You won’t forget the day you become a dog owner for the first time. Adding a dog to the family can be a great game-changer for everyone. Dogs can be loyal, loving, playful, and, let’s face it, they’re pretty cute.
Dogs bring so much joy into a person’s life and help to create lifelong memories. Once you have a dog, it will be very hard to go back to living without one. Dogs can become wonderful companions, and if brought home to a family, can help teach kids responsibility and compassion. They may also help you feel more secure at home, as many dogs can be trained to become skilled watchdogs.
That said, not all dogs are right for everyone. Prospective owners have to find a dog that is best suited to their personality and lifestyle—it’s a matchmaking game more than anything else. And if you’re a first-time dog owner, you’re going to want to be particular about the type of dog you bring into your home. Some dogs require much more work than others, and some may be more difficult to care for because they are prone to illnesses later in life.
So which breed is easiest for a first-time owner? Stacker analyzed the American Kennel Club dog breed database to find breeds with traits ideal for first-time owners. The analysis focused on breeds that had calm or regular activity levels, as opposed to dogs classified as energetic or needing lots of activity. Dogs that bark infrequently or only when necessary were considered, rather than dogs that were classified as stubborn to train or as extra-large in size. The dogs for this analysis then were ordered by weight from largest to smallest.
There’s a lot to consider when selecting a dog for the first time. Are you an active person who wants a running buddy, or do you spend most of your day away from home, which might require a dog that’s more sedentary? Typically dogs that don’t shed much are easier for first-time owners—less clean-up and grooming. Dogs that respond to training tend to be better for first-time owners since they will be more prone to obeying and staying out of trouble.
If you’re ready to add a dog to the mix, here are 30 dog breeds ideal for first-time owners.