13 Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

Would you like to take in a four-legged friend, but have no dog experience yet? No problem, there are several dog breeds for beginners that, thanks to their friendly nature and their ability to learn quickly, can also be a great pleasure for novice dogs. The 13 best breeds for new owners can be found here.

Dog Breeds for Beginners

Below we explain to you which dogs are best for inexperienced people.

Hunting Dogs Not Ideal for Beginners

As a beginner dog, most breeds that have not been bred for a specific task are generally well suited. Classic hunting dogs or guard dogs could easily outgrow inexperienced dog owners due to their highly developed instincts. There are numerous breeds that are mainly bred as society or companion dogs and are very close to humans.

Breeder or Adoption?

Nevertheless, your four-legged friend does not necessarily have to be a pedigree dog from the breeder. There are enough calm and nice mixed breed dogs in the shelter, which are absolutely suitable for beginners.

Basically, every new dog owner should realize that it depends mainly on the person how the coexistence goes later. Raising a puppy or adult dog is no picnic – with a good dog school on hand, it’s not rocket science either.

Dog Breeds for Beginners From Medium to Large

Some large breeds of dogs are in most cases well suited as beginner dogs because of their typical traits:

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are generally very friendly and outgoing. You have a lovable character, are intelligent, attentive, and enjoy learning. They are perfect family dogs.

Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Temperament: trustworthy, intelligent, reliable, confident, friendly
Weight: Males: 28-32 kg, females: 24-28 kg
Size: Males: 56-61 cm, females: 51-56 cm
Colors: dark gold, cream, light gold


The Kromfohrländer is a medium-sized breed. The friendly character rounds off his ability to behave. Kromfohrländer is sometimes cuddly, sometimes enterprising, and playful.

Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Temperament: docile, friendly, companionable, adaptable, easy to train
Weight: 9-14 kg
Size: 38-46 cm
Colors: white with brown markings


The Labradoodle is a hybrid breed. The “designer dogs” were crossed from Labrador and Poodle. Her qualities are smart, family-friendly, docile, and affectionate. They are just as suitable for allergy sufferers as they have little to no hair.

Life expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Temperament: gentle, bright, intelligent, docile
Weight: 25-35 kg
Size: 54-65 cm
Colors: all colors allowed

Labrador Retriever

Labradors always strive to please their humans. They’re usually not yappers, but they are very patient. Labradors are considered to be eaten up and tend to be overweight if the owner is not careful.

Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years
Temperament: sociable, agile, intelligent, trusting, balanced, gentle
Weight: Males: 35-40 kg, females: 30-35 kg
Size: Males: 56-57 cm, females: 54-56 cm
Colors: black, chocolate brown, sand color, cream color


Leonberger are good dogs for beginners who want a big dog. Leonbergers are getting very big, however. You are absolutely self-confident and have a sovereign composure.

Life expectancy: 9 to 12 years
Temperament: adaptable, loyal, fearless, obedient, loving, companionable
Weight: Males: 55-65 kg, females: 45-55 kg
Size: Males: 72-80 cm, females: 65-75 cm
Colors: sand, pale yellow, lion yellow, red, red-brown, dark brown

Small Breeds of Dogs for Beginners

If you don’t want your first dog to be too big, there are also numerous smaller specimens that are good for beginners.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frisés are small, alert, and courageous dogs. In addition, they are patient and quick to grasp, which makes them good beginner dogs. They are a good size and are also suitable for somewhat smaller apartments.

Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Temperament: spirited, affectionate, lively, gentle, playful
Weight: Males: 5-7 kg, females: 4-7 kg
Size: 23-30 cm
Colors: pure white

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are considered beginner dogs, even if they have some temperament. The friendly little dogs are clever and forgive upbringing mistakes.

Life expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Temperament: lively, intelligent, friendly
Weight: 6-11 kg
Size: 25-40 cm
Colors: brindle seal, black and white

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are at rest. They are not nervous or argumentative. They are always in a good mood, are enterprising, and easy to raise.

Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years
Temperament: affectionate, fearless, patient, sociable, playful, adaptable
Weight: 5-8 kg
Size: 25-34 cm
Colors: black and tan, tricolor, blenheim, ruby red

French bulldog

The French Bulldog is a playful, affectionate, and lovable little dog. She has hardly any hunting instinct and is generally not a barker.

Life expectancy: 9 to 11 years
Temperament: affectionate, patient, carefree
Weight: Males: 9-14 kg, females: 8-13 kg
Size: Males: 27-35 cm, females: 24-32 cm
Colors: brindle, fawn, fawn and white, caille


The Maltipoo is also a hybrid breed. The little dog is a cross between a Maltese and a Poodle. They are extremely popular with allergy sufferers.

Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
Temperament: intelligent, docile, balanced, agreeable, easy to train
Weight: 3-5 kg
Size: approx. 30 cm
Colors: gray, black, white, apricot, brown, pied


Pugs have become little cult dogs. They are considered to be happy and balanced. You are extremely good-natured and have a special charm and intelligence. The pug is said to die of a broken heart if given up. Loriot said: “A life without a pug is possible but pointless.”

Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years
Temperament: charming, clever, sometimes stubborn, sociable, playful, quiet, attentive
Weight: 6-8 kg
Size: males 30-40 cm, females: 25-33 cm
Colors: silver, apricot, fawn, or black

Papillon (Continental dwarf spaniel)

Papillons are small dogs with big ears. They are docile and kind. They have been popular family dogs for centuries.

Life expectancy: 13 to 15 years
Temperament: tough, energetic, focused, intelligent, friendly
Weight: Males: 1-4 kg, females: 1-5 kg
Size: 26-30 cm
Colors: White must predominate, otherwise all colors can occur


Poodles come in all sizes. Small, medium, or large. Poodles always try to please their humans. You are intelligent and reliable. But they also have the temperament and are very athletic, especially the standard poodles.

Life expectancy: 12 to 19 years
Temperament: focused, intelligent, instinctive, loyal, active, easy to educate
Weight: 6-23kg
Size: toy poodle: 23-28 cm, miniature poodle: 28-35 cm, small poodle: 35-45 cm, standard poodle: 45-62 cm
Colors: black, apricot, white, blue, black and white, brown, silver, red, fawn brown

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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