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Which Puppy is Best for Beginners? 5 Good Options

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

There are only so many firsts we get in life. Like first Christmases that you might only have hazy, watercolor memories of. Or your first concert where your heart soars as it engages with live music. How can we not mention your first kiss? Not to mention the first-time you fall in love.

Speaking of first love… What about the first-time you fall in love with your four-legged friend? We’re talking puppies. It’s a special time in your life when you get your first dog.

Whether you’re sitting at home on your couch or walking the beach at sunset, you’ll look down and know that your world is better as you gaze into their cute little eyes.

But what if you’ve never had the pleasure? Every day is the right day to start considering your premier pooch. And when you do, you'll want to pick the best type of puppy. Let’s talk about what a perfect first dog for beginners should be.

Interested in adding a new puppy to your family?

What should you be looking for in a first-time dog?

There are a handful of things you should consider when getting your first dog. Keep it simple and you're on your way to picking the right puppy pal.


Whether you live in an apartment or a mansion, you should choose a dog that suits the space that you both occupy. You wouldn’t want to shove a mastiff in a studio apartment any more than you’d want a teacup poodle in a ten-story walk-up. Be conscious of your new dog by making sure they have enough space for their wrecking ball of a tail.


You have an exhausting job and are ready to come home and curl up with a good book. That doesn’t mean your ruff roommate is going to allow it.

Large or small, young or old, some dogs are going to need more than to trot out a few times a day to use the restroom. Make sure that if you’re a lover of lounging that your dog is suited to the lifestyle to which you’ve grown accustomed. Some dogs require a run or long walk several times a day.


You might be thinking, “Shouldn’t this fall under the ‘Energy’ subcategory?” You wouldn’t be crazy for thinking that, but they are different. While one could only require a quick jog outside, the other is more nuanced.

Most dogs will need stimulation. Depending on the breed and intelligence, many pups will require interaction and a certain level of entertainment to keep them occupied and out of trouble. You’ll want to make sure they stay engaged to keep their minds sharp and their attitudes happy and bright.

Related posts:

Top five pups to consider for beginners

There are hundreds of different breeds of pooch throughout the world. But let’s examine a quintet of the most common and easiest breeds available.

Golden Retrievers - The basics

Intelligent and affectionate, the golden retriever is an astute dog that can adapt to your lifestyle.

Why they’re great

The golden retriever is a near-perfect family pet. Its adaptability allows them to shift from one on one time to connect with the entire household. One of the easiest breeds to train, their clever minds can pivot and switch.

These loyal canines make great companions and therefore are ready to be trained as service animals. In fact, there are very few, if any, better breeds for first-time dog owners.

Why you might want to reconsider

If you have an allergy to pet dander or lack a ton of time to engage or interact with this playful pup, this isn’t the dog for you. They shed frequently and their longer, yet beautiful, coats will set off your nose alarms at all opportunities.

This same coat will need to be brushed regularly to prevent its fur from tangling and matting. They’re high-energy breeds and need a great deal of exercise because of their active attitudes.

Bichon Frise - The basics

The term furball could have been coined specifically for this small to medium-sized lover of friends, new and old.

Why they’re great

Social creatures, the bichon frise is always ready to head out for a walk or to play in the park. Their fun-loving demeanor is perfectly paired with a family with children. And their size won’t overwhelm them.

Training is relatively easy with loveable pups. Dog allergies? Don’t worry. They’re hypoallergenic too.

Why you might want to reconsider

Remember when we said furballs? We weren’t kidding. While all dogs will need a groomer, these gorgeous fellas will need to head to the puppy salon about once a month to every month and a half.

Even though these dogs are people pleasers, strangers can be an issue if they’re not socialized early on. Between their coat and reputation as a lapdog, moderate exercisers and

those actively engaged in the outdoors might want to look elsewhere.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - The basics

The near living embodiment of the word “adorable,” this graceful and loving dog blends in with the makeup of practically any family.

Why they’re great

If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t require more than about a walk a day outside of bathroom breaks, this is the dog for you.

From young to old, the Cavalier has a gentle nature that adapts well to any surroundings. Intuitive and empathetic, they work well with first-time owners as their owners' lack of know-how can be counterweighted with the low maintenance of the breed.

Why you might want to reconsider

Three words: grooming, grooming, grooming. Okay. So that’s one word repeated thrice. But it’s worth repeating. While they have the floppiest of ears, these same hallmarks will need to be checked regularly as these dogs are prone to painful ear infections.

The same internal compass that keeps them comfortable on the couch will need to be balanced by your desire to have a dog that’s healthy in addition to being happy.

Labrador Retriever - The basics

Outgoing yet gentle, there’s a reason that the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in America for decades.

Why they’re great

Loyal, thy name is Labrador Retriever. These precious pups are ready for a trek through the woods or simply through your neighborhood. They’re also content lounging on the floor next to your Barcalounger or hanging out on the back porch.

They’re ready and willing to bond with you, your family or your other pets. While you may be a first-time dog owner, you could have three birds, two cats and an armadillo. This isn’t a problem for the social butterfly of dogs.

Why you might want to reconsider

While most dogs might know when to say when, Labs can overindulge, which can result in them becoming overweight. A consistently active lifestyle and a balanced diet should prevent this, but it is something to consider. Allergies could be a problem and their coats do need light (yet regular) maintenance.

Papillon - The basics

While not as famous a name as the others above, this easily trained dog proves that great things truly come in small packages.

Why they’re great

Some dogs balk at training. (That’s balk, not bark.) But Papillons actually look forward to and love learning new things. It’s these same neural pathways that allow them to bond and socialize with your family and friends.

While they may look like they’re difficult or need to be constantly groomed, this simply isn’t the case. The “butterfly” – the literal translation of their name – of dogs, they can keep up with those who love the indoors or outdoors.

Why you might want to reconsider

Their diminutive size might make you think that they’re a delicate flower, but for the most part they're healthy dogs with the occasional hearing troubles. Dental is another problem altogether as many of this breed will experience periodontal disease.

Beware! The Papillion, while social with humans, they don't share well with others and might not get along with any of your other pets.

There are so many other dogs to choose from

We’ve just covered the tippy top of the iceberg of the best dogs for new owners.

But the truth is, there’s a universe of dogs out there ready, willing and waiting to be brought into your home to share their love. Whoever you choose to invite in, do your research and make sure that you’re not thinking about your own needs but your new forever friend’s as well.

What breeds should you NOT consider as a first-time puppy owner?

From akitas to Jack Russels, from dalmatians to rottweilers. For every great match for a first-time owner, there are two or three breeds that you shouldn’t consider until you’re ready and have a couple pups under your belt. Stay tuned to our blog and we’ll have an article on this in the near future.

But what about training Doodles?

Doodles aren’t all for the faint of heart or the busiest in the workforce. But they’re not unlike the rainbow of attitudes and responsibilities across the plethora of breeds in the dog world. Some doodles, like the Bernadoodles, bore easily and can get into trouble if not regularly engaged.

The Sheepadoodle balances its sweet demeanor with its independent nature. And, of course, the Goldendoodle has the intelligence and energy of their parent breeds.

While there are a litany of reasons to love and cherish these doddle dudes, for those with allergies, these dogs can definitely help in that department as they’re hypoallergenic. They also come in many different sizes (learn more about mini goldendoodles here).

Want more of a deep dive on these breeds? A fantastic place to start would be our article on Goldendoodle vs. Bernedoodle vs. Sheepadoodle: A Detailed Guide. If this doesn’t answer all your questions, at least you’ll know what to ask next!

Let us help you first-time puppy owners!

If you’re not asking questions, you’re not doing it right. If you want to own a dog, you should be curious. That means you’re trying to do right by yourself and your family as well as your new dog. Check out our FAQ section for most inquiries about our dogs and our wonderful company.

Maybe our reputation precedes us but you’ll want to learn about the process of how we partner a puppy with their parents. Check out all the details on our Exclusive Matchmaking Process to get the full picture.

If you’ve already decided that a doodle is going to be your next dog, fill out an application and take the first step. Whatever tomorrow brings, stay calm and know that you’ll be okay as long as you put the needs of your dog and family first.

Jenna and the JLDD Team

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