Becoming a dog guardian for the first time is exciting, but it can also be a challenge depending on the type of breed you adopt. There are so many different breeds of dogs, and it’s hard to know how to choose the right one. Before you take home the first adorable puppy you see, there are a few things to consider. We know from theory (although it can sometimes be flawed) that certain dog breeds tend to have high energy levels, different sizes, looks and relatively different grooming needs.

Here are 10 great dog breeds for those of you who are dying to get one but are beginners.

Which dog breed to choose if you’ve never owned a dog before

The best breed for a person who has never owned a dog is one that matches your energy level, lifestyle and ability to give it attention. If you want a dog that can run with you, choose a dog with athleticism and stamina. If you prefer a lazy dog that likes to be indoors, then it is best to avoid high-energy dog breeds.

You should also bear in mind that if you are adopting an adult dog, they have usually already been through other things and have passed their primary socialisation and learning stage; these, in many cases, are the best dogs for beginners, as puppies require a lot of work, socialisation, training and a lot of attention.

10 dog breeds for beginners

Bichon Friesian

The bichon frise is a happy and easy-going little dog, ideal for families with children or for flat living. This breed is a great all-round companion. Bichons are relatively easy to housebreak, adapt well to any lifestyle and need only moderate daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. Of course, you’ll need to spend time and money on regular visits to the groomer if you don’t want that mane to get out of control. The curly coat of this breed should be trimmed regularly and brushed with care.


If you’re looking for a medium-large, high-energy dog, look no further. This loyal dog forms a close bond with his family. If you lead a reasonably active lifestyle, a Boxer could be right for you and yours. This breed needs plenty of exercise and a solid foundation of training. Although young Boxers can be a little hyperactive, they can be trained. Once trained and socialised, Boxers can thrive in active households and, of course, get along well with children. Guardians by nature, Boxers are protective of their families. As for their needs, there is nothing too remarkable, as they are really basic.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier is a sweet and affectionate dog with an almost puppy-like appearance. Cavaliers can live in all types of homes and tend to get along well with children of all ages. This breed is small, but not toy-like, and has a gentle demeanour. This dog is elegant in character, attentive and generally calm. The Cavalier’s moderate energy level makes basic daily exercise sufficient to maintain good health. Despite a medium length coat, the grooming needs of this dog are basic. Regular brushing is essential to avoid tangles.

Golden Retriever

The golden retriever is the quintessential family dog; they are furry and always eager to please. They are an excellent breed with children and adults of all ages. This medium to large dog is lively, loyal, affectionate and active. The breed is intelligent and adaptable to live in most homes. They also need a good amount of exercise to keep them in good physical condition and to avoid boredom. They love to learn and can be trained to do many things. The breed needs regular brushing to keep its coat free of tangles.


The Labrador is one of the most popular and recognisable medium to large dog breeds. Labradors adapt well to most environments and are excellent with children. They are intensely loyal and affectionate dogs who form close bonds with their families. This breed is active, playful and intelligent. They thrive in active homes that can provide plenty of exercise and training. Labradors love to learn and can be trained to do almost anything, enjoying fetching, running and cuddling. Fortunately, they have only minor grooming needs, such as regular brushing, to minimise excessive shedding.


Don’t let this dog’s tiny body fool you. This happy, friendly and adaptable dog breed can do well in a variety of homes. The Papillon gets along well with children, but as long as they are treated gently. This cutie can function as a lap dog and companion for long walks. The Papillon does not need much exercise.