Best Dog For A Novice Owner


If you’re a novice dog owner, you probably have a lot of questions about the best dog for a novice owner. There are many things for first-time dog owners to consider before choosing that perfect canine companion. Fortunately, I can help you understand the various pros of owning a large breed and small breed dog. Also, I will share my tips on what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a new puppy. I know from personal experience that it is not easy finding the best dog for a novice owner.

Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are lovable, affectionate and gentle dogs that can thrive in any household.  They will get along well with everyone including children and other pets.  They love to learn, which makes them easy to train and therefore a great choice for a first time dog owner.  You will also discover the joys of being active as this breed needs plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

One of America’s most popular dog breeds, the golden retriever is a choice that’s certain to please.

Fun for all the family, they are gentle dogs though they were historically used for hunting.

In fact, the “retriever” name is a nod towards the breed’s ability to bring back shot game undamaged.

Bichon Frise

This breed is a happy ball of fluff and is adaptable to all sorts of lifestyles. Their coats are hypoallergenic too which makes them a fantastic choice for people who suffer with allergies.  An attentive nature and a love of their owners’ company means they will be ready to take part in all your favourite activities, as long as one of those includes going on a walk or heading out to the park!  They can be a little shy around strangers but this can be easily remedied with early socialisation.

When translated from French, Bichon Frise literally means ‘curly lap dog,’ which captures the temperament of these peppy but peaceful companions.

Small in size, they require less exercise than larger dogs, although their ‘powder puff’ coat demands a fair amount of grooming.


Whichever size of poodle you go for, standard, toy or miniature, this breed is a great dog for beginners.  Playful and affectionate they make great exercise partners as well as always being up for a cuddle.  They have incredible temperaments and are one of the easiest breeds to train, but they will need plenty of physical and mental stimulation.  So get ready for lots of walks and be creative with play.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These sweet little dogs are great if you are looking for a snuggle buddy.  They love nothing more than spending time relaxing with their owners.  Their calm demeanor and attentive nature means they respond well to training, and they will always be eager to please.  While chilling out on the sofa may be one of their favourite things, just make sure you encourage them to get out and about, as daily walks will keep them in tip top shape.


Don’t let their small size fool you, Papillons have big personalities and often act like a larger dog.  They also need more exercise than you might think as they have boundless energy and love to run around and learn new skills.  This does mean that they are easy to train and you might even consider getting them involved in agility training.  They will happily get along with children, and you will be pleased to know that their big personality does not come without a large dose of friendliness.

Labrador Retriever

Active, playful and intelligent, this breed does best in a home that can offer lots of exercise, training and attention.  Labrador retrievers are loyal to their owners and their amiable natures mean you can take them anywhere. They are as happy relaxing outside a coffee shop as they are accompanying you on a run. One thing to watch out for with this breed is their love of food. They will happily indulge in anything and everything, so they have a tendency to become overweight.  This is easily managed by limiting treats and keeping them active, you could even download the free PitPat app and make use of the free weight management tool for extra peace of mind.


Bred to be a competitive racer, it might surprise you to learn that this breed are actually very calm, affectionate animals that can make great first time dogs.  In fact, when they are at home they love to relax and sleep, but they will always be up for exploring the outdoors with their family too.  While they can be a good fit for most homes, it’s worth mentioning that they do have a strong hunting instinct, so should be kept away from cats and other small animals.

Border Terriers

Sturdy and reliable these working dogs are suited to an outdoorsy lifestyle. Low maintenance thanks to a wiry coat, border terriers are the perfect dogs for roaming around the countryside.

Cocker Spaniels

Relatively lively creatures, this breed will need a minimum of an hour of exercise a day.

Owners can look forward to swimming, walking and other adventures with their spaniels. High-energy and prone to barking if bored, these dogs are better suited to an equally active owner.


The best dog for a beginner owner is the dog that best meets their individual needs. This can vary depending on their lifestyle, and what pet they are hoping to train to obey their commands. The above five dogs are good at following directions, but only if they are trained by the owner to do so. If this is not a priority, then these pets may be more suitable for an experienced owner. That said, every dog has its upsides, and in different situations one may suit a new owner better than others. Good luck!

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