15 Worst & Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

Best Dog Breeds

Table of Contents

Bringing a new pet home is always exciting. You need to consider lots of factors when bringing a dog home. Every dog breed originated for specific goals and needs. For example, hunting, herding, and guarding dogs have different energy levels and temperaments than lap dogs. There are so many dog breeds out there, which makes choosing a dog breed that is suitable for you and your family a difficult task. In this article, we will introduce the Worst and Best Dog Breeds for first-time owners.

6 Worst Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

1. Shiba Inu

Best Dog Breeds

One of the main reasons why the Shiba Inu can be difficult for first-time owners is their independent and stubborn nature. They are known for their strong-willed personalities and can be quite stubborn when it comes to training. They have a strong sense of self and may not always be eager to please their owners. This can make training sessions a bit challenging and time-consuming.

Additionally, Shiba Inu have a high prey drive and can be prone to aggression towards other animals, including smaller pets. They were originally bred as hunting dogs, and their instinct to chase and hunt can be difficult to control. It requires a dedicated and experienced owner to properly socialize and manage their prey drive.

Another aspect to consider is their strong sense of dominance. Shiba Inu can be territorial and may try to assert their dominance within the household. They may not always get along well with other dogs, especially those of the same sex.

In terms of exercise needs, Shiba Inu are an active breed that requires daily physical and mental stimulation. They have a lot of energy and need outlets to burn it off. Without proper exercise, they can become bored, frustrated, and may develop destructive behaviors.

Lastly, these dogs are known to be vocal dogs. They are not afraid to express themselves and can be quite vocal with their barks, howls, and even screams. This can be challenging for first-time owners living in apartments or in close proximity to neighbors.

Read more: 

2. Beagle

Best Dog Breeds

Beagle are adorable and lovable dogs, but they may not be the ideal choice for first-time owners. While they have their positive qualities, there are some aspects of the Beagle breed that can make them challenging for inexperienced owners.

One of the main considerations with Beagle is their strong hunting instinct. These dogs are scent hounds bred for hunting small game, and their noses are always on the ground, following scents. This means that they can easily become distracted and wander off if they catch an interesting scent. Their instincts can make them difficult to control off-leash and may require a secure and fenced yard. This hunting drive can also lead to excessive barking and howling, which can be a nuisance in residential areas.

Another factor to consider is their high energy level. Beagle are active dogs that require regular exercise to stay mentally and physically stimulated. Without adequate exercise, they can become bored and develop destructive behaviors such as chewing or digging. Their energy needs can be demanding for first-time owners who may not be prepared for the level of activity they require.

Beagle are also known for their stubbornness. They have an independent streak and may not always be eager to obey commands or follow instructions. It can take time and effort to establish effective communication and ensure that they respond well to training.

Additionally, Beagle are a social breed that thrives on companionship. They can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods, which can lead to destructive behaviors or excessive barking. They are pack animals and prefer to be around their family members most of the time. This means that they may not be suitable for households where everyone is away for extended periods during the day.

3. Border Collie

Best Dog Breeds

The Border Collie is a highly intelligent and energetic breed that is often considered one of the worst choices for first-time dog owners. While they are incredibly talented working dogs and excel in various activities, their unique characteristics can make them challenging for inexperienced owners.

One of the main reasons this breed may not be suitable for first-time owners is their intense energy level. They have a strong herding instinct and were bred for their stamina and agility. Border Collie require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Without regular exercise and mental engagement, they can become frustrated and exhibit behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing, and digging. Meeting the exercise needs of a Border Collie can be demanding and time-consuming, which can be overwhelming for those who are not prepared for the commitment.

Furthermore, these dogs are known for their high intelligence and problem-solving abilities. While this makes them excellent working dogs, it can also lead to challenges for novice owners. They are quick learners and require consistent training and mental stimulation to keep them engaged. Without proper guidance and training, Border Collie can become bored and may develop behavioral issues such as obsessive behaviors or outsmarting their owners.

Additionally, Border Collie have a strong herding instinct, which can manifest in nipping or herding behavior towards children or other pets. This can be a concern for families with young children who may not understand how to interact appropriately with the dog. Early and consistent training can help mitigate these behaviors, but it requires time and expertise.

4. Siberian Husky 

Best Dog Breeds

One of the main challenges of owning a Siberian Husky is their high energy levels. These dogs were bred for endurance and can have boundless energy, requiring vigorous exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Without proper outlets for their energy, they can become bored and resort to destructive behaviors such as chewing or digging. Their exercise needs can be demanding and time-consuming, which can be overwhelming for inexperienced owners who may not be prepared for the commitment.

Another aspect that makes this breed challenging for first-time owners is their independent nature. They have a strong sense of adventure and can be quite stubborn, making training more difficult. Huskies have a natural instinct to roam and may be prone to wander off if not properly contained or supervised. Their independent streak can make them less responsive to commands and training efforts, requiring a firm and consistent approach.

Siberian Huskies also have a strong prey drive and a high level of curiosity, which can make them difficult to handle around smaller animals or pets. They may display a strong instinct to chase and hunt, making them less compatible with households that have small pets or cats.

Additionally, Siberian Husky are known for their vocal nature and can be quite vocal, often howling or “talking” to communicate. Their vocalization is deeply ingrained in their nature and can be challenging to control or suppress.

Read more: 

5. Dalmatian

Best Dog Breeds

The Dalmatian is a unique and eye-catching breed known for its distinctive coat pattern and association with firehouses and Disney movies. However, they are considered one of the Worst Dog Breeds for first-time owners due to several reasons.

One of the main challenges of owning a Dalmatian is their high energy levels. They are an active breed that requires plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. Their exercise needs can be demanding, making them a poor match for individuals or families with a sedentary lifestyle or limited time for daily exercise.

Another aspect that makes Dalmatian challenging for first-time owners is their independent and stubborn nature. They are known for their strong-willed personalities and may require consistent and firm training methods. This breed can be headstrong and may test their owners’ patience, particularly if the owners lack experience in dog training.

Dalmatian also have a reputation for being prone to certain health issues. They are known to be susceptible to hearing problems and urinary tract issues. Additionally, their unique coat pattern requires regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and free of mats.

Furthermore, Dalmatian have a strong prey drive and may not be suitable for households with smaller pets or cats. Their hunting instincts can make them aggressive or overly excited around small animals, requiring careful management and supervision in such situations.

6. Chow Chow

Best Dog Breeds

The Chow Chow is a breed that is often considered one of the worst choices for first-time dog owners. While they possess a unique and beautiful appearance with their thick double coat and lion-like mane, there are several reasons why they may not be suitable for inexperienced owners.

One of the main challenges with Chow Chow is their strong-willed and independent nature. They are known for their stubbornness, which can make training difficult, especially for those who are new to dog ownership. Chow Chow require consistent and firm training methods, along with early socialization to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and well-adjusted dogs.

Another factor that makes Chow Chow challenging is their strong protective instincts. They are naturally aloof and reserved with strangers, which can lead to aggression if not properly managed and socialized from an early age. This can pose a risk in situations where visitors or unfamiliar individuals are present, making them less ideal for families with frequent guests or those living in highly populated areas.

This breed also have specific grooming requirements. Their dense double coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangles. Additionally, they are prone to shedding, which means they may not be the best choice for individuals who are sensitive to dog allergens or who prefer a low-maintenance grooming routine.

Furthermore, Chow Chow have a higher potential for health issues compared to some other breeds. They are prone to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and eye problems. This means that potential owners need to be prepared for potential veterinary expenses and ongoing care to ensure the health and well-being of these dogs.

Read more: 

9 Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

1. Shih Tzu

Best Dog Breeds

Shih Tzu are often considered one of the Best Dog Breeds for first-time owners, thanks to their friendly nature, adaptability, and low exercise requirements. These small and affectionate dogs make excellent companions and can easily fit into a variety of households.

One of the notable qualities of Shih Tzu is their friendly and social temperament. They are known for being loving, gentle, and good with both adults and children. Shih Tzu thrive on human companionship and are generally eager to please their owners. Their friendly nature makes them a great choice for families with children or individuals looking for a loyal and affectionate companion.

Shih Tzu are also known for their low shedding coat, which can be beneficial for individuals with allergies. While they do require regular grooming to keep their long, silky coats looking their best, they are considered a hypoallergenic breed and produce fewer allergens compared to other dog breeds.

In terms of size, Shih Tzu are small dogs, typically weighing between 9 to 16 pounds (4 to 7 kilograms). Their compact size makes them easily manageable for first-time owners, especially those who may be new to handling and caring for a dog.

It is important to note that Shih Tzu still require proper training and socialization to ensure they develop good manners and become well-adjusted dogs. Basic obedience training, house training, and early socialization with people and other animals are essential for their overall well-being and to prevent any behavioral issues.

Read more: 

2. Pug

Best Dog Breeds

One of the most notable characteristics of Pug is their friendly and outgoing nature. They are known for their playful and sociable temperament, making them excellent companions for people of all ages. Pugs enjoy being around their owners and are generally good with children and other pets, making them a great choice for families.

Their small size is also a favorable trait for first-time owners. Pug typically weigh between 14 to 18 pounds (6 to 8 kilograms) and stand at around 10 to 13 inches (25 to 33 centimeters) tall. This compact size makes them easily manageable, both indoors and outdoors, and suitable for various living situations, including apartments or houses with limited space.

Pug have a low exercise requirement, which can be ideal for individuals who have a more sedentary lifestyle or limited mobility. They enjoy short walks and indoor playtime, making them adaptable to different activity levels. However, it is important to monitor their weight and provide them with a balanced diet to prevent obesity, as Pug are prone to weight gain.

Additionally, Pug have a distinctive appearance that many people find endearing. Their wrinkled face, large expressive eyes, and curly tail make them incredibly cute and charming. Pug are known for their clownish behavior and ability to bring joy and laughter to their owners’ lives.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 

Best Dog Breeds

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is often regarded as one of the Best Dog Breeds for first-time owners due to its gentle nature, adaptability, and affectionate personality. These small and elegant dogs make wonderful companions and are well-suited for individuals or families seeking a loving and easygoing pet.

One of the standout qualities of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is its friendly and sociable nature. They are known for their affectionate and gentle temperament, making them great with children, other pets, and people in general. Cavaliers thrive on human companionship and enjoy being a part of family activities, which makes them ideal for first-time owners looking for a loving and loyal companion.

Cavaliers typically weighing between 13 to 18 pounds (6 to 8 kilograms) and standing around 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33 centimeters) tall, makes them suitable for smaller spaces. They don’t require excessive exercise and are content with daily walks and playtime, making them an excellent choice for individuals with a moderate activity level.

These dogs have a charming and elegant appearance that adds to their appeal. They have soft, silky coats that come in various colors and patterns, including Blenheim (chestnut and white), Tricolor, Black and Tan, and Ruby. Their expressive eyes and beautiful feathered ears give them an endearing and regal look.

Cavaliers are relatively easy to train as they are intelligent and eager to please. Their friendly and people-oriented nature makes them quick learners and cooperative companions.

Read more: 

4. Whippet

Best Dog Breeds

The Whippet is often considered one of the Best Dog Breeds for first-time owners due to its gentle demeanor, low maintenance requirements, and adaptable nature. This medium-sized sighthound combines elegance and athleticism, making it a great choice for individuals or families looking for a loving and easygoing pet.

One of the standout qualities of the Whippet is its calm and gentle temperament. They are known for being affectionate, loyal, and good-natured, which makes them excellent companions for first-time owners. Whippet are generally friendly towards people and other animals, making them a great fit for families with children or homes with other pets.

Whippet have a moderate energy level, requiring regular exercise but not excessive physical activity. They enjoy daily walks, playtime in a securely fenced area, and the occasional opportunity to stretch their legs and run in a safe environment. Their athleticism and natural instinct to chase make them well-suited for activities like lure coursing or agility training, but they can also adapt to a more relaxed lifestyle.

Another advantage of the Whippet is its low maintenance coat. They have short, smooth fur that is easy to groom. They are a relatively clean breed and have minimal doggy odor.

It is worth noting that Whippet are sensitive and thrive in a loving and nurturing environment. They are indoor dogs that require adequate shelter and protection from extreme weather conditions. Despite their short coat, they can be sensitive to the cold, so a cozy bed or blanket is appreciated.

5. Greyhound

Best Dog Breeds

One of the standout qualities of Greyhound is their calm and gentle temperament. They are known for their sweet and affectionate nature, making them great companions for first-time owners. Greyhound are typically friendly towards people, including children, and they generally get along well with other dogs. Their gentle demeanor and minimal aggression make them a great fit for households with a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.

Despite their lean and athletic appearance, Greyhound are surprisingly low-energy dogs. They are often referred to as “couch potatoes” and enjoy long periods of lounging and resting. While they still require daily exercise, a few short walks and play sessions are usually enough to keep them content. This makes them suitable for individuals or families with a more laid-back lifestyle.

Greyhound are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement methods and enjoy mental stimulation. It’s important to note that Greyhound are sensitive and may require a patient and understanding approach from their owners.

They are typically indoor dogs and require a comfortable and quiet space to relax. Due to their thin coat, they are more sensitive to extreme weather conditions and may need additional protection from the cold.

6. Labrador Retriever 

Best Dog Breeds

Labradors are renowned for their friendly and gentle temperament. They are typically eager to please and love being around people, including children. Their affectionate and patient nature makes them great companions and playmates for kids. Labradors are known for their ability to get along well with other dogs and pets, which is another bonus for families with existing pets.

In addition to their amiable disposition, Labradors are highly intelligent and trainable. They are quick learners and enjoy participating in activities that challenge their minds. This makes them ideal candidates for obedience training, agility, and other dog sports. Their willingness to learn and please their owners contributes to their reputation as one of the most trainable dog breeds.

Labradors are also known for their versatility. They excel in a variety of roles, including assistance and service dogs, search and rescue dogs, and therapy dogs.

Another advantage of Labradors is their energy level. They are an active breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and interactive games are essential to meet their exercise needs. However, Labradors are generally adaptable and can adjust their activity level to match their owner’s lifestyle.

Read more: 

7. Golden Retriever

Best Dog Breeds

The Golden Retriever is known for their friendly and gentle nature, intelligence, and loyalty, making them an excellent choice for individuals or families new to dog ownership.

Golden Retriever have a reputation for being friendly and outgoing. They are typically social dogs that enjoy the company of people and get along well with children and other pets. Their patient and gentle demeanor makes them great family dogs and suitable for households with young children.

Intelligence is another hallmark of Golden Retriever. They are highly trainable and eager to please their owners. This breed excels in obedience training and can quickly learn commands and tricks. Their intelligence also makes them suitable for a variety of activities and sports, such as agility, therapy work, and search and rescue.

Golden Retriever are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners. They form strong bonds with their families and are often described as being “people-oriented.” This breed thrives on human companionship and enjoys being involved in family activities. They are not typically prone to aggression and are known for their gentle nature.

In terms of exercise, Golden Retriever are active dogs that require daily physical activity to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy activities such as walking, running, and playing fetch. Regular exercise helps to prevent boredom and provides an outlet for their energy. This breed is well-suited for families who enjoy an active lifestyle and can provide ample opportunities for exercise.

8. Bernese Mountain Dog

Best Dog Breeds

These dogs are known for their striking appearance, with their tri-color coat and expressive eyes. One of the most notable qualities of Bernese Mountain Dog is their calm and gentle temperament. They are generally very patient and tolerant, making them great companions for families, including those with children. They are known for their affectionate nature and are often eager to please their owners.

Despite their large size, Bernese Mountain Dog are known to be good-natured and easygoing. They are typically friendly towards strangers and other animals, making them suitable for households with multiple pets. This breed thrives on human companionship and enjoys being a part of family activities.

While Bernese Mountain Dog are gentle and loving, they do require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They are also well-suited for activities such as hiking or participating in dog sports like obedience or agility.

Another advantage of Bernese Mountain Dog is their adaptability to different living environments. They can adapt well to both city living and rural settings, as long as they receive the necessary exercise and mental stimulation. However, it’s important to note that they do require space to move around comfortably due to their size.

9. Great Dane

Best Dog Breeds

While Great Dane are known for their imposing size, they can also be a great choice for first-time dog owners. Despite their large stature, they are often described as gentle giants with a calm and friendly disposition. Here are some reasons why Great Dane can be an excellent dog breed for first-time owners.

First and foremost, Great Dane are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their owners and are generally good with children and other pets. Their gentle and patient temperament makes them suitable for families of all sizes, including those with young children.

Despite their size, Great Dane are typically low-energy dogs. They enjoy lounging and relaxing, often referred to as “couch potatoes.” While they do require regular exercise, they don’t have the high activity levels that some other breeds possess. Great Dane are also known for their adaptability and easygoing nature. They are generally quiet dogs, which can be beneficial for those living in close proximity to neighbors.

In terms of grooming, Great Dane have a short and sleek coat that is easy to maintain. Regular brushing helps keep their coat clean and reduces shedding. They are relatively low-maintenance in terms of grooming compared to breeds with longer or more high-maintenance coats.

In conclusion, choosing the right dog breed for first-time owners is crucial for a harmonious and successful pet-owner relationship. While the list of worst breeds highlights the challenges inexperienced owners may face, it’s important to remember that with proper research, preparation, and dedication, any breed can become a beloved companion. Ultimately, understanding the needs, temperament, and energy levels of different breeds will empower first-time owners to make an informed decision and embark on a rewarding journey with their new four-legged friend.

Read more: