Best dog breeds for first-time owners

Getting your first pup is a wonderful experience; meeting, getting to know and training your new pet is one of the most rewarding parts of owning a pet, and an experience you’ll always remember. It’s going to be challenging, of course, and take time and patience for you to train your new pup to live with you, but in return you’ll have a new friend and a companion for life.

The only question is, what breed do you go for if you’ve never owned a dog before?


This breed is a popular choice for first-time owners due to its small size, playful personality and fairly low need for grooming. You’ll need to give this breed a walk or two every day so that it gets enough exercise, but won’t need to worry about it being too rough around small children or having too much pent-up energy. A solid choice for the novice owner.

Golden Retriever

If you’re looking for something a little bigger, then the classic family dog, the Golden Retriever, might be for you. Loyal and affectionate, the Golden Retriever has a great temperament, and will love going for a run around at the park or regular long walks. It’s easy to see why this breed is one of the most popular in the UK!

Bichon Frise

Another small breed, the Bichon Frise is famous for its fluffy white coat that makes it almost toy-like in appearance. This breed is super-playful and will love regular playtimes and attention, making it a great choice if you’ve got small children in the house. You won’t need to worry about the dog becoming too boisterous at playtimes either – this breed doesn’t grow any bigger than the average sized ruler, and will grow to weigh around 5kg at the most.


Energetic and brilliant around children, Boxer dogs are loved for their caring personalities and playful attitudes. They’re extremely loyal, and will love looking after your children at playtime or going for a run around in the park. They shed very little and have minimal grooming requirements, making them a common choice for first-time owners.

Lhasa Apso

This adorable breed originates from Tibet, and is a popular choice due to its fluffy coat, small stature and playful attitude. These dogs were actually used as watchdogs centuries ago to guard monasteries and palaces; they don’t guard castles anymore, but you’ll certainly know about it if your Lhasa Apso hears a fox in the garden during the night!


Similar in size to the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is a fantastic choice if you’re a first-time owner that wants an active dog to play with or even to go for a jog with. They’re very easy to train and love learning new tricks, so if you’re after a dog to keep you company during your active lifestyle, then a Labrador might be the perfect pup for you.


Greyhounds are an interesting choice for a first-time owner. Their natural hunting instinct means that you’d have to be very careful not to let them near any small animals like cats or hamsters, and you’d have to be prepared to give them plenty of walks or trips outside to expend their energy.

Other than that, however, they’re fairly low maintenance, have very calm personalities and don’t shed, so you wouldn’t need to worry about stray hairs all over the place.


One of the smallest breeds out there, Maltese dogs weigh on average around 7 pounds, making them cute, small and great for playing with small children. They’ve got bags of personality and will love getting affection from you, but won’t need huge amounts of exercise, making them a great choice for a first-time owner.


Poodles are famous for their curly hair, but are loved for their calm and graceful temperament. They’re not as needy as some other dogs and won’t be constantly pestering you for affection; this may be due to the fact that they’re one of the most intelligent breeds of dog out there. As a result they’re highly trainable, and are great if you want a more relaxed dog that loves learning new things without being too hyperactive.

Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire terriers are small, yappy dogs that are playful and affectionate, but won’t require too much exercise, making them easy to cater for if you’re a first-time owner. The only thing to be aware of is that their hair can grow quite long, and as a result they might cost a little more to groom regularly than other dogs.

Whatever breed of pup you decide to go for, you’re bound to quickly fall in love with it. While your dog may be around for only a period of your life, for your pup, you are their entire life, and as such they’ll need you to look after and care for them for as long as they’re with you.

At Cover My, we make sure that whatever may be around the corner, you’ll always be able to provide your new pup with the best healthcare available. We offer a range of competitive pet insurance options that guarantee both your own peace of mind and your pet’s healthcare. Why not get a quote today to see what your options are?

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