Are you prepared to bring home your first dog? There are numerous factors to consider when selecting the best breed of dog to join your family. Our Los Angeles vets share a list of 10 dogs that would be ideal for first-time owners in this blog.

Adopting a Dog

Congratulations on your decision to bring an adorable canine companion into your life. Caring for a dog can be a thrilling and gratifying experience. However, depending on the type of dog you bring home, you may face a variety of difficulties. As a result, it is critical to consider what you are looking for in a dog and whether you can meet all of the dog's needs.

Consider the size, personality, exercise requirements, grooming requirements, level of training required, and other factors. While each dog has a distinct personality, you can find the best dog for you by researching the breeds you're interested in and matching their needs and characteristics to your lifestyle. For example, if you want a lap dog, avoid getting a dog with high energy levels, and if you live in an apartment, adopt a smaller breed of dog.

Here, our vets at Washington Dog and Cat Hospital have listed 10 dog breeds that could be great for first-time owners and explain the characteristics and care requirements of each, to help you choose the best dog for you.

10 Dog Breeds For First Time Owners

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This is a small (but not insignificant) dog breed that is friendly, elegant, gentle, relatively quiet and gets along well with people of all ages, from infants to seniors. Their smaller size makes them ideal for apartments, but they can easily adapt to any living environment.

They have a medium-length coat that requires regular brushing to prevent knots and a moderate energy level, so basic daily exercise should be enough to keep them healthy.

2. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is an adorable happy-go-lucky small dog that resembles a cotton ball and is ideal for apartment dwellers or families with children. This puppy is relatively easy to train and requires only moderate daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. They can also easily adapt to any lifestyle.

This puppy, on the other hand, necessitates a commitment to grooming. They must go to the groomer regularly to have their coats trimmed and brushed. Keeping a Bichon Frise's fur short is a good way to keep their coat manageable.

3. Boxer

Boxers enjoy being around people (especially children) and make excellent protectors. They are loyal, medium to large-sized dogs who are very playful and have a lot of energy. If you lead an active lifestyle, this may be the dog for you. While these dogs may be hyperactive as puppies, they are trainable and enjoy receiving attention during training.

While this dog does require lots of exercise and a strong training foundation, they only require basic grooming and can be an excellent protective guardian, especially for children. 

4. Papillon

These small toy breed dogs have a fine-boned structure and are friendly. They are cheerful, alert, and in general very friendly. They can thrive and be happy in any setting, whether it's a city apartment, a suburban home, or a farm in the country. They also get along well with children who are gentle with them. They are very adaptable and could make an excellent exercise partner or even a lap dog if allowed to run around and play both inside and outside.

This dog enjoys a somewhat active lifestyle, is relatively easy to train, and only requires moderate grooming.

5. Poodle

Poodles are adaptable dogs that can live in any environment and even in homes with children. Even though poodles come in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard), they all respond well to training and are extremely intelligent.

These are very active dogs that require mental stimulation and lots of daily exercise. They also need to be groomed regularly so their growing, curly coat can be maintained.

6. Labrador Retriever

This breed of dog is known for being friendly, loyal, and excellent with children. It is also one of the most popular dogs in the United States. This sweet dog is friendly to strangers and very trainable, so you can teach them almost anything. They are also very energetic and playful, as they enjoy running and playing fetch, but they also enjoy cuddling with their owners afterward.

This medium to large dog thrives in active households that can give them lots of exercise, they also need basic grooming regularly to minimize shedding. 

7. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are often regarded as the ideal family dog because they are eager to please and get along well with children of all ages. This medium to a large-sized dog is affectionate, loyal, and very active. Most households with enough space for golden retrievers can thrive and be happy with them.

This dog needs a lot of exercise every day to stay healthy and avoid boredom, and while they are relatively easy to train, training is essential. We also recommend that you groom your golden retriever regularly to avoid tangles and mats in their fur.

8. Pomeranian

This sweet little lap dog generally forms a very close bond with one owner but can thrive in a family setting. While Pomeranians are very adaptable to children, they do best with older children who are gentler with them. This small and adorable dog has a big fluffy coat that is easier to maintain than it appears, requiring only regular brushing.

Pomeranians thrive on positive, consistent training that establishes boundaries and structure; without training, they can have a feisty, stubborn personality. They, on the other hand, only need basic daily exercise.

9. Yorkshire Terrier

You're looking for a small lap dog. This puppy could be ideal for you. Yorkshire terriers make excellent first dogs because they are affectionate toward their owners and protective of strangers. They have a moderate amount of energy and will benefit from daily walks.

Yorkshire terriers require a lot of attention when it comes to grooming because of their fast-growing coats, which necessitate regular trims and brushing. We also recommend training this little guy like a large dog and providing plenty of structure; otherwise, he will become vocal and stubborn. However, if you provide them with the necessary boundaries and training, the two of you will form an even stronger bond.

10. Mixed Breed Dogs

When looking for a dog to join your family, don't overlook mixed breed dogs from a local shelter or rescue group. While each breed of dog has its own set of training, personality, and grooming needs, the needs of mixed breed dogs will vary depending on their genetic make-up.

Ask the team at your local rescue or shelter about the traits you are looking for in a dog and they could match you up with the perfect furry friend.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our vets in Los Angeles today to learn more about the care requirements for dogs or to schedule an appointment for your new canine companion at our animal hospital.