The 10 Best Dogs for Beginners, Vets Say

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Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are popular for first-time pet owners and as service dogs due to their friendliness, intelligence, loyalty, and compatibility with kids and other dogs. They require exercise, love water, and shed a lot.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are affectionate, good with kids and other dogs, and easy to train. They require daily exercise and are slightly less energetic than Labs, but shed similarly.


They are intelligent, loyal, and easy to train. Poodles are active, love to retrieve, and excel at swimming. They have low-allergen coats, minimal shedding, and are affectionate and good with children.


They have a playful nature, moderate exercise needs, and benefit from good socialization. A fenced yard and puppy playgroups are recommended


However, they require companionship and may not be ideal for long periods alone. Working from home allows them to provide unmatched loyalty and love.

Shih Tzu

They are small and low-maintenance in terms of exercise, making them suitable for apartments. They are generally calmer and bark less compared to other small breeds.

Yorkshire Terrier

They are less needy than Shih Tzus but require regular grooming for their long, glossy coats resembling human hair.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have upbeat, and adapt well to apartments or homes. They have minimal shedding, easy grooming, and moderate exercise needs. "the American Gentlemen" for their impeccable manners.

Cavalier King

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have fun-loving, gentle dispositions with a touch of spunkiness. They adapt well to various lifestyles and get along with other pets.


Despite their racing abilities, they enjoy lounging on the couch. Their medium size and affectionate nature make them suitable for first-time owners.