Which breeds of dog would be recommended for first time dog owners?

This question is simultaneously easy to answer and yet utterly brimming with controversy. Why, you might ask, could such a simple query as finding out which breeds are recommended for first time dog owners prove to be anything other than simple?

Well, it’s because of the following three reasons.

  1. There are lots of dog breeds, many of which would come highly recommended for first time owners
  2. There are lots of breeds who share similar traits but are still subject to plenty of fluctuations depending on the quality of the breeder and the dog’s initial socialisation
  3. Finally, it’s very difficult to recommend dogs to first time owners without knowing the specific lifestyle of those first time owners. After all, a first time owner could be someone who’s just moved to a farm or a flat.

See, I did warn you this was tricky!

Let’s give it a good go though shall we?

The Labrador Retriever

Universally regarded as a superb family dog and ideal recommendation if this is to be your first time as a dog owner, this chap is friendly, he’s easy to train, he is obsessive about his personal hygiene and more handsome than George Clooney and Brad Pitt put together. Labrador Retrievers are generally fairly laid back in a family environment, combining a playful streak with a propensity to sit in quiet contemplation while you lot tuck into dinner, owning one will enable you to maintain an active social life so long as you consider the practical needs of the dog, such as garden breaks and feeding.

The Labrador Retriever has the distinct advantage of not requiring a lot of grooming. In fact, you only need to worry about them shedding twice per year (for six months at a time sadly!)

Couple this with this with his intelligent, affable and obedient nature and you’re onto a sure winner. And let’s not forget that these guys, when they are young, are in fact Andrex puppies, so a ten out of ten for general cuteness as well.

A respectable runner up rosette goes to a dog which surely is the pride of many a family and a top commendation for first time owners the world over.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffy has copped a fair bit of bad publicity recently and has done so in the past, but it has to be said that thousands of families nationwide are benefiting from his loyalty and friendliness as we speak. When it comes to Staffies, in the immortal words of Public Enemy ‘don’t believe the hype’! Staffies are superb family pets and they tend to have a naturally protective disposition toward children in particular.

A relatively small dog, who is particularly suited to the smaller house environment, the Staffy fits in to all family set ups well. A short, coarse coat means that the doggy brush will not need de-fleecing every two days and the Dyson will be able to get up the stairs without choking to death.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a bold, affectionate dog who loves children. He is also quite a strong little character, Phil Buckley, of the Kennel Club, says the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is “a good all round family pet, robust enough to suffer rough play from children and intelligent and obedient enough to be well behaved around the home and amongst strangers.”

Poodle (miniature)

Elegance and a robust personality go hand in hand with the Poodle. But why the Miniature variety? Well, the bigger the Poodle, the less likely he is to be as playful as his smaller cousins, they just tend to be more laid back the bigger they get.

This Poodle has some outstanding personality bonus points, but then you get to the coat. Short, curly fur sheds less and this makes the breed ideal for people who are looking for a low shedding dog breed and / or people who may be sensitive to dog hairs.

Just missing out on a top spot recommendation is the Golden retriever.

A hugely popular dog, with an adorable personality. The Golden Retriever is a dog that looks great, with his shiny thick coat but he also sounds great. He loves a good bark now and then, which can be inconvenient if you have a baby upstairs trying to get some kip.

On the plus side, this chap is always up for playing, and is strong enough to withstand a bit of rough and tumble when the kids get a bit older, secretly I think he loves a bit of a wrestle, and he is a gentleman about it too.

It is common opinion that this dog is so well behaved and easy to train, that the kids could in fact pick up a few pointers off him and if kids can do it, one would expect novice dog owners could pick up the general idea fairly quickly as well! Once again, his long fur has let him down in the perfect pet department, but if you are that mad about Golden Retrievers, you won’t mind a bit of extra vacuuming and will soon find that this lad really is a Super Fury Animal.

Next up is the Yorkshire Terrier ideal for first time owners?

This is one of the most popular dogs in the UK, so he must be doing something right. However, his suitability as a dog for a young family or first time dog owners may not match his popularity with more experienced owners. Dogs this small always run the risk of being trodden on or kicked by clumsy youngsters. Do the same to a GSD and he will hardly notice, but a Yorkie could be seriously injured if in the wrong place at the wrong time, perhaps sleeping by a door.

Yorkies are easy to train though, which goes some way to explain their huge popularity, and they do love to play, when it suits them. Being a terrier, this little fella may get a bit protective of his owner when guests pop round for tea. But if your one desire is a dog that will curl up on your lap for an afternoon snooze, then look no further, this is the dog for you. Look for a pet shop with yorkie puppies for sale. But if you want a dog that loves a bit of hands on play then perhaps our next entrant is more up your street.

The Greyhound

The good old Greyhound is not far off being the perfect family dog. But misinformation has resulted in this dog getting a reputation as a bad pet due to his constant need to be exercised, what utter rubbish! The Greyhound needs as much exercise as any other dog his size, he just happens to be a fast runner. Similar to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Greyhound suffers from a totally undeserved image problem. Don’t buy in to the myths. First time dog owners would do well to consider this beautiful breed.

One of the very best ways to increase your chances of getting a dog that will be good with first time owners is to adopt one. Now I know you’re probably wondering why adopting a dog as your first foray in to dog ownership would be recommended. The answer is simple; Dog adoption shelters are experienced and knowledgeable about placing the right dog with the right owners. They tend to have done solid assessments on the dog’s in their care and make re-homing recommendations on a dog’s suitability based on a number of different criteria factors. Whatever you do, don’t discount the adoption route as the best way to acquire a new dog, you’d be making a glaring omission if you did. Rest assured, there are many dogs waiting for new homes in the rescue shelters across the country that would come highly recommended for first time owners.

To prove that very point, just take a look at these dogs for adoption…

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