As an avid dog lover and owner for most of my life, I am often asked, what are some of the best breeds for a average first time dog owner?

By "average" first time dog owner I mean someone who is willing to take the basic steps with dog ownership. Someone who responsible and reasonable enough to consider going to a registered breeder, or a shelter that can help them discern. Also, someone who is willing to train for basics but not planning to compete in any dog sports. The dog will primarily be a companion animal.

Having said all this, i do realize if a first time owner is extremely dedicated, well researched and well-matched for a breed (personality and lifestyle wise) then almost any breed could potentially be a match. All too often people choose a dog breed based on looks, which can be a recipe for disaster. If that cute pooch doesn't match with your lifestyle, and if you are not willing to meet a particular breeds needs, for exercise for example, things can go down hill very fast.

There are many different breed selectors online that can help narrow that gap between what your home, personality, and lifestyle would lean towards for that wonderful new canine companion. A simple Google search will bring forward several selectors that often go into detail about the various breeds.

Personally I think breeds like Labradors and Golden retrievers are "easier" breeds for a new dog owner. They are intelligent, eager to please, extremely food motivated, have moderate exercise requirements and are generally happy, and friendly with humans and other dogs alike. Rounding out my top-5, would be English Bulldogs, Greyhounds, and Basset Hounds.

There really are many more, and truly your lifestyle and ability will open , or close many options. Also, don't for get about the many shelter dogs, that would make a perfect first companion too.

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