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11 Amazing dog breeds for first-time owners

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

If you're new to the whole dog ownership thing, these breeds are for you

You've done it! You've decided it's time to bring a pawed pal into your home. But the choices of potential pups seem endless. What is a novice dog owner to do? Consider one of the following breeds, ranging from larger-than-life canines to pint-sized pooches, that are top dogs for first-time owners.

Golden Retriever

In addition to sporting an irresistible cuddle-me-now face, a Golden Retriever will love you to the ends of the earth and back. Ideal for a first-time dog owner who has an active lifestyle and wants an exuberantly happy pup, this enthusiastic canine will provide years of fun and affection.

Greyhound

Don't let the Greyhound's rep for racing fool you. This lovable laid-back pup is happy to lounge around the house or go for a jog, making it the perfect pet for lazy or active first-time dog owners. As a bonus, you can put hats on your hound just for a smile.

Labrador Retriever

If you live for the water, the great outdoors and lots of puppy love, the Labrador Retriever is for you. One of the most popular dogs in the United States, this active family dog is full of life, friendliness and a "Let's go!" attitude.

Poodle

The low-shed Poodle is a perfect match for a first-time dog owner who doesn't want to spend much time vacuuming up dog hair or lint brushing the day's attire. This cheerful, intelligent canine is hypoallergenic, comes in three sizes and just wants to be a central part of the pack.

Brittany

When you've got hunting (or exercise obsession) in your blood, you need a dog that shares that sentiment. The energetic, easy-to-train and eager-to-go Brittany is ideal for active first-time dog owners who want a high-spirited canine that loves to play.

Shetland Sheepdog

Though often confused with a Miniature Collie, the Shetland Sheepdog is a fun-loving breed all its own. Highly intelligent and always ready to please, this high-energy pup will thrive with a first-time dog owner who seeks furry, active companionship.

Papillon

The pint-sized Papillon is ideal for a first-time dog owner who lives in small quarters but has the desire and time to take this lively, intelligent pup for long walks in the park.

Boston Terrier

A true companion, the Boston Terrier is friendly to everyone it meets. This affectionate canine is eager to be engaged in whatever activity you're doing, whether you're lounging on the patio or up for a short hike.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier is the perfect pup for the first-time pet owner who is seeking an all-day canine companion. Though the Cav is considered a lapdog, it won't complain if you want to go for a walk or teach it some tricks.

Pomeranian

Always up for whatever you want to do, the spirited, happy Pom is an ideal pup for the first-time dog owner who wants a small dog with a big personality. Happy to be at home in your lap or playing with you at the park, this fun little fluffball lives to be your constant companion.

Pug

A perfect pup for the social (but not overly active) first-time dog owner, the Pug is a true charmer that loves every person and animal it meets. Don't let its worried-looking wrinkly face worry you. This lively canine is always happy on the inside.

More on loving our pets

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Things no one ever tells you about owning a pet
8 IKEA hacks for pet lovers

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