list is it good for the first-time owner
    and thanks for the article it is very informative

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Krunal.
      German shepherds are probably not an ideal breed for first-time owners.
      They are certainly wonderful dogs, but they are big, intelligent, full of energy, and require a lot of grooming. They’re just a lot of dog for novice owners.
      Best of luck in your search!

  10. Cole Avatar

    My first dog was a Chow, I cannot imagine a better dog/friend. That said, I did a lot of research about the breed, and knew/accepted what I needed to do as an owner before adopting her

  11. Very helpful Avatar
    Very helpful

    Very good and helpful i nfo
    Thank you

  12. Rebecca Ogier Avatar
    Rebecca Ogier

    I love your list of “what you don’t want”.
    I wish I could have narrowed my search with that two years ago. I did some research and home assessment, but you’re right. The AKC dog breed selector is not a great tool for first time owners, and having had a dog in your youth doesn’t mean you know anything about dog owning as a parent.
    We adopted a beautiful, playful, well socialized border collie/aussie mix pup a couple years ago, thinking that with our large yard, five active kids aged 7-15, and my daily running, we could provide enough socialization and exercise for him. What we didn’t know, as “first time” owners, was that he needed to WORK and train ALL THE TIME. He was an absolute joy, a great running companion, but he was bored after about ten minutes down time, and he tore up everything. He also barked a lot in the yard. (We have a lot of trees and squirrels.)
    At the time, I knew nothing about velcro dogs, or aussie temperment, and only enough about border collies to know they need lots of activity.
    Unfortunately, after about 4 months, our young doggo started growling and charging one of the kids. One who took very good care of him, fed him, trained him, and walked him. The aggression was unpredictable (to our inexperienced eyes) and increased in frequency despite our best efforts. We worked with him and a couple trainers for another three months before deciding puppy needed a new home.
    Surrendering him back to the adoption agency was agonizing for all of us. We were happy to learn that he quickly found a new home with a single, active runner who also has a cat for him to play with (as we did), frequent doggie play dates, and — although he apparently still chews everything, he and his new owner are very happy.
    Needless to say, we’ve been hesitant to adopt another dog. We miss our pup terribly. We now have two large, young, playful cats (one was puppy’s playmate), but I still want a dog!
    I’d like to find a dog that’s active enough to take out frequently, but mellow enough to be happy with cats, kids and plenty of downtime, if we are away at work and school for more than 4-6 hrs. That’s not exactly the kind of dog you find in most shelters.
    Anyway thanks. Appreciate ya. I’ll be checking back.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey Rebecca, I’m not at all surprised about your experience. Aussies are so popular these days, and I think the vast majority of owners who end up with one have no idea about the unique needs they have. Would you ever consider adopting a 5+ dog? While these dogs are technically considered “seniors” by many, they usually still have plenty of get-up-n-go in them and are established in their personalities, so if they like kids and are mellow with cats, that won’t change. You’d be surprised how many lovely senior dogs there are at the shelter. Most folks think they want a puppy, but boy are they missing out! Senior doggos are usually already housetrained and out of the destructive phase. Just something to think about!

  13. Joe Avatar

    Great information. Thank you.

  14. Sophie Avatar

    Very helpful. I did tons of research read all I could on different breeds . Then my friend suggested the online questionnaire that help you find the right breed of dog calculator . I laughed about then I stopped laughing when it came up with the exact type of dog I had in mind

  15. Ann Avatar

    Kayla, I am 65 and my husband is 70. He’s had dogs as a young child, and says they’re a lot of work. I’ve never had dogs. I am currently working he’s retired. My telecomuting work is busy and demanding. We do a lot of traveling during my vacations, so my question is what do you think of the Shorkie . I was leaning toward that, but after reading your article rethinking the breed. My brother has a Shizu, she’s sweet but does have separation anxiety, not a good trait for two seniors who take several vacations per year.

  16. Naveen Avatar

    Really informative

  17. Jennifer Avatar

    About Great Danes, my grandma adopted a fully grown one from the shelter and let me tell you, he has the personality and boundless energy of a toddler. He is the most playful and active large-breed dog I have seen in my entire life. It might be because he came into the shelter from the streets and now feels safe at home with my grandma, but dang, he’s only mellow and cuddly for about 15% of the day (usually after long walks that include a lot of swimming).

  18. Pip Avatar

    Interesting to see the uppercase warnings on the doodle range of dogs. I lived in the same house as a cavadoodle for around 4 years, and dogsat him from time to time outside that time. He was the sweetest, nicest, friendliest dog ever. Even my brother in law, having announced firmly that they would never have another dog said he would consider one like Billy. Kids loved him and he was agreeable to everyone, intelligent, keen to learn, happy to fit in with whatever you wanted to do and just perfect for a smaller dwelling. I understand that cross breeds are not that predictable in terms of traits they show, but you could say that of all mongrels. The health issues some purebreds have are a major turnoff for me. I would take a cross any time.

  19. Dylan Avatar

    This has been very helpful list for me. Though technically I’ve owned a dog in the past, a beagle (named Snoopy) who sadly past last year. I didn’t realise that they were a difficult breed for first time owners, though at times Snoopy could be a handful. I’m just curious whether you’d consider a Finnish Spitz to be a breed that’d be good for a first time owner? Thank you in advance.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Dylan.
      Kayla stays pretty busy training puppers these days, so I’m not sure if she’ll have time to respond to your question.
      However, generally speaking, the Finnish Spitz can be a decent, if not ideal, option for novice owners. Just be aware that they (like most of their close relatives) need tons of exercise and they can be challenging to train.
      They’re pretty affectionate with their family (but aloof around strangers), and they have a vocal nature that can be pretty endearing.
      We’d recommend trying to meet a couple of them before adding one to the family.
      Best of luck!

  20. Jana Avatar

    I like all the dogs

  21. Andreas Avatar

    I grew up with a border terrier and later on I got a west highland white terrier, which lasted from when I was 14 to 25 years old. He was my dog and I was in charge of him (feeding, walking, training). We never did a ton of training. He understood directions like left, right, up hill, down hill, up in the couch, down from the couch, go to your bed, stay and watch the house, speak, silent, let go, get it, that kinda stuff. He could also walk without a leash in most situations, but if he saw a deer his prey drive would kick in, and he understood that he wasn’t allowed to eat something unless told so (so he only went for stuff we dropped from the table when he was allowed).

    Here is the point of my comment:
    I live in an apartment of 92 m2 (990 square feet) with lots of parks nearby, and I want to get a dog again. I live with my fiance, so no kids. We would like to get a big dog.
    My fiance has no experience with dogs at all, but most of the training will probably fall on me, since I work from home.

    I have completely fallen in love with bullmastiffs and would love to have one. I of course plan to take it for puppy training and socialization and all that jazz (never did that with my old dog, so he was a little reserved) but I wonder what people’s thoughts are on this.

    Bullmastiffs are supposed to be okay to have in an apartment, but they aren’t for first time owners, so I am worried that it will be too much for my fiance to handle.

    Any thoughts?

  22. Ethan Avatar

    I am thinking about getting a GSD or a German Shorthaired Pointer as my first dog. I do have kids who are 3.5 and 8 yr old. Any input would be great.


    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Ethan.
      I’m just chiming in here because I’m not sure if Kayla will have chance to respond quickly.
      German short-haired pointers can be a handful. They’re certainly wonderful dogs, who are gentle, loving, and sweet. But they are full of energy and they require copious amounts of play on a daily basis.
      They’re also smart, easily bored puppers, who can become destructive if not adequately stimulated.
      A GSD wouldn’t be the worst choice for a first-time owner, but there are certainly many better options (like some of those listed above).
      Best of luck!

  23. Dominique Avatar

    What’s your opinion on someone like me(laid back but exercises everyday, allergic to some dogs but no particular breeds, less than 50lbs and under 22in for females, no prey drive nor possible Dog Aggression, and no separation anxiety).
    I was thinking a Hairless Chinese Crested, a Klein/Mourn Poodle, and a Yorkshire Terrier. I met a breeder who has some yorkies who rarely bark and I am in love! But I also don’t mind multiple dogs lol.

  24. Alex Avatar

    Thank you for this article! My partner and I have been talking about getting a dog, but seeing as both of us have never owned one before, have felt a little intimidated and lost in the sea of dog breed information.

    I’m curious if you have any insights on the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever…I’m absolutely in love with this breed and have been curious is it’s got a similar temperament and intelligence as the Golden.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Hi Alex! Tollers are really fun dogs, I’d love to own one someday. I think they’re generally a bit more sport-bred than your “average” golden. That means that you’ll want to be careful to avoid bringing home a dog that’s too much for you. Some agility or hunting line tollers can be a bit too smart (and energetic) for their owners. But in general, they’re LOVELY dogs!

  25. Kaleigh M. Harrison Avatar

    so we got a lab mix puppy last weekend, he’s almost 14weeks old and we think (aren’t sure) he may be either a shepherd mix of some sort, a border collie mix or a husky mix. we won’t know until he’s older, he’s very calm and friendly inside until a person comes in then he gets overly excited and pees on the floor lol, we’re trying to train ourselves and anyone who comes in to just ignore him the first 5 minutes so he calms down. despite his age he’s not overly nippy, he actually has only tried to chew furniture 2 or 3 times and both were when he was tired and needing a nap. whatever his mix is (i’ll buy a dna test when he’s older, because i’m curious) he’s almost exactly what I wanted in a dog, very high energy, eager to please whether or not he gets a treat, well behaved inside and I think he’ll get along with the cats fine when he’s out of teething phase (she thinks he’s hell of annoying right now, whining and barking at her), but they seem to be okay other wise and she has a plenty of places to get out of reach. this is my first time owning a dog but I’ve helped neighbors and friends with their’s since I was 13 so it didn’t seem like too much of a reach to get one, and he’ll be going to training classes once we get the last of his shots taken care of. <–Roman

  26. janet Avatar

    What about a Corgi? My aunt has one who is 12, but loves running. she is aloof, but really friendly once you got to know her.

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      I think any dog described as aloof is probably not the *best* option for a first-time owner!

  27. Liette Avatar

    Wow, very helpful! I’m thinking of adopting, this would be my first dog as an adult.

    One thing I’ve been wondering about: I have a cat (7 years old) who is not used to dogs. Would a puppy or an adult dog be easier for the cat to get used to?

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Great question! Honestly, that probably depends on your cat. I think most cats do a bit better with puppies, but that also means you’ll have to manage the puppy a lot. It’s a lot of work either way!

      1. Liette Avatar

        Thanks 🙂 Right now I’m kind of leaning towards a puppy. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work, but this way I can make sure of his/her education. I’m at work 3 days a week (gone for 9-10 hours), but otherwise will be very present. I’m willing to hire a dog walker for those days I’m at work.

  28. Neema Avatar

    Hi, what about a Boerboel for a first timer, how does one cop?

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Hi Neema, I would not recommend a Boerboel for a first-time owner! They’re pretty challenging dogs.

  29. Lucas Avatar

    What about a Bernedoodle (the cross between a Bernese and a Poodle)?

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Hi Lucas, since it’s a crossbreed between two breeds, we didn’t outline it here. The thing with mixes is that we can’t predict their temperament, size, coat type, or anything else with NEARLY as much accuracy as with a purebred dog – so I can’t really say for sure.

  30. Genaveive Avatar

    What’s your opinion on dachshunds? I really love them but have never technically owned my own dog

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      They don’t need as much exercise as some other dogs, and they’re not particularly difficult. But they do require training and work!

  31. Danielle Pierson Avatar
    Danielle Pierson

    Really considering Great Dane and long haired golden retriever. Our son is 12 and needs something positive to keep him busy but that won’t upset our allergies. will the Great Dane upset our allergies? let’s juat say we can’t handle cats without an antihistamine.

    1. Imani Avatar

      Dogs that most allergy sufferers find more bearable tend to shed very minimally which means they’re not spreading a lot of allergens. I would definitely let go of the thought of getting a golden retriever because they SHED which is the opposite of what you want for a dog meant to be hypoallergenic. DO NOT GET A “DESIGNER” DOG LIKE A LABRADOODLE OR GOLDENDOODLE OR ANY DOODLE MIX. IT’S A SCAM. THEY ARE NOT PUREBRED DOGS WHICH MEANS THEIR GENETICS AREN’T RELIABLE/CONSISTENT AND YOU COULD VERY MUCH HAVE A CURLY-COATED DOG THAT SHEDS EXTENSIVELY LIKE A GOLDEN. You also have to take into account other characteristics you want: size, energy level, etc. For example, say you want a medium-sized hypoallergenic dog that loves to play; a good match for you could be a schnauzer, poodle, etc. What I would recommend you do is follow the advice of the author and make a list of what you do and don’t want in a dog, narrow your list of dog breeds through extensive research by visiting the websites of national breed clubs of dogs you’re interested in and talking to club members, you should be able to find a list of the high-ranking club members and their contact info, talking to owners of said dogs, going to meet the breed events, reading recommended books about these dogs. Basically, ask as many questions as you can and get answers from people who have experience with the breed, and actually see these dogs in person. It’s too easy to fall in love with the idea of having a certain breed when your only experience with them is seeing them on the internet. Good luck with your search and if you need help, I’m more than willing to help you. You can contact me at my email address: [email protected]

  32. Kat Avatar

    I don’t see poodles on your list, but I’ve heard that many people think they are great dogs for first time owners. Would you agree?

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      Kat, I think poodles are definitely contenders for this list! I’ve met several that are a bit too smart (and a bit high-strung) for some first-time owners, though. It certainly depends on the owner AND the dog to make a good pairing 🙂

      1. Mani Avatar

        Boxer is ok for first time woner

  33. Connor Avatar

    I was really debating a Shiba before hearing some differences of opinions on shibas as I was looking for a smaller dog without purse sized. This has me second guessing Shibas

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hey Connor – I know how you feel, I love Shibas myself (they are so adorable), but they really aren’t a good choice for most owners – especially for your first dog!

    2. Chiara Avatar

      Honestly I don’t don’t think Shibas are bad for first time owners – they are just verrry aloof around strangers.
      Of course they are independent, but this just means they are typically not the type of dog that likes to cuddle or show much love (like a golden retriever e.g.). Also training can be a little harder and letting the dog off leash may not be your wisest decision, but it is possible.
      (You could meet up with some breeders if you are still interested in this breed though)

  34. Ravindra kumar Avatar

    Kya papillon dog 1st time owner k liye nahi h

  35. Franky Avatar

    Great advice on selecting a suitable breed and thank you for the additional information regarding the original purpose for the breed. This really provides an insight on possible characteristics

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar

      So glad we could help!

      1. io light Avatar
        io light

        Another thanks (over a year after the article) from a person considering getting a dog for the first time!
        I love Cane Corsi — I’ve met examples who live up to their reputation as noble, loyal, sweet dogs. Such a big dog is indeed intimidating for a first-time owner, especially as I’m only about 120 lbs myself. That being said, the breed (or a mixed-breed mastiff with Corso-type tendencies) nearly perfectly meets my “checklist”, so perhaps an older dog with known temperament and good training could still be a fit.

  36. Pepilolo Avatar

    Ooooo yes yes very good one Betty boy

  37. Corey Avatar

    Very helpful!

    1. Kayla Fratt Avatar