Dogs are loved for their loyalty, intelligence and playful nature. The sheer variety in terms of breed, size, colour and personality make them favourites in the pet world. In fact, many people consider their dogs to be an integral part of their family.
First-time dog owners
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with taking care of a dog, from feeding and grooming to exercising and visits to the vet. Potential dog owners should realise that even dog breeds that are billed as low maintenance still require their attention.
That being said, it is true that some dogs are easier to manage and take care of than others. Before heading out to the local pet shop or animal shelter, first-time dog owners need to know what to look for. They need to consider their lifestyle and how owning a dog will change their schedule. For instance, sensitive dog breeds can become anxious and stressed if their owner is a full-time worker who leaves them for long periods. Although pet stress treatment options are available, it is always better to avoid these problems beforehand.
Additionally, people looking to own dogs for the first time should consider the space they have, in relation to the dog breed they are interested in owning. Larger breeds might feel cramped in small apartments, while smaller ones might be intimidated by larger spaces. Families with children or other pets also need to pay attention to a breed’s temperament. Some dogs are territorial and might not want to share their space with other pets, while others are too aggressive to be allowed near children. Dogs also shed and require varying amounts of grooming and exercise, and this should also be taken into consideration.
Ideal dog breeds for first-timers
The ideal dog for a first-time owner would be one that is relatively low maintenance, easily trainable and with a good temperament. Adapting to being a dog owner calls for a lot of adjustments and mistakes, and inconsistencies might be common in the beginning. For this reason, newbies should get dogs that are resilient enough to withstand this adjustment period.
Below are some breeds that are good for novice owners:
Thanks to their intelligence, loyalty and wonderful temperament, both Labradors and Golden Retrievers are hugely popular breeds among dog lovers. Retrievers are easy to train and get on remarkably well with children. They do not require a lot of exercise and will be happy with daily walks. These affectionate and social dogs make great family companions and are ideal for rookie owners.
- Boston Terrier
Originally bred to be fighting dogs, Boston Terriers have gradually wormed their way into many hearts. These small, sturdy dogs are actually very gentle, lively and affectionate. Their short coat doesn’t shed much, and they don’t need a lot of exercise either. Furthermore, they are easy to train, child-friendly and can adapt quickly to apartment living, making them good pets for first-time owners.
Papillons are tiny dogs with big personalities. They were originally bred to be companions, so it is no surprise that they take well to family life. These cute dogs are delightful bundles of energy, and they charm their owners with their curiosity and playful antics. They are easy to train, and although they have long coats, they don’t shed excessively. People who want small and affectionate dogs will love a Papillon.
- Border Collie
Border Collies are ideal dogs for high-energy people. These intelligent dogs were long-used to herd sheep in the Scottish Highlands, endowing them with stamina and endurance. They are highly trainable and excel in canine sports such as flying disc, flyball, tracking and agility. Due to their herding instinct, they can be very protective of children. Those looking to own a Border Collie should make sure that they have the energy and stamina required to keep up with these active dogs.
- Bichon Frise
With its fluffy coat and small black eyes, the Bichon Frise is one of the best breeds for novice dog owners. This is a cute, cheerful and very affectionate dog that would make a wonderful companion for both families and single people. They love to cuddle and require quite a bit of attention, so this is not an ideal breed for those who work long hours. However, they take quickly to apartment living, and their owners will always have a mischievous companion to keep them company.
While the choice of what dog breed to own is a personal one, novice owners should ensure that they psychologically prepare themselves for the responsibility. Those who put in the effort will be rewarded with the love and devotion of a faithful canine companion.