Thinking about getting your first dog? You may have had a dog as a child but being a pet parent for the first time is a whole different level of responsibility. Learn about some of the best dog breeds for first time owners and find your perfect match.

Getting your first dog can be an exhilarating and intimidating process all at the same time. Just like people, dogs are individuals and can differ greatly in personalities and needs. While there are certainly no bad dog breeds, there are some dog breeds that might be better suited to first time owners. Read on to find out more or try our Dog Breed Selector Quiz which will match your lifestyle with a new furry best friend.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known to be some of the most affectionate dogs around and could well be in the running for Man’s Best ‘Best Friend’. Mostly honey coloured and one of the world’s favourite family breeds, they are obedient, easy to train, gentle with kids and other pets. Learn more about Golden Retrievers.

Bichon Frise

Simply put Bichon Frises are gentle, white, fluffy balls of love. They not only love and thrive in human company, they need it. They are one of the best dog breeds for first time owners due to their happy, playful and friendly nature, and how they do wonderfully well with children and other pets. Learn more about Bichon Frises.


Though they’re small, Papillons won’t be content to sit on your lap all afternoon. These social butterflies love flitting around looking for a cuddle from every member of your family and chasing small animals that have worked their way into your yard. They have a lot of energy and are easily trainable, making for a great lifelong companion. Learn more about Papillons.

Shetland Sheepdog

One of the most intelligent breeds and eager to please, Shetland Sheepdogs are easy to train and learn commands with ease. They have a playful and friendly personality and will get on well with your family members. Shetland Sheepdogs are highly active and will make great partners for first time owners who enjoy a good run. Learn more about Shetland Sheepdogs.

Italian Greyhound

Gentle and affectionate, Italian Greyhounds will love being by your side. Their short coats mean they like to stay warm by snuggling under a blanket and on soft furniture, making them a great indoor dog. While they’re intelligent and easy to train, especially if you use motivational methods, they can be difficult to housetrain so it’s best to provide them with a dog door that they can use whenever they need to do their business. Learn more about Italian Greyhounds.

Labrador Retriever

Being good-natured, friendly and affectionate, the Labrador Retriever is a relatively large-sized breed and has a reputation of being an excellent family pet. Patient with children they are very loyal and love being around the family, making them one of the best dog breeds for first time owners. Learn more about Labrador Retrievers.

Adopt a dog

Rescue dogs from shelters like the RSPCA are also a wonderful choice for first time dog owners. The dogs are temperament tested and have been health checked so the only decision you have to make is whether they are suitable match for you. Learn more about Petbarn’s Adoption partners.

As a first time dog owner, finding the right pet to fit into your family is essential for your happiness as well as theirs. When deciding on your first dog, consider your living space, exercise and cost options around what will suit your lifestyle. Answer a few simple questions on our Dog Breed Selector Quiz and be matched with the best dog for you.

Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz now!

Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz now!